Exactly Where To Stay In Penang Island [2024] Best Places🏝️

Published Categorized as Penang
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Travelling to Penang and wondering where to stay in Penang Island?

We can help you out. We have not only lived in Penang but visit regularly. It’s one of our favourite places in the world and we want to make sure you have the best vacation possible and love it as much as us.

Batu Ferringhi has some top resorts in Penang

Penang Island may be bigger than you think – it has an area of 293km2. And with a mountainous and jungle clad interior, you can’t always take the most direct route between places.

It’s also one of the most populated places in the country which means there can be a lot of traffic. This makes picking the best place to stay even more important!

Best Hotel in Penang

Don’t have time to read the whole article? The best choice is the awesome Eastern And Oriental Hotel.

Click here to book it now >>

In this where to stay in Penang blog, we will tell you the pros and cons of each Penang area and then list the best place to stay in Penang, Malaysia for each. There’s also a handy map at the end so you can see the exact location of everything.

So all you have to do is work out which area meets your trip requirements best then pick the recommended hotel in Penang for that area that suits your budgets and needs.

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Our Top 3 Picks: Best Places To Stay In Penang

Simply want to book the best option? Save time with our top 3 picks below.


Eastern And Oriental Hotel

✔️ Historic and convenient location

✔️ Luxurious and classy


Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa

✔️ Great beachfront location

✔️ Great range of facilities


G Hotel Kelawai

✔️ Modern hotel

✔️ Great pool

Summary Of The Best Hotels In Penang

Eastern And Oriental HotelGeorge Town★★★★★8.9$$$Click here
Bayview Hotel George TownGeorge Town★★★★7.7$Click here
Hotel Jen Penang By Shangri-LaGeorge Town★★★★8.4$$Click here
Sunway Hotel George Town PenangGeorge Town★★★★8.1$Click here
Chulia Heritage HotelGeorge Town★★★7.9$Click here
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and SpaBatu Ferringhi★★★★★8.5$$$Click here
Golden Sands PenangBatu Ferringhi★★★★8.1$$Click here
Bayview Beach ResortBatu Ferringhi★★★★8.1$Click here
Hard Rock Hotel PenangBatu Ferringhi★★★★★8.6$$Click here
Rasa Motel PenangBatu Ferringhi★★8.7$Click here
Lost Paradise ResortTanjung Bungah★★★8.1$Click here
DoubleTree Resort By Hilton Hotel PenangTanjung Bungah★★★★★8.5$$Click here
Rainbow Paradise Beach ResortTanjung Bungah★★★★7.5$Click here
Mecure Penang BeachTanjung Bungah★★★★8.0$$Click here
G Hotel GurneyGurney Drive★★★★★8.6$$$Click here
G Hotel KelawaiGurney Drive★★★★★8.8$$$Click here
Evergreen Laurel Hotel PenangGurney Drive★★★★★8.1$$Click here
Eastin Hotel PenangBayan Lepas★★★★8.0$$Click here
Lexis Suites PenangBayan Lepas★★★★★8.2$$$Click here
Olive Tree Hotel PenangBayan Lepas★★★★8.2$$Click here
M Qube HotelBayan Lepas★★8.5$Click here

Here’s a quick overview if you are looking for a specific type of hotel…

📍Best Area In Penang For First VisitGeorge Town
⭐Best Luxury HotelEastern And Oriental Hotel
🏨Best Midrange HotelBayview Beach Resort
🚪Best Budget HotelRasa Motel Penang
👪 Best Hotel For FamiliesGolden Sands Penang
🛌Best HostelM Qube Hotel

Where To Stay In Penang Island –The Best Areas [2024]

Note that Penang is a state in Malaysia which includes the island of Penang as well as a small section of the mainland of peninsular Malaysia. The vast majority of tourist attractions and services are on the island and this is definitely where I recommend you look for the best area to stay in Penang. For this reason, you will only find the top hotels in Penang Island below.

George Town

best stay in Penang at Georgetown
Street in George Town

George Town is the capital of Penang and the central part is UNESCO listed thanks to its unique architecture, culture, and townscape. It was first settled by the British in the 1700s where it became a melting pot of people and cultures which it still is today.

There’s Little India, Chinese shopfronts and colonial architecture. It’s a great mix with some great food to go along with it.

It’s a nice place with some interesting historical sites and the shop fronts that make it famous. It’s also somewhat centrally located on this island with the population sprawling in all directions from here. If you are arriving by bus or train to Butterworth or Penang, it’s also the most convenient of the places to stay in Penang, Malaysia especially for getting around by local bus.

top 5 hotels in Penang near street art
There’s also some great street art in George Town

However, it’s also somewhat dead at night and lacking in atmosphere and you aren’t near a beach. The better resorts are elsewhere but there are some good business style hotels and cheap hotels in Penang, Malaysia in George Town as well as perhaps the best hotel to stay in Penang (Eastern And Oriental).

There are some great options of where to stay in George Town, Penang detailed below.

George Town Summary


  • You can walk to many attractions
  • It’s central so easy to get to and get around from
  • Good range of accommodation
  • Great restaurant and eating options


  • There’s only a half day of things to do here
  • It’s not the best place for hanging out

Best For…
People wanting a central location in an historic area with many eating and shopping options.

Best Place To Stay In George Town, Penang

Below are the best places to stay in George Town, Penang.

Eastern And Oriental Hotel

The historic Eastern and Oriental Hotel is a top contender for the best luxury hotel in Penang and is in a convenient location on the waterfront not far from Fort Cornwallis and some of George Town’s other top attractions.

This 19th century heritage option has a pool, gym, six dining options, bar and 24-hour butler service.

The rooms are simply stunning and come with large bathrooms, lounge and working areas. You will love them!

Click here for the latest prices. 

Bayview Hotel George Town Penang

This business-style city hotel is in a great spot in central George Town in easy walking distance to all its attractions.

There are a range of facilities including a pool, gym and revolving restaurant! We have particularly enjoyed staying here because of the night market across the road which is perfect for dinner.

There are a range of room types including suites and family rooms making this one of the options for the best hotel in Penang town. However, rooms could do with updating and cleanliness standards have slipped in recent times.

Click here for the latest prices. 

Hotel Jen Penang By Shangri-La

The Hotel Jen is located by many shopping opportunities in George Town but it is a bit of a walk from the main George Town attractions.

This 4 star hotel in Penang has many facilities including a great pool, sauna and steam room, gym, day spa, hairdressers, restaurant and bar. There is also a free shuttle to enjoy Batu Ferringhi and the facilities at the Golden Sands Resort.

There are a range of room types including family rooms and apartments.

Click here for the latest prices.

Sunway Hotel George Town Penang

The Sunway Hotel George Town is another good hotel in Penang near the Hotel Jen and surrounded by shopping options.

The Sunway has a pool, restaurant and gym and is a solid mid-range option.

There are a range of room types including family rooms and ones with special Club Lounge access where you get special food and drinks.

Click here for the latest prices.

Chulia Heritage Hotel

Located in a central part of George Town, the Chulia Heritage Hotel is great choice for the best cheap hotel in Penang island for bargain seekers looking for a great location. This is a simple hotel without extra facilities and services, although there are bicycles available.

All rooms are a good standard with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities and flat screen TVs. You can choose whether to have a private or shared bathroom depending on your budget. There are family rooms as well as twins, doubles and triples.

Click here for the latest prices.

Find more places to stay in George Town here.

Batu Ferringhi

Penang accommodation batu ferringhi beach
Batu Ferringhi – it’s easy to find a quiet stretch

Batu Ferringhi is the main beach area of Penang. It’s located on the north coast about a 30 minute drive from George Town. It’s more like a small beach town than a big city and feels removed from the sprawl of Penang.

This choice of the Penang places to stay has a great atmosphere and is the most touristy part of the island, although it’s really not that touristy. This is where you will find the best resorts and water sports and definitely the place to be if you want a beach.

The beach is nice but there are jellyfish. I waded in the water the first time I went, no deeper than to my knees and managed to get stung by a jellyfish!

Batu Ferringhi Beach
Batu Ferringhi Beach

It’s an easy place to be with great food, a night market (perfect for souvenirs) and everything you need to make your stay a success. I highly recommend eating at the hawker centre, Long Beach Kafe, in the evenings.

It’s easy to get here on a bus from George Town.

Batu Ferringhi Summary


  • Beach area
  • Lots of tourist services
  • Great range of accommodation and great resorts
  • Great food
  • Great place to chill


  • A bit removed from Penang attractions and the Penang airport is an hour away
  • Jellyfish at the beach

Best For…
People wanting a fun, beach town with great atmosphere that don’t mind being a commute away from attractions. It’s our favourite area.

Best Place To Stay In Batu Ferringhi, Penang

Below are our choices for the best hotel in Batu Ferringhi, Penang.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa Penang

This 5-star resort is in a beautiful location by the beach in Batu Ferringhi. It’s just a short walk from the centre of Batu Ferringhi while feeling a world away with its spacious gardens.

There are multiple pools, restaurants, a gym, kids club, golf course and more.

There are a range of room types from doubles to options for families. For a treat, consider a room in the Rasa Wing which includes breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktails and pre-dinner canapes and coffee, tea and soft drinks throughout the day. It may be the best beach resort in Penang.

Click here for the latest prices.

Golden Sands Penang

The Golden Sands Penang Resort is in a prime location in the centre of Batu Ferringhi on the beach.

This hotel has been designed with all the best conveniences for families. Facilities include two big pools with a waterslide and kids adventure zone, multiple on-site restaurants, a kids club, tennis court and fitness centre.

There are several room types including some superior, deluxe and executive suites as well as connecting rooms for groups.

Click here for the latest prices.

Bayview Beach Resort

The Bayview Beach Resort is located on the beach, although a little out of the cental part of Batu Ferringhi.

This is a great value option in this list of hotel in Batu Ferringhi Penang. It is a cheaper option than other hotels on the beach while still having a big range of facilities including pools, water playground, gym, tennis court and kids club.

There are a range of room types including for families. They come with sitting areas and some have a sea view.

Click here for the latest prices or here to read our full review.

Hard Rock Hotel Penang

The Hard Rock Hotel Penang is a top contender for best beach hotel in Penang. This hotel is stunning with many facilities including a huge pool area, water playground, swim-up bar, gym, hair salon, multiple eating options, kids club, teens club and more. It’s a fun hotel!

The only downside is that it is a bit out of the action next to the Bayview above.

There are a range of rock ‘n roll themed rooms including for families.

Click here for the latest prices.

Rasa Motel Penang

The Rasa Motel is a contender for the best budget hotel in Penang when you are looking to stay in Batu Ferringhi. Well located opposite the Shangri-La, it is just a short walk to the beach and the action in Batu Ferringhi with many eating options nearby.

For being part of the Penang budget hotel list, the Rasa does offer a few services including laundry, massages, and it has a restaurant on site.

All rooms have their own bathroom and there is a variety of bedding configurations.

Click here for the latest prices.

Tanjung Bungah

Tanjung Bungah hotel in Penang list
Tanjung Bungah skyline – hardly the quiet fishing village some sites lead you to believe!

Tanjung Bungah is located between Batu Ferringhi and George Town and is convenient if you want to spend time in both of these places. It’s just a short bus, taxi or drive away from each.

Part of Penang’s urban sprawl stretching from George Town, you won’t feel like you have escaped it all here but there are some ok beaches as well as water sports to get you in the holiday mood.

There are also some great restaurants (go to Sri Ananda Bahwan for the best Indian in the world!) and a shopping centre with Tesco, the main supermarket chain, for your supplies. However, there are no real attractions in Tanjung Bungah so you will probably spend most your time going elsewhere.

There’s a reasonable range of hotels here and they tend to be the best value on the island.

Tanjung Bungah Summary


  • More affordable than surrounding areas
  • Beach and water sports
  • Easy to get to both Batu Ferringhi and George Town


  • Lacking attractions
  • Quiet in evenings
  • You will probably spend most your time going elsewhere
  • Far from airport

Best For…
People wanting affordable, good accommodation close to Batu Ferringhi and George Town

Best Place To Stay In Tanjung Bungah, Penang

Below are our choices for the best hotel in Tanjung Bungah, Penang

Lost Paradise Resort

Located just off the main road between Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi, this best boutique hotel in Penang has great views, and it’s easy to get to either area on public transport. Note that the area here is quite mountainous so you can’t walk anywhere.

There is a great infinity pool, day spa and in-house restaurant.

The suites are fabulously presented and it feels very special staying here. There are a range of suites including for families as well as a regular room type which is nowhere near as nice.

Click here for the latest prices.

DoubleTree Resort By Hilton Hotel Penang

This resort is located in between Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi in a picturesque location similar to Lost Paradise above between the mountains and the sea.

There are a range of facilities here including a pool, gym, walkway to the beach, restaurant, bar and an indoor play area for kids.

The rooms are all of a great standard and range from king rooms to two room suites for families. This is a great choice if you don’t mind hopping in a bus, car or taxi to go places.

Click here for the latest prices.

Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort

Located on the main road between Batu Ferringhi and George Town, it is easy to get around from this nice hotel in Penang by the beach.

Facilities include a pool, tennis court, gym, day spa, bar and restaurant

Rooms are a good size with minibars and balconies and there’s also the option of an apartment stay in Penang or family room. There are some maintenance issues in some rooms.

This hotel is a great choice for bargain seekers with all the facilities available and the generally decent room standard in a handy spot.

Click here for the latest prices.

Mecure Penang Beach

By the main road in Tanjung Bungah is the Mecure Penang Hotel. This 4-star option makes the most of its location with a great pool by the beach.

In addition to the pool, there is a gym and restaurant on-site.

There are double and twin rooms available and you can pay more for an ocean view. You can also book a suite which has a separate living and dining area.

The rooms have everything you would expect including tea and coffee making facilties, minibar, flat screen TVs and private bathrooms, all to a good standard.

Click here for the latest prices.

Gurney Drive

Gurney Drive top 10 hotel in Penang
Gurney Drive

Gurney Drive (also known as Persiaran Gurney) is located just north of George Town before Tanjung Bungah and is a popular seafront promenade.

This Penang best place to stay is the place to be for shopping! It’s home to two big shopping centres, Gurney Paragon Mall and Gurney Plaza – which is the second largest shopping centre on the island. The latter also has a big cinema, children’s playcentre and some other entertainment options.

It’s also popular for its night hawker market which is the place to be to try out all of Penang’s delicacies, especially its seafood.

There are some nice hotels located here, some with seaviews. There are also some historical and architectural monuments as well as temples including Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram and Dharmikarama Burmese Temple.

However, mostly you will need to travel elsewhere for attractions. Luckily, Gurney Drive is just on the edge of George Town so it’s easy to get around.

Gurney Drive Summary


  • Handy location next to George Town
  • Surrounded by shopping and some great food


  • Better cheap places to stay in Penang elsewhere
  • Lack of local culture

Best For…
People wanting shopping and food options close by.

Best Place To Stay In Gurney Drive, Penang

Below are our choices for the best hotels in Penang, Malaysia in the Gurney Drive area.

G Hotel Gurney

The G Hotel Gurney should be on your Penang island hotel list if you want a luxurious hotel in this area.

With facilities ranging from a pool and gym to multiple restarants and bars, this hotel is in the perfect place to shop and eat at some of the best shopping centres and eating establishments in Penang.

Many rooms feature great views over the coastline and are equipped with minibars, tea and coffee making facilities and everything else you would expect in a top hotel. There are also suites available with separate living areas.

Click here for the latest prices.

G Hotel Kelawai

This hotel is also in a great position by many shopping and eating options and is very modern both inside and outside.

There is a spectacular infinity pool as well as a gym, restaurants and bars.

Rooms are modern, comfortable and functional. You can’t go wrong here! They feature everything you would expect in a top hotel as well as coffee machines and seating areas.

Click here for the latest prices.

Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang

Evergreen Laurel is a more budget friendly option right on Gurney Drive and closer to the sights of George Town.

Facilities here include a pool, gym, sauna, two restaurants and bars. Live music is available at the poolside and lobby bars.

Rooms are an older style compared to the G hotels above but comfortable, functional and a great size. There’s also the option of a suite with separate living room.

Click here for the latest prices.

Bayan Lepas

Bayan Lepas snake temple
Snake Temple in Bayan Lepas

Our final recommendation of where to stay in Penang, Malaysia is south of George Town, near the airport, at Bayan Lepas.

Bayan Lepas is a good place to stay in Penang for value seekers who want to be near attractions while not breaking the bank. While it is my 5th choice of the best place to stay at Penang and I would pick the above areas first, Bayan Lepas does have some things going in its favour.

For a start, it is just ten minutes from the airport so staying here can be attractive if you are arriving late or after a long journey. There are also some good mid-range, 3 star hotel in Penang choices as well as one of my top picks for the best resort in Penang at the Lexis Suites.

If you choose a hotel to stay in Penang on a bus line in this area, you can access George Town easily.

There are also some nice attractions in Bayan Lepas including the Snake Temple, Aquarium, Penang War Museum and the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden. This nice place to stay in Penang is home to the largest shopping mall at Queensbay Mall.

Bayan Lepas Summary


  • Close to Penang International Airport
  • Affordable area
  • Close to some Penang attractions


  • Far away from the main beach areas and other Penang attractions
  • Lack of budget accommodation
  • Lack of nightlife

Best For…
People wanting to be close to the airport and the attractions located in this area and don’t mind being away from the main beach areas and George Town.

Best Place To Stay In Bayan Lepas, Penang

Below are our choices for the best hotels in Penang Island in the Bayan Lepas area.

Eastin Hotel Penang

The Eastin Hotel is a top choice in the Bayan Lepas area with pool, gym, restaurant and lounge. The hotel is modern and colourful.

The location is great here too – it’s a quick walk from the biggest shopping centre on the island, Queensbay Mall.

There are a range of room types including club floor rooms with extra privileges. Families will love the duplex style rooms.

Click here for the latest prices.

Lexis Suites Penang

If you are wondering which hotel to stay in Penang and want a private pool then the Lexis Suites is your best pick. Located on the coast near the airport, there are some great views.

The resort also has a bigger pool, gym, karaoke rooms and a toddler play area.

However, the real reason to stay here are the fabulous private pools on the balconies that also come with a sauna. Some recent reviews state that cleanliness levels have dropped though.

Click here for the latest prices.

Olive Tree Hotel Penang

The Olive Tree Hotel is a more affordable option for travellers looking for an option near Penang airport and close to some shopping choices.

There is an outdoor pool, restaurant and gym.

Rooms are modern and comfortable with minibar, flat screen TV and toiletries. Suites are available with more space.

Click here for the latest prices.

M Qube Hotel

This different option is a great choice for people looking for the best hostel in Penang as it has shared facilities with private “qubes” where you get to sleep. They are clean and comfortable.

The M Qube Hotel is well located close to the main station and not far from Queensbay Mall and the airport. This is the perfect place when you just want to crash after a late flight or bus ride.

There are also many food stalls nearby.

Click here for the latest prices.

Want Help Having An Awesome Food Experience In Penang?

Join a Simply Enak (aka delicious) Food Tour!

There are two different options depending on whether you want to concentrate on street food or nightlife.

No matter what you pick, you’ll taste a range of fabulous local food and drinks while learning the history and culture of Penang.

There’s no better way to discover this great island.

Make sure you use the coupon code DIVE30 for RM30 off your tour.

Click here for all your options.

Map of The Best Place To Stay In Penang Island

Where To Stay In Penang map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

Final Words

Penang is one of our favourite places in the world and we hope that this guide has helped you pick the best accommodation in Penang for you whether you are looking for the the best hotel in Penang for families or the best hotel in Penang for a couple or group.

My top pick is Batu Ferringhi as I love the relaxed and easy atmosphere while still having great eating and drinking options right by the beach.

A close second is George Town for people who prefer city and historical sites nearby.

But wherever you stay, make sure you get out and about and enjoy everything Penang has to offer!

Find more guides to awesome Penang here, our list of Penang 5-star hotels here, the best Penang tour and packages here and read our guide to what to do in Penang in 3 days here. If you’re visiting Penang with kids then I highly recommend you read our things to do in Penang with kids guide here.

If you prefer to listen to information, you can find our podcast guide to Penang here.

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.