Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rasa Sayang Shangri-La Penang With Kids Review

shangri-la penang with kids club
Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Penang Review


This is a very overdue post since we actually went to Penang end Oct / early Nov. I was pretty excited to go to Penang for a holiday with the kids since the last time we went there was nearly 3 years ago. However, we did pick a rather peak period since it was the long weekend and the traffic in Penang was horrendous. The drive from the Penang Bridge to Batu Ferringhi was utterly tedious and took a very long time. The worst part is when you are driving up the winding road heading to Batu Ferringhi, super bad traffic really dampened our holiday mood. 

shangri la penang kids club reviews
Shangri-La Penang's Swimming Pools 


Upon reaching the hotel, we were expecting a relaxing stay since Rasa Sayang Shangri-La Penang got a no 1 ranking in tripadvisor, however when I saw a different entrance for Rasa Wing and Garden Wing, immediately I knew that since we were at the Garden Wing (there was a promotion for a family room) we will not be receiving the same 5 star treatment that those on the Rasa Wing gets that win those raving reviews on tripadvisor. 

hotels in penang with kids club
The room - Garden Wing : Shangri- La Rasa Sayang Penang


True enough, I checked back the individual reviews on tripadvisor and saw a few advices on the disparity between the Garden Wing and the Rasa Wing. Oh well, what's done can't be undone. The family room at the Garden Wing turns out to be 2 interconnecting room, though one is a tad smaller than the other and one bathroom has a bathtub and the other does not. The furnitures, especially the sofa looked old, but the mattress (crucial in our opinion) still provides good support. 

Ordered room service since kids were hungry and cranky after the long drive, price was not exorbitant and food was quite acceptable. 

penang hotels
Shangri-La Penang room service

penang what to eat local street food
Mee goreng mama, nasi goreng special and prawn mee


Afterwards, we decided to check out the beach, Rasa Sayang Shangri-La; Penang hotel grounds and the kids club. The beach as all beaches in Penang are not private, thus even though Batu Ferringhi's hotels are mostly high end hotels, the road leading to it are still congested as locals and other tourists staying at other parts of Penang Island, drive up to the beaches at Batu Ferringi / Tanjung Bungah for some beach fun and park at the roadside. 

So, let's say you are staying at Park Royal Penang, Hydro Hotel or Hard Rock Cafe Hotel to name a few, you will still share the beach with others not staying at the hotel. Thus, more would choose to just chill out at the swimming pool. 

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The "bare" kids club at Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Penang

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The toddler play area at Adventure Zone (also open to public)

penang shangri la kids
The other side of the toddler play area. 


The kids club at Shangri-La was a big disappointment as well, since the website states "our children playground at "Adventure Zone" offers a safe supervised play environment. Admission fee applies". What it didn't say is:
1) Adventure Zone is an indoor playground open to public
2) The bigger play area requires long sleeved shirts, long pants and socks and can be enjoyed only by 5 years and above.
3) Guests of Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Hotel can use the small toddler play area (also open to public) but only for 4 years and below. 
4) Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Hotel kids' club is actually on the 2nd floor of Adventure Zone and it is only for kids 4 years and above and is totally bare since it is actually for parents to leave their kids there and the person in charge will do activities with the kids such as taking them out for a swim, kite flying and other outdoor activities. While it is great that parents can get some time off and the kids will be supervised, the kids there looked totally bored. I didn't have the heart to leave my 5 year old there.

shangri la penang with kids
Outside Adventure Zone ; Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Penang


The kids went in the toddler play area once (cos my elder one is technically 1 month shy of being 5 year old :p ), stayed there for about 1 hour and then we kicked a ball around at the small field in front of Adventure Zone. The seating area for parents are also limited as you are vying with other parents and the place is very noisy, so its definitely not relaxing for us. The next day, we asked the kids if they would like to go to the kids club again and they said "no". Wow, that's a first. So, yup, we were quite disappointed with the kids club. 

The breakfast crowd @ Shangri-La Penang during the long weekend

hotels with kids club penang
Dedicated kids corner at the breakfast area @ Shangri-La Penang

As it was a long weekend in Malaysia, I guessed a lot of people decided to go to Penang and when we went for breakfast the next morning, imagine our surprise when we saw people hanging around the entrance of breakfast restaurant, waiting to be called in as they restaurant is "full". Oh goodness me, that also has never happened to us. There were a few disgruntled guests but the wait wasn't too long for us, maybe around 7-10 minutes wait. As, you go in though, the breakfast spread made up for the wait. The variety was quite a fair bit and the food is above average. After the disappointment has faded and you kind of lower your expectation, the stay was quite enjoyable. Just one word of caution, don't park your car under a tree as you might end up having civet's droppings all over your windshield overnight just like us :(

For the cheapest rates (most of the time) for hotels, we usually use this website. 

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