(This post is brought to you by Traders Hotel)
For many expats, going to Penang means a trip to the beach, and Batu Ferringhi, with all its seafront hotels is at the top of the list. Typically, staying in George Town is thought to be for business visits. However, on this visit, we stayed in the Traders Hotel in the middle of the city to see the changes taking place in this historic city and it proved to be an excellent choice.
George Town is the oldest city in Malaysia, dating back to 1786 when Captain Francis Light arrived there and laid out his plans for the original town. It consisted of just a few streets on the northeast corner of Penang Island and gradually expanded to become today's George Town.
Since the recognition of George Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, the city is very much a tourist destination in its own right. It received international recognition because it had managed to retain the look and feel of the bygone era, but many of the properties were a little run down. Now, with the international recognition, it has attracted many conservationists and investors willing to restore the old buildings to their former glory… but with a modern touch. Slowly, we are seeing buildings renovated and small boutique hotels, art galleries, cafés, restaurants, and retail boutique outlets open.
Traders Hotel is part of the famous Shangri-La chain and, in fact, this property used to be called Shangri-La back in the days when I first started staying there. It is located right in the middle of George Town and within easy walking distance of the area now zoned as a World Heritage Site. I had my entire family with me, so I wasn’t sure how the children would feel without the beach at their doorstep; in fact, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The fact Traders have widescreen TVs with a good selection of channels as well free Wi-Fi access helped a lot because this guaranteed the time we spent in the room was relatively pleasant.
The hotel also connects to Komtar Building which is filled with shops for those who need a little retail therapy on their travels.
The breakfast buffet is superb and the children thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful spread of food. I was particularly impressed that the staff came up and made suggestions, even bringing over samples for the kids to taste. In fact, providing excellent service is something the hotel is rightly proud of.
If you stay on a club floor, you get to enjoy their lounge which offers complimentary drinks and a good selection of things to nibble on. For those fancying a trip to the beach, they offer a free shuttle service to and from their beachfront sister properties, Shangri-La Golden Sands and the Rasa Sayang.
So, if you are going to Penang, remember that George Town has a lot to offer and you will certainly enjoy the Traders Hotel and its excellent location.
Source: The Expat April 2013
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