Penang is one of the most popular destinations in Malaysia. The island is best known for its great attractions, huge shopping malls and delicious food. Batu Ferringghi is the largest and most popular coastal town. Along the beach there are several beautiful resorts, each more luxurious than the other. One of these resorts is the Hard Rock Hotel; a beautiful, hip and trendy 5-star resort that is particularly popular among travellers with children and couples. The hotel has repeatedly been named one of the best hotels in Malaysia for families.
Hard Rock is well known worldwide and almost everybody knows the famous Hard Rock Cafes. Music (rock music in particular) is the main feature in these cafes. The theme is fully focused on everything related to music. At Hard Rock Penang, the main theme is music with a tropical vibe. Rooms and floors are inspired by all types of music; and rooms have music related names. Everywhere you will see photos and paintings of famous singers and bands. The whole décor is about how music changed the world. The lobby is full of instruments and other cool features (for example, at Hard Rock Penang a beautifully presented Harley Davidson was showcased in the lobby).
The resort is modern and is perhaps a bit different of what you normally expect with 5-star hotels. You will hear rock music in the lobby and the atmosphere is very cosy. Interior design is fresh and playful. Upon arrival you will be welcomed in a pleasant and personal way and check-in and –out proceeds efficiently.
Rooms all are very spacious and nicely decorated. At the ground floor are the so called Lagoon Rooms, with direct access to the Lagoon, a semi-private swimming pool. The rooms have a terrace with steps that go straight into the pool. At the upper floors you have standard rooms (which are already very luxurious) and special suites (Seaview Studio Suites, Rock Star Suite and King Suite). When you stay in one of these special suites, you have access to the special King’s Club Lounge, where you can enjoy your breakfast in peace, with a magnificent view of the sea in the background. Hotel guests who do not stay in one of the special suites can get additional access, for RM150 per room, to the exclusive lounge.
For families with children there are special Lil ‘Rock Suites, a beautiful family room with a separate kids room full with toys; including a PlayStation. Furthermore, you also have the Lil ‘Rock Kids Club; the day care of the resort. Children between 4 and 12 can go play and be entertained, while parents can chill along the pool within close distance of their children. There is a daily program, including fun games in the kids pool next to the Kids Club. Also teenagers can have fun at the Tabu Teens Club, where you can find a soccer table, game console, cinema and pool table.
The 250 rooms at the resort are fully equipped and most rooms have sea view (a few have a view of the hills, prices for these rooms are lower than the rest). There is Wi-Fi in each room and throughout the hotel. Each room has a safe and a minibar. There is a TV with various channels, including its own Hard Rock channel, with music as its main feature. The latest movies are played on the special HD channel. The shower is a special rain shower type that mounts in the ceiling and offers an extravagantly wide spray. Between the shower and the rest of the room is a glass wall, which can be opened and closed with panels. The bed is wonderfully large and the mattress is of high quality.
Beautiful swimming pool
The Hard Rock Hotel swimming pool is the largest freeform pool on the island. A large part of the pool is quite shallow and therefore very suitable for smaller kids. At the bottom of the swimming pool there is fine white sand; giving you the feeling of walking through crystal clear sea water. The garden around the swimming pool is really beautiful and it gives you the ultimate tropical sensation. The beach is right next to the swimming pool. There are sun lounges everywhere and you can order cocktails at the beach bar and they will bring it to you personally. The beach is very nice, although it’s not the kind of beach for sun bathing (you do this in the garden on the sun lounges). The sea is really nice but you don’t see a lot of hotel guests swimming in there (they swim in the beautiful swimming pool of the resort).
Every 1st Saturday of the month the resort organizes a foam party next to the swimming pool. Hotel guests get 4 free tickets, but also non-guests can experience this feast (RM30 per person). Before the party for the adults starts at 19.30, you’ll have a foam party for the children (between 17.00 and 19.00).
At the end of the pool you will find, on your left hand side, the Rock Spa; a beautiful 5-star spa complex with multiple treatment rooms. The treatments aren’t cheap (from RM100 onwards), but they are of very high quality (they’ve won multiple prizes). A massage in the outer part (covered cabanas) are cheaper than the treatment in the spa complex itself. Big difference is that it won’t be as hot in the spa complex because of the air conditioning.
The breakfast too is of high quality with a big range of food. In addition to a variety of local dishes (in Malaysia they usually eat warm meals in the morning) there is also a generous portion of western breakfast dishes. There are several coffee machines; perfect for the coffee lover. There are also counters where they cook eggs and pancakes (nice for kids) as requested in front of you, so they are cooked how you like.
Hard Rock Cafe
Of course the hotel has a Hard Rock Cafe, which also serves as the hotels’ signature restaurant. Here you can eat typical American dishes that includes steaks and burgers, and at the same time enjoy the live band. There is a special kids menu, and often they offer a complete meal (e.g. a family meal including drinks for a special price). During happy hour drinks are a lot cheaper (often the rule here is buy 1 get 1 for free). They have an extensive menu of cocktails and other drinks. Besides the restaurant at the Hard Rock Cafe are two other restaurants; Starz Diner is a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, The Pizzeria is –as its name suggests- an Italian restaurant. What’s especially great about The Pizzeria is that in the evening the garden is beautifully lit up, which results in a stunning view of the sea and the beach.
Directly to the right of the main entrance you have a small Rock Shop, with a lot of clothes and Hard Rock memorabilia. Outside, at the left side of the parking lot, you have the Rock Shop Superstore, where they sell everything of the Hard Rock brand. Fans of the Hard Rock Cafe can choose from hundreds of t-shirts, ranging from general Hard Rock T-shirts, to special designed T-shirts of Hard Rock Penang. Guests of the resort receive a 10% discount on every purchase. Besides the signature Hard Rock Cafe and Hard Rock Hotel T-shirts, you can find many other products (including memorabilia) in the Rock Shop Superstore.
Daily shuttle bus
There is a daily shuttle bus for guests of the resort and guest of the Hard Rock Cafe, from 6.30pm to 11pm, that drives between the resort and the popular night market of Batu Ferringghi. The bus departs every 30 minutes from the resort, and brings you in less than 5 minutes to the Long Beach food court; one of the most popular food courts on the island. Also on this site the shuttle bus will pick you up (every 30 minutes) and brings you back to the resort.
Our final verdict
Hard Rock Hotel Penang is the perfect luxurious resort on Penang. It is the ultimate family resort on the island. Are you traveling with children then this resort is highly recommended. The family rooms are not cheap, but you get a lot in return. The resort has a beautiful pool, and the most beautiful tropical garden on the island. If you fancy a stay in a luxurious tropical resort; then we can definitely recommend Hard Rock Penang.