Located on Tanjung Bungah beach, Copthorne Orchid Penang is the first hotel to be built in the area since the 1980s. Before we arrived in Penang, I read mixed reviews of the hotel online. Most of the negative reviews were about how dated the hotel premise is while positive feedback given were about the friendly customer service, nice beach and sea view. Reading those reviews somehow prepared me for what I was in for, so when we arrived at the hotel, I felt it wasn’t so bad afterall. 🙂
From the airport, we took an airport white taxi (so-called limo service but more than a private car) to reach the hotel. It was easy to find the white taxi counter at the arrival hall. Just tell the counter staff where you are heading to, & he’ll tell you the price to pay & issue you a receipt. It costed MYR54.70 (S$18.50) to get to the hotel, about a 40-min ride.
Upon arrival at the hotel, guests will have to climb up a flight of stairs to get to the hotel reception. Don’t worry if you have luggage in tow for you can use the ramp by the side to reach the reception on level 8. The hotel decor is indeed quite dated, but it is large & airy. Although we arrived in the late morning, before official check-in time at 2pm, we managed an early check-in to our superior sea-view room on level 18 (2nd highest floor in the hotel). Look at the view that welcomed us into our home for the night!
Our superior room (#1815) was very spacious at 33 square meters. Nothing to shout about for the furnishings in the room as you can tell it’s quite old, but it is still clean and relatively well maintained. At least, the TV in the room was a flat screen one mounted on the wall! 😛 There’s a door that is connected to the neighbouring room, so it’d good for those travelling in a big group to connect to friends or family members in the other room. The beds were also comfortable to sleep on too.
There is a bathtub installed with a shower head on top in the bathroom. Too bad you can’t adjust the shower head, making it less convenient to clean the desired parts when you shower. Basic toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel & conditioning shampoo were also provided. I kind of like the conditioning shampoo as it really did what it claims. My hair felt softer and smoother after using it! 🙂
We also went to check out the other facilities in the hotel. There is a large outdoor swimming pool on level 7, next to the restaurant, take the stairs down 1 level & you will find a spa. Prices were high at the spa, think it was like MYR70 (S$23.65) for an hour of massage! Follow the signs from the swimming pool to get to the private beach. After just about 30 min out in the hot sun, we felt so burnt…. Despite the heat, it was quite nice to see many lovely seashells lying around. In fact I also found a small dead fish lying on the white sand. Great to be able to wander on a private beach with just a few souls out there too. 🙂
The hotel also provides daily complimentary return shuttle service to Georgetown (city centre) at 11.30am as well as evening return shuttle service to Batu Ferringhi (the more popular beach area with a night market) at 6.30pm & 7.30pm. Guests will need to contact Front Desk to book seats on the 9-seater mini bus. We managed to take the Georgetown shuttle service on our second day since we were moving to another hotel in the area. Surprised that there were only 4 of us who took the bus that day hehe. If you do not wish to wait for the shuttle service but don’t want to “splurge” on a taxi, getting to Georgetown is also quite convenient with the public bus stop located just a little on the right outside the hotel main entrance.
There isn’t a lot of dining, entertainment or spa options around the hotel, but we managed to try the Korean BBQ buffet at Kkang Tong Korean Grill Buffet restaurant just on the right side of the hotel entrance. The restaurant is only open for dinner from 5-11pm daily.
Price per adult is at MYR38.88+ but does not include any drinks. So we ordered a can of pear drink each at MYR5+ & the total bill came to about MYR97 (S$32.60) for 2 after 10% service charge. While the price is a bit lower than what we’d pay back in Singapore, my friend expressed her disappointment when she realised there was no beef at the buffet & felt it wasn’t worth it. There was seafood like prawns & squids though I can’t eat them anyway. The selection of side dishes at the buffet was quite good too. Taste-wise it was not too bad but I really felt guilty having eaten so much at 10+pm. We could help ourselves to the free flow of ice cream too.
Overall, I felt that the stay at Copthorne Orchid Penang wasn’t as negative as what some guests had claimed online, considering the convenient access to the private beach, a great sea view & of course the best part, it was free for us! 😛 Even if you are a paying guest, the price per twin-sharing room is quite reasonable, at about S$60+/night, similar to the Georgetown hotel that we stayed in for second night. So if you want a relaxing holiday in Penang by the beach, you can consider Copthorne next time!