If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Batu Ferringhi, we recommend Lone Pine Hotel. This Penang resort is a boutique hotel full of character, close to all the local amenities while still providing guests a peaceful haven to unwind.
Lone Pine Hotel is one of my favourite hotels in South East Asia, so much so that we recently returned there for a second stay. The Malaysian island of Penang is a wonderful place to visit in the region and when I first stayed back in 2015 I discovered that Lone Pine was the perfect base for someone like me – a lover of affordable luxury accommodation.
Batu Ferringhi is one of the main tourist areas on the island, where you’ll find the majority of its beachfront hotels. Lone Pine was one of the area’s first, starting back in 1948 as a modest 10-room family-run hotel, with the original colonial-era bungalow now used as the hotel’s restaurant – unoriginally named The Bungalow.
Lone Pine hotel Penang – what to expect
Although Lone Pine has grown into a resort with 90 rooms, it’s retained its intimate and peaceful feel (unlike the loud and in-your-face Hard Rock Hotel Penang) and exudes character compared to its much larger neighbours, many of which lack soul. As well as stylish, spacious rooms (more on that below), there’s ample space in the grounds for you to relax, either on a sun lounger or in a mini cabana by the outdoor pool or in hammock under the tall casuarina trees.
I particularly liked that the whole hotel and grounds became fully non-smoking back in 2018, so you can sit outside and enjoy fresh, smoke-free air at all times.
I’ll admit the hotel did feel much busier the second time around (perhaps this can be put down to the fact that we visited during peak season, and over Chinese New Year) so there were more families and less free loungers, but even so we were always able to find a spot to relax by the pool and never had to queue for breakfast.
You’ve got all the facilities you’d expect from a five star hotel – Lone Pine Penang has a spa, gym, bar, restaurant, games room and also a mini lounge, called the Lepak Corner, where you can hide away with a book – either your own or one from their small library collection. There’s also free wifi throughout the grounds for those that don’t want to ‘unplug’. The outdoor pool is decently sized, with steps to enter at one end, but there’s also a smaller paddling pool for kids, and also a mini jacuzzi pool, which I may have slid off to enjoy from time to time.
We had breakfast in the hotel every morning (available from 6.30-10.30am), which is made up of a large buffet, meaning there’s something to suit every guest. Fresh fruit and juices, pastries and breads and hot dishes (western and asian) are on offer, with chefs ready to take your order for freshly cooked eggs, noodles or waffles. We ate like kings, which allowed us to skip lunch and hold out for epic dinners at the Long Beach hawker stalls.
Wildlife at Lone Pine hotel
As the hotel Lone Pine Penang is in a busy stretch of Batu Ferringhi you won’t see a tonne of wildlife here, but bird lovers will enjoy their time by the pool as you’ll regularly see birds flitting between the trees. Minah birds are very common here, but you’ve also got a good chance of seeing some colourful beauties like the chestnut-headed bee-eaters and orange-bellied flowerpeckers. You’re more likely to hear the black giant squirrels than see them (one regularly liked to use our bath at night-time to smash open his nuts!) and if you’re lucky, like we were, you might get to see some dusky monkeys.
A troop appears to live nearby as one evening I saw their shadows wandering through the car park and in some of the trees at the front of the hotel. Then, one afternoon wandering back to my room, I came out of my lift to discover a big group of them playing with the plants outside of the rooms. I stood perfectly still for five minutes watching them play, and two brave souls even started coming to check me out until mum, still carrying one baby, loudly made it very clear that she didn’t like that idea and then headed back to the pack before they got told off anymore. It was one of those amazing animal experiences I live for!
The Lone Pine Super Deluxe Sea-facing room
For both our stays we chose a super deluxe room. They’re advertised as super deluxe sea-facing rooms on the Lone Pine Hotel website, but it’s worth noting that all the super deluxe rooms face the sea!
Check in is from 3pm, so we timed our arrival from Georgetown accordingly. Between our visits the hotel had been renovated and looked lovelier than ever with a fresh coat of white paint, and so we returned to updated rooms with new funky decor and features as well as new windows, which definitely improved sound insulation. I remember the first time we stayed we were kept up by the music from a wedding held below us in the grounds. I was happy for the couple, but not that I couldn’t get any sleep. That’s all in the past now, when you close your balcony door it’s oh so quiet!
Bet let me tell you more about the rooms. As you open the door to your super deluxe room you’re faced with a short corridor which has the first of two doors separating the main room from the bathroom and a ‘kitchenette’ with tea and coffee making facilities and a mini bar. Every day this is topped up with free soft drinks and bottled water, and you’re also welcomed to Lone Pine with a lovely platter of fresh fruit.
For those who wish to travel more sustainably, bring your reusable bottle, as there’s ice-cold water on tap at the gym and beside the pool.
The room then opens up into the main space, light and airy, with funky lighting illuminating the large flat screen TV and mirror. You’ve got a lovely king size bed, with two bedside cabinets, lights, a small chair and table.
The bathroom space, also comfortably large, has a double sink, more funky lighting over a lovely big mirror and then a toilet and shower space, separated by glass doors. Here you’ve got a decent amount of storage space for your clothes, as well as a safe and all the bathroom amenities you’d expect.
The other side of the bed, beside the glass doors to your balcony, there’s even a ‘living room’ with a daybed for you to chill out between your Penang adventures. I love the size (55 square meters) and layout of the super deluxe rooms, but having stayed twice I believe that a deluxe sea-facing room would do the job just as well – the only difference is that the super deluxe comes with an additional side room.
We chose this as it comes with a daybed and TV, meaning we could chill and Netflix there if we felt the urge (we did the first time), but we didn’t make use of it at all during our second stay. What a waste! Basically it’s great if you’re travelling with children and need an extra bed, otherwise save your money and go for the deluxe sea-facing option instead.
Both have the same kind of balcony as well you see, with a lovely sofa, table and chair, oh and an impressive sunken bath! You’re given some privacy through slatting at either end of the balcony, and it’s a great space to sit and enjoy a morning cuppa looking out over paradise – one of my favourite holiday routines!
Speaking of tea, one of my fave little things about this hotel is their special Lone Pine mugs. Forget the piddly little teacups most hotels provide, here you get epic Lone Pine tankards that are perfect for lazy morning cuppas. We loved these so much that we bought ourselves a pair from the hotel shop to bring home, and now enjoy an epic-size cup off tea every weekend while thinking back to our time in Penang.
Around Lone Pine – Batu Ferringhi
Lone Pine hotel is well placed in Batu Ferringhi. Out the front of the hotel are a number of shops, bars, restaurants and massage parlours. The daily night market is right outside the main entrance and Long Beach – one of the island’s best food courts is less than a five minute walk away. It’s also not far to some of Penang’s most popular attractions, like the Tropical Spice Garden.
At the back of the hotel you can access the sandy Batu Ferringhi beach from a gate directly behind the hotel pool, but with hawkers constantly milling around past the gate, trying to sell you watersport adventures, I found it was much more peaceful to enjoy the sounds of the sea from the quiet of inside the hotel grounds. Plus, as it’s recommended that you don’t swim in the sea in this area, as it’s quite dirty, why leave the comforts of Lone Pine?
Lone Pine boutique hotel by the beach – would I stay at there again?
Well as I’ve already made a return visit, you know the answer! I was sad that the hotel was a little less peaceful than I remembered it, but I’d definitely return during shoulder or off season. I think I’ve been spoilt by places like Koh Jum, in Thailand, where we could walk along the beach for half hour without bumping into a soul!
Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed my lazy days at the hotel, enjoying a hearty breakfast before grabbing my Kindle and relaxing by the pool, occasionally sipping on a delicious Batu Delight fruit cocktail! In the evenings, after pigging out on Roti Canai at Long Beach, we also enjoyed playing board games and having a drink out on the balcony.
We found the service warm and friendly at all times (although be warned there’s always a long wait if you order a drink while beside the pool!). It’s the little touches that make a difference, for example on Chinese New Year we had a little note telling us all about new year traditions with a red envelope full of chocolate coins (sending wishes of good luck and riches) and two oranges – symbols of good fortune.
Check out time is 12pm, but as we had a night-time flight we asked about a late check out. Several members of staff went out of their way to arrange this for us, waiving the hourly 50MR fee, allowing us to stay until 3pm at no additional cost. These little things are what stay with you! So, if you’re looking for a Batu Ferringhi hotel, I highly recommend you check out the Lone Pine hotel!
Basic rooms at Lone Pine start at £66 on Trivago.
Check out our other Penang articles!
If you’re planning a trip to Penang anytime soon I recommend checking out our other articles, which highlight some of the great things this island has to offer.