Hotel Review : Armenian Street Heritage Hotel Georgetown, Malaysia (and More!)10:12:00 PM
Yes, this is a hotel review-but it's not just that. I have plenty of stories and things (food, actually) to show so even if you're not interested in the hotel review please stay and read on :D.
This is actually the first part of our Malaysia Trip 2015 series. Our first stop is Penang. I have been to Penang two or three times before when i was a lot younger, but i don't really remember much about it. I also tend to mix it up with another town in Malaysia, Malacca >.<. I guess we went there when i was too young and still wasn't into traveling (i remember opting to stay in hotel rooms all day watching TV/reading books instead of exploring. Those days are obviously long gone) so i was quite excited to rediscover this place, as it felt almost like it was my first time here.
As you might already know, i'm quite cheap when it comes to accommodations, i prefer smaller, affordable hotels rather than four or five stars ones-especially since we have to pay for two rooms each time. I'd rather spend the money to buy things... So i spent a little while browsing the net to choose the hotel to stay in Penang, and i stumbled into :
|Armenian Street Heritage Hotel|
139, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
+60 4-262 3888
The Agoda page looks promising (although we clearly shouldn't trust booking site photos too much, 99% of the time the hotels would be much uglier than the photos *LOL*) as it is affordable, has a family room and said to be on good location according to the reviews, i decided to book three nights there. I did read one commenter wrote "The hotel's haunted!!!" but as i'm a pretty stubborn person and most of the other comments were quite good, i was like "heck with it!".
What i did not put into consideration is that i brought my parents with my. My mum is one of the fussiest person on earth when it comes to hotels, and no matter how nice a hotel is-she always seems to manage to find faults. I've long given up any hope of pleasing her and choose whatever hotel i want because she won't like it anyway. But i forgot that the word "heritage" would mean that the hotel is old, antique and historical. And that's a no no when you have an extremely scaredy and superstitious person with you *LOL*.
She was already showing doubts when we stepped into the lobby.
You can sense the old colonial feeling already, no? I personally find it okay, the lobby's spacious and well lit, and there's even photo spots.
In the building, there's also a 24 hours convenient store so you can get whatever you need anytime without even having to leave the building. Not only that, there's also unique souvenir stores connected to the hotels, i liked one of them and bought a Burmese jade necklace there.
|I think the floor after floor view's pretty interesting|
Yeah, i can see that the building is quite old but quite well kept, it still has the air of bygone eras-something that my mum clearly dislike but has its own charm for people who are into vintage. I prefer modern style, but i don't mind this style too much.
I booked a family room for five of us, and the room's very spacious! KC's family got normal rooms, they're much smaller and darker while ours is actually very well lit.
|The family room has two large beds and lots of space|
|The bathroom's also quite spacious but yes, it could be cleaner|
|I do have a problem with dingy bathroom tiles...|
Now, it wasn't like... awesome or whatever, but it's decent. Problem does not lie on the hotel itself, but the location. It is smacked in the middle of old George Town, where the heart of the city once was. As it's in the old town area (where they keep the old buildings as they are to preserve the heritage), that means it has pretty much everything one would need in the old days including.... coffin. LOL.
I guess this is not a big deal in some places, we saw a similar thing in Makassar, but as city dwellers who find the topic of death being totally taboo and something we have to avoid at all cost-it's pretty shocking when we found coffin stores and funeral services offices littering the stretch (side by side with cafes and other everyday area), just a few buildings away from the hotel -___-.
We did not know this at first, but as we walked back to the hotel at night, we passed by one of those coffin stores and freaked my mum out *LOLOLOL*. She demanded to move to another hotel the next night, and since KC's family's quite fussy too (i may be spoilt rotten, but since those KKL-that's field trips-back in University days where we had to stay at much worse hotels *with ghosts and dirts*, i know i am though enough to survive almost anything. I do have the habit of bringing my own towels and blanket as well as wearing long sleeved tops and pajama bottoms so i would not have to touch the sheet much) and they claimed to get mysterious scratches in their rooms, they also moved.
Funnily, at the new, much nicer hotel that they stayed at, my mum experienced something weird (nothing happened to us at Armenian Street hotel). She did buy some dried salted fish but they are wrapped nicely and she did not smell it beforehand, but sometime in the middle of the night she smelt a strong salted fish smell on her right side. When she move to her left, she couldn't smell it anymore, but once she move back to the right, the smell is there. She thought to herself, i'll check again in an hour and went back to sleep. Then she woke up again a while later, and the scent is gone. Not sure what that means, but i'd say if there's a ghost wanting to disturb you, it wouldn't matter if you stay in a scary old hotel or flashy expensive one, they would find you anyway LOLOLOLOL.
Anyway, i'm stingy so even though my mum forced me to move with her (she even told me she'd pay for my room, that's how desperate she was hahaha), as long as i am not disturbed, i will not waste money so i insisted on staying.
I'm pretty sensitive, so if there's an unwelcoming presence, i would usually feel it-and i felt nothing in our room in Armenian Street so... If anything then the ghost there likes me, so what's there to be afraid of? LOL.
One thing that i really like about the hotel? Is the restaurant adjoining to it.
|The restaurant is clean, serves quite an array of menu, the waiter and waitresses are prompt and polite, the prices are very reasonable and they serve good food! What more can you ask?|
|One thing you do not have to worry about when staying in Armenian Street Heritage Hotel? That's food|
|We actually ate here three times during our stay hahaha|
|We had cold drinks and snacks there (i have a weakness for brown sugar and sprinkle it on everything OMG)|
|The nasi lemak's pretty nice|
|But it's their half-boiled eggs and toasts that stole my heart|
|The connecting door to the hotel's lobby|
Actually even if you don't eat at the restaurant next to the hotel, you don't have to be worried about food in this area. There are loads of places to eat on the stretch of the street.
|The view outside the hotel, i felt like i was transported to old times except for the modern cars haha|
|Prices not bad too and it's a recommended site by Tripadvisor|
|So vintage. Too bad we didn't have time to explore the cafes since we traveled with older people haha|
Our first meal in Penang was at this duck rice stall our taxi driver (who we ended up booking for the next two days) recommended.
|Located at the same stretch, just a few minutes walk from the hotel|
|Very old style|
|The ducks were fat, succulent and very cheap! I wouldn't say it's as good as Duck King or anything, but it wasn't bad-and it cured any craving for duck meats for months hahaha, we did overdose on duck meat!|
|Eh.... Haish, don't expect me to remember the name of the food okay. It's a noodle with thick soysauce broth. Love the eggs!!|
|Errrr... -___-... Selection of some fried food hahahaha. I am not cut out to be a food blogger WTF|
On the last night, hunny and i decided to have dinner nearby because we didn't dare venture too far from the hotel, it was very dark (we did walked for a bit and it was nothingness for a while hahahaha. The neighborhood on that side didn't seem very safe for tourist) and we heard drunk people. Decided not to be funny and just went to the brightly lit kopitiam (another one).
|I had Penang kway teow, which was not bad but i really prefer Singaporean kway teow with extra soy sauce!|
|Hunny's noodle... It was so so, i prefer Mie Tidar any day *LOL*. I'm sorry, i'm a bit fussy when it comes to food, and i like Indonesian food a bit too much hahaha|
All of the food places i mentioned in this post can be found within short walking distance from Armenian Street Heritage Hotel, mostly quite nice and very very affordable. We were shocked at how cheap food was in Penang, now we realized that Indonesia is not that cheap at all hahaha. In short, you will not find it hard to get food if you stay in this area.
Now, about the hotel. It's totally decent, in my opinion. Would i stay there again? Maybe not, i do prefer a more modern one that's not surrounded by coffin stores *LOL*, but i i'd do it again for free *LOLOLOL*.
If you're not bothered by coffins and funeral services (afterall, those stores do not actually involves dead people :p. My mum did ask our driver if there's a funeral house nearby and he said no, i don't know if he's just comforting her or not though), are looking for a decent hotel with affordable rate and convenient location (it's a walking distance from some malls, you can also catch a bus there if you do not want to walk. And there's a free tourist bus to take you to some tourists attractions passing the bus stop in front of the hotel), i would definitely recommend this hotel.
If you're easily spooked, very scared of anything that's got to do with funeral like us, or want a very nice, modern, sparkling clean hotel : this is not for you.
And that's all for now, longest hotel review ever i guess :p. Will continue with our adventure in Penang next.
What do you think of Armenian Street Heritage Hotel? Is it the kind of hotel you'd be interested in staying?