Penang is one of those destinations where you can choose and pick your accommodation based on what you want to do or eat. Want to be surrounded by food and a UNESCO site, then stay in Georgetown. Want to wake up to isolation from the crowd, then stay around Balik Pulau. If you're looking for a beach side hotel, look no further than Hompton by the Beach, Tanjung Bungah.
Driving along Tanjong Tokong seafront, you can spot it - all 33 floors of this hotel from the road where it's located next to the iconic Penang Chinese Swimming Club. When the hotel first opened, their lobby was on the 11th floor, giving guests views of the sea and beach from the top. But on my recent visit in December 2021, it had been moved to the ground floor probably for easier SOP controls.
Check-in was fast with a very friendly receptionist assuring me I had a room with a partial sea view. My deluxe room for one night was on the 15th floor with two single beds and a beautiful partial view of the beach, sea and the Chinese Swimming Club from above.
The room itself was perfect for a staycation with everything I needed for comfy stay from complimentary high-speed wifi to a smart TV and bathrobes to lounge in. The rain shower was heavenly as were the complimentary body wash, shampoo and conditioner.
The hotel's infinity pool was on the 10th floor and was somewhat chilly as it was shaded but if you room doesn't have a sea view, you can get it here. There is a fully-equipped fitness center and a steam room for you to sweat it out.
If your room comes with complimentary breakfast buffet. then you can find it on the 11th floor, the former reception level which had been turned into the Spice Garden cafe. The breakfast spread was pretty good with nasi lemak, meehoon, fruits, porridge and more. Coffee drinkers will love the three coffee machines available for your caffeine fix. Get there early if you want a table with a view of the sea. If you're lucky, you might be able to catch the sunrise from the cafe.
Why Stay at this Hotel?
The staff at Hompton by the Beach were superb from the friendly receptionist to the pleasant helpful staff of the bar. If the hotel food doesn't strike your fancy, there is a food court directly across the road from the hotel and a MyNews just a 5 minutes walk away for snacks and drinks.
The beach in front of the hotel was pleasant for a nice chill stroll in the mornings or evenings although keep an eye out for jellyfish carcass in the sand.
Why do not stay at this Hotel?
Parking is limited. There are only about 7 parking bays per floor in the first 9 floors of the hotel and if it's full, you will have to park along the street outside the hotel. Not wanting to lose my parking spot, I ended up not leaving the hotel until my check out and grabbed dinner at the food court across the road.
Another issue is the limited lifts. For a hotel with over 200 rooms and 33 floors, there are only 3 lifts operating. Due to Covid SOP aka four per lift, it's no surprise if a queue forms. From the parking lot to the lobby too, there is a separate set of lifts which turned out to be a great hack for me to get to my room. All I had to do was take the car park lift to the 10th or 11th floor and walk up the stairs to the 15th floor if there was a queue but I can't imagine doing this if my room was on higher floors.
So yes, Hompton by the Beach was a great staycation and just what I needed. Beach, amazing views and just sitting around in my relaxing room in their comfortable bathrobes. I for one would stay there again. Just not during the school holidays or when the hotel is packed to the brim.