When we decided to visit Penang there was one area that I knew we had to stay in – Georgetown. Home of Penang’s famous street art and possibly even more famous food culture, Georgetown really is the heart and soul of Penang. While incredible, unique and brimming with places to visit, Georgetown is extremely busy so when looking at accommodation options there were a few things we needed to consider for our stay in Penang with kids. We wanted somewhere central, where we could easily walk to places and also catch public transport when needed. We wanted somewhere not too busy and noisy and somewhere we felt safe, secure and comfortable. Well, we found all of that and more at Areca Hotel Penang.
Areca Hotel Penang is a new hotel which only opened in March of this year. While the hotel itself is new, the building dates back to the early 1900s and was originally 12 adjoining shop houses owned by businessman Khoo Sian Ewe, once one of the richest men in Penang. While the building has been completely renovated, it still holds all of it’s original charm. Tastefully decorated, the hotel is classy and sophisticated while still holding on to it’s classic, heritage style characteristics.
Areca Hotel Penang is located within the UNESCO World Heritage zone of Georgetown and is within walking distance to all the main sights of the city as well as a plethora of shops and restaurants. Georgetown bus terminal and Komtar (a large shopping centre) are only a five or ten minute walk away.
Nestled back from the busy streets of Georgetown, Areca Hotel Penang is located directly opposite the historic Majestic Theatre, on a quiet one way street.
Checking in to a hotel with kids can be a challenge a lot of the time. Standing at a desk attempting to fill out forms while excited, yet over-tired children run around your ankles, interrupting you every 12 seconds is not fun! Not an issue at Areca though! In the foyer, right beside the front desk is a little area filled with toys, a blackboard and a little table and chairs to keep the kids entertained while you check-in. Just brilliant!
There are 48 guests rooms at Areca Hotel Penang including Family Suites, Heritage Rooms and Garden Rooms. The Heritage and Garden Rooms both come with one queen size bed, while the Family Suites come with two. All rooms feature TV, air conditioning, safe, tea and coffee facilities and free wi-fi.
We stayed in a Family Suite during our time at Areca Hotel Penang, and even with our family of seven, we found the room very spacious and comfortable. Aside from the two queen beds already in the room, we were provided with an additional rollaway bed as well as a baby cot. The 48m² Family Suites are very cleverly laid out to optimize space and comfort, with high ceilings, a large television and a desk and table and chairs set up at the back of the room.
Not only was the room more than big enough for us all to sleep comfortably in, but it was so nice and inviting that we would spend several hours at a time just ‘hanging out’ in it, catching up on work and schoolwork, playing with toys and relaxing in front of the TV. I have to say also that the beds were so, so comfy. One of the comfiest we’ve ever slept in!
The bathroom was also very spacious and included a shower, toilet, double vanity and large luggage storage area.
There is a cute little children’s room on the ground floor, perfect for toddlers. The walls are painted with colourful murals and there is a good selection of toys to play with. There is also a baby change room attached.
Library and Computer Room
This room offers computers with internet, a collection of books and comfy seating.
Where to Eat
There is a restaurant attached to the hotel which serves an all day breakfast among other things, however this had not yet opened at the time the we stayed at Areca Hotel Penang.
Mere metres from the front of the hotel is a mini night market with several food vendors serving fresh and tasty Malaysian and Indian inspired dishes. We ate from here several times and the food was fantastic and very cheap.
At the end of the street is a lovely little cafe offering a great selection of Malaysian and western dishes. We ate breakfast here one morning and the servings were huge and delicious, and the prices were remarkably low.
All of the streets surrounding the hotel are packed with cafes, restaurants and shops selling an abundance of tasty dishes. Wherever you turn you are not going to struggle finding somewhere wonderful to eat!
From the moment we walked in to the hotel we were made to feel right at home. The staff were all so happy and friendly and nothing was too much for them. When they came to our room to set up an additional bed, they brought Milo and toiletries for the children and gave us some tips on nearby places to visit.
Our Final Verdict
If you are looking for somewhere to base yourself while exploring beautiful Georgetown you really can’t go wrong with Areca Hotel Penang. The location is fantastic, the rooms are spacious, clean and inviting and the service is wonderful. I would not hesitate in recommending this hotel to anyone visiting Penang with kids.
Disclaimer: We were sponsored guests of Areca Hotel Penang. All experiences shared and opinions expressed in this article are our own.