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Reviews (181)
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All reviewsinfinity poolperfect retreatmain bathroomsunrise viewideal place to relaxburmese fooddurian seasonspider websthe barnoutdoor bathtubspent two nightsbayan lepasa lovely staythai riceburmese staffrice barnssteep drive
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Reviewed April 15, 2016 via mobile

Beautiful scenery, excellent food, staff service thumbs up. You can even opt for an adventurous jungle track,get you a good sweat!!!its definitely an escape from the urban city and bring you back to the natural world. Every villa gives you a different view(sunset/sunrise). Don't hesitate to consult the general manager-James. Definitely a helpful guy during your stay

Stayed: April 2016, traveled as a couple
Thank Jaess L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2016

We chose Malihom as our home for our first two nights in Penang as a unique retreat that is not too far from the city, and we are extremely glad we did.

When we were driving up the foothill to Malihom on the long winding road, we were quite terrified as we were in an old taxi which kept scraping the floor. I suggest asking the taxi driver to drop you off at the bottom of the foothill and calling the estate in advance to provide their smoother (and free) shuttle service to the top of the foothill.

Malihom is comprised of eight rustic Thai rice barns. We booked the ‘Khanun’ barn, which was one of only two options for three people as it has a double bed and another single bed in the room on the top floor. The room was quite small at 265 sq ft, so it was appropriate that it also had a small table with two chairs as well as a claustrophobia-inducing toilet. The main bathroom was on the middle floor and had a sunken bathtub, separate shower, and another toilet. The bottom floor had two lounge chairs and a comfortable hammock offering gorgeous views of Georgetown since you are on top of a hill. However, being on top of a hill also means that wi-fi is weak and only available in the common area. It works fine if you need it, though it encourages you to fully unwind.

In the middle of the estate are the reception, dining and living areas. The dining area also overlooked the rest of Penang, while the neighboring living area had a large television with countless channels and DVDs and games for rental (although most were quite old). The estate also had a pool which was private 90% of the time, as there were only three other couples on our first night and one other couple on our second.

Upon arrival, we were given a nifty pocket guide which outlined everything about the estate. This includes a walking trail which we attempted to follow, though the directions were not particularly clear and we ended back up the estate quickly as we were quite skeptical about where it would lead us to and how long it would take to return.

We expected the meals to be mediocre as we thought it would be difficult to transport high-quality ingredients up to the estate, but it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. We booked full board for our second day. Lunch included Western delights like chicken schnitzel, white fish with laksa gravy and a black pepper steak, while we opted for Burmese cuisine for dinner (not recommended for those who fear spice). Breakfast, which was included in the room rate, consisted of a fruit plate, toast, coffee/tea, and a choice of eggs.

We came into the retreat stressed but came out much more refreshed (and not wanting to leave). It is very accessible as a temporary escape from the world and offers an extremely blissful environment. It is definitely not for those who are fussy about bugs and wi-fi, but perfect those who simply wish to unwind and rejuvenate.

Room Tip: Use the free hotel shuttle when going along the foothill to/from Malihom.
  • Stayed: March 2016, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jim6324
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2016 via mobile

After reading all the reviews on Trip Advisor I was excited to get to Malihom. I decided not to be deterred or even annoyed by the lack of clarity or assistance in how best to arrive to Malihom (I sent three emails asking two questions they finally responded on the third email).

My partner has travelled extensively through south east Asia and I have been to Thailand and Bali.

Hands down this is the most expensive accommodation (including extras) we have paid for - even within Australia, Europe and the US. It wasn't the cost but the value that was so lacking.

After spending 1.5 hours getting there (the address on our trip advisor confirmation was incorrect and we had to travel up and down hills asking locals - luckily our driver was lovely and patient). We finally arrived.

While we were expecting a great view, closer inspection highlighted a lot of wild dogs, staff who didn't speak English, a mouldy pool and evidence of a lot of rubbish and deforestation in the surrounding hills.

The hut itself was more reminiscent of an Eco-lodge than the luxury we were paying for.

My partner maintained his positivity even though the inaccessible location meant we really had no option but to stay for dinner which we both baulked at 110 ringet each. Our most expensive simplest meal - Burmese curries. Which while nice did not deserve a fraction of the price tag.

We had booked in for a massage having believed this would be a relaxing and luxurious experience - again going by price alone (465 ringet for two for 90 minutes). The massage was average at best. I've had more privacy and luxury in the backstreets of Legian in Bali. There was no where to change, while the view could have been great it was obscured with a bag of KFC rubbish. The airconditioning was cold and worse - my partners' masseuse had a cold and sniffled and coughed the whole time while mine gave me a one handed massage while replying to text messages that were causing the bed to vibrate near my head every few minutes. At the end of the massage she drank what I can only assume were to be our water bottles which had been obscured by her power pack for her phone.

The weird drawn bath when we arrived (cold by the time we found the place) had to be emptied to ensure we did not breed mosquitos. The pool water was dirty and had a strange odour. The walking track was nothing more than a rubbish filled walk through some scrubby jungle complete with plenty of spiders and a hike back up the drive past wild dogs.

Breakfast came and went with no alternatives or willingness to accommodate an egg allergy. I was given a strange combination of every cereal in the world and substandard toast washed down with bitter coffee and disappointment.

I couldn't wait to checkout, pay the exorbitant fees and put the whole failed venture behind us. However this too was a debacle. We had to book our own taxi. And then the most English speaking of the staff tried to explain there were issues with the credit card machine. These issues are a lack of ink in the printer (which both my partner and I suggested was the case after two blank receipts printed). However our man insisted it hadn't worked.

Needless to say we had to leave a hard copy of all our credit card details after attempting the 'broken' machine twice.

Having just checked our statement I am pleased to confirm we have paid twice electronically for our dinner and massage.

I can't recommend against this place strongly enough. Maybe if it was all inclusive for $80AUD/night. But as it was we spent over 500 and I feel like we were (and still are - credit card details pending) part of an ill constructed scam.

Stayed: March 2016, traveled as a couple
12  Thank Caitlin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malihom-Penang, General Manager at Malihom Private Estate, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2016

Dear Caitlin B,

Thank you for your recent stay with us at Malihom and for taking the time to post this review.

I was sad and sorry to read your comments regarding your recent experience at Malihom. I am never proud to know that we have failed to delight a guest, but I am always grateful for feedback which is integral as we journey towards improving the guest experience at our resort.

I acknowledge your frustration over the lack of clarity or assistance in how best to arrive to Malihom after you made the booking. I know it is important that our reservation must provide a detailed and precious directive so that all guests can easily find the location of Malihom.

Thank you for highlighting the disturbance that you experienced during the massage. I do think that relaxation and enjoyment while having holidays are very precious and so I do acknowledge your frustration on this matter.

My sincere apology over the double charge of your credit card by one of our reception staff. I am pleased to let you know that we managed to void the double charge yesterday and that transaction should be reflected in your credit card statement in due course.
Thank you for your candor with regards to pricing and value for money. We do monitor our prices compared to the other similar hotels on the island from time to time. As a result I had always felt that our prices were in line with our competitor hotels… but I will continue to check. It’s important to me that we offer value for money for our guests.

I do apologise if in any way our breakfast disappointed you. Indeed breakfast is the most important meal of a day and my team and I are committed to continued improvements to the breakfast experience. We continue to rejuvenate our meal menu in order to have something for everyone. We recognise that food serving is an endless process and we will continue to extend, enhance and innovate it.
Your review is constructive and detailed. Thank you for sharing these detailed remarks.

We reviewed your comments as a team at our daily briefing meeting. I confess that none of us took any pleasure or pride in reading and reviewing the issues. Together with my Reservation, Recreation, Housekeeping and Food & Beverage colleagues, we reviewed and discussed each point - and each of us (including me) took away specific actions, as well as learning and observations.

Thank you once again for your feedback. In the event that your travel schedule ever brings you back to Penang, I would be delighted if you would contact me directly – james.lim@malihom.com. It would be our pleasure to welcome you once again to Malihom and be given the opportunity to restore your faith in us.

Warm regards,
James Lim
General Manager
Malihom Private Estate

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2016 via mobile

After came back from Malihom, my boyfriend and I missing this place so much.
Friendly staff : Zho, James
Both of them are helpful and friendly. You will see both of them all the time to make your stay wonderful and make you feel like home

Food:
Simple and limited choice. However the place for dine in is totally good spot with the wonderful scenery.

We will be back again and keep up the good work !

The only things can be improve is the maintenance of the building, library will place more new cd. Perharps you can provide us the pendrive with all the movie downloaded or the 4Ghuddle can do. :)

Stayed: March 2016, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Nicole C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2016

it is hard to imagine anywhere else on Penang being better than Malihom in our view. We wanted a relaxing place to stay, a place with local character but with no need for beaches or the noise and bustle of Georgetown. We found Malihom on the web and tuck the plunge and we were not disappointed. For a start it has a unique location on the hilly spine of the island. Second the staff are all excellent making you feel really welcome and helpful when needed. Special mention here of James the manager and Cho who was there most evenings and mornings.
We stayed here for 5 nights which is perhaps longer than most but the welcome and relaxing nature meant it was not too long. The weather was perfect, dry mostly wall to wall sushine but with cooling breezes, warm still evenings. We did get off the estate one day to Georgetown and one day to the Penang National Park. Having seen Georgetown we were pleased to have chosen here as our base in Penang.
Malihom is perched on a hill top with views east to the first Penang bridge and the lights of the east coast developments, across to Butterworth and to the west to the Straits of Melaka. Surrounding the estate are wooded hillsides with Durians and other fruiting trees which Malaysians are very proud of and will talk about at every opportunity. The woodland is tall but open. There are trails through the plantations which you can walk but remember you are starting from the hill top and you have to get back. The hill is steep!!
The Malihom consists of central communal area where meals are provided and then eight rice barns converted for accommodation. Each barn is different. We stayed in Jhana for the first few nights and were then upgraded to Baanmai. Jhana is small with single beds but the bathroom is at the same level as the room. In Baanmai the bathroom is below the sleeping level ( and you go outside to get up or down) but there is a small toilet ensuite off the room. The big advantage of Baanmai is the outdoor space for relaxing a large deck area with hammock and seating.
Shared outdoor areas are the pool which is just perfect for a swim and afternoon beer. The surroundings have good shade.
Prepare yourself before going by getting in touch to arrange pick up at the bottom of the hill. We arrived by taxi from the airport but only after a tour of Georgetown. The taxi driver had thought we were heading for somewhere different but took us back to Malihom eventually. The drive up the hill was not what he (or we!) expected.
What to do at Malihom? We were on full board. as there is nowhere near at hand this is the only alternative. The menu is limited but we opted for the Burmese which was superb. Breakfast is eggs, toast and fruit. Its true you are provided with limited choice but what we had was excellent and more than ample. Drink (beer/wine) is available. Not much choice. Pity no gin and tonic to go with the sunsets
Overall an excellent, unique place. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. If you dont mind the wildlife (eg a toad on your outdoor balcony, geckoes in the bathroom and chattering of local birds) then consider here. But if you are looking for lots of activity and facilities on site then look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: March 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Brian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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