Checking in at Shangri-La and Hard Rock Penang

We always stay at Batu Ferringhi – mainly for the kids because of the beach. I have been wanting to stay at E&O, George Town – gorgeous hotel but nope can’t beat the beach at Batu Ferringhi. There are several beachfront hotels at Ferringhi. I’m covering the ones I have actually stayed in – Shangri-La Rasa Sayang and Hard Rock.

Shangri-La Rasa Sayang

This is our second time coming here. The trip was about 2 weeks ago. There are 2 Shangri-La hotels in Batu Ferringhi – Rasa Sayang and Golden Sands. We stayed at Rasa Sayang both times – one time Rasa Wing, this time Garden Wing. Yes – there’s a difference! In any case – if you stay at Rasa Sayang you can go over and use the Golden Sands amenities such as the pool (with slides), the Adventure Zone which have slides and other play equipment that kids would love! – the hotels are just next to each other – you can just walkover via the gardens/beach area. 

Garden Wing

I opted for the Garden Wing as I needed guaranteed connecting rooms. Worried since it was school holidays and all and they couldn’t guarantee me connecting rooms. We stayed in the Executive Family Suite, but felt like it’s just 2 normal connecting rooms, there was no additional living room or kitchenette or anything. So didn’t really get it. 

View from our balcony. Got a bit spooked out with the big tree on my first day... my imagination can run really wild. True story

Rasa Wing

We previously booked the Rasa Wing deluxe room with private garden. What do I like about Rasa Wing? If you book here – you get access to the Rasa Wing lounge – which serve complimentary daily afternoon tea, pre-dinner canapés, and soft drinks/cocktails all day.

You also get to choose to have breakfast at the Ferringhi Grill (exclusive for Rasa Wing guests) or the usual Spice Market restaurant. The Rasa Wing pool are for those above 16 only, but you can easily access the main pool which is opened to all ages. So not an issue.

The room comes with a king size bed and a sofa bed. There is also a small private garden that leads out to the beach.

Swimming Pool

Kiddos enjoying the pool. It's a bit less busy here than the Golden Sands pool...
Love the main pool in the Garden Wing. This one is kid friendly - the one at Rasa Wing is not open to below 16...
Mommy/Daddy happy lounging at the pool with some snacks...
Thought I'd sneak in a photo of the pool at Golden Sands...we headed there on our second day - wanted to check out the slides etc.The kids zone was ok but it was not that big and quite busy so we didn't stay long

The beach and everything else...

So for the kids, if the beach or the pool is not enough, the resort also has an “Adventure Zone” with slides and play equipment like the ones they have in the big malls. Our kids were just happy with swimming in the sea and playing in the sand – so didn’t get any pictures of the place. But you get the gist.

There are usually daily kids activities like arts and crafts, jungle walk etc -I think for now these activities are stopped due to the covid situation but worth checking with the hotel if you plan to visit some time in the future.

We went spent hours on the beach every morning and afternoon. Kids had a super time!
Our giant octopus sand sculpture
Beautiful grounds...
I so love this image...gorgeous and romantic

Dining Options

Tepi Laut Restaurant is a casual outdoor restaurant, which serve fresh seafood grilled over coconut husks. Love the beachside setting. It is the bomb! Highly recommended!!!
We absolutely love, love, love the Ocean Grill Barbecue at Pinang Restaurant & Bar - yummy baby lobster, king prawns, scallops, salmon steak, skid skewers and so on...yummeh!!! Nothing to complain here...
Dinner at Spice Market Restaurant - on weekends they serve seafood/lobster buffet...We went for normal buffet so can't comment on the seafood buffet that they are famous for. Verdict - the service was good, food was alright nothing to shout about.
Breakfast at Ferringhi Grill. This was when we stayed at Rasa Wing in our previous trip. Loved the breakfast options
Breakfast at Spice Market Cafe...they should add more variety everyday though...

The Chi Spa

Managed to get a bit of “me-time”. Had a nice aromatherapy massage at the spa. They have these beautiful spa villas – amazing. 

Hard Rock Penang

Ok now onto Hard Rock Penang. What do we like about Hard Rock? Decor and the ambiance – colourful and vibrant. It’s also along the Ferringhi beach – a few doors down from Shangri-La. And a huge plus point for us – the pool!!! Read on…

The rooms

I booked us the seaview studio suite. Beautiful room and gorgeous bathroom. And what I also like is that we have a small kitchenette with microwave and a small dining area. Love love love. The room comfortably fits an additional single bed. I was actually considering either this one or the Roxity kids suite with courtyard. The kids suite used to come with toys and books but I think they stopped that due to the covid situation. Anyway – yes, you may have notice I am into suites – I love the additional perks that come with it – like access to the lounge etc.

Another type of room that looks quite cool is the Lagoon Deluxe on the ground floor. Each room features an outdoor deck where you can dive right into the swimming pool!

Checkout the Lagoon deluxe room
View from the room

Swimming Pool

This is the main attraction for the kiddos (also the adults)- the pool. 

Parents can lounge/relax on the pool tubes while the kids have a go on the cool pool slides. You need to rent the pool tubes though. I should add – the slides cater for adults too – really fun for all ages.

Dining Options

If you book the suite, you can have breakfast at the Rock Royalty lounge which is yummy minus the crowd, they also offer afternoon tea. They also have evening canapés and cocktails/soft drinks. You get a nice view of the beach from the lounge.

The restaurant in the hotel lobby, the Starz Diner – serves fusion food – burgers, sandwiches and local food like your usual nasi goreng ‘fried rice’ and mee goreng ‘fried noodles’. I remembered it to be just alright. But that was ages ago – so don’t take my word for it.

I do love the Hard Rock Cafe – highly recommended. The food is great, every time in Batu Ferringhi, will try to have lunch/dinner there. And so we did again this round. Dinners during weekends may be packed – you absolutely need to make reservations. It’s usually packed since there’s live band and all. 

Love the lounge - child friendly too. We love the breakfast here.
The Starz Diner is a simple setup - very family friendly - not overly fancy but of course it is still your standard hotel price food (comparable to KL I should say).

Hard Rock Cafe - seriously good food!

We went during lunch - obviously no shows. Was told dinners were fully booked anyway.
Hard Rock Cafe - The original legendary burger. Yummy!

The beach and everything else...

Well – the hotel is on the Ferringhi beach, so I suppose it doesn’t make so much of a difference in that sense to compare with Shangri-La. But one thing about Shangri-La is that since they have two hotels – Golden Sands and Rasa Sayang next to each other, they have a longer beach stretch between the two compounds. 

Hard Rock has a spa but I didn’t get to squeeze time to go for a massage or anything. So can’t comment much. But it’s definitely there but cannot beat the poshness of the Chi Spa in Shangri-La with its private treatment villas of course.

There is also the Hard Rock shop housed in its own ‘bungalow’ next to the hotel/cafe. If you’re staying at the hotel, you usually get some kind of discount (check first of course before you book).

Don't forget to get your Hard Rock merchandise. Note that if you go during peak times, during this covid situation - you may end up having to queue for a bit as limited number of people are allowed in at any one time
My souvenir from the Dec 2021 holidays. I almost got myself a 50 year anniversary hoodie. They didn't have my size...probably a good thing for my wallet! Every time I come here I will spend..."and little I spend not"

The Verdict

I don’t think you can go wrong with either hotel. Both hotels are good. Maybe to sum up – Food-wise, I like the selection of restaurants that Shangri-La has to offer, but with Grab these days, not a big deal you can get anything delivered to the hotel. The pool in Hard Rock is definitely nicer and should be a big fat plus if you love lounging around the pools. Beach wise – Shangri-La ‘s beach stretch is longer and makes it more private. But both are beachfront hotels – there’s plenty of beach to accommodate everyone at both hotels. 

Two other hotels that looked interesting this round to me is Parkroyal Penang (also in Batu Ferringhi) which I heard was recently renovated, and Angsana Teluk Bahang, a new hotel – which have rooms with their own private pools. Almost booked that but I wasn’t sure about Teluk Bahang, so stuck with Batu Ferringhi. 

Read also my post here on what to see and do in Penang

Click here to book accommodation and activities via Klook.

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