Tag: Batu Ferringhi

HOTEL REVIEW: Holiday Inn Penang

When I think of the Holiday Inn chain, I don’t think of them as a beach holiday hotel, but the Holiday Inn Penang in Batu Ferringhi was absolutely perfect for our needs. Situated in the heart of the resort, the hotel is made up of two buildings – the beach side (which is around 6 stories high and has the main check in reception, restaurant, pool and access to the beach) and, across the road, the tower which is 24 stories high and has a salad bar, games area, gym and children’s play area).

The two buildings are connected by a walkway over the road, for safety and ease of access. During our stay there was some work being done on the beach side, with the bar closed for renovation, but everything was boarded off and it didn’t interfere with us in anyway.

We arrived in Batu Ferringhi at around 11am after a looooong journey and it was already in the low 30s and incredibly hot. I’d emailed the hotel in advance to ask about an early check in, because the official check in time wasn’t until 2pm and they’d said they would try to accommodate us. There wasn’t a room available as soon as we arrived, so we had a wander, had a drink, and an hour later not only were we able to check in, but we’d been upgraded to a balcony room on the 14th floor of the tower building, overlooking a wooded hillside from where we used to hear monkeys and birds chattering from dawn til dusk. The room was huge, with incredible air conditioning (an absolute must, as humidity levels were through the roof), a massive and super comfy bed, lots of storage space, a big marble bathroom with separate shower cubicle and the afore mentioned balcony with a table and two chairs.

Holiday Inn Penang bedroom

The staff were, without exception, an absolute asset to the hotel. Everywhere you went people would say hello and smile, and not in a fake way, they genuinely seemed happy to see you. That was actually the case outside of the hotel too, the people on Penang were absolutely lovely and so welcoming and proud of their country.

Breakfast in the hotel was served on the beachside – the restaurant was partially indoors, partially undercover, and partially outside facing towards the sea so you could choose where you wanted to sit each day.

Served buffet style, there was quite literally something for everyone! From sausages, baked beans, doughnuts and pastries, through to Malaysian curry and noodle dishes (traditional for Malaysian breakfast – I enjoyed being able to eat such spicy food in the morning without being judged!), cereals, an egg station where you could have eggs cooked fresh in front of you anyway you chose, including omelettes, fresh juices, fruit, cooked meat and cheese – it would be impossible to not find something you liked to eat. Again the restaurant staff were very friendly and efficient, and the whole area was incredibly clean and well looked after, with that beautiful sea breeze coming in from the beach.

The pool was an OK size and pool towels were provided free of charge. I can imagine that in high season it would get very busy, but we were slightly out of season so there were always sunbeds available on the days we chose to chill out rather than sightsee. There was the option to sit in the gardens too, looking out to sea.

The beach view, accessed through the gardens, was rather lovely!

The outdoor bar was a nice touch, and we enjoyed a cold glass of wine or beer after a day out, or before heading out to dinner. Prices were very reasonable, for food too, not overinflated as you would usually expect in a hotel.

We couldn’t have been happier with every aspect of our stay, and I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone.

Have you ever been to Penang? Let me know…

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

My trip to Malaysia – a précis!

I’m back from my South East Asia adventures, in Malaysia!

Malaysia flag

Miss me? No? Didn’t even realise I was gone? Awkward!!

Malaysia was, as expected, pretty epic. We crammed in a whole heap of stuff during our visit, and I have a whole heap of photos and blog posts to write about things we did but, until then, here are some facts and highlights of our hol!

  • Our trip was for 9 days / 8 nights, during which time we flew 21,870 miles on 4 different flights.
  • Stayed in Batu Ferringhi on Penang Island, and Kuala Lumpur on the mainland, also visiting George Town and Air Itam in Penang, and Gombok just outside KL.
  • “Lived” in 2 hotels, one on the 14th floor and the other on the 25th floor
  • Had an amazing meal for just 80 pence
  • Spent more on a glass of wine than 2 skirts from the market
  • Paddled in the sea
  • Took a ride in a trike covered in fairy lights blasting out “Staying Alive” by the BeeGees
  • Visited 5 temples, 1 mosque, 2 caves and 2 towers
  • Took a funicular railway to 833 metres above sea level and looked down on the city below
  • Ate Chinese, Malaysian and Indian food from places that you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole in the UK, but were some of the tastiest food ever!
  • Walked 120km, climbed up hundreds of steps, went to the 86th floor of the tallest twin towers in the world, and stood 421 metres above ground level on a glass floor in the KL tower (not all in one day!)
  • Got punched by a monkey (more on that in a future post!)

I hope everyone is doing well – let me know what’s been going on with you!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

2 months today I’ll be on my way to Malaysia

When we booked our trip to Malaysia last year it was THE most exciting thing on the horizon and I was beside myself with joy that we’d be travelling East, doing a twin centre trip, and eating all of the food.

While it’s still massively exciting, it’s been overshadowed by the prospect of the housemove with all the associated house buying stress, house selling DIY and general overwhelming thought of having to pack up all our belongings (and we have a lot of belongings) and move them all to a new place.

So, I’m ashamed to say, the trip has taken something of a backseat in my mind.

Imagine then, the coincidental surprise and joy when Hannah, from Hannah International (a blog I follow) posted that she’d just got back from Kuala Lumpur and shared some great photos and experiences.

Pop on over to Hannah’s blog to have a look.

This has inspired me and, with just two months to go, it’s time to start thinking about our trip more seriously, planning a loose itinerary and generally getting into a giddy frame of mind!

We’re flying from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur (a headache inducing 13 hour flight) and then getting a connecting flight to the island of Penang which is where we’ll spend our first 5 days. We’re staying in Batu Ferringhi, which is at the North of the island and home to great night hawker streetfood markets (so much excitement at this prospect!) but getting around is easy and cheap by bus and taxi. Whilst there  we want to spend some time in Georgetown (the capital), get the funicular up Penang Hill, maybe hire jet skis and eat, eat, EAT!

Of course it will be good to have some downtime too, chilling by the hotel pool, paddling in the sea and generally relaxing.

On the morning of the 6th day we get a flight back to Kuala Lumpur where we’ll spend 3 and a half days. I foresee lots of wondering, oohing and aahing. I’m excited by the mix of old and new, especially on the architecture front, and the mosques and temples are high on the list (not from a religious point of view, purely aesthetic). I now definitely want to get a train to the Batu caves that Hannah mentioned in her blog (even though I wasn’t aware of them prior to that). Obviously the architecture will be a big draw with a trip to the top of the Petronas Twin Towers (day and night, if possible), Thean Hou temple, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Chan See Shu Yuen temple, Jamek Mosque, Chinatown, Skybar, the colonial railway station and Little India.

So. Much. Stuff.

Excitement levels are currently supersonic!

Let me know your travel plans – imminent, future, or bucket list. I’d love to know!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x