Location: Penang, Malaysia
Editor’s note: If you are looking for a hotel in Penang, Esther C shares with us her review of the popular Hard Rock Hotel Penang. Plus! Check out highlights of her recent trip to Penang, with a mini-guide of what to do over 3-days in Penang with the kids.
We went on a three-day, two-night holiday, with the kids to the island of Penang, back in October 2014. My mum, our helper, our two boys and us – that’s 4 adults and 2 kids in our party.
(Editor’s note: Another Malaysian Island to consider for that holiday – Langkawi. Check out JJ’s travel story for some inspiration!)
One of our key considerations for the trip was where to stay. There are two popular areas for hotels in Penang – one at the beach area at Batu Ferranghi, the other would be Georgetown, the city area. You need to decide which is a preferable base for the family, as travelling from one area to the other takes about an hour by car. You don’t want to be travelling up and down extensively.
We decided that we would stay at the beach area, and in particular, at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang.
The hotel comes highly recommended for a family vacation. And after our stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang, we could totally understand why!
For our party of 4 adults and 2 kids, we booked two interconnecting Deluxe Room with Hill View at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang. This was a good size for all of us, and we had enough room for our group.
A cool feature: there’s free movies including cartoons in room – great for entertaining the kids while we are busy packing and unpacking.
Hard Rock Hotel Penang, decorated to the theme of rock and roll, is adorned with pictures of rock stars and memorabilia. The Fab 4 are literally everywhere, and the king resides in the toilet 😉
There are displays of costumes and guitars throughout the hotel – both my boys love guitars!
There was even a guitar mailbox in the lobby area!
Hard Rock Hotel Penang’s pool was definitely the highlight for our family – this was a super amazing pool and we had SO much fun! We were impressed by the pool with the slides. There are a variety of slides, some suited for young kids like mine and others for older kids and adults too.
The Kids’ Club at Hard Rock Hotel Penang looked good and was fun too! But with our itinerary, the boys only had a short time to play with the toys and facilities there, on our day of departure. A good place for little tots defintely.
Hard Rock Hotel Penang also had part of the Batu Ferringhi beach cordoned off for hotel guests’ exclusive use. The beach club here was pretty comprehensive, and offers a variety of beach activities such as jet ski, para sailing, horse riding etc. We went horseback riding on the beach – which was a first for us. It was a memorable experience.
(Editor’s note: Club Med Cherating offers up a private beach front too, over at the Eastern Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, near the town of Cherating. Yati shares her review of the resort, in both peak and monsoon seasons with us here.)
To get around Penang and visit other sights, we hired a driver for the trip as it’s easier to get by for our group. Taxis are quite hard to flag there and buses might be inconvenient for parents with kids. We’d highly recommend this as it makes it much easier to travel around.
Arrived via afternoon flight. Check in at Hard Rock Hotel Penang, explore the hotel and enjoy the pool; then to the nearby night market for dinner.
Took the Vehicular up to Penang Hill – lovely views up there! Explore Georgetown, a Unesco Heritage Town and its wall murals. Visited Gurney drive for food and check out the Pinang Peranakan Mansion.
(Editor’s note: For more food recommendation on where and what to eat when in Penang, check out Papa Fishso’s recommendations too!)
Beach time back at the private beach at Hard Rock Hotel Penang in the morning, l’il rock Kids Club time for the boys. After checking out, our driver took us to visit the Butterfly Park and Toys Museum. Finally, shopping at the mall besides the airport before flying home.
(Editor’s note: Melaka, further down south in Malaysia, offers up a Unesco Heritage Site, Jonker Street for more exploration. Ling Tan spent 27 hours in Melaka – check out her itinerary too.)
I would recommend the Pinang Peranakan Mansion to adults visiting Penang as it was really interesting. There will be an ongoing guide to tell you about the history of the mansion the museum is built in, and explain about the lifestyle of the Penang Nonyas.
Not that the kids don’t enjoy it – they really don’t understand much of what’s going on.
Editor’s note: The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is located at 29, Church Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
With the kids, the Butterfly Farm was a hit – they were intrigued with the various types of butterflies and we were given the opportunity to free young butterflies too.
Editor’s note: The Butterfly Farm is currently closed for renovation and will be reopened to public in December 2015.
We also enjoyed exploring Georgetown. This Unesco World Heritage old town is charming, with lots of small shops to explore in the alleys. Quite a number of things to see too, such as the wall murals.
(Editor’s note: Amaida wandered the streets of Ipoh and was pleasantly surprised that the Old Town of Ipoh is now adorned with their own wall murals too – head over to her review for a view!)
Do note that it can be very hot when visiting the Georgetown and the wall murals, and an umbrella is a must have while visiting, especially if you intend to spend more time hunting down the many paintings!
Editor’s note: Have you stayed at Hard Rock Hotel Penang? Would you recommend it as highly as Esther C did? What’s your favourite thing to do with the kids in Penang? Do you have a driver you’d recommend to our community? Share with us in the comments, or drop us a review here. We’d love to hear from you too.