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“Highly recommended , Excellent hotel”

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Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Batu Ferringhi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 21, 2010

We stayed at the Golden Sands resort 21st September for 10 nights and I would highly recommend this hotel. When we arrived we were checked in quickly and efficiently, the staff were very polite and really friendly. My partner lost his wallet on our way back from Georgetown one night and they could not do enough to help us (cancelling cards etc)

The room was large, modern and were equipped with everything you could want, although the hairdryer was tricky to find (in a disguised drawer under the TV). The room and bathroom were clean and were cleaned and replenished (bottled water, tea, coffee, shower gel, etc) each day. The only thing was that our room was a twin and we expected a double. We didn’t complain about this but I think they would have changed our room if we had.

We had a hill facing room that looked out over the main street. As some other people have mentioned, you do get woken up at 6 o clock on a morning by the Call to Prayer. To be honest I think you would hear this no matter where you stayed in Batu Ferrenghi.

The breakfast is a busy affair but the staff try to organise by showing you to your seat. There is a large choice of food, ranging from curry and rice to pancakes and omelettes.

The hotel grounds are lovely and well maintained. There are two pools and there are plenty of sun beds. Towels are provided by the hotel at the poolside. There are security guards who stop any touts from entering the hotel grounds. As soon as you go onto the beach they will try to get you to go parasailing etc but once you say no they do not pester you.The beach would be a lovely beach if it weren’t for the water sports, horses and quad bikes. However, it is still clean but I wouldn’t recommend lying on there for fear of a parasail landing on top of you. There were warning about the jellyfish in the sea but again I don’t think I would swim in there due to the water sports.

I was a bit concerned about the weather before I came to Penang but although it rained every day it only really lasted 20 mins or so and then the sun came back out. It didn't stop us sunbathing or doing anything we wanted to do

The hotel is in an excellent location, just at the beginning of the night markets. There are plenty restaurants near the hotel and The Wooden Bar is opposite and to the left. I would highly recommend The Malaysian Kitchen (turn left out of the hotel and it’s on the opposite side of the road, not far from the Wooden bar). The beef rendang, lamb samosas and devils curry were absolutely beautiful. The Jewel of the North Indian restaurant is also very good (turn right out of hotel and it’s on the opposite side of the road). I would also highly recommend the food court which is about 5/10 min walk from the hotel. You can choose from several types of food and is really cheap approx £1-£2 for a main meal.

All in all, I would highly recommend this hotel, my parents are going to Penang this week and are staying here.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Cannycath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,726 - 2,732 of 3,187 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2010

We stayed for 9 nights, staff were very friendly and very thoughtfull when my 2 years old boy was n't feeling well, they sent a tray of drinks & honey up to our room. It was a very good experience with the hotel, we planning to go back in a year or 2's time. Good free shuttle bus to George Town.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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Thank LeeClan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2010

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.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Calpespain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2010

The hotel staff were excellent, nothing was too much bother. The grounds and pools were stunning, plenty of space and the rooms were nicely furnished and a good size with large comfortable beds. A shame that there are no balconies at the front of the hotel. Linen and towels changed regularly and fabulous toiletries, nothing was missed out. The choice of breakfast was astounding, everyone was catered for.
Do not miss the night market from about 7.30 and dont forget to haggle, its part of the culture.
Oh and the weather was lovely - humid, but the occassional rain helped and did not detract from the sunbathing.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank chrissie51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2010

Although we had booked earlier, when we arrived at 2 pm our room was not ready. So had to waited one hour before going in. The next day the room service also lasted till 4 pm. Otherwise everything was great. We had a 'sea-facing' room which we learned is different from a 'sea-view' one. Those are located from the second floor upwards and cost you more. So when booking remember that. The swimming pools are realy clean and varied in depth. The front beach has a sign warning of possible jellyfish attacks if swimming there. There are some paragliding and jet skying options on the beach but make sure to haggle as much as you can. And never ever miss the resort breakfast.

  • Stayed: September 2010
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Thank manbato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2010

First trip to Penang and were suitably impressed with the Golden Sands Hotel location, facilities and friendly staff. Although I had previously read the reviews about the Hill View Rooms and morning call for prayers (mosque located in the front car park of the hotel grounds), we stuck to the Hill View Room and found that most mornings we seemed to sleep right through it. I would strongly recommend a pool view room for Westerners. Although more expensive, it will definietly be our next choice and would be great to have a drink on the balcony in the afternoon. The breakfasts were great, with plenty of variety. Try the beach sittings instead of the main dinning area, quieter and less crowded. Also the free in room internet was a great added attraction. We brought our lap top and were able to communicate freely with family back home in the privacy of our own room.
The Golden Sands is located at the top end of the night markets, and although the variety was not as great as Patong, the haggling was just as much fun, even in the pouring rain (as it did most days) we did manage to secure that bargain.
The public transport system is air-conditioned, relaiable and cheap, and enabled us to venture into George Town regularily for our own exploring. Forget the rickshaw rides in George Town, not worth the money or the views, try a short ride along the main street in Batu Ferringhi instead.
For dinner just go to the "Long Beach Cafe" about a 5 minute walk down the road. Heaps of good hawker food and very reasonably priced. There is no need to eat at any of those high price restaurants (you can do that back home). The people were friendly and the pancakes a great dessert and energy boost before tackling the night markets.
Although the hotel has a self serve laundry within the grounds, try the laundry across the road, 8 rm for 2 kg, washed and folded. Also mini mart (plenty around there) for an ice cream and a drink at the end of the night, before heading back to your room.
We have been regular travallers to Patong (4 trips), with this our first trip to Penang. Think of Penang as what Patong was 10-15 years ago, just relax and enjoy yourself. There are still bargains to be had!! Penang (and Golden Sands) is definitely on our list of places to revisit, and with Air Asia breaking in new grounds, let's hope for continued cheap air fares.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kennysutch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2010

The overall facility was not too bad. Righ adjacent to the beach, and the room is not too bad.

But, there were many annoying things. First, their staff doesn't seem to be attentive to customers' needs. I requested morning newspaper delivery (which wasn't offered at the time of check-in anyway), and didn't get the newspaper. There was a hair next to my bed. The remote control had a loose battery closure, which ended up falling apart. The gym is really small and didn't have many machines.

At the breakfast buffet, not all food came out until 7:45AM even though it was open at 6:30 or so. And, there was not enough silverwares. So, when I tried to pick one up from an empty table nearby, a staff member (he wasn't a waiter) came and admonished that I should ask for silverware rather than picking it up from next empty table. Never mind that he wasn't around or the silveware wasn't on the table to begin with. This happened again with a friend of mine staying at the same hotel the next day. And, the same guy got into an argument with another customer. What's the deal?

There was a sign for jungle walk at 7:30Am, but when I asked about the front desk, alas, it's only available on Monday and Thursday not everyday like the sign indicated. Even that, I was asked to go to travel desk, and then concierge. I don't know. I just didn't have good service from any of the staff, and there was one guy checking in. And, then the car that the hotel arranged was also wrong size.

And, the internet (although free), kept getting disconnected, and the connection speed was very slow.

So, the hotel is OK overall. But, they could really improve on many of little things that would make the stay more pleasant.

Stayed: September 2010, traveled on business
Thank MohDoh
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

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 Business Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 Luxury Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#5 Family Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#5 Romantic Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
Price Range: $105 - $255 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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