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“Good hotel, good value, room damp.”

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Holiday Inn Resort Penang
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Batu Ferringhi
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Good hotel, good value, room damp.”
Reviewed November 18, 2006

A few points for anyone visiting Penang for the first time. Penang is no longer beautiful and I wouldn't swim in the sea but the beach is nice. Please don't patronise the people with horses on the beach. To ensure the horses do not soil the beach they are not fed or watered until they return home in the evening. Batu Ferringhi is now a busy resort with lots to do. Georgetown has lots of sights including many historic areas and buildings as well as trendy cafes, old shops and of course temples, mosques and churches. The town is now much cleaner than it used to be.

We have stayed in every hotel on Batu Ferringhi except the Bay View and Rasa Sayang. The Holiday Inn is good, don't expect lovely public areas or lots of marble but for the money it's good. The location is excellent. We stayed in the tower block, we had room only as we always have breakfast at "Happy Garden" restaurant, have done for the past 20 years. We booked at the hotel reception, initially they would only offer breakfast included rates so we accepted one of these. The receptionist was telling us how to get to the breakfast room and I said "that's OK we will be going to Happy Garden for breakfast". She then took pity on me and we got a room only rate! We didn't eat at the Holiday Inn because there are so many places nearby. Jasmines restaurant is probably the best in Batu Ferringhi, with superb naan bread, kebabs (but not the lamb chops!) and local food.

Our tower block room was what you would expect from Holiday Inn nothing flashy but everything you need including a comfortable bed. The room did have a damp smell, normally air-conditioned rooms are very dry. This may be due to the fact that the bathroom didn't have an extractor fan. I've seen this comment made before for this hotel and so would be interested to see if others have the same problem. Other than this the hotel lived up to expectations. The room was well furnished but perhaps looked less than it was due to the darkned windows.

The Holiday Inn has an excellent choice of room types and sizes. In particular alternate floors are non-smoking. This is very good for Penang. For example only two out of seven floors in the Golden Sands are non-smoking (3rd & 4th floors). Even worse is the Bay View which has only one of it's nine floors for non-smokers and the hotel refuses to take advance bookings for non-smoking floors.

So apart from a damp smell the hotel was very good for it's price range and more comfortable than some of the more expensive ones. It has a mixed clientele from all over the world adding to it's charm.

  • Liked — Comfort, location, price
  • Disliked — Damp room
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank J123456789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (660)
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English first
Birmingham, UK
Level 6 Contributor
57 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2006

We stayed to the Holiday Inn for five days in September. Having come from incredible hotels in Singapore and Hong Kong I have to admit that our first impression of the HI was disappointing.

We booked a Tower View room and when we arrived there was no safe and no complimentary water. However, after a word with reception both of these were rectified within the hour.

Previous reviews are true: the rooms are not perfect and in desparate need of refurbishment or at least a lick of paint. They are however, clean. All of the other public areas were clean and well maintained.

We had no problems with the staff and they were very friendly, particularly at the poolside bar. Unlike previous reviewers we found everybody, including the locals, to be very friendly and welcoming.

I went down on the beach for a massage - terrific value at around £5 for a half an hour body massage. The official Holiday Inn massage costs a bit more but to me is still good value for money.

The entertainment is woeful but okay if you just want to sit and have a drink. There are plenty of restuarants nearby that are of excellent quality and cheap. Would personally recommend the Jewel in The Nile (I think) which is an Indian Restuarant. There is also another place directly opposite the Golden Sands (sorry can't remember the name but its right on the corner) that does the most fantastic sizzling beef dish.

Taxis are plentiful and it doesn't cost very much to go into Georgetown or the nearby Gurney Plaza Mall. We went to the Cinema there and it could a little over £1 each!!

If you are looking for luxury the Holiday Inn is NOT the place for you. If you are looking for a cheap, clean and cheerful place where you can lay your head this is good value for money.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — In need of updating
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank silvergirlracer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2006

Where to start! what a truly terrible hotel ! I have had the pleasure of working and living in Malaysia during the last ten years but never managed to visit Penang. I decided to book the Holiday Inn as it was only a short distance from the centre of the town and was supposedly on one of the best parts of beach area.

The hotel is located on a fairly busy main road, and split into two buildings, the main building and a tower accross the road. We booked into the main building with a sea view, or thats what we thought. On arrival they tried to get us to take a room in the tower, which I refused, then only after 1 hour of arguing, yes arguing on my vacation, I finally got the room I had booked.

The rooms are very tatty, albeit fairly clean, but by Malaysian standards very poor. The hotel looked like it was built in the early 70's and has not been kept up to date since. Everything felt old and dated.

The food was acceptable, but again not up to the usual Malaysian standards. Drinks were very expensive by Malaysian standards. The beach was ok, but seemed busy with locals and boys charging up and down on horses. Never mind the hotel did have a reasonable pool and god garden area. The pool staff seemed friendly and reasonably organised, which is more than I can say for the reception and restaurant staff. The poolside food was average, the service very slow, and expensive.

The hotel has no atmosphere at all, and the staff spent most of the time complaining or making excuses. Security was not good, and there seemed to be random people walking in and out of the hotel at will, including 'local' girls! I heard about a number of thefts in the hotel, with guests complaining they had valuables stolen from around the pool and from their rooms. Not surprising really when twice I found the security staff asleep when we arrived back in the late evening. I spoke to the manager who whilst friendly was just full of excuses and failed to realise that the running of the hotel was his responsibility.

There is very little to do in this hotel, the entertainment in the evening was woeful, and the lobby area had no atmosphere at all. Outside every evening there is a night market, but all it was was endless stalls of really cheap copies of DVD's, cheap imitation handbags and other worthless items. We only manged to find one decent bar, about 5 mins walk from the hotel which was ok, and a number of good local restaurants, but no proper nightlife at all.

Penang itself is not upmarket, a working city, but there is some really interesting places to visit, such as the temples which are stunning. But I went for a nice beach holiday in a good hotel, the beach was not good, and the hotel was at best very shabby and very badly run.

I know Malaysian hotels are much better than this and I would recommend that if you really want to go to Penang then choose a different hotel to this one.

  • Liked — Leaving at the end of the vacation
  • Disliked — Arriving at the start of the vacation
  • Tips/Secrets — Book a different hotel
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Sofiamark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2006

Just thought to write a review of this hotel since I have been there about 3 times in the last couple of years. Holiday Inn is great for price, I go with my parents and sister and we always get offered really cheap rates.

I have stayed in both the tower and beach wing and honestly I believe the tower room was of a better standard, a little bit bigger and if you get a high room the view is awesome (Seaview). The only downside I admit is the walkway, but you get use to it, plus the tower rates are cheaper so you would expect that. I have no complaints about the standard of service, the pool staff, waiting staff were always attentive to my needs and the breakfast was really yummy, hint try to get it included in your overall room price.

The obvious downside to the holiday inn is that it is older and it really does need a refurbishment, the pool although not a lagoon is still good and they have lots of beach lounges with big umbrellas for the sun conscious. In comparison to other hotels I feel I am one to judge since for the past 10 years I have been coming to Penang. I use to stay every year at the Parkroyal, one year at the Golden Sands, I must say these hotels do have better facilities and pools but the service I found to be similar at all three hotels. The Golden Sands actually is also dated and had really small rooms, the Parkroyal is the best out of the three. But you would expect that since both these hotels are much more expensive then the Holiday Inn, so I just don’t understand why people write reviews and bag the Holiday Inn, they shouldn’t expect as much "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR" and the holiday inn is definitely value for money in my opinion. I would definitely go back again I just returned in September and have already booked for Dec/Jan.

The night markets are awesome for a university student like me everything is so cheap so fits perfectly. There is sunnies, Cd, DVD, handbags, local goods, jewellery, pretty much everything. Plus the Holiday location is the best location out of all the hotels. I would recommend the Long beach Hawker Cafe for dinner really cheap, really yummy, and great atmosphere. If you want to go out at night time for a more social, clubbing, pubbin scene I would definitely recommend go into George Town (SOHO, Slippery Senoritas) its good for tourists.

Overall the Holiday Inn is great value and I would recommend it, I have been to lots of hotels in my lifetime and I definitely rate the holiday Inn.

  • Liked — Price, location
  • Disliked — pool, older style rooms
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Nikkiw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2006

We stayed here while on a tour of Malaysua with Kuoni. Penang is quite dated now and needs a bit of a tidy up - would certainly have been disappointed if we had stayed here for the full three weeks - two nights was quite enough. The holiday inn was frayed around the edges, though was probably the best in the area. This Holiday Inn would appeal to those who like holidays in Tenerife etc - certainly not what you would expect for an exotic holiday to Malaysia. If you do come to Penang, you should definately explore the whole island - some amazing temples all over the place! Also, a slightly bizarre note, but if you do come here walk along the night market and buy some DVDs. I brought about 10 DVDs and 5 CDs back that cost 40p each - brand new DVDs and CDs that play perfectly. So good was the value that it almost covered the price of the holiday.

  • Liked — Best accomodation on island
  • Disliked — Island as a whole was dated and frayed at edges
  • Tips/Secrets — Fill you bag with DVDs and CDs
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank geoffandclare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2006

The location of the hotel is brilliant shame you can't say the same for the hotel itself or the staff. The hotel is very dated and is in desperate need of a major refurbishment. At this moment I would not advise anyone to book this hotel if it maintains its current standards of service. Travelled with my young family and disabled mother and without wishing to sound racist, we were very intimidated by the muslims wearing veils and their general behaviour (ie some actually spat at my children in the pool). The staff were fully aware of this behaviour but seemed to condone it as the whites were in the minority. Didn't serve pork either - only seemed to cater for muslim tastes rather than an international cuisine. Don't bother going to this hotel, there are plenty of other four stars which are actually four stars and are of a better quality and service.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Tips/Secrets — don't go to this hotel!
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Gnasher733
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester UK
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2006

Location Excellent right in the heart of BF loads of restaurants and a fab night market. Rooms clean and fresh we were in beach wing. If on holiday I would deff get beach wing as the tower wing over the road seems to have no facilities and I personally would not like having to go over the road every day! service is slow and the actual prices are quiet expensive for drinks especially. Right on the beach which is clean but the sea is extreamly muggie not what we expected and was a lttle dissapointed. We were the in September (rainy season) IT IS WET take a brolly if your booking in rainy season it rains for hours on end. Really good bartender Aaron make freinds with him hes a star !

  • Disliked — prices in hotel
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank alibescat78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Resort Penang

Property: Holiday Inn Resort Penang
Address: 72 Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island 11100, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Batu Ferringhi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 Romantic Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 Luxury Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 Business Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#6 Family Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Resort Penang 4*
Number of rooms: 358
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Holiday Inn Resort Penang, together with its excellent location in the heart of famous Batu Ferringhi makes it easily accessible to the Night Market, shops and restaurants. The resort is situated right on the beach, split into two buildings- the Beach Wing, located at the beachside, or Ferringhi Tower, located directly across the road to the beach. The Ferringhi Tower commands spectacular views of both the hills and sea front and is linked by an overhead covered walkway. 358 spacious rooms with a great combination of Family Studios and Kidsuites, the resort is perfect for families and couples looking for a retreat. To also make your every moment of your stay an absolute delight, we make every dining experience special in its own way. As the only hotel offering speciality Northern Indian cuisine, it will be feast that will leave you with 'spicy' memories. At the Holiday Inn Resort Penang, you will discover an exotic way to truly enjoy your vacation and cherish every minute of it. Right from the warmth of the people, the quaint sights & sounds of the island's rich cultural heritage and the rejuvenating hospitality of Holiday Inn Resort Penang. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Resort Penang Hotel Batu Ferringhi
Holiday Inn Penang
Holiday Inn Georgetown
Georgetown Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Resort Penang Batu Ferringhi

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