We have already reviewed the best luxury hotels in Penang, Malaysia, to help you decide where to stay on your next vacation to this magnificent destination. Now we look at your best choice if you are traveling with your family and are looking for a pool for the kids.
An island of rich Chinese heritage, Penang has an array of temples, ruins, museums, preserved forests, and beautiful beaches. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old town of Georgetown sits on the northeastern coast of the district of Penang and is one of Malaysia’s most visited cities.
It was founded in 1786 by Captain Frances Light as a base for the British East India Company in the Malay states. And the town itself was named for the Prince of Wales and quickly developed into a hub of economic and cultural success.
What is so wonderful about Georgetown is the mix of cultures. Along the “Road of Harmony,” you will see Christian churches, Chinese temples, and Muslim mosques, a demonstration of the fusion of backgrounds.
A stop at Wat Chayamangkalaram is a must. Most popularly known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, this is the largest Buddhist temple in Penang. It dates back to 1845 and houses a 108 ft. Buddha in a reclining position that is covered in gold leaf.
A day in Georgetown is not complete without a tour of Gurney Drive, otherwise known as Persiaran Gurney. This is perhaps one of the most well-known places in Penang. Often referred to as ‘The New Esplanade’ (to differentiate it from the original Esplanade in Georgetown), Gurney Drive is a deluge of hawker delights and exciting restaurants that come alive at nighttime, giving the unique experience of dining by the sea.
The best 5-star hotels in Penang cater to guests who like the finer things in life and feature exquisite guestrooms with breathtaking views, unique and charming interiors, and verdant gardens. We have listed the very best below.
1. Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is a 5-star property that exudes an elegant sense of history and tradition, nestling beneath a verdant canopy of century-old rain trees. It has a number of gorgeous free-form swimming pools surrounded by loungers, lawns, and jungle foliage.
The expansive tropical gardens, with a fantastic lagoon-style pool as the focal point, create a lovely setting for a relaxing holiday. Well-maintained facilities, fantastic choices of activities, and complimentary daily shuttle service to George Town make it highly convenient to explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Nestled in verdant tropical gardens, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang’s 304 guestrooms and suites offer enchanting views of the ocean or rolling hills. The interiors are artfully designed with traditional motifs and exuberant modern touches, creating a warm and airy tropical-inspired sanctuary.
2. PARKROYAL Penang Resort
Discover a tropical retreat along the Batu Ferringhi beach. PARKROYAL Penang Resort is probably the best resort to stay in, in Penang, if you are traveling with children.
While this hotel lacks the history of some of the hotels mentioned above, it does have two swimming pools, one with water slides, plenty of space for water sports enthusiasts on the beach in front, and offers many more resort-style activities than your other luxury hotels in Penang.
The hotel is located 400 yards from Feringghi Night Walk Bazaar, while Batu Feringghi Waterfall is 1 mile away. The Tropical Spice Garden is also 1.6 miles from the property, and the hotel is 10.6 miles from Georgetown and 18.6 miles from Penang International Airport.
Rooms at PARKROYAL Penang are decorated in a modern and contemporary style with LED TV featuring local and cable channels. The rooms come with in-room movies, tea & coffee making facilities, a minibar, a personal digital safe, and a DVD player upon request.
Other facilities include Zab Lab gym center, Koko-Nut Kid’s Club, and Amazonia water theme park. Alternatively, guests can indulge in a variety of facial and body treatments at St. Gregory Spaor local cuisine at Cinnamon Asian Kitchen or at Gustoso for Italian fare overlooking the sea. Finally, to enjoy a wonderful sunset, spend the evening with a cocktail in the Javana Lounge.
3. Edison George Town
Edison George Town offers a fusion of historical classic and modernity. Penang embraces progression while retaining many traditions and cultures of a multi-racial population.
Renowned for gastronomical experiences, George Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site is also a kaleidoscope of unique living communities awaiting to be explored and offering the best of Asia to the world.
The Edison George Town is a stunning and meticulously restored Colonial mansion set in the heart of historical George Town in Penang. This Lifestyle Hotel offers a combination of luxurious comfort, exceptional guest service, and gracious hospitality.
The hotel features ‘The Lounge’, which is both a breakfast venue and lounge and, in fact, the centerpiece of the hotel. It is an inviting and exclusive space for socializing, reflection, and work where guests can access snacks and beverages directly from the self-service counters.
In the middle of the main building lies The Courtyard, the epicenter through which everything and everyone passes. This airy central space features restored cast-iron columns and decorative frescos, adding timeless elegance to the building.
The hotel pool is a prime spot for sun-worshipping and star gazing, a little oasis within inner George Town where guests can enjoy a leisure dip or an invigorating cardiovascular workout. Also surrounding The Pool and The Lounge lie spacious Cabanas for guests to relax.
The pool is long and thin in an oblong shape and is one of the few hotel pools you will find in hotels in George Town.
Each guestroom at The Edison George Town has been sensitively designed to retain much of the building’s historical character and offer chic and contemporary comfort within. The winner and their guest will be staying in a 35-38sqm. Deluxe Premium Room with a comfortable bed, work desk, seating, coffee and tea-making facilities, and an ensuite bathroom with unique and luxurious bath amenities.
4. Eastern & Oriental Hotel
Eastern & Oriental Hotel is proud of its illustrious heritage. Known simply as the ‘E&O’ to generations of travelers, it exudes a charm that is inimitably its own. For most of its history, its passageways and halls were the preserve of the rich and privileged from the Western world.
At the E&O, life’s true pleasures never go out of fashion. For almost 135 years, the hotel has welcomed the world in a timeless style. This legacy is conserved and further elevated with the re-opening of the Heritage Wing, which is now setting a new standard as a leading destination in classic hospitality.
Re-emerging from a comprehensive restoration and refurbishment program in December 2019, the Heritage Wing resumes its role as a gracious host with new facilities and a variety of exclusive privileges – making it an even more delightful experience for guests staying here.
Ensuring further privacy and exclusivity, the Heritage Wing’s sea lawn swimming pool is reserved for Heritage Wing and Corner Suite guests only, as is The Cornwallis, the dedicated lounge for breakfast and daily evening canapes and cocktails.
The Victory Annexe is an extended wing that opened in 2013, built on the site of the hotel’s original Victory Annexe, which was first unveiled by Arshak Sarkies in 1923. The Victory Annexe is designed with the needs and comforts of the modern traveler in mind whilst retaining the old-world ambiance and charm that are synonymous with the E&O.
There is also an infinity pool in the Victory Annexe, with an extensive view of the Andaman Sea and the E&O Gallery.
With the re-opening of the Heritage Wing, the E&O’s revered repertoire of classic hospitality and culinary experiences has been enhanced. The Java Tree serves Straits Nyonya recipes and classic European dishes, while the Palm Court offers a selection of ethnic Asian-inspired dishes and casual international fare, as well as the classic three-tier afternoon tea.
The new Farquhar’s Bar, now a handsome vintage cocktail bar with a view of Penang’s waterfront outside its expansive windows, is perfect for pre-and after-dinner drinks. At the Victory Annexe, Sarkies remains a perennial favorite for its splendid buffet spread of Malaysian and international delights. The Planters Lounge is an elegant venue for continental dishes, while al fresco dining is a sumptuous affair at Poolside Terrace.
5. Lone Pine, Batu Ferringhi, George Town
This is the only luxury boutique hotel on Penang’s Batu Ferringhi beach. Lone Pine hotel is tucked away in an idyllic spot along Penang’s coastline, Lone Pine is Batu Ferringhi’s only luxury boutique hotel.
Renewed and rejuvenated after a lovingly undertaken restoration, Penang’s favorite beachside boutique resort recently re-opened its doors refreshed in design and facilities but still infused with the same colonial spirit and idyllic charm that has made it one of Penang’s legendary hotels.
Highlights include Andaman sea views, a glorious large pool with lawns and loungers surrounding it, warm service, and rooms with balconies and outdoor plunge baths.
6. Macalister Mansion
Macalister Mansion is the main Marriott Bonvoy hotel in Penang. True luxury, lavish, and bespoke boutique accommodation awaits you. It is strategically well located on the fringes of George Town, a short distance away from the Unesco World Heritage Site of George Town, Penang.
Restored from a century-plus-year-old mansion, the hotel features eight stylishly appointed rooms. Showcasing facilities and amenities of a true luxury hotel, Macalister Mansion features four outlets and a sun-kissed stylish outdoor pool, ideal for the family and with its own swim-up bar and plenty of space surrounding for lounging on loungers.
MM boasts Penang’s finest contemporary fine dining restaurant, an all-day dining restaurant, Wine Bar, Cigar Divan, and a Whisky Bar. Macalister Mansion promises a quirky and sophisticated new lifestyle destination to relax and unwind. Macalister Mansion is proud to be the ONLY hotel in Malaysia to make the cut and be part of Design Hotels.
6. Hotel Jen Penang, George Town
The modern, urban hotel Hotel Jen Penang offers refurbished rooms and a restaurant with an excellent breakfast.
Hotel Jen Penang is centrally located in the heart of Penang’s vibrant and bustling George Town and is situated within walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as prime commercial and business areas and shopping malls.
Take a leisurely stroll to over 20 exciting street arts and satisfy your cravings for a must-eat famous street hawker food in Penang.
Enjoy direct access to the main public transportation options such as the Central Area Transit (CAT shuttle buses), taxis, or trishaws, with only a few steps from the hotel.
Newly redesigned rooms and suites feature distinct highlights of Penang blended with contemporary touches offering comfortable rooms to business and leisure travelers alike.
Enjoy fast Wi-Fi, a scheduled shuttle service to the beach, a 24-hour gym, and George Town’s rich history.
No stay would be complete without a dip in the inviting outdoor pool, perfect for the family and to cool down after a day of sightseeing.
7. Seven Terraces, George Town
Seven Terraces, George Town was built in the late 19th century, as a contiguous row of Anglo-Chinese terrace houses located just behind the Goddess of Mercy Temple. Located in the heart and core of the World Heritage Site, which is 20m away from Pitt Street. The hotel is a short walk from the ‘Street of harmony’ heritage trail, between the Goddess of Mercy Temple or Kuan Yin Temple and the St George’s Church, where you will find a church, temples, and mosques all within the same street.
The row of houses today is a sterling splendid example of adaptive reuse of heritage buildings that were of low density and low impact.
Historically, these houses were a redevelopment of the original Lee Kongsi building circa 1893, in a period of time when George Town’s Kelly maps were just completed. The row was redeveloped by Koe Guan, the holding company of local millionaire and governor of southern Thailand, Khaw Sim Bee.
The architecture of these shophouses, with classical decorative details imported from England, was similar to the traditional urban house models common in southern China. The five-foot-way, a covered walkway that connects these shophouses on the ground floor, was another feature at Seven Terraces that is characteristic of most heritage shophouses in Penang. This unique walkway represents a colonial adaptation designed to suit the tropical climate, providing a length of covered space as a shield from the heat and rain.
When you walk into these terrace houses, a distinctive feature of traditional Chinese architecture that strikes your attention and welcomes you is the open courtyards and air wells in the center of the houses. The courtyard at Seven Terraces showcases a delightfully long, thin, oblong pool, ideal for a family swim or for the kids to mess around in while mum and dad have a quiet drink.
Complementing the Anglo-Chinese exterior, the interior was one that harks back to the romance and splendor of the Peranakan Chinese era. Carved gilded decoration front doors facing Stewart Lane welcome guests to the interior. Its amazing details and pristine condition offer glimpses into the days of opulence in a Peranakan Chinese household.
Cast iron lacework and rows of slatted wooden screens which adorn the interior serve to introduce ornate details to the simple background, while the antique furnishings and fittings placed in choice spots throughout the hotel stand out in stark relief, bringing guests back to a bygone era that is steep in culture and strong family bonds.
Each room boasts blackwood and mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture and gilded cabinets and tables. Ong’s personal collection of priceless antiques, such as porcelain ware, is also proudly displayed around the hotel. In one of the suites, The Steward Apartment, guests will be delighted with the original Peranakan Chinese wedding bed and accompanying cabinets.
The suites facing the road are strategically shielded from street noise, with full-width bathrooms acting as a buffer. Most of the 18 suites in the hotel, all of which are spacious and airy, have mezzanine floors as the resting or living spaces.
8. Hotel Penaga
Hotel Penaga is a charming boutique hotel in the heart of George Town, Penang, Malaysia. The hotel is in an excellent location providing great access to all the sights of Penang, often described as the food capital of Malaysia.
Originally created from pre-war terraces and shophouses, Hotel Penaga mixes authentic, original features with a taste of the modern. As well as the rich history, you will also find all the usual amenities you would expect from a boutique hotel to ensure you have a thoroughly unique, comfortable, and memorable stay.
The rooms and suites within the hotel are divided into ‘Clark Terraces,’ ‘Transfer Suites,’ and ‘Hutton Rooms’, each of which has been lovingly and individually decorated with replica antique Asian furniture mixed in with modern Japanese design, which really adds to the quirky ambiance of Hotel Penaga. If you would like to avoid the hustle and bustle of Penang at night, then ask for a room facing the rear of the property. Your bathroom includes a Jacuzzi spa bath, a separate shower, and beautiful locally made toiletries crafted with ingredients from the region.
If you want to while away the hours, you can enjoy a quiet drink in the beautiful Tanglung Bar or dine in the striking Cinnamon Restaurant. The hotel also features a narrow pool (which is rather overlooked by the restaurant) and is surrounded by tables and chairs for people to eat on. To be honest, you could feel a little self-conscious swimming in this pool, and family splashing is unlikely to be appreciated by the diners, but out of restaurant hours, this swimming pool is a nice addition to the hotel.
The staff at the hotel are incredibly friendly and helpful, offering outstanding service with a smile. So if it’s a one-of-a-kind Malaysian escape you’re looking for with old-world classical charm set in a great location, then Hotel Penaga, George Town is the answer.
10. Muntri Mews, George Town
The stylish and welcoming boutique hotel, Muntri Mews is an easy walk to George Town’s main attractions. It has a pool, but it is not the best in Penang as it is small and not overly stylish. Yes, a family could enjoy it, but your kids won’t be blown away by this particular pool.
Keeping to the utilitarian lines of the building, the interiors have been kept as original as possible with a touch of the 20th-century feel to them. Materials such as marble flooring and wood have been salvaged from other houses, schools, and even a hospital. The resulting simple yet comfortable interior that harks back to a bygone era.
Framed old photographs and portraits that were taken in the late 19th to early 20th century decorate the walls, while old enamel trays and drinking glasses complete the whole feeling of bringing guests back in time. In keeping with its past, the stables, equine saddles, and harnesses are also displayed.
Lush gardens with three large outdoor pavilions give the hotel the feel of a tropical resort, and the hotel’s café and pretty garden are ideal for long lunches and relaxing.
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