Hey guys! DoubleTree by Hilton Penang, the brand’s first DoubleTree resort on the island, has finally opened, and I was privileged to be invited for a media review of the place! 🙂
We took a bus from Hilton KL which departed an hour late because some members of the media had no respect for other people’s time, so it was well in the evening when we finally pulled into the resort’s courtyard.
Located on the northern shores of Penang near Batu Ferringhi, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang sits on what was once the Hydro Hotel, but has been completely revamped and refurbished. The lobby was wide and spacious, with rattan chairs and cushions to lounge on, Peranakan-inspired tiles and a gorgeous view of the sea. We were then welcomed with their freshly baked, signature warm cookie.
Adjourning to the Axis Lounge for tea.
Evening view from lounge balcony. Guests can walk over to a small beach via pedestrian bridge. They do have warning signs about jellyfish though so swim at your own risk.
Was super tired after the long bus ride and gladly went to freshen up in my room, where I’d be staying for two nights. It was nice, cosy and pretty spacious, with all the amenities you’d expect from a DoubleTree: comfy, fluffy bed, plenty of soft pillows, warm duvet, TV channels aplenty, coffee and tea making facilities, and bathrobes (!)
I liked the decor of the room which had lots of Peranakan-inspired details – harkening to Penang’s rich culture and heritage, like this tiled wall decoration.
Welcome chocolates and cookies.
View from balcony, which faced a housing area and some condos, with a sliver of sea visible on the right.
Chairs to chill out on. Not in the daytime though as the room seemed to be facing the sun directly during the evening and it was super hot.
Toilet was clean, although I was expecting a bathtub.
Crabtree and Evelyn bath products.
(Above) children’s pool
When it was dinnertime, we made our way downstairs to the resort’s restaurant, Makan Kitchen.
Another tribute to Penang’s colourful art and culture scene: street murals.
Dinner was an interesting showcase of local flavours with a twist. Our starter consisted of lobster bergedil with acar nanas, duck pie tee cup and tandoori salmon roulade on masala kulcha with Indian chutney. My favourite was the duck pie tee, which had a crunchy and crisp pastry skin coupled with succulent, slightly gamey duck on the inside.
Also enjoyed my oxtail terrine Infused with Chinese Herbal Soup. The rich flavour of the oxtail terrine contrasted nicely with the light, savoury broth.
For mains, Briyani flavoured polenta cake with Kadai Lamb Shank, Steam Cod fish with signature nyonya turmeric gravy and authentic roasted percik quail with white percik sauce. The percik had a strong gamey taste which I think some people would find unpleasant. The lamb and polenta cake was rich and a little overwhelming, but the fish was nice, tangy and appetising.
The dessert of Peranakan Cha Cha cheesecake was beautifully presented like a work of art. The cake was not too dense and paired well with all the other elements like candied fruit, white chocolate and spun sugar on the plate.
I felt like I could walk off the calories after the meal, so a bunch of us went to Batu Feringghi market, about a five minute drive away.
There’s nothing much to see at the market, unless you’re keen on shopping for knock off goods, bags, cheap clothes, shoes and souvenirs. It reminded me a lot of Petaling Street, down to the foreign vendors.
A reflexology center called Desire. Not dodgy at all, nope.
Well at least there were some Instagram-able places to take pictures at 😀
We ended up sitting at the Starbucks for an hour (drinking coffee… ie more calories lol) before heading back to the resort.
More in the next post! 🙂