From the street, Tido Penang Hostel appears to be a modern multi-storey cookie-cutter chain hotel, but step into the air-con lobby, and the ambience is a tad more hipster than you may expect, with raw cement and traditional tile finishes, a hint to Penang’s heritage architecture.
Here you’ll find a terrific value hostel with clean, spacious and modern eight-bed mixed or female-only dorms and private doubles all with share facilities. Each floor as well as individual rooms are accessed via a key card with one floor reserved for female guests only.
Bright and airy dorms and privates are air-con cooled, with windows running the length of the rooms, curtained to keep street light and noise to a minimum. Styling is sleek and modern with polished cement throughout, brightened with geometric splashes of a single colour. Dorms are decked out with sturdy metal purpose-built bunks with individual lighting, international power sockets, a fold down laptop shelf and hanging rail, and sport very comfy mattresses and clean linen. Towels and blankets are included in the rate too. Safety rails on the top bunks look like they do the job, and lockable draws below the bunks will store most small to medium bags, but even with all guests bags on the floor, there’s still ample space.
Private doubles wouldn’t be out of place in a more upmarket hotel (except that there’s no ensuite), and add a lounge chair and side table as well as a tea kettle, but no fancy pants coffee, it’s just Nescafe sachets here. A shelf will keep your bags off the floor, and a lockable cupboard keeps valuables safe.
Share bathrooms don’t let the styling down and with modern amenities including hot-water showers and hairdryers and they were very clean and odour free when we checked, but reports are they can get a bit grotty at times.
Catch the lift to the top floor of the hostel, dedicated to a vast lounge/chill out area with views over Penang that looks more like a fancy bar than most hostel common rooms (although it’s BYO booze). Swinging chairs, a bunch of comfy lounges, books, magazines, board games and a huge TV will keep you entertained, and a spacious kitchen is at your disposal if you feel the need to cook (although there’s really no need as great inexpensive local food is minutes away). Tido Penang Hostel also provides a self service laundry with an iron too, to keep you looking as smart and clean as the hostel (no smelly backpackers here).
Although Tido Penang Hostel is located just outside the core UNESCO Heritage zone, it’s only 250 metres to Jalan Penang where there’s a free CAT bus around the city or it’s super quick to zip around town if you hire a bike from the hostel. Super friendly (to the point of gushing) staff are keen to please.
We think Tido Penang Hostel offers a good deal, the only thing to be aware of is as it’s so large with four floor of rooms, it tends to attract groups and single travellers may not find it all that social at times. Booking direct gets you two hours free bike hire, but you may find a better deal online. The Frame Guesthouse with is also worth checking out or for a more intimate hostel, Roommates on Lorong Chulia.
Address: 106 Jalan Argyll, Georgetown
T: (0425) 19 266;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º19'51.71" E, 5º25'17.34" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 60 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
Eight-bed mixed or female-only dorm
|35 ringgit||35 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||98 ringgit||98 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
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