We planned to have a holiday with my parents, and settled on Penang as a good choice – the flight is very short (90 mins), the food is familiar and suitable for the gramps, and there are interesting sights to see, as well as fun activities for the kids.
Where did we stay? The affordable and family-friendly Holiday Inn is more often than not, our go-to resort. This time, the Holiday Inn in Penang is located along Batu Ferringhi, with direct beach access to the popular white sandy beach.
Although the hotel’s Beach Wing is a grand 38 years old, the recent refurbishment of the lobby and conference room areas lent a very modern and fresh feel to the resort.
We stayed at the Beach Wing, which is near to the hotel’s restaurants, swimming pool and beach.
Our room was a Beach Wing Kid Suite, which the kids loved! The bunk bed and wall to wall murals were delightful, as was the inclusion of a small tv and PSP games.
The kids were thrilled to have special grape-scented bath toiletries and rubber duckies to boot! Really very thoughtful of the hotel to provide all this at this price point.
The Holiday Inn also has a newer Ferringhi tower across the road, with rooms that were recently updated.
Here’s a standard twin bedroom pictured below, which goes for about S$160 nightly, with breakfast for 2 adults. Do note that the rates vary according to seasons and promotions, so it’s best to check the Holiday Inn’s own website for the latest rates, which comes with a best-rate guarantee when you book directly with them.
And here below, is a Ferringhi Tower Kid Suite with spacious beds for kids. It’s really value for money that this room goes for S$230 nightly, with breakfast included for all, since kids eat free.
The family suite comes with a little alcove with a study desk and arm chairs too, and our hospitable host is captured in the mirror here!
It comes with a spacious and squeaky clean bathroom with both a shower stall as well as a bath tub for those luxurious soaks.
Here’s the hill view. Pleasant and soothing! Some guests have written on TripAdvisor that every morning there’s a lovely view of clouds in the hills too.
There are actually a range of rooms suitable for those travelling with children, and you can check out the range here.
Comfort food for all palates
How was the food? At breakfast, I would say that there’s enough comfort food, plus a couple of pleasant surprises thrown in.
Here’s the healthy little meals I concocted from the spread at the breakfast buffet!
We were so pleased that there was a roti canai/roti paratha station churning out piping hot pratas!
There was a kids corner too, signposted by the cutest ‘floating’ dolphin.
The Terrace Cafe is a spacious sea-facing dining area, with ample seats in the indoor section too.
The aim of our trip was to build memories for the kids and the grandparents, of times spent holidaying together. And though it is not easy to always cater to everyone’s first preferences, I think we achieved our aim in this trip! When we were leaving, K & B even said that they would really miss this hotel and the times spent here. We praise God for sufficient good health that we can travel together as a family.
Beyond the breakfast buffet, the Terrace Cafe also serves quality local Malaysian and Indian cuisine. In particular, the hotel prides itself in its high quality authentic Indian food, with two resident chefs from New Delhi and Bangalore.
They also have a special tandoori oven, which makes for exceptional naans and other tandoor-baked delicacies! The chicken tikka below was fantastic.
Our kids love naan so this was an instant hit. The long-grained basmati rice was also certainly top-notch, as was the delicious mutton curry.
We also enjoyed familiar favourites like Char Koay Teow, Beef Rendang and a Malaysian Egg salad.
If there’s any nationality more crazy about food than Singaporeans, it’s probably the Malaysians. Which is why we have such spirited debates about which country has the best chili crab / nasi lemak / char koay teow / wantan mee etc.
And we did mention that kids eat free with every paying adult right? K was shocked as she pointed it out to me on the placemat – I had to tell her to hold that expression for this photo, haha.
With very reasonable terms and conditions, this policy means that families really get a good deal. Here they are, enjoying their set dinner.
More in the next post on the exciting two new Playlabs (new parlance for Kids Clubs) in the hotel that were completed in May and September this year, and other tips on how to maximise your stay in this hotel!
Note: Thanks Holiday Inn Penang for the media invite to review your hotel, we had a wonderful time.