GEORGE TOWN: With its vibrant culture and rich history, it is little surprise that Penang, for the most part, retains the charm it had back in its heyday.
The cultural epicentre is, of course, George Town, which offers many attractions to keep tourists busy throughout the day.
However, as with every trip, one must always plan ahead when it comes to acquiring accommodation: most of Penang’s hotels tend to be either packed with tour groups, or are too luxurious for your wallet to withstand.
For a compromise that offers comfort and price, consider staying at Mei Hotel, located on Lorong Abu Siti here.
Having opened in 2017, this three-star establishment is located quite literally in the centre of the town, within walking distance of the ever-looming Komtar.
Mei Hotel occupies a truly prime location, especially if you happen to be a foodie. The nearby streets are packed with hawker stalls come sundown, so you get to savour the best of what the state has to offer.
As parking in the city is notoriously difficult, you may fret about where to leave your vehicle safely. Well, good news – guests at Mei Hotel have their very own level of parking, accessible through a vehicle elevator!
Alternatively, park right in front of the hotel, where the hotel’s friendly watchman will keep his eye on it. Feel free to tip him for a job well done.
Once you’ve parked, it’s time to check in. Head down to the simple but comfortable lobby, where you can rest your tired feet in the guest lounge.
Despite being a three-star hotel, the service here is surprisingly top-tier, with the reception polite and efficient.
Perhaps it is Penangite hospitality, but the staff are happy to recommend nearby makan places that will leave you satiated and satisfied. No one knows the city better than the locals, after all!
Mei Hotel has an assortment of rooms and suites, with over 90 rooms offering comfort to every type of traveller. There is the Standard King, Deluxe Hollywood Twin, Deluxe Queen, Deluxe King, the Deluxe Twin, and the Family Room.
If you have a little more cash to burn, consider renting out the luxurious Studio Suite, which offers a view of the surrounding city!
Some of the rooms have an interconnecting door, so guests with families can keep an eye on the little ones next door while having their own personal space.
Regardless of which room you choose, you will have access to free Wi-Fi and other facilities.
This writer was housed in a standard Deluxe Twin room, which was surprisingly spacious and comfortable despite being the most affordable option.
With two welcoming single beds, the room also comes with a fully stocked and functional kitchenette and classy parquet flooring. Hey, carpets are overrated!
Given Penang’s often sweltering weather, it helps that the air-conditioning is well-maintained, keeping you cool even when the sun is at its zenith.
As to be expected of any good hotel, the bathroom feels new and clean, complete with complimentary toiletries and fresh towels.
Nevertheless, there is always an aspect even the best of hotels could improve on. Here, some investment in their televisions would be welcome, even if this might be a one-off issue with this particular room.
Sure, no one comes to Penang just to watch TV, but a quality hotel could ensure their screen quality is, at the very least, clear.
Nevertheless, this issue is ultimately minor in the grand scheme of things; doubly so when housekeeping does a good job at keeping rooms spick and span.
If, for some inexplicable reason, you decide you want to stay in the hotel rather than venture through George Town, there are in-house amenities for you to enjoy.
Hungry? Opt for lunch or dinner at Meimiya, a Japanese eatery with prices that are reasonable for a hotel restaurant. For breakfast, the dim sum establishment located just across from the restaurant is worth checking out.
And, in between all the eating, perhaps work towards keeping fit by checking out the fully equipped gymnasium.
All in all, Mei Hotel is a recommended choice of accommodation for those who are in Penang for business or leisure, offering a quality stay with all the conveniences without breaking the bank.
For more information, visit Mei Hotel’s website or contact 04-2170555.
This independent review is not sponsored by Mei Hotel.
50, Lorong Abu Siti,
George Town, Penang