I’ve been to Penang a few times, and I’ve always stayed in Georgetown, since after all, that’s the center of the island and that’s where the places I wanted to go are. But for a change, I decided to stay in the coastal Batu Ferringhi and chose Holiday Inn Resort Penang.
Holiday Inn Resort Penang is right in the smack of Batu Ferringhi, the island’s most prominent beachside resort destination. Aside from its coast, Batu Ferringhi has a night market, as well as hawker food courts—all of which are a short walk from the resort.
On the other hand, Georgetown, Penang’s very own UNESCO World Heritage Site, is reachable easily in about 45 minutes by bus or about 25 minutes by taxi or Uber, while the airport on the other side of the island can be driven in 45 minutes to an hour by a taxi or Uber.
A concept of the renowned InterContinental Hotels Group, Holiday Inn Resort focuses on “family fun and relaxation,” so kids are as welcome as their parents. All their resorts, located in key family-friendly destinations, feature a swimming pool, activities, and live entertainment.
Holiday Inn Resort Penang, despite being one of the pioneers in Batu Ferringhi, has maintained its contemporary vibe, thanks to continual renovations and improvements.
The resort has two buildings—the Beach Wing and the Ferringhi Tower, which are across the road from each other and connected by a link bridge. The former, which faces the beach as the name implies, is the more like the resort part, while the latter, a 23-floor structure, is more like the hotel. The rooms in each are distinctly styled.
We stayed in a room at the Ferringhi Tower, which offered a stunning view of the sea. The room was both spacious and modern, and I loved how it did feel like a resort room with its choice of décor and furnishing.
It had all the conveniences necessary for a great holiday, starting with the super comfortable beds that came with soft and firm pillows. The spotless bathroom, meanwhile, had a tub and an array of eco-friendly bath amenities.
The hotel, by the way, also boasts of family-friendly suites in its Beach Wing and Ferringhi Tower. Decked out in kid-friendly designs, the suites feature special amenities like bunk beds and gaming consoles.
The resort boasts of a range of activities that the entire family may enjoy. For starters, it has a huge swimming pool right next to the beach, as well a state-of-the-art fitness center that was just renovated recently. In addition to these are a snack bar, billiards room, tennis court, and the Resort Centre, a fresh indoor lounge that offers air hockey, table tennis, and console games. And for the tiny tots, there’s the Kids’ Club, a dedicated play area with exciting activities.
For those who’ve already explored everything Penang has to offer, the resort has a number of activities that it arranges. These include top spinning, kite flying, biking, and sepak takraw.
The resort fronts a nice stretch of beach that’s ideal for basking under the sun, as well as for beach and water activities.
FOOD AND DRINK
Terrace Café serves an excellent Halal breakfast spread consisting of Western, Asian, and Malaysian items. Their mee goreng (fried noodles) is a must try.
The restaurant, unknown to many, also specializes in Northern Indian cuisine. We were treated to one of the best Indian meals we’ve ever had, with Chef Poojari and Chef Laxman whipping up dishes to perfection. Most memorable to us were the Chicken Tikka (marinated boneless chicken in cream cheese and special herbs), Lamb Masala (mutton curry with onion, tomatoes, and cashews), Prawn Curry, and Tandoori Chicken (spring chicken with yogurt and spices).
Staff at the front desk and concierge were helpful and hospitable. We loved how they assisted us with a smile whenever we needed assistance.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Rates at the Holiday Inn Resort Penang are surprisingly affordable, especially when rooms are booked in advance. IHG Rewards Club members get preferential rates and offers when booking through ihg.com, on top of extra perks. Membership to the program is free.