Hotel Neo+ Penang’s strongest suit is its location; it may not be in the thick of Georgetown’s tourist action, but close enough so you don’t get left behind. While Jalan Gurdwara might seem an unconventional street for a hotel, the area’s charms grow on you as you explore it by foot.
Across the road is the art gallery of Hin Bus Depot and Bricklin Bar Café, a beautifully designed coffee bar that promises top-notch coffee in a cosy setting. Down the road is Deen Maju, the ever-popular nasi kandar shop where fanatics queue even before the doors open.
A ten-minute walk away is the popular Cecil Market, where locals gather to eat breakfast and lunch at the food court, or to buy fresh produce. If you walk past Lebuh Cecil, whip out your camera for shots of Penang’s old architecture – sans tourists.
On first impression, the hotel staff were affable and accommodating. The standard room was, as its name suggests, pretty standard. The room was fitted with a flat-screen TV, a (empty) mini bar, a narrow desk, tea and coffee-making facilities, and a safe. The bathrooms were clean and functional.
Each night of stay comes with a free buffet breakfast at Lemongrass Restaurant (depending on your booking). The choices don’t differ too much from most other hotel breakfasts; there’s an egg station along with local and continental offerings, fruits, cereals and juices. For a mid-afternoon cuppa, the Art & Soul Café on the ground floor is a nice respite from Penang’s heat.
But we reckon one of the best features of the hotel is the view from the top-floor swimming pool. The view of Penang’s horizon is not of skyscrapers, but of the mosaic shop houses of Penang’s roofs. For a sense of calm, watch the organised chaos of Penang’s daily life intertwined between some of the most photogenic architecture in the country.
|Venue name:||Neo+ Penang|
68 Jalan Gurdwara
|Price:||RM158-378 per night|