The Golden Sands has many good points and some bad ones too. Clearly the hotel runs on the Shangri La name and one would assume possibly that the luxury of Shangri La is carried forward to this lower grade hotel. That's not the case so don't be fooled. What's not clear here and not written in stone is that if you book a sea view deluxe room, you will be located on the 1st or 2nd floor and not on floor 3 to 7. These floors are reserved to be named executive sea view rooms which carry a surcharge of 220 ringitts per night over a standard room, or 110 ringitts over the price of a deluxe sea view one.
However if you are lucky enough to pay for the upgrade and floors 1 & 2 are full you will be upgrade to any of the higher floors without further payments above the 110 ringitts plus of course the standard 10 % and 5 % service and tax charge.Otherwise you will be stung the full 220 ++ per night for a view and, rooms a little quieter from the pool noise from below.
The gardens and pool area are well maintained and a life guard is provided at one of the pools. There are two very large pools and one smaller children's pool. This property is ideal for families with children due to the very large grounds and newly refurbished pools. The new sun beds made in Germany are provided without mattress's and are not that comfortable. The grass lawned area where all of the sun loungers are located is clean and manicured but, lacks security from the beach hawkers who constantly stand and pray on you, to use their beach activities or para-sailing, horse riding, jet skies or muti-purpose 4 wheels noisy trikes. All of which constantly run up and down the beach making it risky and dangerous to walk along for fear of being run into by anyone riding any of the aforementioned, seemingly driven by some as young as 10 years old.
The beach itself in 3 - 4 kilometers long but, is not used by anyone for sunbathing nor swimming in the sea, for fear of the very large jelly fish. The sea water is murky and dirty, suspect from effluent. The beach is dirty from tourist trash, along with horse poo that is evident from the many passing horses. Not a nice experience at all.
The Garden Cafe which serves as the main restaurant of the hotel has not be refurbished, if it has, then it needs redoing. There are a few of the newer chairs but mainly the old ones have been badly repainted white, with some in need of maintenance. The hotel pictures of the Garden Cafe show no resemblance to that what you actually get. No air conditioning in this area, like the open reception , very 3 star and not 4 star at all. The lounge area adjacent to the reception is very 1960's with it straight backed booths. Not ideal to spend a few hours chatting to friends over a drink. No bar is located within this area. The only bar is located by the pool and the new Ziggi's restaurant. This restaurant has again in the main, straight backed booth type seating, not ideal to enjoy an A la Carte meal. Although air conditioned, the staff leave the doors open both day and night and upon our visit, at night, bugs where very much in evidence and attendance. Bugs fly towards the lights land on your food and in your wine. Again not a good experience.
Whilst the rooms have been renovated to a high standard the actual rooms are not large, they are adequate but no bigger than a very standard beach front hotel. Nothing special. The beds are hard and not conducive to a luxury sleep. Doona's ( quilts ) are provided, in a very hot and humid climate where air conditioning is essential for sleep. Quilts, hot high humidity and air conditioning don't go together. But its far easier for hotels and even cruise liners to use this form of bedding now, whilst not totally suitable is is fast, and economical for them to use. Mould had already started to reappear in our bathroom, clearly they had not used the anti mould grout which prevents this type of growth which can have an effect upon your health if the spoors are inhaled. I can see these bathrooms soon becoming very run down again soon. Our room apart from one day was cleaned and serviced early, so no complaints with that department. The hall carpets have probably not been refurbished and are in need of a good shampoo. Looking very tired, dirty and shabby in places.
The front desk and office manager were friendly and efficient, whilst tending to a very busy and full holiday hotel.
For this area of Penang ,without paying an absolute ridiculous amount for a room, this is the best you are going to get, would you want to return, probably not that often as other hotels in other countries offer a far better holiday experience than can be achieved here. I won't mention the alcohol prices charged by the restaurants and hotels in Malaysia. Nor the lack of outside decent quality restaurants around the hotel or within a reasonable distant. If you are on a budget and a back packer there are plenty of street food hawker trolleys to feed on, but for a quality sit down luxury meal, Penang is not on my list to revist anytime soon.
- 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