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Reviews summary

4
Good
3138 reviews
Brilliant
1328
Good
1187
Average
416
Poor
125
Awful
82

13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

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1
Awful
by
Reviewed 29th December 2008

"Please read this review before booking this hotel. We booked with Thomsons thinking this would be a nice hotel. What a big mistake. When we arrived after a 15 hour trip we had to wait 3 hours in winter clothing in 30c heat, before we were given our room keys. The room we book was meant to have hillside view, That was a joke it looked right up the main high street. We went for a relaxing trip and got no sleep, due to listening to traffic all night and howling mosque every morning at 5am. When we complained on the 1st night at 4:30am the hotel didnt want to no unless we were prepared to paid another £700 for an upgrade for the week, which we could have done online for an extra £100 when booking. We tried to complain to the rep, and even thomsons and had no look. They just didnt want to know. This hotel is a rip off selling a bowl of chips for £7 and a pint of beer for more than £8. If you are unlucky enough to stay at this hotel eat out and buy drinks from the supermarkets. The main street is great for shopping and eating, The food is really good. This hotel is advertised as a 5 star, and is not even a 4. The sea is grey and full of jellyfish not like the photos show. We have spent time writing this review, in the hope we have saved somebody from having a horrible holiday like us. Go thailand instead. Far better quality and value. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 29th December 2008

Lovely hotel - our room was on the 7th f...

4
Good
by
Reviewed 15th May 2007

"Lovely hotel - our room was on the 7th floor, with a balcony overlooking the sea. The pool was really pleasant, which was just as well as it is not safe to swim in the sea along the coast of Batu Ferrenghi (or much of Malaysia, so I gather). We ate breakfast in the hotel which was very good, although quite busy at certain times when we had to eat in their indoor restaurant rather than outside in the garden area. The staff were very pleasant and courteous. No complaints at all. The night market was good - lots of fake perfumes / watches and the like, but a good atmosphere -easy to spend a couple of hours browsing or bartering with the stallholders. Our one regret is that we arrived two days before Chinese New Year. We thought this would be a good time to go but the Chinese community (which is something like 60% of the population) celebrate by spending time with their families, which means that Chinese-run shops and restaurants are closed for at least 4 days and all the tourist attractions and many of the remaining restaurants are full of Chinese families enjoying the holiday! Nevertheless, we had a great time - visiting restaurants we would probably never have tried had there been more open. We would particularly recommend a visit to Georgetown and dinner at the Opera restaurant, which is not far from the E&O hotel (also worth a visit) or the Pintail restaurant which serves organic food."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 15th May 2007

Great hotel right in the middle of the m...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 17th March 2007

"Great hotel right in the middle of the main street. Although this hotel is actually 4 star (and I would agree at that, definitely not 5 star) the hotel added an extra star when the Shangri la and the other 5 star hotel, the intercontinental was closed and undergoing renovations. Staff friendly especially the pool staff (Malaysians generally are), didn't have anything to do with the bar staff as the drinks were £2.50 for a coke, so just pop over the road to the local shop and get one for 40p! Now the other 5 star hotels are finished they may have brought their prices back down to what they used to be. The pools are the best thing about this hotel they were as warm as a bath, nothing is more annoying then when you travel very far to a very hot place with a beautiful pool and you can't swim because the pool it tooooo cold. Not an awful lot do to during the day, it was too hot just relax in the pool. The rooms and nice and spacious, kingsize bed single pull out and a cot, but no bath (we had a family deluxe). Food at breakfast good they also offer freshly squeezed juices. You must visit the Hawker centre just down the road for dinner and get the superb chicken satay - fantastic experience! Also is a must is the Italian restaurant Marios - first class!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 17th March 2007

Great for Families - will recommend to anyone.

3
Average
by
Reviewed 24th December 2012

"We stayed for 7 nights in total and this is the second trip to Penang. You couldn't ask for a hotel with any more facilities. Kids Klub will look after the kids - for free. We travelled in a large group and I got to see most of the room types - they were all good. Centrally located to watersports and nightmarkets. Pool is fantastic. Staff very friendly. Night buffets at the Tamerin Restaurant a little pricey but well worth it. Drinks are too expensive but you cannot escape this when you dine at the hotel. All in all - I'll be back."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 16th April 2006

Pleasant hotel - great rooms - pricey food...

4
Good
by
Reviewed 18th November 2012

"I decided to stay in Batu Ferrenghi on my return trip to Penang, just to compare the difference from the quieter end at Tanjung Bungah. On the recommendation of a friend and picking the middle option out of the three hotels I was offered on my short break package, we stayed for four nights in a standard hillview room (where we did still actually get a diagonal view of the sea) and was pleased in general with the hotel. The area was a little busier than Tanjung Bungah, but it was still peaceful at night and it was a lot easier getting out to some action at night. The room was tastefully decorated, but the mood lighting made it seem a bit dark at night. The bathroom was spacious and lavishly furnished. Everything was clean inside the room, but there were some unpleasant smells in the corridors and lift lobby at various times of the day that was disconcerting. Staff at the hotel were always friendly, courteous and helpful, although the shuttle bus driver didn't come back to pick us up again when he said he would. Taxis are plentiful and cheap though, so it's not a problem. The open plan design of the lobby area meant that it did get hot and stuffy whilst waiting there for taxis etc. The beach and pool areas were clean and well maintained and not too crowded, albeit we were there in a quiet spell. The hotel shop is a little hidden away, but it stocks all the essentials that you might need. For some reason, bottled water is very expensive there though (even lychee juice was cheaper), so if you're out and about, buy your water elsewhere before you return to the hotel. The restaurants in the hotel are very expensive compared to the other eateries available in Penang. We had one meal in the hotel (just for convenience more than anything else) and I resented paying UK prices for it. My tip would definitely be to head out to the local food places in the area and pay much less for better food. One recommendation for a great evening meal is the Eden seafood village, 5 mins walk away, where you select your own live seafood and they cook it for you straight away. Delicious, unique and not too expensive. Location wise, the hotel is great for the beach (in the back garden), about 20 minutes by taxi from Gurney Plaza (Penang's premier shopping mall), 30 minutes from Georgetown and bang in the middle of the Batu Ferrenghi night market. For sightseeing, as there were four of us, we hired a taxi for RM 35 an hour for the day and did a round island tour. The driver will take you where you want to go and hang around so you don't have to stick to set times or locations and you can tailor your own trip to how you want it."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 25th March 2006

Grand Plaza - great stay

3
Average
by
Reviewed 19th December 2012

"We stayed at this hotel for 10th days up to end of Jan 06. Everyone has they own expectations. So, as I do read all the reviews on this site when I travel, it is only fair I give mine. Yes, the air conditioning is noisy but then we have gone for a hot weather holiday and don’t want to be too cold and anyway, I did not spend that much time in the room. Lot of people bargain on hoping for a free or a cheaper upgrade and are often disappointed. You are better off with a full sea view room and is worth paying the little extra upfront as it is well worth it. When booking, you could negotiate a better upgrade rate. If your budget stretches further, go for the Palm Suites which are even better. Side sea views or partial sea view rooms are just that so either don’t bother or put up with them. This is probably the same with all the other hotels and some were much too big for my liking. Please note though that the sun sets to the left of the hotel overlooking the beach so if you are after sunsets make you ask for a room on the right hand side. The swimming pool was fine. We stayed clear of the ones with the slides as just wanted to have a bit of quiet. The pool area did get a bit congested unless you did the usual thing about getting up at the crack of dawn and reserving your loungers!! Personally, we liked to go for a little walk after breakfast, then have a snooze where-ever we found loungers in the garden area. We would then go swimming later in the afternoon when it was much quieter and nicer!! However, my greatest gripe was that these loungers did not have a mattress on it as other five star hotels would provide and most annoying was that there were no sun parasols at all at this resort – I have never been on a beach holiday where there are no sun parasols!! I have seen much better beaches and as has been described, this beach is not spectacular. It was clean and good to go for a walk on. I agree with all the comments on the Tiffin restaurant – nice but too expensive. Also price of drinks at the hotel are a bit expensive. The settings at the hotel are much nicer but it was a shame that because of this, people left the hotel in the evenings to go elsewhere. We tried other hotels and found the same to be the case. The breakfasts were lovely – everything there and open until 11.00 am so no faults here. There was complimentary water in the rooms and we did bring beers, juices and soft drinks from outside and put them in the fridge. I had caught a bit of a cold on my way to Penang and had to see the duty doctor. I was prescribed and sold some medicine which was perfect and I was better in no time – the same drugs would have cost me about GBP22 and I paid 30 MR!! We did try most of the cuisine and most restaurants were ok – we did visit the Longbeach hawker stall and could not stay away… Definitely worth going there. Overall, we had a lovely holiday."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 19th March 2006

Don't drink the water!

1
Awful
by
Reviewed 6th December 2012

"I will try to be as constructive as possible bearing in mind that I was forced to leave earlier than planned. The good points; Nice reception, open planned and quite inviting with loads of places to lounge & relax. A seemingly good choice of restaurants, (Tiffins very pricey though!) Nice Gym and a pretty good beach side location. Affable Customer Services Manager, the same cannot be said about the reception staff. The bad points; Air conditioning did not work, constantly on freezing! Loud banging in the afternoon so could not sleep (I was on holiday after all). Nice pool but "bits & pieces", floating around, proberbly humen! Superior Side Sea view which was anything but! And when I asked about a change of room I was asked to pay an extra 250.00 MR on top of what I had already paid, meaning...The upgraded room was going to cost me more than 115.00 GBP per night. This was daft and so I cancelled the remaining 5 nights through WOTIF (no charge and no problem, brilliant service!) and moved to the Shangri-La in Penang. THe Horizon Club part of the Hotel is a million miles from the Park Royal and believe it or not, the room is cheaper! Oh and let's not forget about the water! How can ANY hotel charge 17 MR for a SMALL bottle of Evien water? I paid less at the Mandarian Oriental in KL and that really is a five star hotel in every sense. Sadly, for me the truth was that the Hotel was inadequate, the beach was awful, (you can't swim because of the Jellyfish). The nightlife was also poor as there were no clubs to speak of and few standalone bars. The overall ambience seemed both crowded and congested. In a phrase, not what I had expected! Accordingly, I've moved things forward and I leave for Phuket a week earlier than planned, nuff said really! Regards Phil."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 22nd February 2006

Terrible resort. Overpriced, crowded, hopeless facilities

1
Awful
by
Reviewed 24th December 2012

"Stayed at the Grand Plaza Park Royal for three nights in Feb 2006. This resort has very little to recommend it. It is overpriced and overcroweded. First problem; the false advertising! Under no circumstances expect to get a 'sea view' when you book a 'side sea view room'. We did this, only to arrive and find our 'side sea view' consisted of a noisy view of the car park and street with a balcony you couldn't sit on because the whole street can see you. The 'sea view' was only to be had if you craned your neck around the corner while leaning off the balcony. We asked to be upgraded to a real sea view, and offered to pay what we would have paid if we'd originally booked a full sea view room through our travel agent. Alas; the hotel said, no, we would have to pay THREE TIMES what we would have paid originally through the agent for the upgraded room. We gave in and moved room, forking out the extra to do so to avoid a ruined holiday. Then we discovered the pool; or lack of it. Much smaller than it looks in the promotional photo. Don't be fooled. And the only areas to laze on the sun lounges are small patches of grass. There were never enough sun lounges to go around so many guests miss out on even that small luxury. The beach is pretty much unswimmable so no where to sit by the hotel pool basically means there is nowhere to spend your 'beachside resort holiday time' other than sitting in the restaurant or your room. When we did get a sun lounge, we were squeezed in like sardines -there was no space to sit quietly and contemplate the view - so little space and some 600 plus hotel rooms whose guests are competing for maybe 100 lounges in the space maybe 100mtrs square. To make matters worse, come the weekend, the resort had rented out about 50% of the available grounds (where the sun lounges were already crowded in) to a Malaysian school group, a corporate annual dinner, and a rich child's birthday party (at the same time - different sections of the resort's garden). These sections of the resort were completly cordoned off. That meant that there were NO available places to sit for day 3 of our 3 day holdiday. These were public areas of the resort, not special areas for renting out. We felt this was a complete rip off; at close to $200 Australian dollars a night; i would expect that we have already paid to use those facilities; and that its simply double dipping on the part of the resort to rent them out and cordon them off from guests. Oh yes; and the food / alchohol is a rip off. They ban you from bringing in outside food and drink to the resort but then charge you 35 ringit for a pint of beer. (that is about $13 Australian dollars, or 6 UK Pounds). You can buy the very same beer at a local restaurant literally next door for 13 Ringit - about $4 australian dollars (2 pounds). Basically; a disaster. the rooms were nice, but that's about it. A ruined holiday thanks to this terrible excuse for a resort."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 19th February 2006

Good quality 4* hotel

4
Good
by
Reviewed 19th December 2012

"We stayed here for 14 nights at the beginning of January. We stayed in a superior side sea view room. We tried to upgrade to a full seaview room with a balcony but the hotel was full. The hotel rooms at the front of the hotel are definately worth paying abit extra for. The rooms themselves were spacious and had good quality furnishings. We ate breakkfast most days in the Tiffins restaurants which was located on the 2nd floor. We found this a much better place to have breakfast as it was alot smaller restaurant than the Tamarid breakfast room on the ground floor. You were giving better service and it was not as crowded. There was a good choice, they even cooked things especially for you. We did eat in the hotel a few times but it is expensive compared to outside. Do have a meal in the Tiffins restaurant, it is expensive but the food and service you receive is second to none. We got stung with the drinks prices the first time we ate in Tiffins. We paid £8 for a glass of house wine which is very expensive. if you go there make sure you have a caeser salad, they make it in front of you. We did also have a few nights in the lobby area watching the live singers, they were very good, a warning though if you sing along they make you sing on your own, very embarrassing if you sound like a whining cat. The pools are very nice and give good shade, as it does get very hot. We sat in the garden areas most days which was more spacious and quieter than around the pool. The food and drinks around the pool are 3 times more expensive than outside the hotel so beware. We had 2 cokes and 1 small salad one lunch time and it cost us £12. We had quite a few massages at the hotel which were very good, high pressure though so not for the faint hearted. The gym was also good and well equipped, but very hot, 30 mins is equivilant to 2 hours back home. We did eat outside the hotel quite a few times but the restaurants weren't as good quality as we thought they would be. There was some good ones but you had to have a good look around. We found the best ones were to the left of the hotel, up near the Golden Sands Hotel. Try Fantasy, and the bar next door, Bella Italia which is right at the end of the strip. don't go to the SHIP is very very bad. We found that Batu ferrengi was quite run down, compared to other areas of Penang. The beach is very nice, the night market is good for bargains but it does get on your nerves after abit, you have to walk through the market every night as it is on the pavement, it is too dangerous to walk on the road. We did quite alot of trips whilst we were there: BBQ on Monkey Beach, round the island tour, snake temple, Georgetown,spice garden. We would not really recommend any. The only thing that was really good was the coral island trip to Langawi, that was very good. We just did the trip to the beach not the floating raft. The snokellimg is amazing. If you want some clothes making try the tailor opposite the hotel next to the little grocery shop, the owner usually hangs around the taxi rank. We had 3 pairs of trousers made which were excellent. Overall we did have a nice holiday, the hotel and weather was nice. If your looking for a tropical, pretty destination i would not recommend Penang, there is far pretty places. We prefer Thailand over Penang, there is far more to do and it is alot cheaper."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 6th February 2006

Excellent but Very Expensive

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 7th November 2012

"2 week holiday with Tradewinds. KL, Singapore and Grand Plaza for 6 nights. Excellent hotel, and attention to detail. We were upgraded to a family room but only a side sea view. Room was very large, tastefully decorated and spotless. Our pool was very attractive and a perfect temperature. Plenty of sunbeds and plenty of room around the pool/grounds. Only downside was the cost of eating and drinking. Lager was £6 a pint and coffee £4, as an example. Therefore it was empty in the lounge bar at night which was a pity as the setting was lovely and always live music, but the band just sung to themselve! Plent of bars and restaurants around and lager was £1.25 a pint. Very good breakfast and snacks too. An excellent Holiday"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 31st January 2006

Very Happy with Our Choice

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 7th November 2012

"We stayed here for 10 nights. We are a family of 5 - 2 adults and three children 9,6,4. We booked a family room which consisted of a king size bed, 2 singles and we requested a further bed - supplied FOC. We still had plenty of room to move around and the bathroom massive. This is a good quality hotel for the price. We were very well looked after and made to feel welcome and very comfortable. The pools and gardens are magnificent and the beach is clean and very pretty. We used the Kids Club on a few occasions and it was very clean, well run with caring staff. The lifequards by the pool are aways happy to start up a game of water polo with the guests. There are plenty of water sports , tennis, tours etc but it is also a great place to relax - pretty much something for everyone depending on how you are feeling. The garden and pools (2 x large) are expansive so you don't feel crowded at all. I think this is one of the best hotels on the Batu Ferringhi strip (and we checked out a few for future reference). There are so many fantastic restaurants and hawker centres located close by so go and try the local fare, for which Penang is renowned. The night markets are good for a wander after dinner. I would highly recommend this resort for families. Would love to come back one day."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 26th January 2006

LOved the Grand PLaza Park Royal

4
Good
by
Reviewed 18th November 2012

"We spent 10 nights over Xmas and New Year and had a fabulous time.It was very festive with Xmas Trees etc and staff made a fuss of everyone and were really genuine.We had a deluxe seaview room on 3rd floor with balcony plus a garden terrace with sun loungers(3rd floor)Rooms were large,modern and nicely furnished, huge bed and living area. It was spotlessly clean.Pool area was nice and lovely gardens.Beach in front of gardens.Night market (excellent copy bargains) right outside the hotel.The hotel staff were all really friendly and nothing too much trouble.Only downside is that drinks in the hotel were very expensive ,so we always drank in one of nearby bars.Other guests also commented on the high hotel prices and bar area was always very quiet, so hopefully they will listen and review costs.We were room only so other than a couple of breakfasts in the hotel (very good 65 ringits for 2) ate out locally, there are numerous bars and restaurants close by all offering very good value for money with lovely staff.Our favourite was Marios (opp Golden Sands) 2 years ago we stayed in the Golden Sands, which we enjoyed very much,but we chose the Park Royal this time as Xmas/New Year supplements for Golden Sands were extortionate but found the rooms were actually much nicer in the Park Royal although we preferred the pool area at Golden Sands. All in all an excellent holiday and would certainly recommend the Park Royal to anyone thinking of staying in Penang."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 18th January 2006
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