I went to Penang with my mother in summer 2003 and stayed in this hotel for 4 days/3 nights. I booked this hotel via the internet. From the internet pictures, the hotel looked grand and posh. When I got there, it was a different story.
The Sheraton Penang is an old hotel and it shows in the time-worn air of the hotel, and in the general layout of the hotel. The only good thing about the hotel is its location conveniently located to good local eating places.
A few minutes walk from the hotel brings you to the Swatow Lane coffee shop, with its stalls selling an assortment of the hawker food for which Penang is so justly famous for. Across one main road, is Penang road, with its many eating shops, and Lorong Selamat, with its small coffee shop well known among the locals.
However, the hotel is far from the beaches, the sights and the main shopping areas. You would need to get a taxi all the time to leave the hotel, which can be challenging and frustrating.
Unique Quality: In terms of accommodation, the Sheraton Hotel Penang provides a good view of the straits, looking to the mainland. Rooms are comfortable enough. The room was bright, beds comfortable and the sea view from our room was great (forgot what floor it was). Our bathroom was large. Everything was clean, but room and bathroom looked a rather tired/well-used. A bit of renovation could make everything look better. Overall, the hotel provides good value for money. I would rate this hotel as a 4 star rather than 5-star.
Basically, this hotel is well located in the heart of Georgetown. Beside the hotel is Penang Plaza (a small scale shopping complex) which has Giant Supermarket (not hypermart cos it is quite small) and a few shops. You can walk over to Prangin Mall in 10mins and if you feel like it, to Gurney Plaza in 20mins.
Behind the hotel is Swatow Lane which is famous for its food. The stalls only open in the afternoon and close late evening. I have to admit I had not the opportunity to eat there. Other than the stalls along Swatow Lane, there are a number eateries near as well.
Some may find the hotel to be a bit old, but to me, it seems fine.
Directions: Along Jalan Burma
I am travelling to Penang for a few nights in March, and would like your thoughts on where to stay. We thought Georgetown as we want to shop, and wander around the city. We were looking at Traders Hotel...the club rooms? Has anyone got any suggestions? thanks in advance for your help...Judi
I have stayed at the Sheraton, now called the Hotel Royal Penang & can recommend it. But I was disappointed with the shopping in Penang. You might want to allocate extra time to KL or Bangkok instead.
Thanks Paul...I will have a look at it. Been to KL a couple of times and omg...love the shopping there....Heading to Bangkok in November....could well be shopped out by the time I get to Penang in any case. I guess I just wanted to make sure that where i stayed was near the shops...I have yet to get my bearings...thanks for your help...Judi
Judi, I find shopping in Bangkok even better than KL. If you have time you could even take the bus to Singapore from KL. Buses are cheap and comfortable. Trip is about 6 hours. Paul
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Do try out Tune Hotel, a newly build hotels. check this out www.tunehotel.com.my
I usually stay at the G Hotel in Gurney Drive which is very flash and right next door to Gurney Plaza for Shopping.
However I agree with Paul, that the best shopping is in Bangkok around MBK and Paragon. The only really good shop in Penang is an upmarket mens and ladies clothing store called British India. They have an outlet in Gurney Plaza and another at Queensbay Mall. I think they also have a shop in KLCC.
In saying that, the food in Penang is fantastic!
What is the shopping like at Komtar...or is the Traders Hotel too far away from shopping/restaurants etc? thanks for your help
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