Me and my husband and his family went here for a short 2 days and 1 night trip to visit his sister in Penang. We chose this hotel because it is located along the main Batu Ferringhi stretch of beach, and although it's a bit higher up, it's in a good location. The room rates are also reasonable and not as expensive as the other nearby hotels (the Shangri La Rasa Sayang and Golden Sands Resort, for example). We didn't really know if the hotel was any good before we got there, as we never stayed at any of the Bayview hotels before and it's been such a long time since we've been to Penang. Well, we were in for a pleasant surprise.
From the outside, the hotel is non-assuming building of grey. When we got the lobby though, our whole perception changed. The lobby is very very spacious, with a view all the way to the roof of the hotel. The corridors and room doors can be viewed from the lobby and although it's hard to explain, it's kinda like the Noga Hilton in Cannes, France..which my husband has been to.
We booked 2 deluxe side-seaview rooms. Check-in was quick and the service from the staff was good. When we got there, our romms were already ready for us (no delayed check-ins here!). The rooms were nice and very clean, with full carpeting throughout (yay!), and although the decorations and furniture used were a bit old fashioned and showing signs of age, they were in excellent condition. There's a spacious balcony with a side-on view to the sea (hence the name) and a couple of chairs and a small table to enjoy the view. What struck me most was the nice touches here and there that we found in the room. For example, there's an electronic 'do not disturb' sign (the first time we've seen this anywhere), multiple languages for instructions and hotel brochures, the SONY TV and alarm clock (other hotels sometime uses el-cheapo TV's and appliances in their rooms), and there's also an iron and ironing board already supplied in the room. Overall, the room is really nice and exceeded our expectations. On the downside, there tends to be a lot of mosquitoes in our room, especially at night, making it hard to sleep. Add to this the fact that the room aircond was not especially cool, we initially set it on to HIGH but found that it was a bit warm. Funnily, when we changed it to MEDIUM setting, the room became cooler and we were able to sleep. In short, remember to bring along mosquito coils or electronic mosquito repellents if you plan on staying here!
The other thing that we really liked about the hotel is that there's a lot of facilities made available to guests. There's a mini library, a mini sports lounge where you can watch sports programs, a teen games room (an arcade), tennis and basketball courts, a nice but somewhat small swimming pool, a nightclub, a lounge replete with a piano, and even a hair saloon! I especially like the corner they have set up in the lobby for donations to several charitable foundations, such as the SPCA and also some local orphanages.
The Bayview hotel has several restaurants to cater to different tastes, there's even an upsclae european food restaurant called the Marco Polo. Since we didn't eat there, I'm not able to tell you how the food there was. However, we did get to eat at the hotel's cafe (I can't remember the name) for our buffet breakfast. Let me tell you, it was just out of this world! A huge, huge, HUGE variety of food was available, more than I've seen anywhere else! Since I'm a big fan of buffets, this is the best one I've been to yet! There was such a varied spread of food available that it was serious hard for us to choose! ANd this is not simply the usual 'buffet breakfast' fare which we're accustomed to seeing everywhere else...the food was varied yet fascinating! Just to give you an idea how varied it was...there was 5-6 types of fruit juices, 5-6 types of breads, 5 types of cereals, a handful of various Heinz fruit spreads, and even a coffee maker than can make lattes (there's 3-4 coffee stations scattered at strategic locations)...and this is apart from the other numerous types of food. In short, the buffet breakfast was totally worth it and we left feeling thoroughly full. In fact, I'd seriously consider returning here just for the food! Lol :p
As for the beach, well let me just say that this hotel and this place is not really for beach lovers. For one, the waters are very cloudy and somewhat dirty...unlike the pristine clear waters off Terengganu. Secondly, the beach is very narrow and cramped...so much so that the deck chairs people use to tan themselves are not actually situated on the beach itself! Instead, the hotel chose to place the deck chairs around the pool area. The sand on the beach is course. To add insult to injury, there's a sort of storm drain that runs into the sea very near to the hotel (they call this a geotube, but it looks like a drain to me). The water from the drain is dirty and stagnant. It's no wonder then that you can hardly find anything swimming in the sea. Another thing that turned us off was that the beach is crowded with people trying to persuade you to go on jetski rides, horse rides, ATV rides and other such watersport activities like parasailing. As a result, the beach was noisy with the sound of jetskis and boats...while horses are fine by me, even beautiful...ATV's scrambling on the beach are definitely NOT! Plus, at night, you can't even enjoy a quite stroll on the beach, as there's a VERY noisy nightclub located right on the beach just to the side of the hotel. Mind you, this was just at the beach fronting the Bayview hotel, it might be better at the beaches of the Rasa Sayang Resort, etc...I'm not sure.
To sum up, this place is perfect for a short getaway for people who are not really fond of the beach. For people like me and my hubby who loves the beach, they might come away disappointed. Other than that, the hotel was excellent and is in a good location (shops and restaurants nearby, close to town and there's a night market everynight just outside the hotel).
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- Also Known As:
- Bayview Beach Hotel Batu Ferringhi
- The Bayview Beach Hotel
- Bayview Beach Resort Penang/Batu Ferringhi