Sunday, May 28, 2017

M Boutique Hotel

The picturesque drive from Penang Island to one of the cleanest cities in Malaysia helped keep all of us in the car awake. Well, not just the scenery but also the crazy nonsensical jokes we kept making throughout the journey. We were so tired from laughing but as we drove up to the eye-catching structure that the GPS was directing us to, we perked up.

In huge letters standing atop its roof, M Boutique Hotel is hard to miss. I also liked the facade of red bricks because I thought it added character to the place without being too bold. It looked charming even at dusk, when we arrived, all tired and hungry.


All we could think of was to check-in and to find some grub. Thankfully, the check-in process was a rather breezy one handled by a friendly young lady. I appreciated how their staff comprises mainly youth, giving the people of this "try this first, if I like it I stay, if not I move on" age group a chance, instead of the more commonly held practice of hiring "more matured and experienced" workers. Whether it is a better practice, well, that is not for me to judge.

I liked the access cards to the rooms. It has their motto of "Come as Strangers, Leave as Friends", a concept I am rather familiar with now, after this many years abroad.


When we headed to the above levels to throw leave our luggage in our rooms before heading out for dinner, I was looking forward to seeing what our rooms would look like because I felt that to convert what originally were five shophouses into a boutique hotel of 93 rooms was no easy feat. 

*knock knock on door as sign of respect to possible "others" in the room, swipe access card and step into the room*

First thought: Not bad woh... and can I say that I liked the bathroom most? I liked the black and white colour theme and the simple yet sleek layout that maximised the compact size of the room.



The room itself attempted a rustic theme. I did not dislike it but I did not like it heaps, either. 


I mean, it was okay la... and although I did not understand why we needed a bed with posts, I thought it would come in handy when we needed more space to hang bigger items (e.g. towels). 


Erm, but, we... were too short... LOL!


*a couple of hours later*

I could not wait till the next morning to take photos of the lobby area. I started by taking shots from the outside, of the bright neon lights from their own custom boutique, M Shop...


... and the warmer hues of the reception area, which also was decorated with many potted plants...


From what I gather, almost everything we could see in the hotel were made and sourced locally. In other words, it is like a showcase of local craft people and resources.




I particularly the huge chest of drawers that held our keys/access cards and perhaps other documents. Do they not remind you of those drawers that you see in traditional Chinese medicine shops? 


I wonder if they really were once used to store Chinese herbs and what not, or did they commission a carpenter to build one that looked exactly like it? And those jars... yes, normally they would contain a dainty but expensive piece of root that we know as ginseng in a body of normally yellow in colour liquid. But these, we were allowed to open to grab as many Hacks lollies to our hearts' content.


2 Hala Datuk 5, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 5 255 5566, Fax: +60 5 255 1666
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Friday, May 26, 2017

Golden Sands Resort

Golden Sands Resort is a hotel under the umbrella of the internationally acclaimed Malaysian-founded Shangri-La hospitality company. It is situated along the tourist beach strip of Batu Ferringhi, on the north-east end of Penang Island.


Their rooms were clean, spacious and tastefully decorated. I especially liked the wood-carving at the headboard of the bed and behind the sofa in the lounge room of the Executive Suite.



I had the opportunity to stay at this resort twice - both times in rooms that had commanding views of the pool area, beach and ocean. Although facing the pool, both times I was fortunate to be in rooms that were high enough to not be bothered by pool-goers.


Just the view of the pool and sea is enough to make anyone feel guilty for not going down there for a splash!


A little hard to think that it would not be enjoyable - there is a Haagen-Dazs ice-cream stand to start of temptations!


And so yes, I did end up soaking my feet in the pool with ice-cream in hand. Both times.


The resort has its own designated beach area, so it is perfect for a morning or sunset stroll, as it wouldn't be overcrowded.



And although I didn't take any photos of breakfast, I do think that their breakfast buffet isn't too bad. 

Golden Sands Resort
Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Kampung Tanjung Huma, 11100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 4 886 1911, Fax: +60 4 881 1880, E-mail: gsh@shangri-la.com

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