I grew up in Kuantan. It is my hometown, and the place I visit every other time a holiday comes around. Despite leaving it to work and live in the big city of Kuala Lumpur almost two decades ago; and even with the many changes in Kuantan within that time… there is always that sense of familiarity when navigating through this town I call home. And all this time (even after starting my travel blog), I have never EVER had a staycation in town! So I was delighted to be given the opportunity for a family staycation in the newly renovated Shahzan Hotel Kuantan.
The Shahzan Hotel Experience
The Shahzan Inn was around even back when I was still living in Kuantan. However, in 2020, the hotel has received a complete overhaul and renovation; now rebranding itself as the Shahzan Hotel Kuantan. Located in the centre of Kuantan city, I have passed by this hotel many many times throughout the years… so it was a different feeling indeed to finally visit for a stay in the hotel. Shahzan Hotel is close to some of the major attractions in the city — the Kuantan River waterfront and the city mosque, just to name a few.
There are plenty of parking spaces around the hotel; but the few places in front of the hotel are reserved complimentary for guests (the other places require the usual city parking fees). The easy access was really convenient for us as we had little Ava in tow for this staycation… and from the carpark, there’s also a ramp for us to push her stroller up to the hotel lobby. The 24-hour check-in service was quick and easy (at the bright and spacious hotel lobby with comfy lounge seats), and in no time we were ushered into the lift and to our hotel room on the 9th floor.
My Room with a View
Our room at the Shahzan Hotel Kuantan was the Deluxe Queen Room that came with beautiful views of the city and the majestic Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque in the distance. The tastefully refurbished room features the basic facilities like a flat-screen TV with local and international channels, free Wi-Fi, toilet amenities, refrigerator, coffee and tea making facilities, and air-conditioning that can be controlled from the bedside. Little Ava (who usually fusses before nap-time) enjoyed a long deep slumber on the bed with its comfy bedding. And we did too!
The other accommodation options in the 152-room Shahzan Hotel include the Deluxe and Standard Queen and Twin rooms, the Junior Suites and the two-bedroom Royal Suites.
Dining at the Puteri Teja Cafe
The night of our 2-day 1-night staycation, we dined at the Puteri Teja Cafe that serves a variety of classic Malaysian and western dishes for lunches and dinners. Amongst the four of us (my dad and sister came to join hubby and I for the meal); we ordered the Fish & Chips, Seafood Aglio Olio, Portobello Mushroom and Mozarella… and our favourite one of all, the Char Kway Teow complete with the classic ‘char’ burnt taste. And finally, we topped off our meal with a Banana Split and a super humongous Ice Kacang for dessert. A specialty of the restaurant is their Chinese Steamboat Set — and diners can order it with Szechuan Seafood, Chinese Chicken Herb or the Hot & Sour Broth with Fish Fillet soup base. It all sounds so yum!
Daily breakfast is also served at the Puteri Teja Cafe, and we were given a menu with three choices — the “Nasi Lemak” set, the “Rice Porridge” set and the “Western” set. The meal also includes fresh fruits, juice, and coffee or tea.
Other Dining Outlets and Facilities
Other than the Puteri Teja Cafe, there’s also the Pekan Deli on the ground floor where we had a tea time snack of coffee, juice and cheese cake. And I would have liked to linger awhile at the Cigar Divan for its sophisticated chill-out vibe (and if you so wish, you can smoke a premium cigar too), but alas… I was with a baby!
For families that stay at the hotel, the children (and adults too, of course) can be entertained at the outdoor swimming pool and kids pool. The pool area overlooks Kuantan city — so you get views of the mosque and also Kuantan’s tallest tower, the Kuantan 188 Tower. During my solo days, pool time would have been a must-do; but we had to give it a miss this time as Ava is only 2 months old (and daddy says she’s still too young for a swimsuit)! During my visit, the function room floor was still under renovation — but once done, it can accommodate larger events and gatherings.
Exploring around Shahzan Hotel
In the evening, we decided to head for a walkabout just outside Shahzan Hotel. The hotel is just a 3-minute walk to the Kuantan state mosque, the Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque — and we passed by a museum, as well as the local football field that had teams kicking ball that day. That was all the sightseeing we did; but just another short stroll away is the Kuantan River waterfront. There, you can either admire the city from high above at the tallest Kuantan 188 Tower; or admire it from the waters on a Kuantan River Cruise. Of course, there are plenty of other attractions around Kuantan (like the popular Teluk Chempedak Beach) and those just a little outside the city. I’ve written about some of it here:-
Learning Kitesurfing at Balok Beach, Kuantan
Surfing in Cherating
Sungai Lembing’s Rainbow Waterfall
Also, one of my favourite restaurants in Kuantan is located just down the corner from Shahzan Hotel, the New Capitol Chicken Rice. There is, of course, much more delicious Kuantan food to be found — and you can read about it here:-
Mynn’s Top 10 Favourite Eats in Kuantan, Pahang
Mynn’s Top 10 More Things to Eat in Kuantan, Pahang
At the End of the Stay
I enjoyed my first staycation in Kuantan at the Shahzan Hotel Kuantan… and I’m sure little Ava had a great time at her very FIRST (ever!) staycation as well. The hotel is a good base for local visitors and families to explore what Kuantan has to offer — it is, after all, located right smack in the centre of town, and fulfils all the needs of a simple stay at an affordable price. And I really like what the new refurbishment and renovation has done for the place… it has added a new glow to this once old hotel.
Oh, and I do think that the Puteri Teja Cafe is a good place to visit even just for a meal… that plate of Char Kuey Teow I had was quite memorable. I think I might be revisiting soon for another taste!
SHAHZAN HOTEL KUANTAN
Address: Lot Pt 240, Jalan Bukit Ubi Jalan Masjid,
Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia.
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*She Walks the World stayed at the Shahzan Hotel Kuantan as a guest; and as always, all opinions stated here are my own.
*All information shared are correct at time of writing, but for up-to-date details; please head to the hotel’s website here.
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**At the time of writing and my staycation, the world is still in the midst of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic; and because we cannot fly out of the country at the moment, many Malaysians have been planning holidays within the country. It’s an unprecedented time to be a travel blogger, so I’m taking the opportunity to write more about my beloved country. It’s important at this time to adhere to all the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place. Read more about my Malaysian travels here.