Monday, July 10, 2017

Lone Pine Hotel – Penang, Malaysia ~ Updated


It was an end to a lovely day as the sun started to dip lower into the horizon along Batu Ferringhi. Walking along the shore with beer on one hand, me and my buddy watched as the day bid its last. We found our perfect spot right in front of our second home in Penang, Lone Pine Hotel, and lounged on a wooden beach table; it was romantic, and then someone offered a horse ride for a fee, we exchanged looks of amusement and politely declined the offer.

The plan was to stay for two nights at the heritage core of Georgetown and then another two nights on the coastal area of Batu Ferringhi during our Beach Hop Asia 2016 summer backpacking trip. It was my third visit in Penang and although there are some new exciting things to discover around town, we did what we do best-do nothing.

Batu Ferringhi Penang Malaysia
Batu Ferringhi, Penang, Malaysia
Lone Pine Hotel Batu Ferringhi Penang
Lone Pine Hotel garden area
I’ve been to Batu Ferringhi (Foreigner’s Rock) on my previous Penang visits and it has been one of my favorite spots to relax and unwind. Getting there is easy as the efficient public transportation (local bus) of Penang makes it accessible from Georgetown (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Penang).

Our home in Georgetown, Eastern & Oriental Hotel, is a sister company of our chosen place in Batu Ferringhi thus, transferring was made easy by the all-day complimentary shuttle service to and fro Lone Pine Hotel.


We arrived late at the hotel after exploring Georgetown for a whole day. We were ushered to the receiving area where refreshing drinks were served as well as cold towels. Glass and steel were employed in this particular area while the huge swivel doors made it more breezy.

Lone Pine Hotel Batu Ferringhi Penang
Receiving area
Being the only boutique resort in Batu Ferringhi, Lone Pine Hotel offers beachfront accommodation with its charming 90 rooms, majority of which are facing the Andaman Sea. The place offers tranquility and comfort, even if the area is known to be one of Penang’s tourist hubs.

After the standard check-in process, we went up to our room. Located at the third level, our Deluxe Room was spacious with a minimalist modern design and layout. We're staying here for two nights (check for discounted rates).

Splashes of colors from a painting and the numerous throw pillows broke the monotony of the neutral hues of the room. The basket of fruits also brightened up the whole space.

I love how minimalist yet functional our room was.

Lone Pine Hotel Batu Ferringhi Penang
Deluxe Room
A floor to ceiling sliding door was utilized for the toilet and bath with funky black and white finish. Bathroom amenities are provided for as well as hair dryer.

Lone Pine Hotel Batu Ferringhi Penang

The bed was on top of a low bedstead. End tables were on each side together with lamps. A simple wood paneling served as headboard with a black and white artwork on top.

Lone Pine Hotel Batu Ferringhi Penang

A long wooden narrow ledge rested across the bed that functioned as a work table and entertainment rack. A flat screen TV was placed above it. A lounge chair with floor lamp leaned on the end corner right beside the glass door leading to the private balcony, oh, my favorite spot.

The balcony was such a grand space in itself; there’s a seating area and a private tub, yes a splash tub with a view of the beach.

That night, we were planning to have a night-out but after a relaxing facial treatment at Lone Pine Hotel’s in-house spa, the Pure Energy Signature Spa, our bodies went directly to the bed and retired for the day.

Lone Pine Hotel Batu Ferringhi Penang
A tub on our private balcony overlooking the beach, amazing right? :)
It was eight in the morning and the sun was starting to show up as I sipped my morning coffee on our balcony. I was contemplating whether to have a quick dip at the pool, swim at the beach or submerge myself in a warm bubble bath when something on the trees caught my attention. There were a troop of white-faced monkeys swinging and having their breakfast fix. I was scared at first as they might jump into our balcony and raid our room, but no, they silently hung on to their playground and attended their own businesses. We later learned that these monkeys were regulars to the hotel complex as their natural habitat is quite close to the hotel, cool eh?

White-faced Monkeys Penang
A troop of monkeys greeted me one morning
We had our daily complimentary breakfast at the in-house restaurant, The Bungalow. It was actually a family beach house back in 1948 which started it all.

The Bungalow Batu Ferringhi Penang
The Bungalow
The buffet-style breakie included international staple meals and Penang favorites such as; char kway teow, roti canai, roti bakar and more. My buddy was seriously in awe at the wide assortment of local dishes. Dining with the great view of the beach, we stayed longer than usual on our table with, of course, some teh tarik and kopi ais to complement our meal.

The Bungalow Batu Ferringhi Penang
Waffles and more
The Bungalow Batu Ferringhi Penang
Roti canai
After a great meal, we scanned the property and decided to stroll along the beach. Lone Pine Hotel sits right by the shoreline of Batu Ferringhi and the sea is just a hop away from the resort.

Water sports and horseback riding are some of the popular leisure activities in Batu Ferringhi but the hotel doesn’t encourage their guests to do so as there were many reports of accidents in the past. We went back to the hotel and lounged at the pool area.

Batu Ferringhi Penang Malaysia

Lone Pine Hotel Batu Ferringhi Penang
The outdoor pool
There are many food options around the area as Batu Ferringhi is a very busy place for tourists, but after hearing that The Bungalow is an award-winning restaurant, we didn't bother to go out anymore, and so we had lunch there, that same afternoon.

It was a bit of a challenge on choosing our meal because of the extensive menu. We finally decided to have some traditional Malay dishes together with signature Hainanese specialties; Foo Yong Crab (RM24), Penang Mee Mamak Goreng (RM28), Inchi Kabin (RM30), Tiffin Lunch and Sago Gula Melaka. It was a feast!

For starters, the Foo Yong Crab with its crabmeat and veggies turned into omelette was tasty with a nice presentation on the crab shell itself. The Inchi Kabin, on the other hand, is your good old fried chicken marinated in different ground spices that's perfectly complemented by its dipping sauce.

Foo Yong Crab Penang
Foo Yong Crab (RM24)
Egg omelette with crabmeat and shredded vegetables
Inchi Kabin Penang
Inchi Kabin (RM30)
Deep fried marinated chicken with ground spices served with dipping sauce and prawn crackers
Mee Goreng has always been a staple meal for me and my buddy when we’re in Malaysia, their version, Penang Mee Mamak Goreng was oozing with flavors as the fried noodles was pumped up with stir-fried veggies, prawns, cuttlefish, potatoes and beancurd. You could imagine how happy I was as I closed my eyes and munched on our favorite noodle dish in the world.

Mee Mamak Goreng Penang
Penang Mee Mamak Goreng (RM28)
Fried noodles with prawns, assorted vegetables, egg, cuttlefish, potatoes, and beancurd 
The Tiffin Lunch was fun! It’s considered as a traditional meal in some parts of Asia (including the Philippines) for tiffin carriers got popular in the 60’s as a portable lunch pack in round, aluminum, stackable containers that fit on top of each other and clamped for easy handling.

Tiffin Lunch Penang
Tiffin Lunch (RM37.30)
The Bungalow’s Tiffin Lunch (RM37.30) consists of four containers; the first tier had steamed rice, the second one had veggies, the third had prawns, and the last contains chicken curry. It was a full meal and quite filling for one person, good thing I had my buddy with me whom I can share it with-plus the rest of the food too.

Sago Gula Melaka Penang
Sago Gula Melaka
Sago drenched in creamy coconut milk and palm sugar syrup
On our last night, we got to chill on Batu Ferringhi's beachside and enjoyed the sunset with beer on a foldable beach table. It was the perfect way to end a relaxed and comfy stay not only at Lone Pine Hote l but also Penang and the whole of Malaysia after weeks of exploring Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.

Batu Ferringhi Penang Malaysia

Batu Ferringhi Penang Malaysia



UPDATE 2017: Staycation at Batu Ferringhi’s Foremost Hotel with our Moms

Lone Pine Hotel Penang

I was prepping my mom's warm bath that night; perfecting the right mixture of hot and cold water plus bath salt while the fragrance oil from the oil burner was filling the air with soothing aroma. It was a lovely bath tub set-up from our private balcony at Lone Pine Hotel when suddenly my buddy came into the scene. He then asked me to help him prepare his mom's tub from the nearby room. We left our moms who were now enjoying their warm bath while we headed at a nearby beach bar to have a few drinks.


Lone Pine Hotel Penang
Open-aired reception area
Penang was our last stop on the Malaysian leg of this year's trip. Same Same Summer Trip 2017 was the fourth installment of our annual two-month backpacking trip and for the first time, we tagged along our respective moms for the first two weeks to let them experience our lives away from home. After showing them around in Melaka and Kuala Lumpur, we concluded their vacation on one of our favorite cities in Asia, Penang.


Lone Pine Hotel Penang
My buddy chillin' at the garden area of Lone Pine Hotel
I've lost count on how many times I've been to the historic state of Penang. But going back to the old shop houses that lined the narrow alleys of Georgetown felt like a homecoming of some sort. The familiar sights and landmarks felt new as we wander around with our oldies.

We showed them around the city and indulged on some great Penang Food. It was a weeklong adventure that ended on a staycation right at the coastal area of Batu Ferringhi. We specifically wanted our last few days with the moms to be a relaxed one so we went back to the premier boutique hotel in the area for an overnight stay, just like what me and my buddy experienced a year ago.


Lone Pine Hotel Penang
Pool to the left, beach to the right
Coming from its sister hotel at Georgetown, Eastern & Oriental Hotel, we hopped on the complimentary shuttle service that brought us to Lone Pine Hotel. It was three in the afternoon and after the swift checking-in process, we were handed the key cards to our room.

We were then ushered to the third level of the main building where our neighboring rooms were located. And although we had two rooms, all four of us converged on the first one. I knew exactly what to expect as I booked the exact same room last year.


Lone Pine Hotel Penang

The door led us to the spacious room where we scattered around to take a peek. My mom immediately went to the en suite toilet and bath where she found a complimentary flip flops for guests (just perfect 'coz she's kinda getting tired of wearing her platform sandals) while my buddy's mom was captivated by the comfy and warm bed.

My buddy went pass the sliding door that led him to our favorite spot in the room, the private balcony with lounge sofa, coffee table set and outdoor bath tub. I, on the other hand, raided the mini fridge for soda and snacks which are complimentary (like it should be) and replenished every day.


Lone Pine Hotel Penang
Deluxe Room
Later on, all of us slumped into the huge bed (totally forgetting that we have another room) and enjoyed the lazy afternoon watching some news. The siesta went on for the rest of the day.


Lone Pine Hotel Penang

I woke everyone from their deep slumber and informed them that it was nearing sunset. We passed through the hotel's access to the beach and strolled on the golden shore of Batu Ferringhi.

It was a weekend and the beach was filled with families who were enjoying beach time. We walked all the way to the farthest end of the shore when the sky radiated with orangey hues as the sun started to lower down the horizon. We sat on the shore and enjoyed this moment; it was such a blessing that we still have this precious time with them.

Batu Ferringhi Penang
Sunset at Batu Ferringhi
After the leisurely saunter, we had dinner on one of the beachfront restaurants followed by a walk around the night market. We went back to Lone Pine Hotel where I treated the moms with a warm bath before me and my buddy left for a night-out.

The next day, I stirred to wake with the familiar sound of my mom's footsteps on the wooden floor. I gave her my morning greeting and then proceeded to the private balcony where both of us had our morning coffee.



Lone Pine Hotel Penang
Mornings at Lone Pine Hotel
The group went to The Bungalow, the in-house restaurant of Lone Pine Hotel, for the complimentary breakfast. I recalled how me and my buddy devoured on local Penang dishes while staying there so I kinda knew my way around the restaurant.

I filled my plate with roti bakar, waffles, eggs and fresh fruits. Weird combination, I know, but I really wanted it to be a feast of local and international breakfast meal with the great company of my loved ones. I also asked for teh tarik in which, the attendants gladly served.


Lone Pine Hotel Penang
The Bungalow Restaurant
We spent the whole day swimming at the outdoor pool where we all enjoyed the refreshing water. I love the lagoon concept of it with lush greeneries surrounding it. We lazed around at the garden area until it was time to go.

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For the second time around, I loved our short but sweet stay at Lone Pine Hotel. Not only because of its homey vibe and the perfect seclusion that we were all looking for but also because we got to spend some quality time with our moms, the very essence of why we brought them along with us. And I’m sure that it will always be our home on this side of Penang. 



Lone Pine Hotel (check for discounted rates)
97 Batu Ferringhi, Penang, Malaysia
Contact Number: (+60) 4.886.8686
Email Address: style@lonepinehotel.com
The Bungalow
Open Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. breakfast | 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. all day dining




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