An outstanding hotel in a ruined location - ruined by the constant noise of jet-skis and power boats off the beach and the roar of traffic on the road outside the hotel. An oasis with the once peaceful ‘desert’ around overtaken by unrestricted development of large package-tour ‘resort’ hotels.
Our room, ultimately - see below, - was excellent with great views through the trees to the sea; it was well furnished and the housekeeping was friendly and efficient. All the right touches were in place with a re-stocked ‘fridge (sodas and water) daily, fresh fruit daily, multiple toiletries and really white linens. Breakfast was good and there was a wide variety of choices albeit a little lacking in creativity on the fruit counter. The staff on ‘egg counter’ were friendly and helpful in providing freshly cooked eggs any style.
The water in the swimming pool was immaculate and towels provided were clean. Loungers were available - when the prime positions were not pre-booked with towels and books by anti-social guests before breakfast.
Indeed I must echo the views of many others who are fulsome in their praise this excellent boutique hotel. And add that all the staff were always smilingly helpful on all occasions
Inevitably there are minor glitches in even the best hotel. Glitches which might deny it a five start rating.
- We were initially given a room above the kitchens - not the way to treat a long term visitor!
- Coffee re-fill service at breakfast was non-existent; it should be automatic.
- “Imagine” - much as I love the music of the ‘60s, 70s and beyond, I can do without “Imagine” being played twice at breakfast.
- I note a previous visitor complained about a repeated ‘bang’ coming from the lift operation. I also note that management said it would fix the problem. Months later the noise is still there!
- In-room, Wi-Fi slow.
- Maintenance; failed light bulbs in the room were not replaced; breakfast coffee machine failed because no one emptied the used grounds drawer; our a/c failed one evening - filter blocked because it was not not cleaned regularly. Routine preventive maintenance non-existent.
Whilst not strictly about the Hotel I would add, since it is part of the Lone Pine ‘experience,’ that many are dismissive of the beach. True it is not the Caribbean but it has great potential to re-establish its previous eminence provided local authorities and hotel managers as a group urgently take control of three things:
- Pollution - the stream west of the hotel was dammed and, as a result, back-filled with dirty black rank water. The authorities solution was to dig a trench and let the fetid water flow into the sea. The beach is littered with plastics. The continual noise of Jet Skis and motor boats destroyed any possible peace on and off the beach.
- Jet Skis operated outside their permitted times; operators did not use kill cords nor did they always instruct renters in their use. This is extremely dangerous and irresponsible.
- Para-glider operators aggressively occupied more of the beach than their permits allow. Boats were operated dangerously with only one person in the boat.
- I suspect many boat and Jet Ski operators are unlicensed.
(Users of both Jet Skis and Para-gliders should check their travel insurance; I suspect that the local operators have none.)
When guests have raised the problem of beach operations and noise pollution previously, hotel management have ducked the problem saying that it had no control over the pollution nor over the operators. This is nonsense. It is far too easy to say that it is outside the hoteliers’ remit. Major hotel companies make a substantial contribution to the local economy and ought to be actively seeking to engage in a dialogue to develop the town and beach in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
I did talk to officials who purported to be responsible for safety on the beach. They were clearly total ineffective given that they never left their ‘shack.”
If action is not taken Batu Ferringhi will increasingly develop a reputation as a dirty, polluted and noisy place - and increasingly discerning foreign tourists will go elsewhere.
It is for the reasons above that I mark the “Location” as very poor.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked away in an idyllic spot along Penang's coastline, Lone Pine is Batu Ferringhi's only luxury boutique hotel. Renewed and rejuvenated after a lovingly undertaken restoration, Penang's favourite beachside boutique resort reopened its doors refreshed in design and facilities, but still infused with the same colonial spirit and idyllic charm that has made it one of Penang's legendary hotels. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lone Pine Batu Ferringhi
- Hotel Lone Pine
- Lone Pine Hotel Penang/Batu Ferringhi