Stepping into the lobby of the Golden Sands Resort Penang recently was a surreal experience for me. Growing up in Penang, THIS was the hotel where my parents would house our closest family friends visiting from afar. THIS was also the hotel which my parents would sometimes check us in for our very own well-deserved, once-in-a-blue-moon family getaway.
Not surprisingly therefore, I have very fond memories of the hotel – the large, comfy rooms, the beautifully landscaped pool and the sandy beach to name a few. Now as I step into the same lobby again (this time with my own family), I’m proud to say that while the hotel has undergone a major refurbishment to meet the evolving needs of the modern travellers, the essentials that have made it the grand dame of luxury family hotels in Penang have stayed true to the test of time. In fact, they impress me more now as I experience it now from the perspective of an adult.
The hotel in every sense of the word lives up to its reputation as a Shangri-La hotel equipped with luxurious amenities: the gym, the pool, the restaurant, the array of activities for the kids rank high on its feature list and they are very well-maintained. The rooms tops in luxury and impresses with plush furnishings and a really comfortable bed. Our sea-facing suite comes with a separate living room complete with a single fold-up bed which cleverly camouflages as a wardrobe when unused. All rooms come with a balcony that allows guests to soak in the stunning sea view and the ocean breeze. Ours had a wrap-around balcony which gave us a breathtaking panoramic sea view. To accommodate our young infant, the hotel provided a comfortable cot complete with children’s pillow and bedding. I’m impressed.
Most of us might have encountered Malaysian hotels having issues with poor maintenance. Not so for the Golden Sands Resort, Penang. Much of the hotel’s interior and furnishings have recently been revamped to take on a fresh and contemporary feel. Wifi is available free and stable throughout the hotel allowing you to stay connected if you choose to. To provide parents with an opportunity for personal time while keeping the children meaningfully occupied,the hotel’s Kids Club provides all day programme free for the little guests. Dinner for the kids is also provided with a menu selection. To imbue a sense of social responsibility and spread the message of conservation, the Kids Club has incorporated visits to their Eco center to learn more about preserving nature and environment. At the Kids Club, Dana clicked instantly with the friendly staff members who engaged her in friendly conversations and fun activities, so much so that she kept pestering us to sign her up for Kids Club.
The convenience of having “Adventure Zone” housed within the compound is a big bonus. This public accessed area, which is part of the hotel’s facilities is equipped indoor play-gym facilities and a selection of slides – from common height ones to those ‘ Not-for-the-faint-hearted’. Your kids will be guaranteed hours of adrenalin pumping fun, without setting foot outside the hotel!
Should you wish to venture out and have a taste (literally) of Penang, the hotel is also conveniently located next to one of the stops of the new Penang Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus which will take you to most, if not all, of the major attractions of Penang without the hassle of haggling with cab drivers. Step out of the hotel in the evenings to find yourself in the heart of the night market convenient for that souvenir shopping. Out at the beach is a plethora of water sports facilities (popular ones are para sailing, jet-skis and banana boats), provided by external suppliers which gives families more options to enjoy the sun, sand and sea.
This trip, we caught a glimpse of the timeless virtues upheld by this grand dame. For instance, take a walk around the poolside during the night and you’ll observe chains being put around. These chains, admittedly mar the beautifully illuminated landscape somewhat but it reflects the culture of a hotel where it puts the safety and well-being of its guests as priority. During breakfast, we almost couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the Director of Human Resource clearing tables in the full restaurant, early on a Sunday morning. Shortly after, we walked past a Senior Management Staff doing likewise at a large banquet which was taking place. We also noticed there will be a team of Management Staff at the lobby daily to welcome guests and assist with our needs. Being a large and busy hotel, the service and hospitality they provide remain efficient and warm. The staff is committed to providing the best Shangri-La experience for guests. Once again, this impressed us.
For an island like Penang where tourism is a top GDP contributor, hotels are aplenty. But to find one that delivers a consistent well-rounded pampering experience where you feel valued, well-looked after and cared for through the years, down to the finer details, with service from the heart, that’s Golden Sands Resort, Penang for you. For that reason, this will continue to be a hotel which I’m proud to house my family and friends from afar. Now, how’s that for legacy?
Create family vacation memories with our value-added Family Fun Package!
This offer includes:
- Daily buffet breakfast for two adults and two children below 12 years old at Garden Cafe
- Complimentary one extra bed for a child under the age of 12 years old
- Daily dinner (either buffet or set dinner) for two adults and two children at Garden Cafe inclusive of free flow of beverages (soft drink, juices, house wine and house beer) for the whole family
- Four hours of daily admission to Adventure Zone with kiddie lunches for two children
- Two Polly the Parrot soft toys
- One lunch consisting of two wood-fired pizzas
From MYR 660 per night (from 1 Oct 2014 through 30 Sep 2015).
Golden Sands Resort, Penang by Shangri-La
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Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, Penang, 11100, Malaysia
Telephone: Malaysia (60) 4 886 1911 / Singapore (65) 6213 4002
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Disclaimer: Our stay was partially sponsored by Golden Sands Resort, Penang for the purposes of this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and photos are, as usual, ours. All photos are taken with the Nikon D750 with the Nikkor 24-120mm f4/G ED lens used in most shots.
Do pop by Sweet Memoir’s Blog to check out 10 Good Reasons to Stay At The Golden Sands Resort!