Trip Report by Linda September 2000
Hi, Just thought I would write a quick note about a holiday in Penang I just took with my husband and two children. First three nights were spent at the Gurney Hotel. Great two bedroom suite with buffet breakfast included. Had a problem with a toilet- the plumbing wasn't working properly and the toilet was gurgling and bubbling away all day, but because we had two bathrooms, we shut the door on this one. Restaurants within the hotel were reasonably priced, and the pool area on the seventh floor was spectacular. Fantastic kids pool with waterfalls, slides and lots of shade cloth to keep the sun out. Separate adults pool had beautiful ocean and city views.
The next week we stayed at the Golden Sands. Really disappointed that the only rooms which would accommodate a family did not have a balcony. We were squashed into one room, which was tired and in need of redurbishment. Food in the hotel was ridiculously priced (33rm for continental breakfast for one person), and we ate out most of the time. Pools and gardens were really nice, but the kid's slide was out of action. Lucky we were able to use the Rasa Sayang pool with the slide, so this kept our children happy. The kid's club was also a little disappointing, as there was a lot of scheduled free time and some of the interesting activities (like archery)only lasted for ten or fifteen minutes, with the rest of the hour free. Our eldest child spent most of his time with us and our three year old, who was too young for the club. Whilst in Penang, we visited the Parkroyal (at 9pm) and the kid's club was full of happy children engaged in a variety of activities. I would definitely stay there next time, and would reccomend this hotel for anyone with children.
We ate regularly at the Longbeach Cafe (already mentioned on this site) and loved the food and the prices. Would go back to Penang just for the food. Someone reported on this cafe (more a group of hawker's stalls) and commented on slow service, but we never found any delay with service. We visited the botanical gardens, butterfly farm and snake temple - all were thoroughly enjoyed by our kids as well as us. Gave the funicular railway a miss as other tourists relayed stories of long queues to get on. We also enjoyed the museum and some of the quaint old shops in Georgetown. Found taxis expensive, and hated the Penang Snowland on the mainland - not at all what it was advertised to be. Anyway, all in all, we had a fantastic time and hope this honest information comes in handy to someone. Thanks to Kayes for the useful tips we have found on this site, Linda.