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PARKROYAL Penang Resort day pass: the perfect pool day for families

PARKROYAL Penang Resort day pass: the perfect pool day for families

There’s no question that the tropical island of Penang has a fantastic range of things to do but, every now and then, it’s nice to take a step back from sightseeing, lie back onto a sunbed, and relax for the day. The tourist haven of Batu Ferringhi on the north coast of the island has a wealth of family-friendly retreats and our current favourite is PARKROYAL Penang Resort, a five-star resort offering a day pass for non-guests to experience some of what makes the resort so special.

What’s included in the day pass

The Day Pass includes:

  • Unlimited access to two outdoor pools
  • Two water slides (both quite short but surprisingly rapid)
  • Amazonia Splash area
  • Towel hire
  • 20% off food and drink during your visit
  • Sunbeds

Arriving to PARKROYAL Resort Penang

The large resorts in Batu Ferringhi are all similar in their setup, so if you’ve visited one already, you’ll know what to expect. Set back from the main road (click here for location), with friendly security guards at the gate, you’ll be dropped off right outside reception and welcomed into the foyer.

Your arrival has a definite five-star feel with light breeze drifting through from the ocean, polished floors, high-ceilings and professional staff. You arrange your PARKROYAL day pass at the reception desks; you’ll just need to fill out a short registration form, make payment and stick on your wristbands.

Once registered, walk through reception and grab some towels from the kiosk, before finding a spare sunbed. There are a few dotted around the pool, otherwise there’s plenty to the left of the pool area on the lawn, which also has a fair amount of shade from the trees.

The pool and splash area at PARKROYAL Penang Resort

The two pools are quite small and are situated close to one another. Both are shallow and have lifeguards watching over them. Even though they’re not the biggest area, the pools do feel quiet after the morning rush. Seemingly lots of guests come for a swim before it gets too hot and then return home or to their rooms.

As you’d expect in the tropics, the pool temperature is so warm, perhaps a little too warm, although this certainly falls into the ‘nice problem to have’ category. There’s a volleyball net strung across the main pool, plus a couple of water-polo nets, in case you’re feeling energetic. The smaller pool is aimed at younger kids and is shallower.

The two slides might look unremarkable but they actually pack quite a punch, with some decent speeds (and splashes) to be had. The landing area is part of the main pool, separated by a rope. If you’re visiting with kids, it’s easy to keep an eye on them as they complete a few circuits.

Next door to the pool area, accessed via a short path, is a well-designed splash area called Amazonia. The water here is slightly colder in the mornings, so it’s a good place to cool down under showers, jet sprays and collapsing water buckets. Kids of all ages like it here, and it’s very shaded.

Take a look up into the surrounding trees for the Dusky Leaf monkeys who call this area home, they’re likely to be napping in the midday sun, otherwise you’ll see them scurrying around the treetops.

The beach and sea

Just past the lawn area, is the beach and sea. It’s a public beach at Batu Ferringhi but feels very safe and relaxed. It’s a nice place to take an afternoon stroll, although there’s no shade or sunbeds, and the sand is quite coarse and very hot later in the afternoon.

As with almost everywhere else on Penang Island, the tempting sea is a virtual no-go zone due to the ever-present threat of jellyfish. We saw several of them floating a couple of feet from the shoreline within the first two minutes. It’s such a shame as the water looks incredibly inviting but we’d unfortunately recommend staying out of the sea.

As the sun begins to set, it’s a picturesque place to sit and enjoy the sky turning orange.

Food and Drink

There’s a couple of obvious food options for day guests, although you can use any of the hotel’s restaurants if you prefer, but make sure you’re not in swimwear.

Gustoso is a cute Italian restaurant next to the pool area, with excellent pizza and pasta.

Our recommendation though is to pick Sunset Bar. You’ll see their menus scattered around the sunbed area, with a button to call the waiter when you’re ready to order. With a simple menu including pizzas, burgers and salads, it’s nothing especially extravagant, but it feels ideal on a warm, sunny afternoon. There’s alcohol available too and we found the bucket of Tiger beers too tempting to resist.

You can choose to eat at your sunbed, or find one of the table and chairs that are cleverly placed around the grounds. Remember that you’ll get 20% off the bill, including any drinks.

Other facilities at PARKROYAL Penang Resort

There’s a small water sports area just next to the beach where you can do the usual array of jet-skiing, para-sailing and banana boats, all at additional charge.

Free table-tennis is available, plus the aforementioned water-polo and volleyball. We also spotted a few people getting rather competitive with a game of boules on the lawn.

The resort also has a state-of-the-art gym and health club on the first floor. Whilst this isn’t included in your day pass, you can upgrade to the Lifestyle Pass (see below) and gain access.

What’s it like for kids?

It’s a perfect place to bring the kids and let them swim, slide, splash and eat to their heart’s content. The pools are kid-friendly by virtue of being shallow and well-guarded. The pools are not at all conducive to adults blasting out laps, so the kids tend to rule the roost.

The slides and splash area are fun and kept our two entertained for most of the day. It’s aimed at the younger end of the age scale though, kids over the age of 13 would probably find the pool area relaxing, but not as much fun.

There’s plenty of space to run around the lawn area and it’s shady in most places, so they won’t get too hot and bothered. The food menu is simple and tasty too, ideal for kids who are craving some Western food.

Extend your pass

If you like the sound of the day pass, and think you’re likely to want to come back again and again, it’s worth looking into the Lifestyle Pass, which gives you all the benefits of the Day Pass, plus gym, sauna, jacuzzi, and money off accommodation and health treatments.

You’d need to come about six or seven times in 12 months to make it worthwhile.

Is it value for money?

Yes, the cost of the PARKROYAL Resort Penang day pass compares well to other day passes elsewhere on the island and beyond.

It costs RM90 for adults and RM45 kids aged 6-12. Under 5’s are free.

Food and drink is expensive by local Penang standards, but reasonable for a five-star resort. As a guide, we paid about RM300 for a meal for four, soft drinks and a bucket of Tiger beers.

If you decide to buy the Lifestyle Pass, it’s RM1700 for a family of four for 12 months. 6 month packages are available at RM1400, but this isn’t as good value.

Final thoughts on PARKROYAL Penang Resort

If you need to slow down and sample some some five-star luxury, resort day passes are a clever way to sample a top-class resort without the expense of staying overnight.

The day pass at PARKROYAL Penang Resort is good value and offers more than just a swimming pool and food, with the splash zone and slides a welcome addition, especially if you’re visiting as a family. It never gets too busy and always feels like there’s plenty of space to relax. And with the 20% off food and drinks, it makes for an ideal way to spend a relaxing day in Penang.