This post was written by Andy Davison
(This post is brought to you by Lone Pine Hotel)
ANDY DAVISON TAKES HIS FAMILY TO THE BEACH IN PENANG AND ENJOYS A RELAXING FEW DAYS AT BATU FERRINGHI’S VERY FIRST HOTEL, TODAY ONE OF THE FINEST LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTELS ON THE NORTH COAST.
Batu Ferringhi has long been the favoured spot for tourists visiting Penang. It was here that the Malaysian international tourism industry really started, and many people knew the name “Penang” before they knew “Malaysia.” This is one of the reasons why many retirees under the Malaysia My Second Home programme often choose to settle on the island.
While other tourist destinations around Malaysian have emerged relatively recently and grown in popularity, Penang has managed to stay the course. It was assisted by UNESCO declaring part of George Town as a World Heritage site, which has resulted in some beautiful restoration work on some of the old buildings.
Though not located in the UNESCO area, one hotel which has nevertheless stood the test of time is the Lone Pine, which was the first hotel in Batu Ferringhi. Originally just a single bungalow facing the sea back in 1948, the hotel had a lone Casuarina tree on the lawn which was mistaken for a pine tree, hence the name. These days, there are many Casuarina trees on the beautiful lawns overlooking the sea, and that single bungalow, now the Lone Pine’s main restaurant, has plenty of company, too.
In recent years, the hotel has undergone extensive renovations and is now thoroughly modernised and enlarged, yet still manages to retain its timeless elegance and historical charm. That original bungalow is now the place to go for a superb buffet breakfast spread, which kept my family returning for more. At other times of the day, a good selection of Western and Asian fare is offered. Personally, I fell in love with their superb lamb stew, despite it being rather more spicy than I normally eat. The Batu Bar is refined and modern, with glass walls as its primary design element. It’s a lovely place to relax with a drink and enjoy the views. Upstairs there is a small Japanese restaurant, as well.
The hotel would probably suit couples more so than families, but having said that, my children still had a great time. If they weren’t splashing and swimming in the pool, they were enjoying swinging on one of the hammocks strung between the Casuarina tree and begging me to buy one for our house.
The rooms are beautifully done and open out onto the garden, beach, and sea. The north coast of Penang also serves up some splendid sunsets, so it’s a wonderful choice for slowing down, savouring the views, and just recharging the batteries.
If you are looking for a delightful spot to relax and unwind, the Lone Pine Hotel is certainly worth considering. It’s a truly lovely place to stay and they are focused on providing excellent service. My family and I enjoyed our time there immensely and I can recommend it without hesitation.
Source: The Expat February 2013
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