For my stay in Penang, I booked the Doubletree Resort by Hilton Penang. Besides Penang being a city that I have always wanted to visit, another reason for the trip is also due to this. I need to clock some nights before the end of the year for my Hilton Status. This property is definitely one of the more affordable ones to do it. A mattress run it is! Furthermore at the point in time, Hilton have been running a 100% points promotion. The Doubletree Resort by Penang is a 10,000 points property at the lowest and I managed to find availability for 5 nights in October. For members, you get one night free when you book 5 nights as well. As such the total cost of the 5 night stay comes to 40,000 points, 8,000 points a night. I bought points to redeem during the sales, that comes to around 40USD or around 56SGD. Awesome deal when I get to enjoy my benefits, clock nights and even score an awesome Suite upgrade.
This is Hilton only property in Penang and it is located in the northern area of the island in Batu Ferringhi, the resort and beach place of Penang. There are a lot of complains about the location of the resort since it is like a 20 mins ride to the city center and the main area which is Georgetown. They do provide a shuttle service to Georgetown as well as the Batu Ferringhi beach area but the timing is not frequent so Grab is easier. But for the more chill travellers like me, who want to get out of the buzz and chaotic city life, Batu Ferringhi is perfect. In fact it is where I would love to stay in Penang. Anyway, a Grab ride, which is something like a Uber is so affordable around the area. A ride from the airport cost around 40RM which is 13 SGD or 10 USD. And a ride to Georgetown is 6SGD. I will definitely stay here and earn some credits. I didn’t have a very high expectation of the place after all this isn’t some Conrad but just a 10,000 property. But before my arrival, as a gold member at that time, I was already pre upgraded thru the app the night before to a King One Bedroom Balcony Suite. It was nice since I have a very late arrival and since upgraded I check in online beforehand thru the app. Immediately after arriving, even though it is dark everywhere, I am still impressed with the hotel, the open air style with high ceilings and overhead fans. The vibes was there! I especially love the check in area near the entrance. Very resort style and family oriented.
There is no wait at check in given this time. Staff were polite and I was thank for being a Hilton gold member. Again, Elite recognition is awesome here as well as I got a 4 Category upgrade from a basic room to a One bedroom Suite. The staff also gave me a 3pm late check out immediately and will check with manager for later extension. WOW! I pushed my luck and tried for a seaview suite but got rejected in a polite way, well, first class problems! I was also informed of the breakfast timing and the complimentary afternoon tea. What a nice touch for not having an executive lounge. Cookies is also given as well as it is in doubletree properties.
Everything looks fresh and new! I love the large grand place with a little resort of the open air first floor. My suite is located on the 10th floor near the lift. Despite it, I was never disturbed by any noise from foot traffic. Immediate after entering the room is the living room. This is an actual suite with a separate bedroom. There is a sofa set for around 4-6 people around a table facing a huge wall mounted TV. It is high quality and comes with cable channels. Then you have a little mini bar area at the side. It does have some view at the side of the surrounding area. It is pretty nice although the view makes me wonder how awesome a sea view one would be. The area is really spacious.
The Mini Bar is pretty limited. You can find a kettle with some instant coffee and tea. Kinda sad that there is no capsule coffees in a suite. I shouldn’t be asking too much for a 56 SGD room. There is a fridge as well which is empty and appreciated. I was really impressed with the water that they gave. There are 4 huge bottles and it is the 1.5liters kind. Awesome since there are no stores or supermarkets nearby for you to get some. Generous! I hate it when hotels become a cookie cutter with water when the cost is actually pretty low. Ahem NYC!
There’s also a personalised welcome message by the GM along with some sweets as a welcome amenity.
The room is separated by a door and it’s huge. In fact, bigger than the living room in fact. The room comes with a balcony. Upon entering, there is a lounging armchair by the side, just next to the entrance to the balcony. The Balcony is towards the side of the entrance to the room and it is a nice place. The view is rather good even though it doesn’t face the sea. There are two deck chairs place outside and you can get a good nice vibes while sitting outside with a glass of wine.
The bed is in the middle of the room. I will first like to say that I actually love that the place uses wood flooring rather than carpets. The bed is huge and lush. Firm to my liking as well. Pillow is kinda paper thin although you can always request for more to make up for it. The bed faces another TV as well, which is the same as the one in the living area. Around the bed you can find outlets which is highly appreciated. Wifi is also fast and prompt.
Towards the side of the bed you can find a proper working desk which is appreciated for the sad working souls in a resort. I love that you can find different international outlets here as well.
Near the toilet side of the room you can find a huge open style wardrobe and luggage storage area. There is a ironing set here along with a safe.
The bathroom is huge and spacious and comes with a separate rainforest showering area as well as a bathtub. I am loving this suite. Toiletries is by Crabtree and Evelyn as usual in the Hilton Group. You can find all the usual amenities provided. I love that there is a cosmetic mirror as well. Water pressure and temp control is good! Another bad point is the drainage which doesn’t seem to be working well and it get a little wet all over after showering. Oh yea, since this is a Suite, I find it weird that there isn’t a half bath in the living area which is usually the norm in Suites.
As a benefit of my status, we could have breakfast at Makan Kitchen, the hotel restaurant. It is located on the LG. Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 10.30am, extended till 11am on weekends. Generous timing. It is definitely more crowded on the weekends. Service is good as well. Let me just share on the restaurant first. It is open air as well with high ceilings. Facing the pool as well as the view of the sea at the end. The restaurant is beautiful with both informal and outdoor seating! Snag one of the outdoor seats and enjoy breakfast as waves crash!
Breakfast selection is pretty alright and there are a lot of options as per the norm in Asia. Don’t expect too much from a 10,000 points property. I love that there is a couple of coffee station scatter around the place to prevent crowding. Drinks wise you can also find some juices around the corner as well.
Food wise! Lots of selection! There is a variety of offerings from Oriental to Indian and Chinese. Western choices seems to be lacking a bit although there is a egg station as well. I got an omelette which is tasty. I particularly enjoy the Nasi Lemak! Good perks of elites membership where they com the breakfast. Definitely not worth the 60 RM if I’m going to pay! You can get better food outside! Penang is the food capital of Malaysia!
Here are some pictures of the property and their pool area.
Doubletree Resort by Hilton Penang have a nice touch where they provide afternoon tea for elite members in the lobby lounge from 3-4pm. Nice to make up for the lack of a lounge. You can order coffee or tea drinks from the staff and they will bring along the pastries set. I do have to say that the snacks are pretty miserable, it seems like they are leftovers from the breakfast service. I still appreciate the effort. Drinks are awesome on the other hand. You have coffee from an actual espresso machine! MORE HILTONS WITHOUT EXECUTIVE LOUNGE SHOULD DO THIS!!!
What’s worth mentioning is that the property have a bridge that links you to the little beach opposite! Known as the Miami Beach, it is small in size, but very quiet and nice to spend some time here! I might just prefer this to the super packed main beach in Batu Ferringhi!
On my departure day, I got an extension of late check out till 4pm. The staff was very generous and awesome, especially sharlene from the night shift. Later I was even offered a normal King room as a day room till 5.30pm after they knew that my flight is only late in the evening. The normal basic rooms are alright as well. Rather huge and comes with a rainforest shower too. Toiletries are in Crabtree and Evelyn dispenser which is a first for me. Perfect elite benefits, can’t wait to be back as a Diamond and see what recognition I am going to get!
Overall, enjoyable stay! One of the cheapest price I have ever paid! Staycation and hotels are the best in Southeast Asia! I can’t imagine how much I would have to pay to enjoy this level of accommodations and service in Europe or the US! A Solid 4 star hotel. 56 SGD a night is impeccable! Elite recognition is the best, free breakfast! The only negative side would be the location and transport. Grab might be hard to get at certain timings and that is the only feasible transport for travellers! Being greedy, if there’s a lounge, it would be perfect!