Review: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang, Malaysia

Penang is one of Malaysia's most urbanised states but it feels very different from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur. Penang island ("Pulau Pinang" in Malay, which houses approximately half of Penang state's two million population) is a charming destination for a seaside retreat. Its capital, George Town, is famous for being home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as the food capital of Malaysia.

Malaysia's first DoubleTree Resort by Hilton in Penang
DoubleTree logo seen from balcony glass

The northern part of the island becomes quieter and more tranquil as one travels from George Town towards Batu Ferringhi. Behind the slightly secluded Miami Beach is DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang which opened in 2016. It is Hilton's only property in Penang; the resort is also Malaysia's first DoubleTree Resort and third DoubleTree property (behind DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Johor).

International chains don't have a particularly large presence here in Penang, but options are increasing, such as the Courtyard by Marriott Penang that opened in September 2020 at the height of COVID-19. By the way, Marriott Residences Penang will complete in 2022 but it is a condominium, not a hotel.

Entrance porch
Arriving at the DoubleTree Resort

The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton logo
The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang

Checking In

Arriving at the resort, one would be greeted by a symmetrical entrance leading to a reception area. The reception brings a resort vibe, with its open air concept, views behind the glass panels, and the abundance of natural light. A giant fan sits on the ceiling, providing a much needed respite from the heat, especially during the warmer months.

A symmetrical entrance to the resort reception
Good symmetry in the entrance to the reception area

The flooring infuses a touch of Malaysian heritage
The flooring infuses a touch of Malaysian heritage

Resort concierge counter
The resort concierge

At this resort, guest rooms are arranged across 11 floors, with quite a long hallway on both sides of the lift lobby, which is in the middle. There are in total 316 rooms and suites that overlook the Malacca Strait. Each pair of rooms come with an additional sliding entrance outside the doors, which can allow for adjacent rooms to become connecting rooms. 

Hallway leading to the guestrooms
The hallway

An additional sliding entrance that can convert adjacent rooms into connecting rooms
Sliding doors to a pair of rooms


Rooms are in a neutral tone with a few splashes of turquoise, and selected rooms come with an attached balcony. Views from the balcony differ among rooms, as some rooms are partially obstructed by adjacent balconies and the building across Jalan Low Yat. Family rooms and terrace suites are also available.

King Deluxe Room with Balcony
The King Deluxe Room with Balcony

King bed with very fluffy pillows
King bed with very fluffy pillows

A signature warm cookie is a nice welcome amenity (larger tins are also sold at reception) along with local snacks and a card.

DoubleTree Resort welcome amenities - cookie, snacks and card
Welcome amenities

The bathroom layout has a slightly odd shape and comes without a bathtub, but is very functional. For bath amenities, the Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender series are provided in bulk containers.

The bathroom

Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender body wash, shampoo and conditioner
A standing shower with Crabtree & Evelyn bath amenities


For the next morning, breakfast takes place at Makan Kitchen in the basement; this restaurant is only open for Lunch and Dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. With the lack of dining establishments in the resort's vicinity, the other options for meal times are room service, Batu Ferringhi or back to George Town (where there would be no lack of options).

Breakfast buffet spread at Makan Kitchen
The breakfast buffet spread

My breakfast selection with noodles, eggs and salad
My breakfast selection

The entire restaurant is open air, although they do have seats outside that are nearer to the pool. Interestingly, there were a few hungry birds and crows trying to help themselves to sugar packets on the tables outside, which the staff noticed and ushered away after some time.

Crows trying to steal sugar packets
Sugar craving?

For tea time, a cafe is located upstairs, which also hosts refreshments for selected Hilton Honors during the mid-afternoon.

Resort cafe
A cafe

Swimming Pool

A resort experience would of course be incomplete without a pool. The one here comes in a free shape with lounge chairs and giant umbrellas along part of its perimeter. Bar service is also available for those who enjoy having a drink by the pool.

DoubleTree Resort Penang swimming pool with lounge chairs
The resort pool

Poolside bar with daily Happy Hour promotions
Poolside bar with daily Happy Hour promotions

A dedicated kids area is at the corner and comes with a playground on a shallow pool.

Kid's playground
Kid's area

A different kind of pool is also available.

Pool table
A pool table

Fitness and Spa

A fitness centre is available for guests' usage and is located on Level 1. Guests who wish to access the fitness centre and spa must walk past several guestrooms along a common corridor on Level 1; these rooms may not be among the best options because of the high traffic.

Resort fitness centre treadmills
The fitness centre

The Spa is located beside the fitness centre, and provides a good number of services such as massages, pedicure and facials. Treatment rooms for singles and couples are available.

Single treatment room of The Spa
Single treatment room

Spa with view of Malacca Strait
Spa with a view

TeddyVille Museum

A unique offering that the resort houses is the TeddyVille Museum, touted as the region's cutest teddy bear museum targeted towards the young and young at heart. The 900 square foot attraction features a collection of teddy bears from different nations and eras, which range from miniature to full-sized ones. Tickets are available from Ringgit Malaysia (RM) 25 to 36.

TeddyVille Museum at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang featuring a variety of teddy bears
TeddyVille Museum

Other Facilities

The resort also houses what is succinctly named as "The Shop" which offers beach wear and personal care items.

The Shop in the resort
The Shop

By the way, the hotel infuses the famous Penang street art into its decor, which makes for quite a visually appealing environment (you should of course head to George Town and admire the beautiful murals, with a famous one being "Kids on Bicycle" by Ernest Zacharevic).

A beautiful mural reminds guests of Penang's famous street art
A colourful mural near the hotel restaurant reminds guests of Penang's famous street art

Mural in front of the lift lobby

Miami Beach

And for a beach resort, perhaps the attraction not to be missed is the beach itself. An overhead bridge connects the hotel to bus stop across the road (hotel key card access is required after 7pm for security). From there, guests can descend the steps and reach a drink store with some seats available. The approximately 400 metre coastline of Miami beach—although it does not quite resemble the one in Florida—is just a few steps further down.

The overhead bridge brings guests to Miami beach
The overhead bridge brings guests to Miami beach

The 400 metre coastline of Miami beach
A quiet beach area

Some rocks to climb

Overall Thoughts

It's not the fanciest of resorts and actually a little secluded, requiring a 15-kilometre drive from the main tourist area of George Town. The resort does offer a free shuttle service to both the Batu Ferringhi beach resort and George Town, albeit at limited timings. But if you are in Penang island and would like an evening or two to get away from the city and be close to the sea, this resort can be a good choice. Bonus for selected Hilton Honors members for the breakfast and potential upgrades.

A final look at the DoubleTree Resort
A final look at the DoubleTree Resort

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang is located at 56 Jalan Low Yat, Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.


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