Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Anniversary tickers

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Traders Hotel @ Penang

For our mother-daughter trip to Penang, the choice of hotel was easy - Traders Hotel. Not only because of its superb location but also cos one should not bring one's mama to stay at digs less than decent. In any case, I figured I could use my Golden Circle membership which I'd acquired in 2008 staying at HongKong's Shang when travelling for work. The orangy card is my membership card and the reddish card is the special room keycard given to GC members only. And guess what, it does nothing more than an ordinary room keycard - bah.

Given that we were in Penang so near to the festive Chinese New Year period, the hotel lobby was decorated (rather garishly I felt) with lots of red. I'm not sure how the hotel lobby looks like on an ordinary day but I would think it doesn't quite look like tt with lots of dragons & lanterns.

No luck for a free upgrade to a club room despite the GC membership so a deluxe room (as I'd booked) on the 12th floor it was. I know that this isn't the Shang (although before it was re-named Traders it was called Shangrila) but I was quite surprised that this hotel was quite so old and old-fashioned. I didn't like the corridors of the 12th floor which were dark with thread-bare carpets and as for the room, well, how many hotel rooms these days still have CRT TVs! Even budget hotels have LCD TVs. And don't get me started on the limited cable channels. There was complimentary broadband service but no free wifi. The only thing I really dug about were the beds and beddings which were so plushy - it was so easy to fall sound asleep and a real struggle to get out of 'em in the morning.

We had a view of the city from our room - a view that reminded us of the blazing sun and merciless heat outside. According to a local, it hadn't rained for a month and this is the monsoon season we are talking about!

We didn't use any of the hotel facilities such as the pool but we had dinner at Island Cafe. The prices of the food are ridiculously cheap, esp for a Shang group hotel - RM25 nett for a large steaming pot of salmon fish head curry. The Slog Reviews: 7.5/10. Spicy definitely (esp if you eat the chilli in the pot) and more than enough meat for 2 adults to share because an entire fish head was used. However, sweet pink salmon meat doesn't really go so well with curry (or maybe I'm not used to that) so this dish isn't a must-try.

Now, when I say superb location of the hotel, I meant the hotel's accessibility to one of the bigger shopping malls in Penang - Pranglin Mall which spans two atriums. It has a Parkson at one of the atriums as well as a Giant supermarket, Watsons, Guardian and all sorts of local clothes and shoes shops. Nothing high street like Mng, Zara much less, Bebe or LV. There is also a cinema on the top floor of Pranglin Mall.

And right next to Pranglin Mall is the new shopping centre called First Avenue. It appears to be very new with a (not-yet-opened) covered linkway to Traders Hotel. There is supposed to be a supermarket here but it isn't opened and the shops look slightly higher-end (there is supposed to be a Coach store soon) but that remains to be seen as the place isn't fully tenanted.

The Slog Reviews: I'll rate a stay at Traders Hotel Penang 8/10. While you should not expect to be blown away or even the least bit impressed with the rooms or the state of the hotel because of its Shang branding, the location (shopping) and accessibility (not just to public transport but to all the famous eating places at Jln Penang / Jln Burma) makes it a viable hotel option. There is also a free daily (11.30, 2.30 and 4.30pm)shuttle bus ride to and fro Golden Sands Resort (also under the Shang group) which one has to register for early due to the limited seats (lots of Japanese tourists stay at Traders and use this facility).

Because Traders Hotel is right next to Komtar, one can take the public bus 401E from the airport to Komtar and walk the 2min walk to the hotel. The bus ride costs only RM2 per pax as opposed to taking a taxi from the airport to Komtar at RM44+. However, I should mention here that I had waited 45mins at Komtar for the 401E to get to the airport on the last day and it never showed - the taxi driver we used in the end mentioned that there is only one bus and well, if that bus gets stuck in the a traffic jam (which Penang is famous for) or breaks down, one could wait a really really long time...like more than an hour!

No comments: