Another visit to Penang - a new place to stay! I've had several hotels and boutique guesthouses so far in Penang, but Betel Nut Lodge was the best so far! Sure, I've had bigger rooms before. Sure, I've stayed at the beach at the Rasa Sayang before, as well as Business Hotels. However, the Betel Nut Lodge has so far provided the most personal and welcoming stay of all of them.
I have to admit that I was lucky enough to get a first hand tour a few years back before this hidden heritage accommodation even opened, but I had always planned to come back and test it out. So I did this time!
The price was unbeatable, and so was the location! It's located within the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town, which makes it really easy for a tourist to wander around the old town without having to cross those congested roads of Penang. I had stayed in a great Hotel close to KOMTAR before and found it was the most annoying thing to cross the busy streets to get into old town.
Betel Nut Loge is close to all the sights and restaurants. Even a great vegetarian restaurant right around the corner, but from what I understand there are also great local food places right across the street! The hotel offers breakfast, which I had not booked at first and I regretted it after a few days. Once I booked it I was delighted to see that it was prepared on the spot and per my sometimes weird requests!
The room was a single room on the inside of the hotel with a window to the inner court yard (I am sure there is a better name for that in a traditional Chinese-style shop house). Small but very comfortable, specially the bed was awesome. Internet speed was great! The bathroom was one of those we Europeans will never get used to, where everything gets wet when you shower, but I understand that is a traditional bathroom in Malaysia.
The service however was the best of all of it. So personal, that I could not have dreamt up a more "home feeling" stay! You even get a hot drink delivered up to the room before bed time! I have asked lots of favours and questions and it was always met with an over and above level of service. I would definitely go back to Betel Nut Lodge for my next visit!
Now, it is an old historic building, which has it's problems. It is not a fancy new built place, but that actually adds to the feeling and atmosphere! At least for me it does! It's a "shoes off" place and you have to leave your shoes downstairs as you go up on the old wooden stairs - just like at home!
In my own rating system I would rate the Betel Nut Lodge as follows:
Location 5 of 5
Room Size 4 of 5
WiFi free and working 5 of 5
Breakfast yummy 5 of 5
Staff competency and friendliness 5 of 5 (actually the top of all my rated hotels so far)
Safety box in the room and adequate size 5 of 5
Bathroom functionality 5 of 5
Room design and functionality 5 of 5
Sounds 5 of 5