Penang Hotel Guide: the Best Hotels in Penang, Malaysia

Where to Stay in Penang (Best Hotels and Areas)

Figuring out where to stay in Penang can be a challenge because there are so many hotels in Penang, Malaysia (and, frankly, not all of them are great!). But never fear, because I’ve got you covered with a quick and easy guide to picking where to stay in Penang. 

First, if you just want to book a great hotel in a good location quickly, I’ll give you four can’t miss options for where to stay. Next I’ll cover the best areas to stay in Penang. And then lastly, I’ll wrap up with the complete list of the best hotels in Penang. 

Oh, and before we dive in, be sure to check out my huge list of the 33 best things to do in Penang. It’s filled with tons of great activities!

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Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Penang

Where to stay in Penang Malaysia

If you’re just looking to book a hotel in Penang quickly and get on with your trip planning (for example, by checking out the top things to do in Penang), then you can’t go wrong with these places to stay in Penang: 

Where to Stay in Penang – 4 Best Areas

Before we dive into the best hotels and hostels in Penang, let’s go over the best areas to stay in Penang.

Most tourists will choose to stay on the north or north-east side of Penang island, so we will cover the four most popular areas to stay in Penang, using the shaded areas of the below map to guide us: 

1. Georgetown Old Town (Blue)

Georgetown is a Top Area to Stay in Penang

Georgetown from above

My personal pick for the best area to stay in Penang is Georgetown. The colonial old town is where all the action happens on the island and where you’ll find many of the best things to do in Penang.

It has great restaurants, fun bars, an amazing street art scene, and it oozes with culture. Plus, it’s super easy to walk around! 

With that said, staying in Georgetown does you’ll need to travel a bit to get to the beach (though with the Grab taxi app – which works like Uber – that’s easy and cheap!). 

Top Choice: Cheong Fatt Tze’s Blue Mansion 

2. Batu Ferringhi (Red)

Batu Ferrenghi beach in Penang

Me on Batu Ferrenghi beach

The other popular area to stay in Penang is the Batu Ferringhi beach area on the north part of the island. 

There are many resorts here, plus enough restaurant and bar options to keep you occupied. And you’ll have easy access to the beaches and to Penang National Park (the smallest national park in the world!). 

If you really want a lot of time relaxing on the beach, Batu Ferringhi is the best area to stay in Penang. 

Top Choice: Rasa Sayang Resort 

3. Gurney & Palau Tikus (Orange)

Hotels in Penang: The Hardwicke House near the Gurney Plaza area of Penang

The Hardwicke House near the Gurney Plaza area of Penang

Just to the west of Georgetown’s old town is the Gurney promenade area of the city. It has a slightly different feel to it than the old town, with more modern buildings (which means some really great modern hotel options). 

You’ll find great hawker food at the stalls at Gurney Plaza, not to mention plenty of places to shop. And you’re just a short ride – or long walk – away from the center of Georgetown. 

If you’re trying to figure out where to stay in Penang on a budget, you’ll find some more affordable options here. 

Top Choice:Vouk Hotel Suites

4. Tanjung Bungah & Tanjung Tokong (Yellow)

Penang Hotels near Secret Garden

Penang’s “Avatar” Secret Garden is in this Area

Can’t make up your mind on whether to stay in Georgetown or near the beach?  You can (sorta) have it both ways by staying in Tanjung Bungah or Tanjung Tokong.

These are quieter but very developed areas with a lot more condotel and apartment options (as opposed to proper hotels) – meaning this is a popular choice for where to stay in Penang if you prioritize staying near the beach.  

You’ll be close enough to Georgetown that you can get there by 15 minutes for a night out or a meal, but you also have access to a nice beach and are just a 15 minute drive from Batu Ferringhi.

Top Choice:  Sun Rise View Residence

The Best Penang Hotels

Penang offers great accommodation options for every budget. From high end luxury resorts to historic boutique hotels to budget backpacker hostels, you’ll find it all in Penang. 

Finding a hotel in Penang can be a little overwhelming, so to help out, here are some of the top hotels in Penang by category: 

Best Boutique Hotel in Penang – The Cheong Fatt Tze Blue Mansion

Cheong Fatt Tze's Blue Mansion

Where else can you stay at a UNESCO World Heritage Site? A mansion that used to belong to the famous 19th century Chinese industrialist Cheong Fatt Tze, Penang’s Blue Mansion has been featured in several movies, including the recent blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians. And, if you can afford it, you’d be crazy not to stay here! Click here to read my full guide to Penang’s Blue Mansion

  • One-of-a-kind experience
  • Awesome pool 
  • Most Instagrammable hotel in Penang 

Best Luxury Hotel in Penang – Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang

View of the pool and exterior at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel Penang

Also located in Georgetown’s old town area, the Eastern & Oriental Hotel (or “The E&O,” as locals call it) is a historic hotel with more than a century of history to explore. Similar to The Raffles hotel in Singapore, the E&O is a foundational part of the lifeblood of Penang – and worth a visit even if you aren’t staying here.

Guests love the gorgeous pool, the friendly hospitality, and the delicious food on offer at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel.

  • Large stunning pool 
  • Fitness center
  • Perfect location in Georgetown

Best Business Hotel in Penang – Vouk Hotel Suites

Best Penang Hotel: Vouk

Love the style at Vouk!

Located in the Gurney area, just outside of the Georgetown Old Town, the Vouk Hotel Suites is a top Penang hotel for business travelers, conferences, families, and digital nomads. It’s a new building with stylish rooms and modern amenities at a mid-range price. Check out my full review of Vouk Suites Penang

  • Stylish modern rooms 
  • Super clean 
  • Great for business travel

Best Penang Resort – Hard Rock Resort Penang

View of pool and loungers at the Hard Rock Penang Hotel

The Hard Rock Penang is without a doubt the best resort in Penang for families with children.

Why? 

Well, there is an incredible swimming pool with tons of slides and activities to keep the little ones occupied while you relax. Plus, it’s right at the end of Batu Ferrenghi beach, and offers modern stylish rooms to boot. 

  • Family-friendly
  • Incredible pool with slides 
  • Rock history galore!

Best Budget Hotel in Penang #1 – Areca Hotel Penang

This budget hotel in Penang’s Georgetown is a can’t-miss pick for a great place to stay in Penang on a budget … without sacrificing quality. Areca Hotel is right in the heart of Georgetown, has clean rooms, and a great breakfast. 

  • Affordably priced
  • Large clean rooms
  • Highly rated breakfast

Best Budget Hotel in Penang #2 – B Street Hotel

If you like modern hotel rooms at a bargain price, your best budget hotel in Penang is likely B Street Hotel in Georgetown.

It’s a great base to explore Georgetown on foot: you’ll be right next to the best street art, the clan jetties, several of the museums, and some of the best hawker centers. With clean and reasonably sized rooms, what more can you ask for when looking for where to stay in Penang at this price?

  • Great location in old town 
  • Clean modern rooms 
  • Friendly staff

Best Penang Hostel – The 80s Guesthouse

Stylish and conveniently located, the 80s Guesthouse is the perfect hostel in Penang to meet other travelers.

It has a breakfast that is available late (perfect after a night out), a chill hangout space to meet other travelers, and comfortable and clean rooms. 

  • Comfortable mattresses and clean rooms
  • Great place to meet people
  • Solid breakfast

Conclusion: Where Should You Stay in Penang?

I hope this guide helped you find where to stay in Penang! It really is a lovely island.

Before you go, be sure to check out these 33 Incredible Things to Do in Penang (I think #6 is a can’t-miss thing for every traveler!). 

And, wherever your travels take you, be sure to check back here for guides to the best hotels around the world:

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