The Copthorne Orchid Hotel in Penang, Malaysia is around a 40 minute drive from the Penang International airport. I chose to stay here because it was a short way from a conference I had to attend – and I got it pretty cheap. The Standard Room cost around Rs. 29000/- for 6 nights – which was decent since I shared the room with a friend and paid half.
I didn’t get to go around and explore the area or the hotel a lot as we were out most of the day and only came back to sleep. The hotel looks pretty impressive from the front – with a wide driveway and flags atop the entrance.
While the lobby looks well furnished at first glance – thanks to the shiny floors and sparkling counters, a closer look will reveal old and faded furniture. I checked-in in the morning and the staff at the reception were very welcoming.
The hotel itself has around 320 rooms that get more luxurious as you go up – and most of them have sea facing windows. Mine did too, although not an unobstructed one. There are a little balconies outside the standard room with basic furniture – from where I briefly watched a tennis match on the rooftop court atop a smaller building.
The rooms have free wi-fi, a mini bar, a coffee maker and hairdryer. There were two cushioned chairs, a little table and a dresser – but again, they all looked really old and matched well with the faded carpet.
The bathrooms were clean with basic toiletries – not what you would expect at a 4 star. The least they could have done was to put a shower mat outside the tub.
The only thing great about the room was the bed. It was so comfortable you literally sunk in and drifted off to dreamland in an instant. That could have just been the tiredness after the long day, but the bed was sweet!
While there was no opportunity to order room service, I did have the complimentary buffet breakfast everyday. It had a huge spread of Asian food, which was average at best. There was plain bread that you need to toast yourself – butter, jam and an assortment of fruits.
The scrambled eggs and sausages did not look very appetizing and neither did the baked beans. There were a lot of people down for breakfast every day, so the entire place was messy – the spoons had fallen in the dishes, spillages everywhere… a clean freak’s nightmare.
One can sit around in the a/c dining area or out by the pool, which, by the way, was spotlessly clean.
An elevator near the pool takes you down to the garden area from where you go down a few steps to the beach. It’s a small beach called Tanjung Bungah, but very picturesque. There are signboards that warn people to beware of jellyfish so the idea of a short swim was dismissed.
The Copthorne Orchid has a gym with three exercise equipment and a large mirror to create the feeling a lot more machines. They also have a gift shop, which you definitely must skip because it’s so full of junk.
All in all, it’s a very average hotel and it would make sense staying here if you have work in the neighborhood. Although the entire place needs a thorough refurbish, at least you can be assured of cleanliness. The public bus stops outside, there are plenty of restaurants in walking distance as well as convenience stores and chemists.