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DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang REVIEW

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang REVIEW

With its tropical climate and sandy beaches, Penang has its fair share of high-end beach resorts, especially in the suburb of Batu Ferringhi, which has long maintained a good-time holiday vibe. Sharing the same northern tip of the island is Miami Beach, where you’ll find DoubleTree Resort by Hilton.

Resting on the side of a hill, overlooking rainforest and the sea (with its own private beach access), the DoubleTree Resort is a family-focused hotel in a quiet location, with excellent dining and recreation options.

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Arriving to DoubleTree Resort Penang

The hotel is next to the main coastal road, but set back a few metres and tucked away up a short hill. The sweeping entrance is focused around a water feature and it certainly has an impressive feel, with security guards and concierge staff on hand to greet your arrival, your luggage swiftly transported onto waiting trolleys.

In keeping with other DoubleTree resorts around the world, your welcome includes their signature cookie and a drink. The reception staff are professional and well-practiced at getting you checked-in and whisked away to your room. The reception area has plenty of natural light and comfortable seating in case you need to wait.

The adjoining family bedrooms at DoubleTree Resort Penang

If you’re travelling as a family, finding the right layout and occupancy for rooms at hotels can be a challenge. Even if you do find a hotel with family rooms, it can be difficult for everyone to get their own space and privacy.

The DoubleTree Resort have come up with a neat and practical solution in the shape of adjoining family rooms which share a common entrance hall. With a large double door opening into this hallway, you’ll find both family rooms leading off to the side, each with their own lockable doors. This is a clever solution as it allows you to decide if and how to separate your group.

Each room is similar inside, with air-conditioning, safe, ensuite bathrooms (no bathtub, just shower), TV and fridge. In one room, there’s two Queen-size beds and a sofa, in the other a large King-size bed and balcony. Check out your balcony before unpacking as some are orientated away from the sea and towards the large adjacent apartment block. If you ask in advance, you might be able to request a room which has a less-impeded view from the balcony.

The swimming pool and small waterpark

There’s a picturesque and well looked-after pool complex at the DoubleTree Resort, with a small area dedicated to children. Whilst it might lack slides and a deeper pool for adults, the shallow and landscaped pool is a perfect place to soak, splash and swim.

On most afternoons, a game of volleyball is organised at the pool, otherwise guests tend to retreat to the sunbeds and cabanas which line the perimeter. For the kids, there’s a cool splash area with sandy floor, a couple of water fountains and the ever-popular spilling bucket (which gives off quite the splash).

If you fancy a snack, drink or ice-cream, press the buzzer near the sunbeds and place your order with the attentive waiters.

The pool area isn’t quite to the scale of the PARKROYAL or Hard Rock Hotel in neighbouring Batu Ferringhi, but it’s a lovely, shaded place to relax in the afternoons when the weather is too hot for anything other than the serious business of relaxing.

Things to do for kids

We’ve just mentioned the pool area, which is an ideal retreat for kids. The younger ones will particularly enjoy the splash area, whilst older ones will just enjoy chilling in the pool with the option of volleyball if they fancy some exertion.

There’s an highly recommended Kids Club that’s run by caring and dedicated staff, giving parents the chance of a break. Several different activities are offered each day, including batik painting, jewellery making, art work, or flopping onto beanbags and watching a film.

The DoubleTree Resort must also be one of the few hotels in the world which can offer its own Teddy Bear museum onsite. Teddyville Museum will give you an alternative view and history of Penang through the eyes of hundreds of adorable teddy bears. If you think it sounds slightly quirky, then you’re correct, but it’s a well thought-out and fun museum which the kids will love.

Teddyville Museum Batu Ferringhi

The hotel is also very adept at catering for younger visitors at meal times, with cake decorating, kid-friendly meals, and low-level counters at the kids buffet section.

Tucked away in the corner of the lobby, a special space has been cordoned off as a kids play area, with mini-amusement rides, toys, arcade games, mini-golf and hacky sack. There are also a couple of pool tables and grab-machines in the main foyer area, so kids really won’t get bored during their stay.

Dining at DoubleTree Resort Penang

There are three places to dine at DoubleTree Resort, each offering a slightly different dining experience, although the general atmosphere when you’re eating at the hotel is relaxed and unpretentious.

The main restaurant onsite, and the place you’ll eat most of your meals, is Makan Kitchen. The bright and breezy restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating and offers a range of dishes from around the world, although the emphasis is understandably on Asia.

The extensive breakfast buffet is served here, very much similar in style to other high-end resorts; plenty of choice, worldwide cuisines, with enough food on offer to fill you for the whole day. If you’ve recently arrived to Penang, it’s a good introduction to some of the local food. There is either a buffet at lunch or dinner, or a mouth-watering Dulang Set that gives you a taster of what makes Penang one of the food capitals of the world.

For more simple and relaxed options, the Axis Lounge and Food Store are in the lobby area, and let you choose from a range of simple dishes, perhaps enjoyed with the live music which takes place most evenings. The Axis Lounge is also the best place to get a drink in the evening, with a Happy Hour until 8pm.

The beach at DoubleTree Resort Penang

This stretch of the Penang coastline isn’t blessed with the deepest beaches so it might come as a surprise to hear there’s a beach at DoubleTree Resort. Accessed via a sky-bridge from the pool area, the private beach is a little hit-and-miss.

If the tide is in your favour, there’s a small sliver of sand to sit on and enjoy the unquestionably amazing view out to sea and sunsets. There are a few boulders to clamber on, but watch your step.

Otherwise, you can scramble up onto a concrete platform which at least keeps you away from water, but is in all honesty, it’s quite an uninspiring place to sit. There are a few tired looking sunbeds but it’s not the cleanest area. The high (and powerful) tide have apparently rendered previous attempts to establish a proper beach club here obsolete, so what’s left isn’t really up to the standards DoubleTree are no doubt aiming for.

However, if you buy one of their Grab and Go picnics and find a dry spot on the beach, it is potentially a pretty place to watch the sun descend, just manage your expectations.

The local area

Miami Beach is a small area of Penang, with not much more than a restaurant, tiny beach area, and a bus stop. The restaurant is pleasant, with good value food on offer at reasonable prices. The main attraction of the area is finding a comfortable spot to watch the sunset.

You’re very close to Batu Ferringhi and all it has to offer, especially the night markets. You can jump in a Grab or onto the bus and be there within a few minutes.

For more idea’s on what to do on your visit to the island, check out our guide on the best things to do in Penang.

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.

Final thoughts on DoubleTree Resort Penang

Whilst the location of Batu Ferringhi further along the coast is the prime beachfront real-estate, DoubleTree Resort Penang manages to fill its little corner of the island with a slice of affordable luxury. Whilst the private beach here won’t make your holiday, there’s more than enough on the resort grounds for an pleasurable stay, especially if you’re visiting with children.

The standard of dining is high, with friendly staff to match. Families will find a wide variety of activities to keep the kids happy, not least the onsite Teddyville museum. For adults and kids alike, the pool and splash area is also commendable for a resort this size and makes for the ideal retreat from the midday sun.

This really is a family-friendly and family-focused resort so if you’re not travelling with kids, there may be better options along the coast but, if you do have little ones it tow, it’s the perfect place to spend some family time.

Whether you’re staying here as a tourist or on a staycation, DoubleTree Resort have worked out what families expect from a stay and have ticked all the right boxes, so sit back and enjoy the sunset. Do also keep your eyes trained on the surrounding trees; if you’re lucky, you might spot Dusky Leaf monkeys enjoying the same beautiful view.