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Which hotels?

London
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Which hotels?
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Hi,

I’m planning, clearly very much flexibly and COVID contingent, to go with my family of 5 to Singapore, Langkawi and Penang next April. Assuming places are re opened by then can anyone give their opinion on the following choice please? We have about £3,000 to spend on accommodation for 15 nights:

Singapore - Shangri-La (Orchard Rd), Amara or Four Seasons. 4 nights.

Langkawi - Vivanta Rebak (appears the best value by far). 6 nights.

Penang - Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Hard Rock (I’ve read about the erosion issues, should this put me off considering these two?). 5 nights.

I know this is a Malaysia forum but thought I’d keep it as one post including Singapore for those who can help. Any suggestions are hugely appreciated, and I appreciate this is still very much at risk of not happening at all!

12 replies to this topic
Penang Island...
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for Penang, Penang Island, George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
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1. Re: Which hotels?
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Much may depend on the ages of your children (assuming that is what you mean by family) and how many rooms you will need to book.

We don’t know what the situation will be by next April and how many hotels will have weathered the pandemic. The Rasa and Hard Rock should be fine.

School holidays in Malaysia end on the 4th April so availability should be good. There may be some good offers on if occupancy is still low.

With regard to beach erosion, not many people actually spend much time on the beach. It’s too hot. If you go to the Rasa you will see signs warning you that the hotel grounds (and therefore care of guests) ends at their fence plus signs warning you about jellyfish in the sea. Stray beyond that fence and you’ll also be prey to all the beach boys trying to sell you water sports etc.

In the Penang forum I’ve posted this article giving you a run down of places to stay on Penang which may help you. I may need to update it as the odd hotel has now closed. https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Trips/84829671/Where%20to%20stay%20on%20Penang

Just a thought on Langkawi and the Vivanta, but you can only get across to it by their ferry which cuts down on your ability to be flexible or stay out late.

London
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Thank you, I’ve just read your guide on Penang which was really helpful. Yes it’s my wife and children I meant, the kids will be 11, 9, and 7 on travelling. I’ve stayed at a couple of Shangri-La’s previously and have loved the service and staff there which leans me towards the Rasa Sayang. Hard Rock looks great but I feel would be a little too Western considering it’ll be our first time to that part of the world (ironic I know when I want to stay in a 4/5* hotel for comfort).

I do see your point about Rebak. However, that part of the trip will be the more relaxing time, we’ll be doing day trips but I imagine will choose to be sipping cocktails and eating at the hotel come the evening wherever we go.

Penang Island...
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for Penang, Penang Island, George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
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If I had to stay in Batu Ferringhi my choice would be either the Rasa Sayang or the Park Royal. They both have excellent restaurants.

The pool at the Hard Rock is right up against some of the accommodation. Kids love jumping into it but it's a bit noisy over a long period of time!

London
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I note you say if you had to stay there so I assume you’re not keen. If you were visiting Penang for the first time to use as a base for the beach, George Town and other attractions whilst also wanting a luxurious hotel to stay in where would you suggest? The post you linked is great for impartial information but not very committal about what you recommend! Thank you for your help!

Penang Island...
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for Penang, Penang Island, George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
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No, I’m not a great fan of Batu Ferringhi but then some people love it. It really depends on what you are coming to Penang for. The beaches here are not great, the sea is polluted with jelly fish in it, but if that’s what you want plus some luxury you might prefer the newly opened Anghsana in Teluk Bahang. Certainly its beach is better. But you would either need a car or be prepared to use Grab if you went there.

If you’re coming to Penang for the sights, culture and food you really want to be down in George Town. Plenty of great hotels there and if you can afford it you can’t go wrong with the Eastern and Oriental (E&O) with views out over the Straits of Malacca. They certainly have large rooms that would be good for a family. After that there are quite a lot more that you could look at from Heritage Hotels to more modern ones. Seven Terraces for example would give you a good feel for the heritage of Penang but no views. Then there’s the iconic Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze) with a really good in-house restaurant. Other hotels such as the Prestige and Royale Chulan were once the old godowns/wharehouses here and so have a different perspective. Then there are all the smaller boutique type hotels. So plenty to choose from.

London
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You’ve certainly given me something to think about… it’s not so much the sea I’m worried about, it’s the views and scenery that attract me to the beaches. But looking at the Eastern and Oriental it seems to offer that with views over the ocean just without the beach.

I actually visited Penang over 30 years ago but being 7 then don’t remember much other than travelling from Batu Ferringhi to George Town daily. I don’t remember it being particularly far or expensive in a taxi but appreciate prices will have changed and roads become much busier, along with the rest of Penang since then!

Penang Island...
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for Penang, Penang Island, George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
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You may not recognise the Penang you saw 30 years ago. The Straits Quay area had not been reclaimed from the sea and nor was the proliferation of high rise developments even hinted at. But if you accept that nowhere stays the same and your kids will be seeing it all for the first time you can still have a great time.

As you’ve posted in the very general Malaysia forum, have a look in some of the more specific forums such as , for Penang - Penang, Penang Island, Batu Ferringhi and George Town and for Langkawi the Langkawi forum. . There’s lots of information in those that may help you with your decision. The videos in the Batu Ferringhi forum showing the beach erosion are particularly useful.

In normal times the Batu Ferringhi down to George Town journey can be done by taxi in 20 minutes if there is absolutely no traffic, all the traffic lights are green, and it’s not raining. Traffic slows right down when it rains! Otherwise you’ll need to allow at least 30 minutes. If it’s a busy time of year such as the Malaysia and Singapore school holidays, there’s a festival on, or there’s been an accident on the narrow coastal road it can take up to 2 hours. A taxi or Grab is still very cheap compared to the U.K. and the buses even more so.

What wouldn’t have been here 30 years ago would have been the Escape water park. If that’s something your kids would want to spend time at then Batu Ferringhi may be the place for you for easy access.

April can be the start of the rainy season https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Trips/104673239/Weather%20and%20rainfall%20on%20Penang and you’ll find much more for the family to do in the George Town area if it really does chuck it down. Again see all the information in the more specific forums.

Enjoy your planning and do ask if there’s more you need to know.

Edited: 26 August 2021, 09:37
Penang Island...
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Shangri La Singapore

Lovely hotel and gardens but a decent walk down to Orchard rd shops, MRT etc

Given you are beaching it in Langkawi perhaps go city centre in Penang and gorge on the street food and diverse culture of everyday life.

And think about swapping Singapore for KL. A wonderful city with five star hotels offering perhaps the best value in the world.

Leeds, United...
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Hi

For your stay in Langkawi, have you looked at some of the hotels on the main island?

Vivanta is a great hotel but of course is on it's own island and you are very limited for getting around and very dependent on the boat schedules too and fro.

So unless you are content jut to relax for your stay there and do very little by way of excursions, then you will be fine.

London
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Given the advice and the fact we are looking at being more remote in Langkawi I’m leaning towards George Town now so thank you all for your suggestions. I’m fairly happy being out on Rebak Island tbh for the Langkawi part, we’ll do a couple of trips to do the cable car etc but I’m happy being back at the hotel for the evenings. Comparable hotels actually in Langkawi appear significantly more expensive.

In terms of Singapore, I’m not fixed on the Shangri-La, in fact it’s the only part that isn’t fully cancellable so I can’t book it yet in any case whereas most other hotels can be. The Amara, Grand Hyatt and Four Season are current considerations although I hadn’t realised the Shangri-La was far from Orchard Road. Apologies I know this is the Malaysia forum!

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