Monday, 14 December 2015

Penang, Here We Come!

We went for our family holiday recently to a famous island known as the Pearl of the Orient - Penang.  I think many people have been there before but B and I first stepped into Penang in 2008 when we disembarked to join a land tour for a couple of hours during our Star Cruise holiday. 

Fast forward to 2015, we were back there, this time for 4 days, 3 nights with our children and my Mum.  Together with another friend and her family, we had our many firsts.  :D

First try at the public phone.  Do you know that alls made to Singapore numbers from the public telephone inside the departure halls of Changi Airport are free?  I remember when I was young and mobile phones do not exist yet, this was such fun.  Oops! 
Short trips on budget airlines booked at least a couple of months before meant slightly cheaper tickets especially during the school holidays, which is also the peak periods for everything - air tickets, hotels, attractions and so on.  #KiasuAuntyModeOn

Just a short 1.5 hours flight from Singapore, it's interesting that our car ride to our accommodation for the 3 nights is just as long (when there's a jam).  All roads clear aka no rain, no peak periods like working class knockoff time, it probably would have been only 45 mins.  So try to refrain from leaving the airport during peak hours if you hate being stuck in jams.  But if there is no choice, then sit back and enjoy the views.  Note that regardless whether there is a jam or not, your taxi fare will not increase with the jump in the meter fare due to waiting.  This is because taxis in Penang charges by a negotiatable flat rate, not by meter.

Golden Sands Resort, Penang is one of the most family friendly resort along Batu Ferringhi.  There is no lack of activities in this almost self-contained resort if one decides not to venture out.  As I am a Golden Circle Member, check-in is at the Cool Lounge.

This Lounge is indeed pretty cool.  While I do up the paperwork, the boys had their eyes glued to the television.  To me, this is quite good because I am able to still see them and need not shout / scream at them to stop running around or getting out of my sight.

Also inside the Cool Lounge is an array of amusements.  Board games, adult and children-friendly cyber corners and books.  The gym is also next to it and can accessed from the Cool Lounge.

There is no lack of seating areas around the resort.

Together with my Mum, I have 3 adults and 2 children.  Each of the 387 guestroom in the resort can accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 children and thus we had 2 rooms.  Luckily, we were given 2 connecting Deluxe Sea Facing rooms.

The view from my room's balcony.  Loving this panoramic coastal view, especially every morning when dawn breaks.  No lack of seating area as I mentioned earlier - indoors or outdoors.

Non-carpeted room, the furniture does not look old though it has been around for quite some time.  Standard room features with a king-sized bed or twin beds with a spacious bathroom with either a bathtub or a standing shower.  We had both!  I would have preferred a standing shower but the kids totally adore bathtubs!  Every night they go, can we play in the bathtub?  Of course, supervised.  :)

We reached Penang in the late afternoon and soon, it was dinner time.  We wanted to venture out and thus, walked around the nearby night market.  There are plenty of choices, both inside the resort and outside.  Across the resort, I can have KFC or McDonald's.

But we decided to try the local hawker fare.

The wanton mee and Bak Ku Teh were not bad.  But this Char Koay Teow and Fried Oyster were so-so.

The night passes and in every morning, a new adventure awaits.

Breakfast is served at Garden Cafe.  However, the first morning we were there, Garden Cafe was packed.  We then had our breakfast at the Sigi's Bar and Grill, on the Beach!!!

Though the items available were not as varied as those in Garden Cafe, it did not bother us.  Because the sky, sea, sand and sun compensated everything.  And the kids played with the sand after their breakfast while the adults continued munching away.  The outdoors - who needs gadgets when the sand is more fun.

Breakfast with a view.
There is a hop-on-hop-off tourist bus available in Penang and the bus-stop is just right outside Golden Sands Resort.  However, we made use of the shuttle bus services available at the resort to get to the places we want for two days - shuttle bus to Hotel Jen in Georgetown (to venture around the famous wall murals) and shuttle bus to Escape Theme Park.  Those two full days of fun outside the resort, I will blog about it later.

Everyday, there is fun for everyone if one decides to stay in the resort.  The kids club activities look pretty interesting and maybe, one day in the future, when the boys are older, I will leave them there  while I go venturing out for all the famous Penang hawker food.  Haha!

Swimming pools are never boring, are they?  Especially when there is a children's pool with a slide.

Good to know!
The next highlight has got to be this!  Need I say more?

The highlights of the Adventure Zone is the thrilling drop slides, available in three levels, named the "Hyperglide Astra Drop", "Double Drop" and "Demon Drop".  What a mouthful.

I wanted to try the Demon Drop with a vertical drop of 7.3m.  Oh, you need to be in long sleeves to try that.  But I chickened out after looking down when I was there.  LOL.  D gamely went for it though.  Kids!  How I salute them at times.  

But proof that I tried the other drop slide which is a hit with some adults and many children.  I lost count of how many times the children went down the slides and each slide down, I see a happy face.  

The "Toddler Zone" caters to children of four years' old and below.  

While the children are at play, adults can sit around and do their own things.

So, there you go.  Golden Sands Resort, with comprehensive recreation facilities and also free Wi-Fi if you decide you have to connect to the world.

We left Penang, with many stuff accomplished and a stronger family bond.  Till the next holiday!

Golden Sands Resort, Penang
Batu Feringgi Beach, Penang, 11100 Malaysia

Offers can be found on Golden Sands Resort's website and if you are looking for a relaxing trip with good food everywhere, book a stay now.  :)

Disclosure: A 2-night stay was sponsored by Golden Sands Resort, Penang.  Our 3rd night stay and the connecting room for 3 nights were paid by us.  No monetary compensation was received.  All photographs and opinions are true to my own.

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  1. The hotel room looks neat and I like the spacious bathroom. Seems like a nice hotel for family to spend a relaxing staycation.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Heard and read so many good reviews about Golden a Sands but when my in laws went with my three nieces and nephews, they came back with mostly complains and even checked out earlier that initially planned! Awwww... and I didn't like it that the indoor playground is payable. It should be made free for hotel guests.

  3. The Adventure Zone slides are so awesome!!! If my girl was there we can forget about going out the whole day hahaha..

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  4. WOW! Love the Adventure zone! I think my Hubby would love that too! And this is all within the hotel itself? *makes a mental note to bring the kids there next holidays*

    Vivien ( Beautiful Chaos )

  5. When we talk about Penang, adults talk about food (and the wall art). My kids only talk about the slides at Adventure Zone :)

    cheers, andy

  6. I'm missing Penang as I read your post, esp the hawker food! :)

  7. Thanks for sharing. I remember staying in Golden Sands Penang some donkeys years ago for work but I didn't realise it was so children friendly. Haha.. Maybe it's one of those things only a parent would notice.

  8. All that Penang local food is making me hungry. The hotel looks comfortable for family-friendly holidays. It's tough to find one that caters to many needs and wants for the entire family, unless you are willing to pay premium! Thanks for sharing this travel review :)

  9. Ah, I haven't been to Penang although I was born in Malaysia. Love that the room is non-carpeted cos my son ever had allergies after crawling and jumping on carpeted floors of hotel rooms!