*This post on Hard Rock Hotel Penang was written on a visit in 2015. You can read my updated review for 2019 here.
The Hard Rock Hotel Penang is located along the coastal stretch of Batu Ferringhi, in Malaysia’s northern island state of Penang. It is one of the most popular tourist spots on the island– a stretch of beach lined with world-class resorts, hotels and ritzy condominiums. The beach itself isn’t anything to shout about, but with the luxury and comfort most of the resorts provide; it more than makes up for it.
And of course, if you’re staying in a resort like the Hard Rock– with specially designed rooms, sandy bottom swimming pools and fun-filled activities; there is really no need to go anywhere else.
I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang a couple of times when I visited Batu Ferringhi. It is one of the more prominent resorts along this stretch of coastal road– after all, who can miss its signature purple sign? Just like the other few Hard Rock Hotels I have visited in Southeast-Asia (Pattaya and Bali), this Hard Rock is decorated in the 80’s rock and roll theme, complete with posters and memorabilia displayed around the hotel.
It never fails to give me the ‘You are a Rockstar’ vibe every time.
My Hard Rock Experience
The service at the resort is impeccable. Upon my arrival– my car door was opened, my luggage was handled, and I was immediately ushered to the reception desk for a drink and registration. They asked for my ‘autograph’ instead of a ‘signature’, and wished me a rockin’ day. It is the small stuff like these that make their visitors feel like superstars.
During all my stays, the staff were always ready to help and ever willing to go all out to ensure my comfort.
The Hard Rock Hotel Penang has 250 rooms in total. I’ve stayed in a couple of rooms during my visits to Hard Rock, but I have to say, my favorite will always be the Lagoon Deluxe Rooms. Nothing beats waking up for a morning dip in the pool, and lounging on my room terrace with ‘The Shack’ pool bar just a swim away. It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy relaxing day. Unfortunately, the lagoon rooms have a slight condensation problem– the walls and the floor get slightly wet and slippery when the room gets too cold.
There are several other room types available as well– the seaview rooms offers an elevated view of the sea, the suites are for those who like to relax in style, and the kids suites are perfect to keep the little ones occupied. The rooms are modern and simplistic with just a slight dash of color.
The resort has one of the most awesome swimming pool areas. They have a quiet corner for the adults, which connects to a busier part where the pool bar is– all accessible from the lagoon rooms. There’s also a section for the children too, and it is the busiest and noisiest pool. It is equipped with slides, fountains and climbing bars to entertain the little ones. Some sections of the pools have sandy bottoms, as well as underwater music to serenade you as you swim.
I love lounging by the pool; either near the bar, on my room veranda, or inside a private cabana. I tried heading out to the beach once, and was hassled by the locals trying to sell me water-sport activities– so I never stepped foot outside the resort again.
With the choices of restaurants and bars available, I could just spend days inside the resort. Breakfasts are served at the Starz Diner; and for lunch, head to the Pizzeria right next to the pool. The Pizzeria serves up the most delicious pizzas, especially the ‘Sambal Pizza’. Dinner, of course, should be at the popular Hard Rock Cafe. The locals love celebrating birthdays here, so you’ll probably hear the birthday song a few times while having your meal.
For drinks, you have a choice of the Lobby Lounge with the live band, the Sand Bar when lounging under the sun, or the swim-up Shack when you’re partially submerged in water.
The Rock Spa
After a whole day of lying under the sun and swimming in the pool, there is no better way for more relaxation than the spa. The Rock Spa feels like a different place altogether– it is hidden in a quiet corner of the resort surrounded by lush trees and greenery. I usually opt for the Hard Rock Massage at their private villas, and a soak in the outdoor bathtub after my session.
If you’re up for something more unique, try the Hard Rock Rhythm and Motion treatment. Only available at Hard Rock, it uses music rhythm, bass vibrations and treble beats to send pulses through the body.
There are tons of activities organized by the resort for a fun-filled time. The kids’ club provides poolside entertainment and activities like arts and crafts, dance and language lessons, and sports games– it keeps the children occupied all day. For the adults, there are the occasional concerts, shows and parties held by the resort. There is never a dull moment.
At the End of the Day
I always love my stays at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang. The resort offers the perfect vacation for the ‘attention-seeking superstar’ looking to have a good time, while kicking back and relaxing. It gets really crowded and noisy during the weekends and public holidays, as it is when families with children come to stay. Weekdays are slightly more laid-back.
The Hard Rock Hotel Penang is fun and lively– it is not made for a quiet and private getaway. After all, the Hard Rock brand made its name by providing its visitors a rocking time.
Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Where: Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
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