Our pick of the best
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 30th August, 2014.