Sep 12 2012

Great places to stay in Georgetown, Penang

Published by at 1:42 am under Penang


Georgetown, Penang, offers a great array of places to stay, from cheap backpacker haunts through to charming heritage hotels. Here are a few guesthouses and hotels in Georgetown that struck us as outstanding value for money.

Don't let the choice of hotels in Georgetown put you in a spin.

Don’t let the choice of hotels in Georgetown put you in a spin.

Under 50 ringgit
If you’re visiting Georgetown on a budget, dorms are the way to go. Most of the cheaper guesthouses offer them, generally priced around the 25-30 ringgit mark. We thought Old Penang Guesthouse had the best dorms overall, with solid and well kept wood-framed bunks and the hostel has a good social vibe to it. Guest Inn Muntri is another good option. If you’d prefer your own room, Oriental Guesthouse has good-sized double rooms with share bathroom starting at 35 ringgit — the bathrooms are not the best, but they make up for it with very friendly staff. If Oriental is too grungy for you, try Star Lodge up the road — it has the same friendly owners and is sparkly clean throughout.

At the Oriental -- better rooms lie upstairs.

At the Oriental — better rooms lie upstairs.

50-100 ringgit
Most of the backpacker options have double rooms with private or shared bathrooms priced in the flashpacker budget, but none of them struck us as terrific value — this is a market that isn’t very well-served in Georgetown. We stayed at Red Inn Heritage for a night and while it had a good social vibe with a large common area and good staff, the room was very noisy and the advertised WiFi was very unreliable. Overall we’d recommended spending an extra 20-30 ringgit and head up a price-bracket.

The ground-floor common area at Red Inn Heritage.

The ground-floor common area at Red Inn Heritage.

100-200 ringgit
Easily the best mid-priced option in Georgetown is Cintra Heritage House — especially if their opening prices stay so reasonable. Consider it an “entry level” heritage house; it’s a charming and affordable way to experience this style of accommodation in Penang without paying the earth. Rooms do catch some noise — from either the street or the mosque — we’d go with the street noise. This is a good option for those needing a bit of extra space for kids in the room. Especially friendly staff round out a solid deal.

Affordable heritage at Cintra.

Affordable heritage at Cintra.

200-300 ringgit
The Nordin Mews is, quite simply, astounding value for money. The rooms are decorated in a Chinese retro-style inspired by 1950s Asian cinema and fashion, and we found them to be utterly charming. There is a swimming pool on site (a rarity in Georgetown) along with a small cafe. The location is a shortish 15-minute walk from the heart of the heritage area, but it’s an interesting walk with plenty of snack-stops along the way. If this fits your budget, look no further. Check Agoda for a discounted rate.

Our room at Noordin Mews. Yes they are our grotty flip flops.

Our room at Noordin Mews. Yes they are our grotty flip flops. [Ed: Actually, they are mine. You borrowed them?!]

Over 300 ringgit
Georgetown is famous for its heritage houses and there are plenty of one- and two-room options scattered across town, but none (in our humble opinion) come close to the lovingly restored 23 Love Lane. The Oasis Guesthouse in a previous life, we took advantage of a special deal on Agodato snap up a very splurge-like single-night stay and it was worth every penny. Rooms are in both the main house and a couple of annexes and they are uniformly lovely. Really. If you’re looking for a romantic hideaway, you’ll be very, very satisfied here. The only downside is you’ll miss the rest of Georgetown as you’ll never want to leave your room.

23 Love Lane in the evening.

23 Love Lane in the evening.

Need more options?
You can see our full list of reviewed properties in Georgetown while Agoda has an extensive collection of hotels in Georgetown.

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3 Responses to “Great places to stay in Georgetown, Penang” ...

  1. gordon greyon 17 Sep 2012 at 12:32 pm

    heritage? would this be the same as putting ’boutique’ in front of the ‘hotel’ in thailand and laos? for what you describe as the price for ‘dorm’, this is a far cry from any bargain. step up to your description at oriental and admittedly by you it’s not value. go a step further and you have ‘heritage’ and i stay in a gorgeous, incredible hotel in nong khai thailand for one quarter the price and have the lovely mekong a 3 minute walk away, and that hotel i am speaking of is 5 star service, magnificent gardens, 5 star clean and concierge style service, magnificent pool that no one uses but myself most the time; at a true Colonial hotel with an ancient and operating ‘cord board’ telephone operator system. and i pay 375 baht a nite and this is no joke. it begs the rhetorical question as to what motivates the traveler? i’ll choose value in a beautiful sublime setting any day, and repeat my visit often instead of the ‘grind’ of, ‘good social vibe’ and dorm rooms!

  2. Katieon 19 Sep 2012 at 6:35 am

    We stayed at Moon Tree 47 (on Muntri – see what they did there!) which was just fantastic for vintage lovers. In some ways it’s basic – no air con (but that would ruin the aesthetic of the beautifully restored tall ceilings) and with the upstairs rooms sharing the outside toilet and shower on the roof (but this was for only a couple of room and with washstands out there and a great ambience as the sun sets, this could definitely been seen as adding to the experience). The rooms and downstairs have some nice specimens of collectible furniture – comfy, leather deco chairs etc.
    Downstairs is jam pact with collectibles – old photos, luggage, hats, crocker, games – all sorts!!
    As a retro lover – I adored it and even though struggled with the heat in Georgetown – we stayed much longer than expected because of this guesthouse and other vintage gems about town.
    There’s a recently opened (when we were there back in March) vintage toy museum in the middle of town which was v good.
    Prices in Georgetown are just simply higher than other places, such as Thailand but then there are lots of places that are more expensive. I think a trip to Georgetown is definitely worth it – it’s definitely got it’s own unique thing going on.

  3. Lynetteon 31 Jul 2014 at 1:51 am

    My sister and I stayed at MoonTree 47 in July 2014. It is one of the best guesthouses I have ever stayed in. It has atmosphere in abundance and the decor is funky. The cafe and garden area are just lovely. Coffee and food in the cafe are very good. The host was so welcoming and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for him – he was cheerful, friendly and so concerned to make us comfortable. I didn’t want to leave! I would book this place again if I came to Georgetown and would highly recommend it to the budget traveller looking for quirkiness and comfort.

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