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“Perfect family holiday”

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Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Batu Ferringhi
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Perfect family holiday”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Stayed here from Dec 21 to Dec 27 and enjoyed what was close to a perfect family holiday.

We arrived with two small children (4.5/1.5) and stayed in Hillview room with both baby cot and roll-away bed. The bed was an oversight but we didn't complain and were not charged.

Some points:

Pool - Two large pools (one with dedicated kid's area) and one water slide pool. Something for everyone. The vast majority of our time was spent with the kids in this area. NOTE: some people are "dressed" in the pool, but this is a cultural/religious thing. Not sure why some other reviewers had a problem with this. Can't say I even gave it a second thought.

Food - two restaurants with basic but more than adequate menus. prices are very reasonable for a Shangri-la in Asia. Enjoyed sitting by the sea eating lunch. Breakfast was very busy but never had problem getting table. We were re-directed to beach restaurant on our first day as Garden restaurant was so busy, although to be honest that was the better breakfast experience.

Staff - faultless. Loved the amount of hospitality that was on display. Special mention to the ladies running the kids club. My son loved it so much he wants to leave HK and go to school at Golden Sands! The Cool Lounge is also a good innovation.

Rooms - nothing amazing, but nothing terrible either. And we didn't book here to spend too much time in the room.

Local area - on the first night we went for a walk and it was all a but meh. Local streets are not good for children in buggies. Road outside hotel can be a bit hairy. Really isn't much to explore. Some laundry services if you prefer to hotel laundry (which is just two machines). HOWEVER, the nearby Hawker centre (turn right at hotel exit and walk for 5 mins) was superb. One of hotel high points was the evening of Christmas Day eating BBQ fish and stay.

Beach - as others note, the beach runs into the hotel grounds (although there is a clear (and guarded) line of demarcation. Beach is not bad but sea is not exactly alluring. Many, many touts but not aggressive at all. Hardly spent any time on beach, apart for an afternoon stroll. Kids too busy in slide pool.

George Town - hotel provides shuttle bus but last bus back from GT was 5.30 so not the most convenient. Plenty of taxis in GT though.

Finally, much of this trip for us was about the children. Should say, if my wife and I were here with no children, we may well have gone crazy. I hear the other Shangri-La up the road is much quieter and so a better option for couples/single travellers.

Room Tip: For those whose kids that still need a nap I would suggest the Hillview rooms. Poolview can be prett...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank Michael O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Paris, France
Level 6 Contributor
67 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

This was our second visit to the GSR but our first over the xmas period. We arrived at about 1230pm and were welcomed with lovely cool drinks and a quick 10 minutes check in and we were in our rooms. Rooms were sea facing, connecting and non smoking as we had requested. Cleaning of rooms was not always consistent however they were cleaned every day at different times which we didn't have an issue with. As someone else mentioned the hairdryers are attached to the drawers and only small and you need to continually hold the dryer button down. But look these are only small issues and for us it wasn't a problem. The beds are fantastic and the most comfortable I have ever slept on...better than my own!

The Garden cafe and Sigi's where breakfast was served was great. I thought the breakfast menu had improved since last time we were here and the selection was huge. Considering that we were there at the peak time we never had to wait to be seated and ate at either restuarant. We only had one dinner here on xmas eve which was an international buffet, which was ok but usually I prefer the malaysian cuisine which there wasn't a lot of at the xmas dinner but there was a lot of selection and they had a clown blowing up balloons for the kids and a santa too.

The pools and gardens were immaculately looked after and beautiful. This year I did notice a lot of people putting towels on loungers very early and then they were often vacant for long periods during the day. One day every single lounger had a towel on it, so I just popped my towels on the grass! Also clean pool towels ran out twice in the afternoon during our stay.

I visited the hotel beauty service for a hair blow dry and curl - it was RM 80 which is still reasonable by aust standards. The staff were lovely and friendly.

Our children used the services of adventure zone every day and it is great for adults and kids alike. The staff are lovely and friendly and get to know you during your stay. It is a wonderful facility. We didn't use the kids club as our older two are a little bit old and the youngest one is not old enough.

The beach was clean while we were there - I went walking most mornings, however we did not swim in the sea water which is murky and used for water sports. I saw a few people being treated for jelly fish stings also.

I used the massage services of SC Foo and Family on the beach to the right of the life saver tower. I saw Tommy Foo (the son) everyday and reccommend them highly. They are knowledgable and professional in every way and will taylor your massage to suit your requirements, you just need to ask. In busy times you often have to book as they can book out a day ahead so book to avoid dissappointment. I have all their contact details if anyone is interested.

The hotel is situated in a fantastic location within walking distance to many cheap and local good places to eat. There is a mini mart across the road which stocks most things you may require as well as sim cards for your mobile. Next to that is a place that does your laundry it is now RM 7 per kilo but comes wash/dry/folded. I did notice that stains on kids clothes didn't come out with their washing but it did the job while we were there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank librian2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We booked 4 rooms Deluxe Seafacing room as part of a family group. We checked in early at 12.30 and our rooms were available.  We received a kalamansi (lime) juice on check in. Rooms were allocated on 6th floor alongside each other. We had two rooms, a King and a triple.  The extra bed was in the room however, as is often the case when you have more than two in a room, they had only provided two towels.  We contacted housekeeping and extra towels were sent up.

Room
Rooms are on the small side and looking tired but clean. One room had a shower over bath and one of the sinks did not drain properly. Housekeeping should be reporting this to maintenance.  The king room had a large shower with a ledge to sit on.  This was a much better layout and our kids wanted to use our bathroom.  

Small in room safe. Empty fridge.  Petronas petrol station across road has a good convenience store. The hotel also has a gift shop with a small range of drinks but it is more expensive.

Our rooms had a lovely view over the pools and beach. Deluxe rooms have a great balcony with two chairs and table and drying racks.

There is a tiny 1200w hair dryer in the drawer but you have to hold the button to keep it running.  If you dont want to spend 30min trying to dry your hair or dont mind having holiday hair its ok but anyone else may want to bring their own.  Thongs/slippers are provided in the room.

Facilities
There are 24 hr laundry facilities on site at the end of the building on the ground floor near the pool and adventure club with two Maytag (industrial) washing machines and dryers.  Tokens are available from the gift shop or front desk when the shop is closed.  It is 15RM for each wash or dry, so 30 Rm for one load.  Pretty expensive.  Small boxes of laundry powder are provided free of charge in the laundry. Your other option is the laundry services over the road from the hotel. There are two. The one we used was 5RM per kg of washing.  A 3/4 laundry bag was 3.5kg about 17RM.  Drop off around 10am ready at 6pm wash, dried and folded.  Very cheap and you can enjoy your day.  Need to be selective about what you send as not everything can be tumble dried but can let them know cold wash low heat dry.  

Pools - three pools.  A good shaded kids pool for very young kids with a sloped entry .  This pool is partitioned off and has a 3 metre deep end.  There is a slide for kids under ten with a small pool at the bottom.  The adult pool is 1.3-1.5m lagoon style. We thought the pools were a bit small.

Beach
This is the downside of this resort.  The beach is a public beach.  There are touts at the beach entry selling parasailing and jet skiing. They harrass you when you enter and leave the resort.  This is not what you want when you go on holidays.  The hotel security guards do very little to manage the problem. These guys are a real pest.  Personally would not book any of these activities as safety does not seem important. There is no swimming in the beach.

Dining
Breakfast- good range of choices Malaysian and Western, nice local fruit and juice.  Forget the coffee, it is watery and bitter. We did not have a problem getting a table.
We ate at the Long Beach hawker centre twice (see separate review).

The hotel is well positioned with the night market outside the front door and 100m to hawker centre. The resort served its purpose for a weekend get away with friends but the general appearance of the hotel is a bit tired and could do with an update.

There was no personal service from staff to make guests feel welcome, it was all a bit mechanical and therefore not memorable. Some genuine enthusiasm and smiles go a long way to making an impression with guests. A more notable level of customer service would have lifted my rating of this hotel. We stayed a Shangri La Rasa Ria following ths stay and the staff were fantastic.

Room Tip: Request Deluxe or Executive Deluxe Seaview rooms the higher the better.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jenny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Spent 5 nights at this great resort over the Christmas/New Year break with family. Great location with Hawker food stalls nearby, night markets and great restaurants along the beach strip. Golden Sands is definitely the pick of hotels along the Batu Feringgi Beach strip as it is definitely good value, clean, great breakfast and lovely rooms.

Room Tip: Seaview rooms are the best.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NBB58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Lovely setting and very friendly staff, but severely incompetent and inefficient. Don't be surprised to get parts of the accommodation or other charges not charged to you at check out time and then calls weeks later to settle bills not included in the final bill.
The hotel is also very noisy with staff and guests shouting down corridors at all hours. If it's rest you want or need, it won't happen here.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Blitze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

I booked an executive seaview king bed room with extra murphy bed through agoda after reading many trip advisor reviews.I could not book the high room on Shangri La golden Cirlce. We were disappointed with our first room.(666!) We arrived at check in at 4pm and were given a twin room with no bathtub.Front desk staff looked stressed and exhausted dealing with a full hotel. We had paid a premium to ensure a good quality room. We had tried to make sure we had a king size bed + rollaway as we travelled as a family of 4 with a 3 y.o and 5 y.o, but were given the twin room as the hotel was full. House keeping simply squeezed the singles together and stuffed some cushions in the middle. Meant I slept in the crease next to my wife on one side and 3 year old son on the other. (No room for 2 extra beds). Not a good sleep for me. I did complain to the manager who was understanding but could not move us for the first night. He did provide a bottle of wine as compensation. They did move us after 1 day to the king size bedroom with murphy. This was MUCH better with extra room, and a proper bed rather than 2 singles pushed together and a bathroom with bathtub.
Our other gripe was The kids club which is only open to 4 year olds and above and only for set activities 10 -12pm and 2 -5pm. You cannot accompany your kids to the club and play with them. Facilities at the "Free" kids club itself were limited, and kids have to do the set activities be it treasure hunts or building sandcastles in the heat. Make sure you put sunscreen and insect repellant on them before they go out. We felt this took away a big option to entertain our kids during the day like most kids clubs at large resorts. The adventure zone is for bigger kids and costs. You still have to pay for the adventure zone even if you are staying at the hotel. Again only from the age of 4.
The pluses were an excellent buffet breakfast with lots of options. A balcony with an excellent view, A nice swimming pool area with lots of options. and a patch of beach which was relatively quiet. Staff at the hotel were very professional, helpful and friendly despite it being very busy.
Our kids had a great time.
On the beach plenty of parasailers to dodge, and pushy salespeople to get you to parasail and jetski. Did not look particularly safe to me, with some pretty hard landings. An anecdotal story that a child had died parasailing in Langkawi and what looked like parasailing staff drinking alcohol during the day.I am pretty sure they have no link to the hotel.

Room Tip: High room facing sea. avoid 666. Manager said hotel can't gaurantee king or twin despite request...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank trekkeronhold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Last May we visited this resort for six nights on our first trip to Malaysia following on from the Intercontinental in KL. It would be unfair to compare the two as GS is not in the same class (it is designed and run for a completely different purpose). Also you can not compare a Shangri-La hotel the this GS for the same reason. We loved the experience, and will be back for 9 nights next month in February 2013. It is on a great location-beach front, night market straight out the front door every night, restaurants, bus stops, has the free shuttle running to the Traders Hotel in Georgetown and return. The pools are great, plenty of room for all, a kids pool with the water slide and deeper pool for adults. A big Lizard of some type is a live in guest near the pool areas and was often viewed during the afternoon in skirmishes with a smaller one!
The venue was I believe about 80% full, not that you would notice really other than at breakfast. With temps above 35C most of the time my partner found the food eating place (Garden something) very uncomfortable every morning especially after stepping out of the airconditioned room, passage ways and lifts into the ground floor open air type restaurant that had ceiling fans, and a couple of portable air conditioners (the tables in this area filled up fast with a lot of westeners not accustomed to the humid hot weather). Room was good and we had one upstairs with a balcony overlooking the pool and the beach/ocean which was great at night, and good for drying of the swimmers 80% (I did say it was humid) in time for the next days pool time (about 2-3 hours every day). 2 adults and one 6yo did ok in the room.
Child absolutely loved the kids club (included in the price other than a few activities ie T-Shirt painting) and so much so, we had trouble getting her out of it, in order to explore beyond the Resort! gerrrr!!!!
Siti (I think that is how you spell her name) ran the Kids club and I assume the Adventure zone, and is a wonderful person, and great care was taken of the kids..however be aware that they do have a two hour break for lunch so 2 hours in the am and 3 in the pm I think! Our daughter just loved it, experienced new things, pushed her boundaries out, and even learnt a little language that she proudly taught us! This kids club was nothing short of excellant! and the same goes for the Adventure Zone (we spent the last two hours in here watching daughter who finally had the courage to go down the virtical slide, and then went time and time again, and did not want to leave!
Breakfast had a very good spread....did not need lunch most days, and we only eat once at the Resort (the BBQ Buffet Dinnerat Sigi's) which was satisfactory.
The rest of the time we eat at the Long Beach hawker food place...BEST SPRING ROLLS we have EVER tasted from the Spring Roll booth...first find a table (has a number) leave someone there so you do not loose it, walk around all the booths, choose your food and tell them what table you are on. They cook it, bring to you at the table and you pay then. Drinks can be ordered (including beers-wine expensive) from a booth or the waiters who roam around and take your orders...you pay them. This place we eat at for the other 5 nights of our trip and...I MISS those spring rolls and do hope the young bloke is still there in February!
Back to GSR...daily activites were good, cool room usefull, gym not the best but ok, staff ALWAYS helpful.
We eat some lunches across the road, and a Vegiterian restaurant around the corner from the Maybank (I think on the left hand corner of the small concrete shopping complex across the road and just on the left hand side of the traffice lights was excellant and reasonablely priced (they also returned my Visa card unused when I mistakeningly left it in the middle of a menu one lunch day...HONEST people)..we will visit them a few times in Feb assuming they are still there!
We found the whole experience at GSR very enjoyable, that is why we will be back in approx 4 weeks time, and daughter in particular can not wait!

Room Tip: Spend a little more if you can and get a room as high as you can in the Resort, with a balcony that...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Aides17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La

Property: Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island 11100, Malaysia (Formerly Shangri-la's Golden Sands Resort)
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Batu Ferringhi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#3 Luxury Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#3 Business Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#5 Romantic Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#5 Family Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La 4*
Number of rooms: 387
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La first commenced operations in October 1979. It has won numerous awards and recognition as a family- and kids-friendly resort. As such, it enjoys the reputation as the preferred resort among families on holiday. This 4-star resort on Batu Feringgi Beach is filled with facilities for dining, leisure and recreation that will surely keep any multi-generational family happily occupied. Adventure Zone, Shangri-La's unique family entertainment center With 387 guestrooms and suites that boast views of either the verdant hills or azure sea, the hotel caters to the needs of individuals, groups and families. Some room types even feature Murphy pull-down beds and connecting doors. Childcare services are available, allowing adults on holiday with their family to enjoy some private time away from their children. At the Kids' Club, which is based in the Adventure Zone's dry play park, children are kept entertained from morning until evening and provided with regular meals and break times. The Adventure Zone is the biggest indoor play park in Penang, offering a myriad of play structures, activity rooms and entertainment options. Here, children can enjoy video screenings and visits from the resort's mascots. At our mini water park, children and toddlers can interact safely, playing on the splash pad, which has a safe floor surface and includes many water features, such as showers and tipping buckets. In addition, they will enjoy racing down the water slides. Holidaymakers can stroll around the resort grounds, which feature extensive manicured gardens and landscaped open spaces. Guests can also enjoy sunbathing and lounging by the pool and in the garden area. The Cool Lounge serves as a transit area for incoming and outgoing guests, and is a cool space where guests may read, surf the Net and enjoy sandwiches and pastries alongside coffee, tea and fruit juice. At Garden Café and Sigi's Bar & Grill by the Beach, children below 12 years old that are accompanied by one paying adult can eat for free. In addition, an outdoor Jacuzzi in the garden and two swimming pools with water slides are available. The resort also boasts a par-3 golf course for those that enjoy golf. Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La well-equipped gymnasium awaits fitness enthusiasts. For those who wish to spend their time productively while on holiday, there are many daily activities, such as workout classes, cooking classes, craft making courses and visits to the George Town World Heritage Zone (by complimentary shuttle). The popular Batu Feringgi Night Bazaar beckons those who enjoy a stroll after dinner. Here, great bargains on apparel, novelty items, souvenirs and art can be found. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Golden Sands Resort By Shangri-La Hotel Batu Ferringhi
Golden Sands Batu Ferringhi
Golden Sands Resort By Shangri-La Penang/Batu Ferringhi

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