When I was back in Penang earlier last month to witness the launch of the new Sheraton Four Points Penang, I was amazed by the change on this “other side” of town. My earlier visits this year has primarily been limited to the city centre, and the transformation on the road from Island Plaza to Sheraton Four Points Penang had me staring open-mouthed as the hotel shuttle drove past.
I for one, didn’t remember the sea here to be so blue, the area around the hotel so well connected to basic necessities like a Tesco hypermarket, a few bustling food courts and a stretch of beach perfect for either the tranquility or (if you’re a sucker for pain like me) a stimulating beach run in the morning.
There are many things that you can do here at Four Points Penang and its surrounding areas. To head out, the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service takes you to Straits Quay or Gurney Plaza and seriously, that’s where you need to be for drinks, shopping and air-conditioned leisure.
But if you’re like me and shun all these in favour of nature and hawker food, then the Bravo transportation service takes you to 5 mains zones in Penang (see the below). Their stand is located at the lobby of the hotel and all you have to do is let them know where you would like to go and a taxi is arranged for you immediately.
I tested it out one fine morning.
I did the beach run the day before and decided a hike the next morning is necessary. So I went to Botanical Gardens, my favourite place in Penang.
Below: Yes that’ s me in my running gear! Nike shoes, black tights, breatheable top and a cap to shield my face from the sun! 🙂
The taxi fare was RM25 one way and it cost me RM50 return.
Admittedly, Penang’s public transportation system is still pretty unreliable and that’s one of the reasons why I don’t return to my hometown often.
But when I do, Penang Hill, Pulau Tikus apom and a visit to my childhood wantan mee stall is a must! 🙂
The wonderful crisp air, the cool breeze and the greenery at Botanical Gardens was therapeutic. This is where I want to be every morning, every day.
Warmed up after a few rounds, I tackled the tar road up Penang Hill next. I felt the burn in my thighs, glutes and calves as I huffed and puffed up the incline and never felt happier! Like I said, I’m a sucker for pain. 😀
But of course, a beach run and a hill hike are just one part of my personal itinerary. My other was to experience the hospitality of the newly opened Four Points by Sheraton. The shuttle service and the transportation arrangements are very well thought of, and the same can be said for the hotel.
Taking full advantage of being by the beach, the whole ground floor of the hotel is kept open and offered plenty of the sea and sun. Cleverly, one part of the dining area from the coffee house – The Eatery had a large alfresco dining area too.
The gentle caress of the sea breeze and soothing view of the blue sea greets each guest the moment they arrive at the hotel. Wonderful! 🙂
Modern simplicity would be best to describe Four Points by Sheraton Penang. Spaces are kept spacious and airy. Spots of colour here and there adds cheer. The same can be said for the room, where colourful pilows dotted the clean white space.
Below: Coloured cushions and pretty artwork exudes such a bright, happy vibe yes?
All basic amenities are complete for a comfortable stay. The bed is invitingly comfortable and if it weren’t for my persistent Penang friends I might have just stayed in bed after my morning exercises!
I really liked the nice chaise lounge by the window and the coffee table which encourages you to seat by the window and enjoy the seaview while sipping a cuppa.
View from the room – what a sight for sore eyes. 😀
Speaking of a cuppa, the standard tea and coffee making facilities plus complimentary mineral water are provided. The mini bar is kept empty for the convenience of guests who needed the cold storage more for their tapau-ed (chinese for packaged) char kuey teow, mee goreng, lor bak, etc back to their town.
Ok, I’m joking. Or maybe not. 🙂
The mini bar – guaranteed can fit 10 packets of char kuey teow! 😀
The work desk with a pleasant sized mirror above it.
Most importantly, there are enough electrical points for my gadgets and for the muslims, open the drawer to find out the kiblat direction.
For a deluxe room the space was sufficiently roomy. I liked the fact that this being a beach hotel the rooms are not fully carpeted and had a carpet only within the radius of the bed. It helps to keep the room clean, not just for this stay but also in the long run; for guests can be expected to bring sand back with them (can be through their footwear, beachwear, hats, etc) from the beach.
The bathroom is small and can only fit one pax at any time; unless of course you want to cozy up with your mate. I had no complaints, and personally felt that the room did live up to its expectations of a 4-star hotel.
The management had briefed us that the shower amenities would be changed to the dispenser type like the ones they have at Aloft Hotels (KL or BKK) soon. I concur that that would be a more environmental friendly option.
Even though it is a 4 star hotel, face, hand and bath towels are provided.
Other amenities are found in the closet and the only thing I missed was the bathrobe.
The welcome gifts were a nice touch, since we are the media batch visiting for the launch event. That and also the letter from the GM Kurt Vieren inviting all the guests for the lion dance performance and launch event.
And of course we did attend the launch.
In Penang lion dances are very popular for such auspicious events so I wasn’t entirely surprised to know of the liondance troupe. In fact I was very much looking forward to it as I had always enjoyed a stunts-filled liondance performance ever since I was young. 🙂
And Four Points by Sheraton is officially opened!
Food and drinks were served to the guests and everyone took the opportunity to join the hotel tour and tuck into the lunch buffet at The Eatery.
The swimming pool .
So what else did I do in Penang?
1. Well, I went hunting for these elusive (but boy, it’s really good!) MyKuali Mee Kari which I couldn’t find a single packet after going to 3 Sunshine Supermarkets, 1 Tesco, Gama Supermarket and calling a few of my Penang friends. In the end my dearest friend Danny preordered and sent me a whole carton! 😀
2. I went to look for my favourite egg apom in Pulau Tikus. Unfortunately it was closed. 🙁
I bought these at the Cathay Coffeeshop opposite Belissa Row and they … urgh.
3. Duck Kuay Chiap – also at Cathay Coffeeshop. Not nice.
4. Had a good ramen burger at Javries Restaurant, Gurney Paragon. Read more –> HERE.
5. Yong tau foo and pohpiah at Padang Brown. Decent.
6. Most importantly, I met up with a dear sister who recently just got married. We feasted on pasar malam (night market) food and had a great time catching up. 😀
7. Potato balls at Batu Lanchang.
Love Penang? Want a holiday like mine? Well, Four Points by Sheraton Penang is currently offering a special introductory rate of RM199++ per night in a Deluxe Room for stays between now until March 31, 2014. This introductory offer includes double SPG Starpoints, 20% off food and beverages, and complimentary in-room Wi-Fi access.
** Thank you Four Points by Sheraton for hosting and giving me an opportunity to be back in my hometown. It was a wonderful stay and the liondance, Penang Hill, beach run and of course the food bought back many good memories. 🙂
Four Points by Sheraton Penang
505 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang, Malaysia
The Four Points by Sheraton Penang is part of the Starwood Hotels and Resorts group. You can use or earn Starwood points during your stay here. If you haven’t signed up for a SPG card, you can do so here –> http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/enroll/index.html