Planning an unforgettable trip to Malaysia and looking for the best hotels in Penang? Look no further!
Lori and I are excited to share our hand-picked list of amazing places to stay on Penang Island, one of the top travel destinations in Southeast Asia (and for good reason!).
Long regarded as a melting pot and economic powerhouse, today’s Penang is one of the vibrant cultural centers of Malaysia.
Widely known for its complex culinary flavors, densely forested hills and stunning beaches, mix of languages and ethnicities, and UNESCO-designated historic center of George Town, Penang Island definitely deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.
Whether you are planning a short visit in George Town, or a longer tropical beach getaway with that special someone, you can’t go wrong with any one of the superb heritage hotels, luxury beach resorts, boutique shophouse, and historic mansion stays on our list below.
No need to spend hours researching the very best hotels in Penang for a perfect stay, because we’ve got you covered.
Can’t wait? Here’s a quick peek at our TOP PICKS
- Seven Terraces – George Town | Best Shophouse Stay
- Cheong Fatt Tze (Blue Mansion) – George Town | Best Heritage Mansion
- Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel – George Town | Best International Hotel
- Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang – Batu Ferringhi | Best Beach Resort
- Lost Paradise Resort – Tanjung Bungha | Best Boutique Beach Stay
Keep reading for the full scoop and start packing for an unforgettable trip!
Also, be sure to check out our guide to top things to do in Penang, loaded with inspiration and helpful information for making the most of your stay.
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11 Best Hotels in Penang, Malaysia
|The Full List|
All the best hotels in Penang found on our list are arranged in five separate categories:
Best historic shophouse stays in George Town, best heritage mansion hotels (George Town), best historic international hotel (George Town), best beach stay in Batu Ferringhi, and best beach stay in Tanjung Bungha.
We’ve put together the custom map, below, to help you compare hotel locations across the island.
So, without further ado, here our complete list of the best hotels in Penang for 2023 and beyond!
George Town | Best Historic Shophouse Stays
George Town is the historic UNESCO center and heart and soul of Penang Island.
There is perhaps no better way to experience the history and magic of this vibrant town than to book a stay in one of George Town’s historic shophouses, terraces, or clan houses, evoking daily living of many of the town’s 19th century inhabitants.
And here are the best hotels in Penang to do just that!
Seven Terraces | George Town
Location, history, and guest amenities all come together at Seven Terraces, a tastefully restored row of seven grand 19th-century Anglo Chinese terrace shophouses.
Located next door to the Goddess of Mercy Temple, Seven Terraces is centrally located in the heart of the UNESCO Old Town of George Town, just steps from Love Lane, Chulia Street, and many of the city’s best attractions.
Guests also love the friendly and approachable staff, complimentary breakfast, old world touches, and onsite garden pool.
Enjoy a unique and restful stay in a historic home while taking advantage of the service and amenities of a boutique hotel.
With so much going for it, it’s easy to see why guests consistently rank Seven Terraces as one of the very best hotels in Penang!
HOT TIP ▸ Some of the units have an upstairs bedroom, which may be a plus or minus depending on your situation. If you have a preference on room type, make sure to let the hotel know when you book.
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Campbell House | George Town
Campbell House is another exceptional heritage stay in the heart of Old Town. This historic boutique hotel features 12 charming rooms with modern amenities in a lovingly restored turn-of-the-century corner shop house.
Guests particularly love the courtesy and efficient service, calm and cozy atmosphere, and the hotel’s eco-aware efforts.
An affordable colonial stay with upmarket touches just a short walk to some of the best food in Old Town and many of George Town’s top attractions – all make Campbell House one of the very best hotels in Penang.
HOT TIP ▸ Foodies prepare your tastebuds! Some of Penang’s best street food is located just steps away from the hotel.
Clans Kongsi | George Town
Clans Kongsi Georgetown offers a unique opportunity to stay in an exquisitely restored Clan House, one of Old Town’s rarest and most sought after types of accommodation.
This boutique property offers 16 beautiful residences surrounding the historic Clan Temple, tastefully decorated in the tropical colonial style of the period.
Guests love the complimentary afternoon tea, helpful staff, central location, and authentic and homey feel of a stay in one of the residences.
HOT TIP ▸ Guests at Clans Kongsi can enjoy a guided 45-minute morning walk with their knowledgeable host to further explore this amazing property. Additionally, guests also get complimentary entry into the historic Khoo Kongsi Clan House.
Muntri Mews | George Town
Muntri Mews bills itself as an affordable luxury stay for today’s flashpacker, centrally located in the UNESCO center of George Town near Love Lane and Chulia Street.
However, the spacious residences are perfect for anyone looking for a very unique experience with a ton of amenities and plenty of space for families.
Muntri Mews is a tastefully restored 18th-century row of townhouse residences, each featuring dining and sitting areas and sectioned-off sleeping quarters.
Staff are happy to assist with trip advice, dinner bookings, or anything else you might need during your stay in George Town.
Simply, one of the best values in George Town, which makes Muntri Mews one of our top picks for best hotels in Penang.
George Town | Best Heritage Mansion Hotels
Staying in one of George Town’s historic and opulent mansions is also a great way to gain a sense of life here in the 19th and early 20th century, albeit for a much smaller minority of the city’s residents of that time period.
Fortunately these days, you don’t have to be a tycoon to take up residence in one of the island’s most fabled and exquisite properties.
Here are the best hotels in Penang for living the good life!
Cheong Fatt Tze (Blue Mansion) | George Town
Want to stay in a Fatt mansion? Cheong Fatt Tze (also known as the Blue Mansion) offers an unforgettable lodging experience in one of the world’s 10 greatest mansions (according to Lonely Planet), and one of the city’s top attractions.
This imposing century-old Chinese Courtyard House combines the ornate touches one would expect staying in a world-famous mansion, with the service and modern amenities of a world-class hotel.
Guest love the super comfortable beds, delicious breakfast in the courtyard (included), onsite pool, and the spectacular history and architecture that oozes from every corner and crevice of this magnificent property.
Hands down, one of the very best hotels in Penang.
HOT TIP ▸ Keep an eye out for last-minute flash deals on Booking.com or Tripadvisor for an exceptional stay at a fabulous price.
The Edison | George Town
So many amazing stays in George Town, alone, it can be difficult to choose just one! The Edison is another exceptional lodging option in Old Town, located just across the street from the Blue Mansion, but a world apart in terms of architecture and aesthetics.
This lovingly restored Anglo-Colonial mansion, features offbeat decor and timeless elegance. Stay in one of 35 well-appointed rooms with modern and luxury amenities.
Guests love the cozy and comfortable guest rooms, inspiring touches, warm and professional staff, and location with in easy walking distance to many of Old Town’s best restaurants and bars.
HOT TIP ▸ Be sure to take advantage of the complimentary snacks, beverages, and unlimited coffee on offer in the lounge!
Jawi Peranakan Mansion | George Town
Can a city have too many mansion stays? We don’t think so! Jawi Peranakan is a lovely maintained heritage boutique hotel set in a 19th century Peranakan mansion.
Jawi Peranakan features a variety of rooms perfect for business travelers, couples, and even families. In fact, it’s one of our top picks in town for families, owing to its loft style accommodation in some of the units, and onsite pool.
Enjoy friendly hospitality and personalized service, and tastefully decorated and comfortable rooms, located apart from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist area of town.
HOT TIP ▸ Traveling as a family? Jawi Peranakan offers rooms with lofts featuring beds for additional guests. Be sure you book a loft-style room or request one at time of booking.
George Town | Best Historic International Hotel
Eastern & Oriental Hotel (E&O) | George Town
Sometimes you feel like a homey, boutique heritage stay. And sometimes, you just want a luxurious stay in a time-honored colossus.
If you’re hankering for the latter, you certainly won’t be let down by the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, the world famous Grande Dame of George Town and undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Penang!
The remarkable E&O evokes the grand elegance of a bygone era, offering guests luxurious amenities, world class cuisine, breathtaking sea views, two exquisite pools, and the excellent onsite PanPuri Spa.
Step foot into the E&O and take a step back in time, in this exceedingly atmospheric and photogenic property.
HOT TIP ▸ Don’t miss free drinks and finger foods in the Cornwallis Lounge during cocktail hour, from 6-7pm daily.
Batu Ferringhi | Best Beach Stays
Shifting gears, we now move around to the north of the island to Batu Ferringhi, for a sampling of some of the best hotels in Penang just steps away from the beach.
Batu Ferringhi also makes for an excellent jumping off point for visiting some of the island’s top attractions outside of George Town, such as Entopia butterfly farm, ESCAPE theme park, and Tropical Spice Garden.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang | Batu Ferringhi
It’s beach time! And Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang is our top choice on the island for making the most of your beach stay.
With its commanding beach front location, exceptional spa, and 30 acres of tropical gardens, Rasa Sayang offers an unforgettable beach stay in Penang Island’s most popular beach town, Batu Ferringhi.
Guests love the two outdoor pools (the Garden Wing pool perfect for families, and the Rasa Wing pool geared towards adults), professional staff, 9-hole golf course, CHI spa, and serene beach front location.
HOT TIP ▸ Be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s free shuttle services to George Town Old Town.
PARKROYAL Penang Resort | Batu Ferringhi
PARKROYAL Penang Resort is our top pick for families looking for a fun and memorable stay on the beach in Batu Ferringhi.
Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, this top notch beach resort offers luxury amenities and exceptional hospitality at affordable rates.
Guests also love Parkroyal’s central location in Batu Ferringhi near the Night Market and restaurants, two big swimming pools (one with waterslides for kids and one for adults), and exceptional atmosphere and service.
HOT TIP ▸ Spring for a sea-facing room with balcony for some of the most breathtaking ocean views you’re likely to find on the island.
Many families also recommend Hard Rock Hotel for another kid-friendly option in Batu Ferringhi.
Do keep in mind, however, that Hard Rock isn’t for everyone, particularly if you’re looking for hoping for a peaceful, low-key island getaway.
Tanjung Bunga | Best Beach Stay
Lost Paradise Resort | Tanjung Bungha
We round out our list of best hotels in Penang with one of the more unique stays on the island, Lost Paradise Resort, nestled on the western shores of Tanjung Bungha‘s main bay.
Lost Paradise is a boutique hotel just steps to the beach, built in the Balinese resort style and situated in a lush tropical garden setting.
Choose from 40 unique rooms and suites, spend your days lazing by one of two pools (the Moroccan pool or the Lava Rock pool, literally made of lava rock from Bali), or soak up the sun on the beach.
Guests also love Lost Paradise for its calm and peaceful ambience, family-style vibe, and incredible sunrise views.
HOT TIP ▸ For a small fee, you can rent a boat at the resort that will take you to nearby Pulau Tikus (Rat Island), where a lighthouse and deserted beach are waiting to be explored.
Best Hotels in Penang FAQ
Your best hotels in Penang Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) answered!
What are the best hotels to stay at in Penang?
There are so many superb hotels on Penang Island, it may seem impossible to choose just one. With that said, we think Seven Terraces in George Town and Shangri-La Rasa Sayang in Batu Ferringhi are two great places to start your search. Check out our guide to the very best hotels in Penang to learn more about the top places to stay in George Town, Batu Ferringhi, and Tanjung Bungah!
Do any luxury hotels in Penang Island have a pool?
Yes! There are quite a few luxury hotels on Penang Island that have a pool! In addition to some of the very best hotels in Penang located in and around the UNESCO center like Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel and Seven Terraces, many beach hotels such as Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang and Parkroyal Penang Resort have spectacular pools as well.
Thanks for Reading Our Guide to the Best Hotels in Penang!
Don’t forget to share this list of Penang Island’s best places to stay with your favorite travel buddies!
Writing this article brought back a ton of great memories from our time in Penang, we’re itching to get back soon!
Penang Island has so much to offer visitors in a relatively compact area, you may very well find yourself wanting to extend your stay, and these are the best hotels in Penang for doing just that!
Did we miss any of your top picks for best hotels in Penang? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover photo by Geraldine Ng on Unsplash