Luxury Family Holidays Handpicked for Parents

Penang

  • G hotel Penang exterior

  • G hotel Penang restaurant

  • Golden Sands Resort exterior

Now comparatively industrialised, Penang has been criticized for its rapid development, yet it still has a huge amount to offer in the way of luxury family hotels and, for food-lovers, it’s an essential stop. A very overused term today, the “fusion” fare of Penang is an authentic blend of both local and foreign spices, cooking methods and flavours, so it’s a perfect place to introduce your children to eastern spices. The night markets showcase some excellent local favourites such as beef Rendang and tend to open at around 7pm; older children will love exploring the rows of food stalls and choosing supper.

G hotel Penang exterior

G Hotel Penang

A contemporary hotel in the heart of Penang on Gurney Drive, ideal for local shopping, exploration and the amazing culinary delights of the local hawker stalls .

G hotel Penang is a business and leisure hotel that also caters very much for families staying in Penang, too. Located on Gurney Drive, it is perfectly located for those wanting the cuisine, UNESCO heritage and shopping of Penang on their doorstep. A modern and very contemporary “lifestyle” hotel, it’ll cater to...

Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Golden Sands Resort exterior

Golden Sands Resort

A mega-watt family-friendly resort on Batu Feringgi beach that is home to a one-off children's adventure zone, a host of local activities and stunning luxury accommodation.

Golden Sands resort is big and bustling and not as intimate as some, but it was designed with family-friendly luxury in mind and absolutely delivers. Owned by the incredible Shangri-La group, this has all the markings of serious, sumptuous luxury but with plenty to keep the whole family happy. The 10,300 metre square...

Baby-friendly / Pre-Teen friendly / Summer Sun / See this Hotel & Book »
Lone Pine hotel outdoor pool

Lone Pine Hotel

A hip an contemporary Penang hangout, Lone Pine is located smack on Batu Ferringhi beach.

Outside of Georgetown and located on Batu Ferringhi beach sits the newly opened Lone Pine Hotel. Of 1960s design, it has been recently renovated and reopened with its slick pool, tangy interiors and solitary hammocks dotted between pine trees along the beach. There is a fantastic Japanese restaurant above the bar and,...

Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »

Hard Rock Cafe, Penang

Hard Rock Hotel Penang, Jalan Batu Feringghi

Whatever your thoughts on Hard Rock Cafes, the fact is they are extremely child-friendly, this one located in Penang is part of a hotel with excellent children’s facilities, and the fact is that not all children want spicy beef rending and fish curry at each meal. Located on the white sandy beach of Batu Feringghi, this particular version of the international burger joint offers up juicy American favourites, lots of loud music and staff who won’t bat an eyelid if your table and chairs are left covered in ketchup and milkshake cream.

Le Vanille Pastry

122A, Jalan Hutton

Locate in Georgetown, Le Vanille Pastry is a sure-fire winner if you’re hankering for afternoon tea with a delightful cupcake or simply need to satiate a sweet tooth. Pastel décor bounces against bare brick walls and soft wooden cake fridges, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in which to delight in a perfectly Moorish macaroon or delicate fairy cake.

Spice Market Café

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Batu Feringgi Beach

An assault on nearly all the senses, the Spice Market Café within Penang’s Shangri-La resort is the place to head for casual family-friendly dining, endless culinary options sure to please even the fussiest member of the family, and so much to look at with its market-stall ambience and bustling atmosphere, children (and parents) will be left both wild-eyed and spoilt for choice. The buffet on offer, both for breakfast and dinner, presents the finest Chinese, Indian, Nyonya-Baba, Japanese, Thai, and western food, all served under a canopy of rain trees that are home to local tropical birds. Book ahead and ask for a table on the decking overlooking Batu Feringgi Beach if you can.

Tai Tong Seafood, Penang

4 Jalan Hassan Abbas

Just along the beach from Penang’s Lone Pine hotel sits a family-run seafood restaurant like no other: Tai Tong Seafood in Penang is a road-side establishment of plastic chairs and gaudy Buddhas serving the freshest seafood, all swimming in buckets when you arrive, ready for selection by diners. You can literally select the lobster you want and it arrives, made-to-order, only moments later, which kids adore. This may not serve up luxury surroundings but the food is out of this world and, literally, does not get fresher.

Penang markets

As said, the food markets are a must whether you consider yourself a foodie family or not. Visually, they are unlike anything you’ve seen and provide a wonderful way to meet locals, try new foods, smell spices you didn’t know exist and experience Malaysia like a local. The Chowrasta and Pulau Tikus wet markets are best viewed early in the morning, offering endless rows of fish, meat, spices, vegetables and often unrecognizable fruits. By night, the Sungai Dua market takes place on Saturday so it’s a big one, while the Batu Ferringhi market takes place nightly and offers up everything from flip flops to fish rendag, satay to Salvatore knock-offs.

Muka Head in Pantai Acheh

Muka Head in Pantai Acheh may be the smallest national park in the country but that only makes it less overwhelming during exploration. You may simply want to visit the pristine Pantai Kerachut beach or the meromictic lake (this is basically a body of sea water and fresh water that do not mix but it’s stunning and perfect for day trips). Children will adore the operational old lighthouse that has been running since 1883.

Penang cable car

Penang Hill sits 821 meters above sea level visitors and provides visitors with some of the grandest colonial mansions (which are now restaurants and guests houses) alongside panoramic views of the island. Children tend to love the 30-minute cable car ride up Penang Hill from the funicular station in Air Itam, while more active families may choose to trek up the hill via the Botanic Gardens, an impressive three-hour hike through lush rainforest.

About

Dial 999 from any phone for the police or emergency services. Medical care in Malaysia is of the highest quality and run along parallel public and private sectors. The large majority of doctors and medical personnel speak English and hospital facilities are immaculate, especially in urban areas. Georgetown and it’s surrounding environs are home to, what are generally considered, the best hospitals on the island. Gleneagles Medical Centre is located at 1 Jalan Pangkor (+604 227 6111) and Island Hospital is at  308 Macalister Road (+604 228 8222). Some of the country’s more rural areas carry a small Malarial risk but in cities such as Kuala Lumpur there is no need to worry at all. It is generally recommended that you have the Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations before heading to Malaysia so consult with your doctor where your children are concerned before travelling to remote parts of the country.

When to go

April to October is the dry season, with June to September being the hottest months and seeing the least rainfall. The weather is less predictable in the monsoon season. Chinese New Year is an extremely fun to visit for all the celebrations that take place across the island.

Currency

Malay Ringgit

Language

Malay