There’s a new kid on the Batu Ferringhi beach block. The DoubleTree Hilton Resort in Penang opened its doors in March 2018.
My first impression of the hotel that boasts 316 rooms and suites is that it is a great family hotel with its child friendly pools, teddy bear museum and kids club, but that it’s not so great for your waistline!
You can kiss goodbye to your diet when you check in and receive the DoubleTree Hilton’s trademark warm cookie welcome, that you will get no matter where you go in the world. My kids practically ran to reception to receive theirs, and I wasn’t far behind them!
And when we checked in to our modern, comfortable room with balcony and sea view there were even more little cakes waiting to welcome us, but alas I was too late to sample these, other eagle eyed members of the family had spotted them first.
Our family of four had one enormous bed and a single bed waiting for us. But depending on the age, size and how likely it is that your child will kick you in the face at regular intervals throughout the night, you may want to opt for two queen size beds instead.
The following morning we had to make the difficult decision of which food station we should visit first, at the breakfast buffet. There is of good mix of healthy and indulgent foods from the four corners of the earth including a good selection of noodles, roti, meats, cheeses, cereal and a selection of fruit. And I loved the fact that there was a cheerful corner dedicated especially to children, where food was easily accessible for them on colourful plastic plates, so you don’t have to worry about breakages!
A fishing trip and visit to Monkey Beach
Once we had rolled out of the buffet we took the child-friendly bridge to check out the beach, that is a two minute walk away.
The beach is not huge and there is not much to do there for older kids, so after a quick chat with the owners of the Miami Café (you can’t miss it, it’s the only one there), we booked a boat trip to take us line fishing and to visit Monkey beach. The kids enjoyed line fishing – suitable for children even from a young age. Between the seven of us we managed to catch a tiddler, jellyfish and highly poisonous puffer fish so it was a good job we weren’t relying on our fishing skills to provide lunch.
We’d never done line fishing before and it was a great way to spend an hour. The boat trip cost RM300 for all seven of us, but you could get up to 12 people on the boat. They are very flexible about timings and after 22 years working in Penang, you would like to think the owners of the Miami Café know what they are doing. Just a word of warning if you just have to look at the sea to feel seasick, it can get quite choppy out there with all the jet skis and the bounty of boats.
Following our limited success fishing we moved on to Monkey beach, where the kids played in the sand for 45 minutes whilst we guarded the bags from our furry friends. I would advise you not to take food, particularly in plastic bags if you don’t want to become there number one target.
Kids’ club at DoubleTree Penang
We may have stayed on the trip longer if the kids hadn’t all been so desperate to go and spend time in the DoubleTree Penang’s free kids club. The club is open from 10 am until 8 pm and is run by people who are full of energy and ideas to keep the little people entertained. Great if it rains, you want to spend time in the hotel spa, gym, or just because you can.
If after all that playing in the club they still have energy to burn, they can choose to play in one of the two pools. One has a mini water park perfect for the under 8’s and the other has a small artificial beach perfect for those little people who like to build castles but whose parents don’t really want them to be totally caked in sand.
Teddyville Museum Penang
The hotel is also home to The Teddyville Museum. Malaysia’s first and largest collection of teddy bears. The Museum is stuffed with teddy bears of all shapes and sizes. It not only explains the origin of the humble bear but also showcases and celebrates Penang’s history in an unusual and engaging way. Unfortunately, the history lesson was wasted on the children I was with, as they were more interested in taking selfies with the large cute creatures, so there was nothing else for me to do but grin and bear it!
Guests staying at the hotel can enjoy a reduced rate of RM 27 for adults and RM 15 for kids under 12.
If you have experienced all that the hotel has to offer and fancy adventuring out, the hotel offers a free shuttle bus to the Batu Ferrenghi beach area and to the UNESCO site of George Town, just 20 minutes away. And if you are feeling even more adventurous and have older children the fantastic Escape adventure park and Entopia are just 9 km away from the hotel.
This Penang family hotel is perfectly designed with little people in mind. It is ideal for those with younger families who want to be near attractions, but not in the thick of them. We have all experienced those times where you plead with your children to behave impeccably and not speak above a whisper for fear of sideways glances or eye rolling from other adults or staff. Well, you won’t need to worry about that at this hotel, you will be made to feel welcome by everyone.
Our family gave our stay at the DoubleTree Hilton in Penang a double thumbs up. This modern hotel is not only really family friendly for those with younger children, it’s also pocket friendly, with prices starting at RM 455 for a room big enough for a family of four.
You can read our review of the DoubleTree Melaka here, and have a look at our long list of activities for kids in Penang here.
*We were hosted by the DoubleTree Hilton Penang. The opinions, as always, are honest and our own.