18 June 2009

In Tune in Penang

By Andrea

I took a short trip to Penang last May, flying from KL and arrived ten minutes earlier than its scheduled time. I haven’t been to Penang for awhile and it was great to be there again. Besides, all the good food beckons. How could I resist?

This Penang trip also marked my first experience staying with any Tune Hotel and was glad to choose the newly opened Penang one as my choice of accommodation there. I booked online for a Twin Sharing Room with 12-hour air-conditioning (additional of RM13.49 to the hotel room price). I only paid RM44 a night for the room.

Check-in is at 2pm but I arrived early and the room was already available. Check-out is at 10am – or else 30 minutes after, everything in your room will shut down automatically. Yes, I’ve tested, just out of curiosity.

Check-in was quick: just hand in the print-out of the reservation and my ID/passport to the reception. Since I opted for toiletries and towel rental, I had to pay RM5 for rental charges and a RM10 refundable deposit.

The room was rather small but still cozy, thanks to its nice warm color scheme (though a dash of summery tones would probably make things look cheerful). No windows, just a large mirror to give the illusion of a bigger room. My friend, whom I shared the room with, was a bit claustrophobic at first (then again, most people who stays in budget hotel like this one usually spends most of their time outside the room anyway) but fell in love with the comfort of the bed.

Seriously, the bed is superb. Even the pillow is much better than the typical pillows one usually get at hotels (and that includes those 5-star hotels too) – the kind that flattens after 15 minutes you lay your head on it and gives you neck pain the next day. I don’t know about anyone else, but I like a good bed to sleep in after a long day of sight-seeing and to wake up refreshed. So thumbs up for Tune Hotels for knowing what’s important.

The room is very well lit. It has a small bedside table and a collapsible desk, one clothing rack mounted on the wall with 2 hangers, a full-length mirror (other than the large mirror mentioned earlier), a baby fan unit and the air-con, which you can use if you paid for it. But the baby fan alone works fine since it’s a small room and it cools up fast.

The bathroom, which I am happy to say, is decently spacious. I’ve been in so-called hotel bathrooms smaller than this – like the size of a standing supermarket fridge for fruit juices (am not kidding here)! So yeah, I’m pleased. Plus, I like the rain shower and the bathroom’s clean. The pay-to-use hairdryer is in there.

Service-wise, the staff are friendly and helpful. I had some problem with the air-conditioning due to settings issue and the staff came up to the room to check what’s wrong. Other than that, everything was peachy.

There’s also the 30-minute free Internet facility at the lobby (2nd floor) for guests. All I need was to show my key card at the reception and get the access details (username and password) to login. Any usage beyond the 30-minute limit requires a fee.

My friend and I stayed there for two nights. First night was kind of noisy – noise from other guests outside our room and the couple in the room next door (we shared a door to our adjoining rooms and the couple had the radio on loud and was chattering all night). The following night was peaceful.

We had a pleasant sleep though, thanks to the nice bedding. Since there are no windows in our room, and no idea if it was day or night, the room felt like a cozy cave, a nice environment to cocoon self in bed all day. Very tempting but I had to resist doing that. I was in Penang afterall: food haven. Hybernation can wait.

Tune Hotel Penang is located at downtown of George Town. The hotel itself has this little Ole Cafe on the lobby floor. Asia Mart (for magazines, knick-knacks and printing facility) is also on the same floor but outside the lobby. Passage Thru Asia is an Asian cuisine cafe on the Ground Floor, across from the CIMB money changer. 7-Eleven is by the entrance on the Ground Floor. Taxis are available there as well.

No worries about food here. New World Park, an open concept food and shopping spot, is just next door. And all along Burmah Road, there are a number of hawker coffee shops and quaint little cafes. Needless to say, I ate many bowls of Har Mee (Prawn Noodle, which is famous in Penang) and sufficiently stuffed myself throughout the trip with various other delicious local dishes around this area, and then some. The local food here generally cost RM2.50 per bowl/plate. Cheap and tasty – what more could any foodie ask for?

The only annoying bit is that there’s no ATM facility near the hotel. So if you do need that, you may need to walk a little further for it (There’s a Hong Leong Bank down the road on your left from the hotel entrance).

Overall, I had a good comfortable stay at Tune Hotel Penang. So thumbs up from me and my claustrophobic friend, who is still in love with the bed and actually said goodbye to it when we left. I don’t know about the other Tune Hotels around, but this one at downtown Penang is recommended. And yes, I would stay there again when I go to Penang next time.

  • Norshazila

    so nice…peachy n sweet….
    i just can imagine rite now… huhu…