Hotel Name: Old Penang Hotel – Penang Times Square
Address: No.3/3A/5/5A, Jalan Kampung Jawa Lama, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
I stayed at the Old Penang Hotel in Georgetown, Penang. The hotel is located in Georgetown but outside the historic UNESCO World Heritage zone, between KOMTAR and the Times Square mall. Normally I stay within the heritage area, and for first-timers to Penang that is my recommended place to stay in Georgetown.
I picked Old Penang Hotel because this area is becoming interesting with cafes and shops opening up. It still has lots of shophouse rows like in the old town, and as it isn’t restricted by development rules there are new apartment towers and malls going up. There is a Hindu temple on the corner as an easy-to-find landmark.
The hotel is in a modern building, so it’s not a classic shophouse but it’s also a bit more spacious.
The reception was bright and spacious, and had the look of a well-kept, modern budget hotel. I got a good online rate of $17.78 USD per night, but I didn’t know about the new hotel tax which is now collected by Malaysian hotels.
The new tax was introduced in September 2017, and the rate must be listed separately from the room rates. It’s 10 MYR per night, no matter what the hotel price is, so budget hotels and hostels will be hit hardest. 10 ringgit is $2.57 USD, so not a big deal, but I just find it more annoying that this sort of tax isn’t collected during the booking process.
I got a double room with an ensuite bathroom. I had a window facing the street so there was plenty of natural light. The room had A/C and the bed was comfortable.
Next to the bed was a work desk which didn’t leave much room for work once the tea and coffee took its place.
The bathroom looked modern and was clean and orderly.
There is free wifi at the hotel, which was available throughout the hotel. There was no breakfast service, which was ok by me as that just diverts me from my mission of eating out in Georgetown for every meal.
Overall this was a great budget hotel, and ideal for seasoned visitors to Penang. It was only 20 minutes walk to Chulia Street, and I enjoyed visiting some places outside the world heritage zone. For first-time visitors I would still stay in the UNESCO area.