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Holiday Inn Resort Penang
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Reviewed November 18, 2011

Staff was friendly and thoughtful. Reception ( ms kartini) was very pleasant and check in was a breeze! Got what I wanted, room on a higher floor and non smoking. Rooms were very nice, newly refurbished and spanking new. I also got free Internet in my room and late check out till 4 pm. Also was offered free upgrade to a deluxe room, but I decided to decline and stick to my standard room.
Housekeeping staff was also quick to arrive when I had problems with my tv channel, and was very helpful. On the way out, he asked if I needed anything else, towels etc..which is something rare to find in the hotel industry nowadays.
Pool is kinda small and located near the old tower block, so u need to cross the road or link bridge to get to it if u're staying in feringghi tower.who needs the pool when the beach is just a few meters away,right? Be careful of the strong currents, though and the beach has a sharp drop into the sea so this can be dangerous for children. A teenage boy drowned just in front of the hotel while i was there.
Dining experience..forget about dining in. Try the local hawker fare in gurney drive if u have transport. If u don't, there are many places to eat just outside the hotel, although it can be quite pricey. Still, it's better than eating in the hotel. Tried the buffet lunch in the hotel. Food was all Indian menu and the lamb qurma was as tough as tennis balls! It was awful.tried the Penang laksa and it was horrible too!
On the whole, my stay was very pleasant. Good value for money, especially for hotels around batu feringghi!

Room Tip: Take the rooms (standard rooms) in the new tower block (feringghi tower). The rooms are newly refurbished and very,very nice. Only drawback is u have to cross the road or use the bridge link on the first floor to the old tower block to get to the pool and the beach. But for me,it wasnt such a big deal. I was offered a free upgrade to a deluxe room in the old block but I decided to stick to my standard room in the new block. It was a good decision, since a friend who took up the offer was disappointed. The rooms in the old block aren't much bigger, and the furnitures are worn and old. Also, the rooms face the poolside which can be very noisy! Currently, the hotel is still undergoing renovation works in the new block, floors 1-5 in the feringghi tower, so if want peace and quiet, request for higher floors, 10 and above.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled on business
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2  Thank Red_roses74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2011

The hotel has nice sea views, if you have booked the sea view room, which also overlooks the pool. It is on a nice beach and there are plenty of water sports facilities on payment. Their Indian buffet dinner may be good for non vegetarians but for us being vegetarian, it wasn't so good. It was quite expensive. You can get very good veg food outside. The location of the hotel is excellent as you can step out of the hotel and have a variety of food options, street shopping at a bargain and there are loads of tour operators of erring excursions. Do bargain to one third of asking price of anything you buy from the street market. They are not authentic though! They are fake of well known brands. Do shop around for excursions. Lankawi snorkelling scuba diving trip will be expensive, time taking and is not as good as is shown in the leaflets. So, if you are going to Lankawi, go for these from there but don't go with high expectations. There are lots of massage and reflexology shops outside. We did not use them. So, I am unable to comment but they are available.

Room Tip: Ask for sea view rooms
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rajepreston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2011

We chose Holiday Inn Penang, as we had a fantastic experience at the Holiday Inn in Melaka. Big mistake! We had two rooms in the Tower Block, which is across the road from the main block. Our rooms were comfy, and staff generally provided adequate service. However, we had these negative experiences, which put us off from ever staying in this hotel again.

1) The room that wasn't ready (at 5.30pm!)
We checked in at 5.30pm, only to be told that one room was ready, while the other needed to be checked by Housekeeping, and they would send up the key within 10 minutes. We waited 10 minutes in the room that was ready, but neither staff nor room key appeared. Only after a call to Reception to enquire, did a Housekeeping staff turn up to check the room (on the same floor). When I asked the Housekeeping staff for the room key, I was told to go down to the reception to collect it (??) How is it acceptable for a room to be "not yet checked" at 5.30pm, when the check-in time is 2-3p? Seeing my handicapped grandmother sitting tiredly in her wheelchair while waiting for her room to be ready was not a fun experience, I can tell you.

2) The buffet dinner that never was
We had seen the Thursday buffet dinner (Makan syok syok) advertised on both the in-house tv channel, as well as the publicity banner outside the hotel. Although we were hungry, we waited patiently till 7.30pm (the starting time stated on the ads), then went over to the restaurant for the buffet dinner. Imagine our surprise (and hungry dismay) when we were greeted with empty buffet tables, and staff telling us "Sorry, the buffet is cancelled." We had planned this dinner as special treat for my grandmother, and she had been looking forward to it. In the end, we had an average dinner at a nearby restaurant, which she did not enjoy. Thank you, Holiday Inn, for ruining our first night of my grandmother's stay in Penang.

3) Housekeeping that only arrived in the evening
On the second day, we were out of the hotel room the whole day and left the "Please clean my room" sign on. We were dismayed (yes, once again!) to find out when we returned at 5pm, to find that one of our rooms had yet to be cleaned. I have had better service from a backpacker's inn, in terms of Housekeeping. We slept in our unmade beds in the end.

4) The unwelcome Welcome Drink
Being a Priority Club Rewards member, I'd been given a coupon for welcome drinks for our group of 5, and told that we could redeem them any time before check-out. I tried redeeming the drinks on the morning of our check-out, only to be told, "Sorry ma'am, the bar only opens at 11am. So we cannot serve you the welcome drinks." As we had to check out at 10am, we left without getting our drinks. So much for being made to feel welcome!

And as if to emphasise how unwelcome we really were, no newspapers were delivered to us on our second day. This despite the reception asking for our preference for newspapers. Plus, one of the concierges on duty seemed more keen on reading his morning paper, than helping us with our wheelchair and luggages.

All in, a very poor show from a Holiday Inn. I am a fan of Holiday Inn Melaka, but will avoid this hotel at all costs in future.

Room Tip: We booked two rooms in the Tower Wing, and they were different. One had a view of greenery + a balcony, and one had quite a good seaview (gorgeous sunset!), but not balcony. But both rooms were spacious, clean and nice.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank startr3k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2011

Let's make this clear and simple:

The Good:
- The location is very good, you find yourself close to most of the attractions and parks of the northern and eastern part of the island, (and about 30-45min from Georgetown).
- The Bed (twin-bed room) is spacious, and the pillows are comfy. The view depends on which block of the resort you at (facing the beach or the tower across the street). personally, i believe the view from the tower is much better.
- wireless connection is available in public areas.

The Bad:
- Everything else! and this is not an exaggeration
- I can assure you that the rooms are plain bad; the sheets are stained, the bathroom is average (leaning towards the bad), I can assure you all the talk about the redecorated rooms only apply to the beach wing!!!
- lets talk about the beach, i will happily ignore the three different type of ants, all the flying bugs but not getting my head chopped up cause they made the beach a parachute landing space.... oh and don't forget all the jet skis, and boats literally an arm length as soon as you enter the water. The pool is nice...safe.
- In general, The service is fine but don't you dare order in-room dining. The food is below average! [about the other food-reviews, I'm really wondering what were they on before eating there? i mean really! i tried different things just to be sure]
- One last thing about the rooms; the tower beach view doesn't really mean u have a balcony, just a view from behind the windows.

Room Tip: > Make sure the A/C in your room is not noisy (stay in for an hour or two to make sure)
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Ahmed B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2011

Just returned from a 4N family vacation at the Holiday Inn. Stay at the Ferringhi wing which is across the road from the beach. Wasn't too bad, got the sea view room. The room has been beautifully re-decorated and the bathroom with separate shower and bath facilities was a nice touch. There is a link bridge to get to breakfast, pool & beach which is on the beach wing, but it is a little inconvenience if you have a baby stroller with you like we did since there is some stairs at the beach wing side, however we found crossing the road not a bother.

The area comes alive at night, the Holiday Inn is a good spot to explore the night market. It is during the day that we found eating options limited. But "The Living Room" & "Helena's Cafe" are open for breakfast, lunch & dinner. They are located to the left of Holiday Inn (with respect to Ferringhi Wing) and across the road opposite the art gallery.

The bus stop for the rapid bus service is just outside the Holiday Inn. Taking service 101, we got ourselves to gurney for shopping at gurney plaza and hawker food. The hotel staff told us it would take about 25 mins for the journey, but it took us a good 40 mins; maybe we hit the busier part of the day.

Breakfast was standard, nothing to shout about. The pool was busy and we thought it to be a little small.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank HappyBingo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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