Any visit to Penang spells fun to me irregardless whether it’s for business or leisure. No wonder Penang is also known as the Pearl of the Orient for its beauty and one of the more enchanting state in Malaysia. I had the opportunity to drop by Penang again last week for an overnight business trip.
Making a room reservation through booking.com is so easy that I managed to book 2 superior rooms with Hotel Royal Penang in a breeze. What’s more is that I am able to learn a fair bit of the hotel from booking.com’s website. Some of the deals in this website is quite attractive and allow you to cancel your booking within 3 days prior to the check-in date.
Though I’m not very much familiar with the roads in Penang, having a GPS comes in handy even though Penang is not that big and you always have the Komtar building as your “compass” or reference point.
Hotel Royal Penang is situated in the heart of Georgetown, Penang. It is about 20km from the Penang International Airport and from the Penang bridge, it takes you about 10-15 minutes to reach the hotel.
Checking into the hotel is made easy with the friendly receptionist manning the front desk. I managed to check into my hotel room and also for my colleague within minutes. While you’re waiting for check in, you may also log into web with the free wifi available at the lobby area of Hotel Royal Penang. The wireless broadband connection speed is pretty decent too during evening.
After being presented with the hotel keycard, I moved to the 10th floor of the hotel. There are 4 lifts taking the guests up to the respective floors, so you don’t have to wait that long.
Our rooms are the superior double which cost RM188.00 nett or about USD60/night. Pretty decent considering that it’s situated at a convenient location and not too far away from Gurney Drive. Upon entering the room, I did not detect any smoke smell or odour coming from the room. I stay in a non-smoking floor though.
Double bed with 4 pillows of various sizes
Wired LAN for the convenience of the hotel guest while in the room
After putting down my luggage bag, I surveyed the room for the facililties that it offered. Below are what I have discovered:-
1. Internet – wired LAN cable that provide FOC internet service. ( I didn’t use the LAN though as I didn’t bring my laptop with me for this overnight trip ).
2. Safe deposit box – previous guest mishandled the safe and an error message came out. I managed to get the front desk to resolve this for me and they came to my room within my desired time frame.
3. Mini fridge – a disappointment as it was empty.
4. Iron – Iron and iron board were in wardrobe compartment for the guest’s usage.
I do find the cable TV a letdown as the channels are all out of tune. I can’t tune in to a channel without those “snowy” effects, hindering a decent view of the TV programme.
Cable TV – a letdown
The bathroom comes with a speaker for those who enjoy some music or TV sound while soaking in the bathtub. However, you’re not able to tune the volume to your liking .
The extra roll of toilet paper comes in convenient for the guests to use but I do find the quality of the toilet paper a bit of a letdown, too thin and have a “cheapo” feeling.
Decent bathroom but toilet paper a bit “cheapo” feeling
The sofa seat by the side of the window is my favourite spot. Together with the stand lamp, it provides the best ambient for reading and relaxation. A good spot to wind down after a hard day’s work. However, I didn’t stay in my hotel room much for that night since we went food hunting after we finished work in the evening. In total, I spent less than 5 wake up hours in my hotel room to fully soak in to comfort the room has to provide.
One thing that I have to complain is that the tuner for the bedside lamp is spoilt when I wanted to adjust the lighting by the bedside. The knob came off when I turn to adjust the brightness of the lamp. Housekeeping should have detected the spoilt knob earlier as I don’t think the damage was recent.
Warm lighting illuminates the room
The view outside the hotel room is quite nice. Since I stayed at an end unit, I managed to have an uninhibited view from my room. Lots of greens surrounding the hotel room makes one don’t think of being in a concrete jungle. You can clearly see the tall and short buildings lining the roads around the hotel.
A view across the hotel room
Since this trip was not for sight-seeing, I didn’t bother to check the nearby tourist attractions but a quick check on the hotel’s website reveals the following nearby attractions:-
- Fort Cornwallis – 5 km
- UNESCO Heritage Cultural Site – 5 km
- Botanical Garden – 10 km
- Batu Feringgi Beach – 15 km
- Snake Temple – 20 km
For those who plan to make a trip to Penang, I would think Hotel Royal Penang is a decent place to stay and within the budget of most travellers who wanted a decent room without much fanfair. The other thing that disappointed me is that the gym is only available from 8am-8pm. The hotel should consider its guests who wake up early and wanted to start off the day with some exercise. Opening the gym only at 8am does not do justice to those early riser like me. Even the swimming pool was not available when I passed by before 7am. I do hope that the Management would consider making the gym available at an earlier time.
Before I sign off this post, I would like to share with you a picture of the “old” and “new” – where history and progress can co-habit at the same time at the Pearl of the Orient.
Penang – Pearl of the Orient
Hotel Royal Penang
No 3, Jalan Larut, 10050