Rise and shine, folks! It’s our second day at DoubleTree by Hilton Penang, and you know what they say about great mornings – it always starts with a great breakfast.
Makan Kitchen is DoubleTree’s signature restaurant found at all of their hotels in Malaysia, and it serves mainly authentic Malaysian fare. The dining area is spacious, with plenty of seats and an alfresco dining area with views of the pool.
Breakfast featured the usual Malaysian favourites like roti canai, nasi lemak, char koay teow (wok fried glass noodles) and dimsum, but they also had a small selection of Western items like chicken and beef sausages, cold cuts and toast.
Breakfast of champions.
It was time for the official opening ceremony. The VIPs were welcomed with an energetic drum performance at the resort’s entrance.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (centre) and senior management of DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, accompanied by the brand’s Cookie mascot.
We then went on a tour of the resort’s facilities.
(Above) the children’s pool, complete with slides and water fountains. In the background is the bridge leading to the beach across the road.
The resort prides itself in catering for families. Just next to the pool is the bright and cheerful-looking Kids Club, where the little ones can take part in activities, games and classes to keep them occupied while mom and dad chill out. Don’t worry – there is a member of staff on site to make sure things don’t get rowdy.
Business travelers can utilise the quiet space near the Axis Lounge to do some work or surf the internet, if they ever need a break from being cooped up in the rooms.
The resort has 316 rooms and suites in total – but the grandest has got to be their King Suites, available in one or two bedroom configurations. The one that we toured had a giant (very comfy looking) king-sized bed, a lounge bed for an extra guest, a separate living area, kitchenette and a swinging TV in the middle (so you can turn it to either the living area/the bed. Pretty neat!)
Bathroom had a bathtub with a clear window.
Seaview from the terrace. The terrace is large enough to fit a dining table for six with room to spare. Great for parties.
For all the fitness enthusiasts, being on holiday doesn’t mean you have to give up on your routine, as the resort has a well-equipped gym – with a gorgeous sea view to boot.
Took a dip in the pool in the afternoon. I liked that they had these large shaded cabanas where you can just chill and lounge around with a book and a drink. There was a sandy area with beach chairs as well.
Before dinner, also paid a visit to the spa! It feels exclusive and tranquil.
Very large room, complete with shower and toilet. The spa faces the sea, which you can catch glimpses of through the bamboo shutters. However, it is also close to the children’s pool, so you will hear children giggling and splashing throughout the spa session. I suggest coming in the afternoon when people are less likely to be outside due to the heat.
Items to pamper yourself.
My massage session lasted just over an hour. Before going in, they ask you about your strength preferences (how hard you want the masseuse to go) and any injuries that you may have. My therapist was good and professional, and really loosened up the tight knots I had in my shoulders.
Finished off with a spot of warm ginger tea.
Dinner time at Makan Kitchen. I felt like they could do with a bit more variety, but if you’re tired after a long day and don’t want take a bus to Georgetown or Gurney Drive, the place offers typical Penang street food (like assam laksa, curry mee) in a nice and comfortable setting. I really enjoyed the pasembur (below)!
All in all, DoubleTree by Hilton Penang is well catered to families and leisure travelers. Although their location is a wee bit aways from the central hub of Georgetown, it’s still easy to get there via free bus services provided by the hotel. Even if you’re not doing any sightseeing, it’s nice to chill around the hotel and enjoy its facilities, from the gym and spa to the pool. Also, don’t forget to check out the TeddyVille Museum, located within the resort.
Rooms average about RM300 for a one night’s stay.