Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La
15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We stayed at this hotel for 5 nights last year. We had to move rooms twice due to various reasons. Staff were very helpful with our complaints. Rooms were large and kept clean. Food was plentiful but like a cattle market most mornings due to the large conferences that are regularly held. The hotel is in a good area with a brilliant night market and eating at 'Long Beach' was an amazing cheap experience. Hotel grounds and pool area are very nice. We mainly stayed here prior to a trip to Borneo. Penang is an amazing place and i would recommend it. There are a lot of temples and places to visit. Even though the hotel has lovely grounds and interior, i would not recommend it simply because of the conferences. "
- Travel date: 10th January 2014
Misrepresentation by Kuoni & Shangri La Website
"We booked this hotel because we had stayed at various Shangri La hotels before. Normally the standard is excellent and the hotel photos looked great. We booked with Kuoni who normally do not havve sub standard hotels in their brochure. We were not notified that the hotel was on a busy road where traffic noise kept you awake all night, there was a building site opposite too that we were not informed of and it started work at 7.30pm. On checking in we realised the hotel was very dirty and the decor shabby and dated. The bed linen, bathrooms were filthy. Electrical sockets were hanging off the wall. Next morning we had breakfast and found a cockroach on the breakfast buffet, we realise outdoor eating areas will have insects but we were not expecting the cook to take it back into the kitchen! We waited for the Tour East Rep to arrive at the hotels and told him we wanted to move hotels, we had booked 11 nights there and could not eat in the hotel due to the unsafe hygiene practices. He could not do anything and said we would have to wait for Kuoni to open at 9am (5pm local time) we spoke to Kuoni at a large cost to ourselves as you have to ring the UK and are on the phone at least 15 minutes, we told them we wanted to be moved to another hotel anywhere in Malaysia we would be prepared to apy the difference in the brochure prices,or be flown home. Kuoni said they would sort something out as to us moving to the Rasa Sayang next door and would inform Tour East. The following morning the rep arrived again and had no news about us moving, we were not prepared to waste another whole day waiting for Kuoni as they had done nothing for us and demanded to see the manager. When we told him the problem (that none of the staff had told him) he was very apologetic and withing one hour we were moved to the Rasa Sayang. Kuoni still did not call us at 5pm we had to call them (total calls to them totalled Â£50) the customer services women was rude and told us we would have to pay for another holiday as we had moved on our own and would not transfer the booking, we told her we would not be paying the bill as the Manager had already told us he would transfer the booking and she was given the option the day before to move us to a cheaper hotel or fly us home and she had done nothing at all. We said we wanted to come home and we would not pay the bill. She then telephoned us and said out tickets were non transferrable and if we paid another Â£126 each Â£252) as a gesture of goodwill she would transfer the booking. We ended up paying the exact amount we would of paid if we had booked the Rasa Sayang in the first place. We were disgusted with Kuoni for holding us to ransom knowing we were in a hotel we could not pay for, and furthermore I have been a customer of Kuoni's for over 2 years and spent a fortune with them. The Tour East rep wants Golden Sands to be removed from the Kuoni brochure as he gets on average 20 complaints a week about it. The Manager at the Rasa who was also the Manager of Golden Sands was excellent and made the 9 days enjoyable. I wold never book with Kuoni again and Shangri La & Kuoni need to show the real photographs of the rooms and condition of this hotel. They make it hard for you to complain by having a UK only telephone number to call when you have an 8 hour time difference take the money and run. "
- Travel date: 1st January 2009
Having left Singapore and KL this was th...
"Having left Singapore and KL this was the last leg of our honeymoon ane we were more than disappointed to arrive in the middle of the afternoon to a very very hot reception area which had only inadequate ceilng fans trying and failing to cool the air. The public areas have no air con at all and the only respite was back in our room. It was terrible eating meals in the restaurant feeling faint due to the lack of air. This hotel is no were near the standard that we have had at other shangri la hotels and we regretted not booking in at the rasa sayang next door which when we visited it seemed perfect for us. We loved Penang and all the people but we wish we had had a better hotel to finsh our honeymoon. "
- Travel date: 14th July 2008
Very dissapointed with our room we booke...
"Very dissapointed with our room we booked a superior room which do not have a balcony and had to pay an extra Â£120 for our 11 nights stay for a room upgrade that did, hotel reception not very friendly, also rats swimming in the swimming pool yuk. Holiday there was good but every thing has an extra 15% added on for tax and service charge. Sea full of jelly fish with dog mess on beach, hence wont be going back, too expensive alcohol same price as UK and dont forget your brolly it rained every night. Plus side to this holiday good sights and cheap food which is excellant tasting."
- Travel date: 19th May 2008
A lovely hotel, right on the beach, with...
"A lovely hotel, right on the beach, with lots of free form pools in the landscaped grounds. The grounds are kept spotless and are full of beautiful flowers, with birds in the trees overhead and even the odd monkey or two swinging its way though. Plenty of sun beds dotted around and a bar, serving drinks and snacks by the pools. The choice of restaurants in the two sister hotels is superb & the food of a very high standard at a reasonable price. Some of the restaurants are themed - eg Italian or Lebonese. The entertainment in the bar however, left much to be desired! The rooms are very spacious, each one having 2 king size beds. They were always kept clean and fully stocked. The staff are extremely helpful. There are a few small shops here but they only really provide basics and a few souvenirs but along the street in front of the hotel is a night market , which can provide souvenirs etc. Westerners at this hotel are definitely in the minority, the majority being of Arabic extraction, which adds to the exotic feel. A lovely hotel, with superb amenities in a good location."
- Travel date: 12th August 2006
Love this hotel
"This was our 4th visit to the Golden Sands & once again we were not disappointed. It is not the most luxurious hotel but very comfortable. The only fault is the rooms are a little bit tired however the staff are the most friendly & helpful you could find anywhere! Make sure you book a seaview room and request 4th floor or above - we never had any problems with the noise from the band. Dont miss:- 1. A burger for lunch at the pool bar 2. Dinner at the markets both across the road or same side of the road towards Holiday Inn - delicious local & western food for only a couple of dollars. 3. Breakfast or Dinner at Kampong Restaurant across the road great food 20 Ringit set menu 3 courses. Run by Andrew - very friendly and will give you some recommendations on places to see. 4. Fresh sandwiches for lunch ( yes - actual fresh bread - not toast - and salad! ) at the little restaurant in the alley next to the hotel - run by Andrews sister leeanne - it gets very hot in there during the day so order takeaway and pick it up 15 mins later. 5. The little bar on the beach next to the hotel - only serves beer & icecream but great view! 6. The BBQ buffet at Sigis in the hotel - best meal we have eaten anywhere in the world!"
- Travel date: 15th January 2006
A true Shangri-La!
"We moved from the disastrous Mutiara (looking at your reviews the aircon still has not been fixed!) to the Golden Sands to a family room-one queen bed, one single bed, one single sofa bed on level 1- great point blank views of the carpark and main road. But compared to the Mutiara still top notch and more 4.5 to 5 stars than a 4, at half the price. The carpet was new as was the furniture. Good quality stuff and nice touches like heated bathroom mirror and nice towels and slippers and free water. The Hotel combines old world charm with mod cons-ceiling fans no aircon in lobby give rustic colonial feel. Free tea and coffee and ice lemon tea at certain times. Food and service was good and the staff seemed happy and contented-some obviously with the hotel for decades. Even the general manager (from Columbia) joined in to help seat the guests for the breakfast crowd. he later hosted a free cocktail party on New Year's day. (Excellent Brekky actually with great choice and freshness). The pool side bar is great with 40-50% discounts from 5-7 PM! In fact the Golden Sands is I believe the second oldest in Batu Ferringhi when it was a mere two-storey house. The beach sports not connected to the hotel were dangerous-paragliding for the untrained-too near the kids on the beach-had to dodge the cords! Also underaged kids on motor bikes on the beach. Beach much cleaner than at Mutiara but diesel fumes and speedsters spoiled it a bit. I believe the govt. is trying to regulate these operators. The supervised pool provides great compensation though. Water Volley ball competitions and table tennis available. Big Tip- the oldest resort Lone Pine is right next door (to the right as you walk out of the main entrance) and accessible by beach. There has been some refurbishment-probably still would not stay there but certainly recommend the Hainanese Restaurant there-great traditional food-combination of colonial cuisine with Malayan favourites and Chinese (Hainan -an island province in South China -famous for its chefs and the Chicken Rice). Try such dishes as the Assam Fish curry, Curry Kapitan and chicken macaroni pie (where else in the world?!), salted fish with bean sprouts (best in the world), duck and yam claypot and special satay (no external sauce needed)-cheaper than the other resorts, twice as good, three times the character, attentive sincere service with mildly gentrified old world charm. Partly aircon, clean, fabulous new pool views. This is the closest to the essence of Penang. Part of a great experience at and around the Golden Sands."
- Travel date: 10th January 2006
"We stayed at the Shangri-la Golden Sands for a week in September of 2005 and had a wonderful relaxing time at this resort. We stayed in a seaview room with party of three and shared a double room. The room was nice and very clean, contrary to other reviews of this particular resorts standards of cleanliness. The balcony was reasonable in size and commanded a beautiful veiw of the lovely gardens, pools and the oceans. Our view was almost exactly the same as that pictured in the travel brochure that we had used when booking the resort, so we were impressed. The only negative aspect of the room is that the king bed was two double singles pushed together. However in general the room was very comfortable. We ate at the resort nearly every day. The food was fantastic. There is a great bar and grill in the garden between the pools and you can sunbake and order beautiful burgers, snacks, drinks and cocktails from the restaurant. The prices here were quite high, compared to what you can buy food for outside the hotel, but the convenience and service is too good to miss. We had a lovely buffet breakfast at the hotel, but most days got a nice breakfast just outside the hotel. We didn't eat in the main restaurant because the prices were a little high, but the positioning of the hotel is excellent and you can find a wide selection of restaurants right outside the hotel that serve cheap and clean meals. We are from Australia and as such we have very high standards when it comes to beaches, so we we considered the standard of the beach only average but nice none the less. On the beach outside the resort you can get a massage or go parasailing or participate in other beach activities for a small cost, so that is good. Though I do question the safety controls on some of these activites, they always appeared to be safe and well run. The night markets are directly outside this hotel so there are pleanty of wonderful bargains to be had for the keen shopper. If you want to book a tour you are better to do it at one of the small outlets up the main street as they will give you much better prices than the hotel. We are experienced travellers with high expectations and we found this resort to be very well run. We would reccommend it to anyone who was thinking of staying on Penang."
- Travel date: 7th January 2006
A Smokers Hotel
"As a regular visitor to Penang I waited 19 years to stay 14 nights at this hotel which I always thought it was the best. When we arrived we were supposed to get an upgrade to seaview as we booked early. They had a "hillview" room for us. This was not the hotels fault, we booked with Kuoni in June but they only made the booking with the hotel a week earlier when we were already mid-air on our way! The staff were very helpful and managed to get us a seaview room 3 days later. Only 2 out of 7 floors are non-smoking, this is why there is so much difficulty changing rooms. Furthermore the hotel "thoughfully" provide ashtrays in the non-smoking rooms for use on the balcony!!! Thus these semi-smoking rooms are in demand from smokers also. Thus you have smokers above and below you and possibly next door. Prior to our departure I contacted Kuoni at least 3 times to ask that our itenary states "sea-view room", they refused, they said the upgrade is done by the hotel so they don't state it in writing (even though it's part of the brochure deal). My travel agent was put on hold for over an hour by Kuoni, when I mentioned this to Kuoni they said "that's what they're paid for". Book direct, do not use Kuoni, they messed up our room even though we spent the previous month trying to get them to sort it out. The hotel is very noisey at night due to a resident band located in the open reception area. Guests reliasing they will not be able to sleep spend their time in the local bars. As a result we had a drunken argument in the next room at 02:30, they appeared to be on their honeymoon! We used to eat at this hotel on a regular basis until about 7 years ago when they changed their menu, it became very pretentious and quality dropped. Not a problem there are many excellent restaurants on the doorstep. If you want bacon with fresh eggs the place to go is "Happy Garden" down the other end of the beach. This is a lovely hotel well located with excellent staff. It's such a shame that it is spoilt by poor food, noise and the absence of non-smoking rooms."
- Travel date: 27th December 2005
Good with a few flaws, however the best option in the area
"I enjoyed my stay at this hotel. If you have not got a deluxe seaview room you will be disappointed with your accommodation. Also if you are on the first level the view is one of a wall. Between rooms it is quite noisy as well with the band beneath the rooms and no sound proofing. The lunch at the restaurant was terrible!!! Stay away... In addition the locals selling to their "friends" were rather annoying when attempting to relax by the pool as there was not enough security to handle all these men yelling "my friend!!! Jet Ski? Horse Riding?" The good things however far outway this. On arrival we were presented with discount coupons to the hotels restaurants i.e. 20%, 25% and 30% off. You are supplied with complimentary water every day in your room. The hotel pool and gym was nice. The hotel is very well located with many places to eat surrounding it and the night markets. My favourites were Mario's an Italian restaurant and a hawker centre inbetween the Golden Sands and Grand Plaza Parkroyal. My partner did not like the look of this hawker that opens at 7pm which I think is called "Summer Beach Hawker". However after forcing him to come he LOVED the satay and the Chinese food which was SO cheap and best tasting. This hotel appeared far better then any of the other options surrounding it. The hotel also have a complimentary shuttle bus that drops you at the Shangri-La in Georgetown and fethces you after you days outing. I would not stay more then a week. In addition breakfast was fantastic with a huge variety. You will enjoy your stay aslong as you are not expecting the usual Shang standard of 5 star! This is really a 4 star hotel and from the outside on the road looks 2 star but once you give the place a chance you are trully happy with your choice as I was."
- Travel date: 19th December 2005
"I enjoyed my honeymoon so much here that we've booked to go back next year! I didn't have any problems with the rooms here, as detailed in other review i had a room with a sea view - was fab. the staff are so friendly around the bar and restaurants - although the staff on reception are a little bit cold. The food is yummy here - tended to eat lunch there around the pool bar. went to breakfast across the road to a little restaurant that was great! and to the Hawkers market at night - i ate dinner for about Â£1 a night!!! fab! Also, the shopping at the markets is great! you can get your whole wardbrobe for the year at bargain prices!"
- Travel date: 7th December 2005
not recommended..terrible experience
"this is the worst hotel i booked because i left few hours after checking in.. 1. the hotel lobby doesnt have an air condition..and when we arrived it was really humid 2. about 45 minutes to check in 3. the room smelled..spider web near the curtains and on some corners..dust on the tables..hair in the tub..two queen beds attached to form a double king bed which the sheets did not fit..the balcony was very large and the view was nice..food from room service was below average. i didnt want to even sit on the bed..i felt that everything is dirty..i was surprised to find the hotel full of guests if this is the standard of the hotel..the kids club is fantastic..i couldnt wait in my room until my husband finds another hotel so i took my son to the club, the lady working in the club was very rude to me. the club was divided into two bunglows one for children below three yrs i think and the other one was for older kids. once i opened the door because i didnt know where to go the lady started yelling get out take your son to the other section. i didnt know what was in the other section. when they knew that we wanted to leave they offered us another room but it wasnt different from the one we had. i checked out from a westin hotel with their famous HEAVENLY bed collection in KL to come to penang and maybe thats why i was in shock..i compared between the to places which is impossible to do...after all this is my experience..maybe someone else liked this place..but i will definitely would not recommend it to anyone i know"
- Travel date: 1st November 2005
Top traveller tips for Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La
"Pay extra for a sea view room. Others have no balcony."
"Penany is great but the best hotel is Rasa Sayang "
Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La is also called
- Shangris La Golden Sands Hotel
- golden sands batu ferringhi