Skip to Content

Accommodation options in Penang: hotels, Airbnb, hostels, and campsites

Accommodation options in Penang: hotels, Airbnb, hostels, and campsites

Choosing the right accommodation for your visit to Penang takes some thought, and it’s worthwhile giving time to this thought as your accommodation probably takes up a sizeable portion of your hard-earned travel budget.

Do you want to be immersed in the grand, colonial history of George Town, or perhaps experience the Chinese heritage? Or maybe you’re a young family and waterslides, kids club and beach access are high priorities? Perhaps you’re a young, solo, budget backpacker and want to meet fellow globetrotters? Or maybe you’re a digital nomad planning to spend a month or longer on the island.

Whatever your criteria, the good news is that Penang accommodation options are so wide and varied, that there’s sure to be something suitable to fit your needs.

In fact, your first decision is really whether to base yourself amongst the history of George Town or the tropical beaches of Batu Ferringhi, as the accommodation options in Penang are generally split between these two locations. It may be an idea to first gauge the things you want to do in Penang before deciding between George Town and Batu Ferringhi.

Georgetown, Penang

Things to do in Penang

Wondering what to do in Penang? Whether you’re seeking adventure, or need to relax and unwind, here we provide a detailed guide to all the things to do in Penang, so that you can get the most out of your visit. From heritage landmarks to epic viewpoints, we’ve got you covered.

Below we look at the different accommodation options in Penang (hotels, Airbnb, hostels, and campsites – yes, there are campsites in Penang!) to help you on your way to finding the perfect place for your visit to The Pearl of The Orient.

Hotels in Penang

PARKROYAL Penang Resort

For those seeking a sprinkling of luxury and convenience for their visit, check out our guide to the best hotels in Penang. Especially if it’s your first visit to the island and you’re wondering where to stay in Penang, a hotel or resort provides a calm and relaxing oasis away from the hustle and bustle. This is a holiday after all! And self-catering is the last thing you want to do every night.

Whether is a colonial style hotel in George Town, or a beach-front resort that caters for families, Penang offers a wide range of hotel options to fit every style of traveller.

Airbnb in Penang

Airbnb has become extremely popular in Penang over the past few years, with travellers keen to take advantage of the competitive prices, high-spec apartments, leisure facilities and multiple locations. If you’re planning a longer stay, many Airbnb hosts offer a reduced rate for stays of longer than two weeks.

The range of properties varies but tends to be more focused on high-rise apartment blocks on the northeast coast of the island. You’ll also find many cute options in George Town with more of a heritage feel.

Prices tend to start from RM200 per night for an apartment and will usually include use of the swimming pool, gym, playground, etc. Most of the apartments also come with kitchens, washing machines, and ensuite bathrooms, so you tend to get quite a lot for your ringgit.

However, there is a change on the horizon due to the announcement in 2023 of a state-wide ban on short-term holiday rentals, of which most Airbnb properties are included. The specific implementation and enforcement of the ban seems to be variable at the moment, with many Airbnb properties continuing to be listed on the site. Airbnb themselves haven’t released a definitive response, other than to note it’ll affect tourism in Penang.

Officially, serviced apartments are excluded from the ban if they meet certain criteria but it’s important to check with any potential hosts before booking to understand how the ruling relates to their property. Hopefully the situation will become clearer as time passes because Airbnb is an ideal option for visitors to Penang.

Hostels in Penang

For travellers on a budget, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are a handful of hostels in Penang. Whilst these are all very welcoming to families too, you may find that an Airbnb is more cost effective for a larger group.

Mainly based in George Town, Penang hostels are clean, funky and vibrant, plus there’s lots of choice.

Three stand-out hostels are:

These hostels all run social nights and have a social area. A great option if you’re a solo traveller in Penang and want to meet some fellow globetrotters.

Campsites in Penang

Despite Penang being in the tropics and every day being hot and humid, you may be surprised to learn that you can actually camp on Penang Island. In fact, there are quite a few campsites dotted around the island.

One of the most popular camping spots is Monkey Beach, which is within Penang National Park. Either walk or take a boat from the National Park entrance to Monkey Beach and make your way over to Tiger Monkey Bar and Leisure (these guys also rent out kayaks). Here you can rent a rent for the night (or longer), or pitch your own.

Being so hot, you may not have the most comfortable sleep, but the advantage of camping here is that you’ll have the beach to yourself for sunset and sunrise. Although we wouldn’t recommend swimming here, the water is rather murky and there are jellyfish. Perhaps head out to sea on a kayak instead.