Sometimes it’s nice to be located in the city centre, everything close by and accessible, but sometimes you want to escape the traffic and find something which offers a little slower pace; perhaps something by the beach but still offering you plenty of sites to see and adventures to take part in – sometimes you need to find your way to a Lone Pine.
Set conveniently 20 minutes outside of George Town, Penang, Lone Pine offers a convenient mix of city action with more than enough opportunities to take in the beachside surroundings and do what holidays are all about – relax.
With just 90 rooms, all with sea views, Lone Pine brings the touch of personalisation that many large hotels forget. Each morning I was greeted with a “Hello” or “Hello Miss Smith” – which truthfully made me blush – and there was a sense of care from all of the staff.
There is plenty of space to move around in each of the cheery, bright rooms; don’t expect a huge space but it is a well sized hotel room and you can move without feeling like you’re going to run into each other.
They come with basic amenities standard of any hotel room, but each of the properties – Lone Pine is operated by the Eastern & Oriental group – come with a batik sarong with a pattern exclusive to each of the properties.
The bathroom was compact and not stuffed full of unnecessary clutter, and the simple, modern design made everything easy to navigate.
In true Malaysia-style there is a washlet (water hose) next to the toilet, but the rainforest-style shower head is well worth writing home about – I may have spent too much time enjoying the water pressure.
One note: Be sure to use a shower mat when getting out of the shower because the stone floors become very slipper when wet.
Each of the rooms come with alarm clocks which also have iPhone charing docks and DVD players hooked to the 32″ TVs, perfect for when sightseeing becomes too much and you just want to relax out of the heat.
The hotel isn’t designed for working, it is very much a relaxation spot, and as such the rooms don’t come with desks. That being said there is a chair in the bathroom with a large area, designed more as a powder room feature, but could be used as a desk if needed.
One of the features that had me longing for more time at Lone Pine was the baths that were present on each of the balconies. A great way to cool off from the humidity or relax in evenings, I wish I had time to make use of it… to give a proper write-up about it of course!
Along the beachfront are also dozens of hammocks to laze in whilst listening to the waves. Having never laid in a hammock it was on my to-do list, but unfortunately time ran out – it just means that I have to come back again, right?!
If you’re after more luxury be sure to consider the Grand Deluxe Suite and Grand Premier Suites. In the original section of the hotel, and offering more privacy away from the main hotel, the rooms offer extra space, including a sitting room with TV and large balcony looking out towards the ocean, as well as bath or shower options.
Grand Premier Suite’s have 2-bedrooms, perfect for couples or families to relax in style.
But it’s not just the rooms that make or break hotels, it’s the features they offer for guests, and Lone Pine continues the relaxed feel throughout the properties public areas.
Ever wonder what happens to books that get left at a hotel? Instead of getting rid of them, Lone Pine has created a small but well stocked library in their Lepak Room – that’s Malaysian for ‘chill out’. As well as offering the library there is a table for board games and a large lounge area and couches for when you’re feeling like you want something more communal or to enjoy the balmy evenings.
If you’re more of a gym bunny and haven’t had enough exercise at the beach, walking through the markets or taking part in some of the water sports available around the island then there is a small but well stocked gym, or if total relaxation is your style then the Pure Energy Spa may be more your calling.
If food is your passion, and you aren’t so keen to try the street foods or Arabic, Malaysian, or Italian restaurants along the street then there are a few options at the hotel.
For Japanese food aficionado’s there is Matsu Japanese restaurant, or for more family style and traditional Malaysian food there is The Bungalow, which also serves buffet breakfasts and acts as a cafe throughout the day; or if you’re after an evening drink be sure to check out batubar for the latest and freshest cocktails.
With the choice of the sparkling infinity pool or the beach; taking a stroll through the night markets outside the front door, learning about Malaysian cooking and the spices at the local Spice Garden, or enjoying or relaxing in the Lepak room, Lone Pine Hotel in Penang had plenty to do, and made me want to prolong my stay by just a few extra days to relax and sync up with the chilled out pace that comes with being on Malaysian time.
Which do you prefer – boutique hotels or hotel chains?
97, Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia
t. +604 886 8686
Photo credit: all photos by me except the pool by Twilight which is thanks to Lone Pine hotel.