*I previously wrote about Hard Rock Hotel Penang after a visit in 2015. You can read the post here. This current post is my updated review for 2019.
One More Hard Rock Experience
I have always loved my stays at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang. I have been to the hotel a couple of times prior to my first review in 2015, but over the last few years, I have not been back. On my return this time, not much has changed about the hotel since then — except for the refurbished rooms and a few more added services. However, just like all my prior visits, each stay is always special and different. And so, I will write about my rocking experience here at Hard Rock Hotel Penang, once again.
The Hard Rock Hotel Penang
The Hard Rock Hotel Penang is the first Hard Rock Hotel in Malaysia, and is one of the many resorts and hotels that lie along the coastal stretch of Penang’s Batu Ferringhi. The Hard Rock brand is famous with its many hotels and cafes scattered all around the world — and is well-known for its 80’s rock and roll vibe, themed hotel designs, and of course, the many fun-filled activities. So of course, it was hard not to get excited to return to Hard Rock Hotel Penang again, especially that moment when my car turned into the hotel and I spotted the signature purple sign, and the huge guitar monument at the entrance of the hotel.
The Rock Royalty Lounge
Upon arrival on my visit this time, I was ushered up to the 6th floor for my Rock Royalty check-in process. The Rock Royalty Level is located on the highest floor of the hotel, and offers guests staying in the Suites a little more privacy especially with access to the super exclusive Rock Royalty Lounge. However, guests at the non-suite rooms are able to enjoy the access with a fee — bought either upon booking or when they are at the hotel on a daily basis. It is definitely an added luxury, and I felt like a Rock Star as I entered the lounge for my super private check-in. And because I arrived a little after 3pm, I was just in time for a classic afternoon tea.
The Rock Royalty Lounge is the perfect spot for some quiet time with its own television room; a cozy living room with an electric fireplace; a spacious balcony with beautiful views to see the sun set, the pool and the beach; and complimentary beer and sodas all day long. I got to enjoy an ala-carte breakfast in the morning (as an alternative to the buffet breakfast), the afternoon tea, and canapes and sundowners in the evening.
The Rooms of Hard Rock
And then I checked into my Seaview Deluxe Room, with a balcony so that I could wake up to the ocean every morning. The Hard Rock Hotel Penang has 250 rooms, with a variety of room types from the suites and the kids’ suites, to the hillview rooms, the seaview rooms and the all popular lagoon rooms. It really is hard to choose which room I liked best — I usually stay at the Lagoon Deluxe Room where I could just jump into the pool first thing in the morning; but on my visit this time, I really loved my elevated view of the sea. I had a chance to peek into the suites as well, and I have to say that if I was a kid again, I would have been thrilled to be in the Roxity Kids Suite — c’mon, they have a PS4 and a separate room for themselves!
The Hard Rock Hotel Penang rooms come equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, a BOSE sound system and a 50-inch LED TV with free HD blockbuster movies on demand, a handy-phone that lets you make calls to 6 countries, a bathroom wall that can be opened or closed, the most comfortable bedding, and of course, WIFI! I loved that the rooms are stylish and spacious, with signature hard rock purple carpeting and bed lights — and a psychedelic photo of either John Lennon or Madonna on the headboard wall.
The Rocking Facilities
It’s hard to pull myself up from the comfy bed in the room, but once I did — I spent most of the day by the pool, and then ending it with a session at the spa. The Hard Rock Hotel Penang has the largest free-form pool in Northern Malaysia (that’s 3 times the size of an Olympic Pool) and underwater music at certain parts of the pool — but what I loved most was the water slides! Yes, it is for the kids and in the noisiest section, but isn’t it always fun to be a kid again? And then when I finally want my private time under the sun, the pool area is large enough to find a quiet corner — especially to chill at “The Shack” to enjoy my cocktails half-submerged.
The Rock Spa
I never miss a spa session whenever I’m at Hard Rock… well actually I never miss a spa opportunity, ever! The Rock Spa is situated in a secluded corner of the hotel, surrounded by lush trees to hide its many private cabanas. On my visit this time, I enjoyed the Hard Rock Massage once again in the outdoor cabana — it’s the best experience for couples. I really want to try the unique Hard Rock Rhythm and Motion treatment (it uses music rhythm, bass vibrations and treble beats to send pulses through the body), but that will be at another time, when I’m looking for some me time.
Tabu Teens Club
Oh and I really have to mention the Tabu Teens Club! I know it says its for teens, but I am a kid at heart and I really couldn’t miss out on some pool and foosball time at the centre. And it is also at the club that I can choose a fender to rent, and have it delivered to my room so I can jam on it all day and all night… in privacy (because I’d rather no one see me do it)! I think that’s really awesome.
The Rock Shop
And of course, if you would like buy some Hard Rock merchandise; you can purchase them at the Rock Shop. Hard Rock Penang has 3 shops — in the hotel, at the cafe, and one stand alone building. The Hard Rock t-shirts, pins, soft toys, sunglasses, baseball hats and shot glasses from all around the world have become collectible items. I am a Hard Rock shot glass collector, and I have glasses from more than 10 locations so far!
The Memorabilia Tour
The Hard Rock Hotels around the world is known for showcasing music memorabilia from renowned international artists as part of the hotel decor. Collectively, it has the world’s largest collection in over 76 countries, showcased in over 223 Hard Rock locations. Hard Rock Hotel Penang itself has more than 500 authentic memorabilia, found all over the hotel. You’d probably never spot all of them, so the hotel has come up with a tour to take you for an introduction to some of these prized possessions — on the “Memorabilia Tour”.
Now, that’s one of the things I have never done on any of my previous visits to Hard Rock Hotel Penang. The tour is a complimentary activity provided by the hotel that runs every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 11am. The tour took less than an hour, and we were brought to see the memorabilia showcased at the lobby and Hard Rock Cafe — many owned by A-list past and present music celebrities like Madonna, Elvis Presley, Taylor Swift, and Bette Midler, among others. I would have really liked to have been brought to other not so easily accessible parts of the hotel to see more of these memorabilia, but that probably would make it a much, much longer tour!
Food, Food and More Food, and an Awesome Live Band
Just like all my visits to Hard Rock Hotel Penang — when I’m in the hotel, I never leave. I eat, and play, and sleep (of course) in the hotel because I can find every thing here, and I love the total Hard Rock experience. On this visit, because I had access to the Rock Royalty Lounge, I felt like I was eating the entire day!
Buffet breakfasts are served at the Starz Diner and has a variety of breakfast choices from pastry and cereal to nasi lemak and roti canai. However, if I wanted a more quiet morning, I can dine at the Rock Royalty Lounge and order an ‘Eggs Benedict’ in addition to a small buffet spread. At lunch time, I’d usually be by the pool, and the Pizzeria is the best place for that after-swim pizza and pasta, or a bowl of mussels. After that, I could choose to have a tea spread at the Rock Royalty Lounge again, and canapes before dinner in the evenings. I ended up heading for late dinners while at the hotel — the live band from Indonesia at the Hard Rock Cafe during my stay this time was awesome, so I timed my meals just before they come on at 10pm. And then stayed on for drinks.
Another Look at Hard Rock Hotel Penang
There’s never a dull day at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang — I always have a good time no matter how many times I return. I’ve been to the hotel with my parents, alone with my sister, in a party of friends, and even as a couple; and I think that this fun and lively hotel caters for any groups of families and friends. I get to join in all the exciting activities if I wanted; and if I needed my me time, I could just sit back and relax under the sun, in a cabana, or in my room. And what’s even better is that this time, I got to access the Rock Royalty Lounge and really felt like a rock superstar with all the exclusiveness that comes with it — especially watching the sunset at the highest point of Hard Rock Hotel Penang with a glass of mojito; and the turndown service that gave me a little gift every night.
So just like the last time, and the last visit before that — I know I will be back again for more rocking times.
Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Where: Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
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*She Walks the World visited Hard Rock Hotel Penang as a guest; and as always, all opinions stated here are my own.
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