To say we love Penang would be drastically understating it – this place has been amazing for us! We spent about half of 2015 living on this island and had a fabulous time.
Although we had a house for most of our stay, we stayed in some hotels at the beginning of our adventure and then spent regular weekends staying in different resorts as a treat. The hotels in Penang are generally very good value so this made this easy to do!
They each have their own pros and cons, so unfortunately it’s not as simple as me just telling you the best place to stay in Penang – it will vary depending on your preferences and budget. However, hopefully the following list will help you decide what suits you best when looking for your best place to stay in Penang.
You may also want to check out my guide to the complete list of things to do in Penang.
If you have researched where to stay in Penang at all, your first question might be whether to stay in Georgetown, the capital and main city in Penang, or Batu Ferringhi, the main beach area, or somewhere else all together.
If you have the time, I would recommend staying in both. Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi both have very different vibes and they are both worth experiencing. If not, these are what I consider the pros and cons of each…
Georgetown has some cool sites and more history. It is nice to go for a stroll and check it out. There are some good places to eat and it’s an easier access point to and from the island.
It’s also quite dead at night and not as lively as guide books make it sound.
Batu Ferringhi is more like a small beach town or at least a removed suburb of Penang. It’s got a great atmosphere but it is much more touristy than Georgetown (although I don’t personally think anywhere is that touristy in Penang). The beach is nice, but I wouldn’t swim in it thanks to jelly fish. It is a lovely place to hang out though and there are water activities. There are some great places to eat in Batu Ferringhi (many listed here).
It has a relaxed vibe and honestly, I love it.
It is a bit removed from everything else in Penang, although many of the tourist attractions are not far away and it does not take that long to bus or drive into Georgetown.
A good compromise could be staying somewhere like Tanjung Bungah which is in between Batu Ferringhi and Georgetown.
Below is our list of the 10 best places to stay in Penang split up by area.
The first choice for the best hotel in Penang has to be the Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La. This is a luxury resort accommodating both adventure and relaxation and is one of the best resorts in Penang.
The resort is set on a beachfront location in Batu Ferringi, with a complimentary shuttle allowing easy access to George Town. The resort is also located within walking distance of the local night markets.
This resort offers three pools, a water slide, buffet and grill and 2 lounges to enjoy a drink. They provide a kids club and family entertainment to suit all levels of interest.
Every room provides the conveniences you would expect at the best family hotel in Penang with the comforts of home, in an enchanting setting. The Executive Seaview rooms are particularly great for families wanting a little extra class.
Overall, this is the perfect place to stay in Penang for families.
Bests parts… Complimentary shuttle bus to Georgetown, entertainment options and pools.
Be aware… Watch out for jelly fish at the beach.
Best for… Families that want a fun, family environment.
The Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa is another resort on the list of the best hotels Penang has to offer. This resort is the best hotel to stay in Penang if you want luxury.
This luxurious resort offers plenty of options for adventure, activity and relaxation. With 30 acres of gardens, a total of 3 pools, 5 dining options on site, an adventure club, gym, spa, and a kids club with access to the hotel’s sister resort, this resort certainly isn’t lacking in options. There is also a babysitting service for parents to enjoy a night off.
This option is also fabulous for honeymooners or couples wanting a romantic environment. There is an adults only pool and an adults wing which comes complete with extras like drinks in the evening.
The Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa has many room options.
Best parts… Pools, luxury and spa.
Be aware… Some facilities are just for adults.
Best for… Couples wanting romance.
The Holiday Inn Resort is located in Batu Ferringhi, a fantastic beachfront location in Penang making for the perfect beach getaway.
The resort offers the ultimate dilemma; ‘the pool or the beach?’ You may find the answer you are looking for at ‘The Terrence Café’, the pool bar catering for light meals in a laid back atmosphere.
The Holiday Inn provides elegant wooden rooms, and children under 18 sleep free in an existing bed. Extra beds are also available, though at an extra cost.
Don’t be fooled by the pure relaxation, as the resort has no shortage of activity for the days you crave adventure. For the kids, the resort offers a kids club, a games room, a tennis court and if required, babysitting is also available.
For families, there are also kids suite with separate bunk room including a trundle which is perfect for families with up to three kids. They also have fun themes. There are many rooms suitable for adults as well.
Best parts… Beach side location and elegantly decorated rooms.
Be aware… Traffic can be noisy.
Best for… All types of travellers. Families will love the great family rooms.
The Bayview Beach Resort is another best hotel to stay in Penang, and offers many comforts for families during their stay.
If amenities are what dictate which hotel to stay in Penang, then this resort will not disappoint. The resort is not short of amenities to keep kids happy with a playground, tennis court, huge pool, games room and activities like cycling and diving. Babysitting is available whilst you take advantage of the spa/gym. The hotel is located beach front in Batu Ferringhi.
The resort has several different eating options onsite, including a vegetarian buffet. Families can enjoy either a hill or sea view, with family rooms available with balconies.
This resort is one of the most comfortable Penang places to stay and also the best value with some bargain rates.
Best parts… Wide range of activities, tennis court and dining options.
Be aware… It’s a bit removed from the centre of Batu Ferringhi.
Best for… People on a budget
The Bayview Hotel Georgetown Penang is the next best hotel to stay in Penang. The hotel is located within walking distance of the nearby ferry and shopping centers, making exploration easy.
The Bayview Hotel Georgetown has its own revolving restaurant, the Waka Japanese restaurant and live music is also offered. Kids will love the outdoor pool to escape from Penang’s heat.
For families, deluxe rooms offer the perfect amount of space with kids under 4 staying free in your bed, and extra beds available at a fee.
The Bayview Hotel Penang is the perfect place to stay and explore historic Georgetown.
Best parts… Revolving restaurant, outdoor pool and central location.
Be aware… Breakfast variety is lacking.
Best for… People that want relaxation with easy access to Georgetown.
Ideally located in Georgetown is the G Hotel Gurney. The 5 star G Hotel offers luxury comforts surrounded in convenience.
The hotel is located near Gurney Plaza Shopping Mall with views of the coast. This hotel still has the advantage of luxurious comforts with massage in the spa, a fitness center and sauna. There is also a great pool for everyone to enjoy.
G Hotel Gurney has many dining options, including a Japanese restaurant and even offers cooking classes..
The rooms are very comfortable and modern, and children under 6 stay free in existing bedding.
Best parts… Nearby Gurney Plaza Shopping Mall, spa and several dining options.
Be aware… Not walking distance to the main Georgetown sites
Best for… People that want to visit Georgetown while still not being far from the beach areas.
Hotel Jen is conveniently located in the center of Georgetown which is one of the best places to stay in Penang. The hotel is within an easy walking distance of the best shopping in Penang, including 1st Avenue Shopping Mall.
What makes this the best Penang hotel for families is the friendly atmosphere for all with a decent sized outdoor swimming pool, steam room, massage and fitness center.
A great thing about Hotel Jen is the shuttle bus to Batu Ferringhi Beach to enjoy facilities at Golden Sands Resort. The hotel also has two dining options onsite and a buffet breakfast each morning.
This is a very family friendly hotel with the Specialty Suite offering room for all and extra beds available.
Bests parts… Central location, steam room and access to facilities at Golden Sands Resort.
Be aware… Bathrooms can be quite narrow.
Best for… People that want the best shopping, beach and dining options with easy access to Batu Ferringhi
OTHER AREAS IN PENANG
The Eastin Hotel Penang is located conveniently for access to Penang International Airport, making this hotel perfect for a short stay or stop over, and the best hotel in Penang for families that need to be near the airport.
The rooms of this hotel are modern and spacious with extra beds available at an additional cost. The hotel itself offers an outdoor pool and gym and is located next to Queensbay Mall for shopping and many eating options.
With its convenience for access to the airport, this is a great place to stay in Penang.
Best parts… Access to the airport, outdoor pool and nearby shopping mall.
Be aware… Travellers that want to be located close to the airport whilst still exploring Penang.
Best for… Families wanting convenience.
The Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang is located only a 15-minute drive from the center of Georgetown with a free daily shuttle service provided. The hotel sits on a beachfront with some spectacular views. It’s about a ten minute drive from Batu Ferringhi so a good choice if you want to be near both. It also is very close to our favourite Indian restaurant, Sri Ananda Bahwan.
The hotels rooms are elegantly decorated and extra beds are available at an additional charge. There is a sauna, games room and fitness center to enjoy. There is also a convenient 24-hour restaurant.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Penang to enjoy both the beach and city, this hotel may be it. This is a lovely hotel to enjoy your stay in Penang.
Best parts… Free shuttle to Georgetown, games room and 24-hour restaurant.
Be aware…Rooms are a bit dated.
Best for… People that want easy access to the city whilst still enjoying all amenities at a great value price
The Four Points by Sheraton Penang is another of the best hotels in Penang, making it the best place to stay in Penang with family.
The location of this hotel is great for a getaway, located in comfortable driving distance to Batu Feringghi and George Town.
Rooms are comfortable with large beds and extra beds/cribs available. The hotel has a well-sized outdoor pool and a fitness center. The hotel has room service for nights spent at the hotel.
This hotel is one of the best places to stay in Penang and would be perfect for a short getaway.
Best parts… Room service, outdoor pool and modern rooms.
Be aware… Check in is not until 3pm.
Best for… Travellers that need simple, quiet and comfortable accommodation with easy access to top attractions.
Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort – Offers a beachside location with both deluxe and 2 bedroom suites available.
Hotel Sentral Seaview Penang – Located in Tanjung Tokong, with family suites and deluxe sea view rooms.
Vistana Penang Bukit Jambul – Clean and comfortable accommodation in Bayan Lepas, with 2 bedroom family suites available.
Ixora Hotel Penang – Located in Seberang Perai, close to shopping malls with superior and 2 bedroom accomodation for families.
Le Dream Boutique Hotel – Located in central Georgetown, this hotel is comfortable and within the budget.
What’s your pick for the best place to stay in Penang?
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