Hostel Review: Roomies Penang
The journey from Georgetown to Batu Feringghi was bearable for me despite the whole border crossing process and sleeping in the minivan. I took bus number 101 and paid RM2.70 for fare. The bus ride took about another 1 hour or so and i was keeping a look out following this direction provided by the hostel website here:
Honestly, i'm impressed on how they described the direction to their hostel really clearly here. I screenshot it and then took it as a guide. Very useful! It wasn't really that hard to find when you keep a look out inside the bus. Just take the bus, its more fun and you are rewarded with a lot of narrow twist and turn roads with a sea view.
Upon reaching Batu Feringghi and alighting at Holiday Inn resort, a short 1 minute walk towards a quite distinct 4 storey building appeared and the Roomies billboard was plastered outside the hostel. It was on the 4th floor and there are no elevators up to the hostel, kind of a good exercise for me and my heavy bag. I was greeted by quirky decors right outside the door. Totally perked me up after the long trip. Dukhu (not sure if i spell his name correctly though greeted me and gave a quick and detailed tour of the hostel. The reception aka cute office was right next to my bed. I get to choose where i want to sleep so that's cool! He goes on to teach me how to use the security door with a combination code which i failed miserably one night that i almost break it down but he came to open it. That was funny. It felt safe actually the way the door is secured.
At night however it gets really cold and i have no idea how to lower the aircon temperature as there weren't anyone at the reception after midnight. When its full house,the dorm can be a bit noisy as people walked in and out of the balcony and laptop area. The material of the bunk bed also creeks
a lot and will cause a lot of noise when you toss and turn or accidentally hit something. Apologies to my upstairs neighbour!
Also some good information were laid out next to a big full length mirror. There were stuff about where to go, what to eat and all the cool spots in Batu Feringghi, wifi password and phone numbers were also written down for emergency contact. Best part is earplugs were provided! Yeah it got noisy one night and its kinda useful plus i can take it to the plane, oops. Breakfast was provided at the rooftop! One floor up the hostel.
Breakfast is served everyday from 9 to 11 am at the open rooftop. Very spacious with chairs laid out for us to chill and relax. Yoghurt (Choice of Strawberry/Vanilla) were served with multi grains and hot drinks. Gora was there at the time whom helped to serve me. He is really friendly and funny, i had a good chat with him and listening to his stories traveling around the world. There is even a television for us to watch movies, i still can't get over how awesome it is. A sleeping bed as well but sleeping up there does not hold Roomies Penang responsible for any mishaps that occurs.
The hostel is super clean, the staff make an effort to clean the hostel every morning. Its very rare to see such things happening because usually hostel staff don't give a damn about whatever you do. There were 2 cubicles for toilet and shower sink that i used to wash my clothes. At night it got a bit dim but there were switch lights easily to manage. Though the reception is not 24 hours, they were considerate enough to put a sign up with their phone numbers to contact. Very impressed. Also, chilling out at the rooftop at night was cool, watching tv and mingling with other travelers.
Location wise i thought that i will regret staying away from the cool Georgetown but then i realized all the good stuff were pretty near to Batu Ferringhi including Hard Rock Cafe, the night market which is right outside the hostel at the main road!, Taman Negara etc. Buses were easy to get right in front of the hostel, the police is just next to the hostel building and downstairs there were a few small provision shops which you can get your sim card from and money changers. Laundry and food shop is widely available along the main road so its so easy.
Roomies Penang also have 2 other branches, one is called Roomies Suites (more like a boutique hotel and a pilot test sister hostel in Georgetown called Roommates. The dorm is a mixed 10 bed dorm at 35 Ringgit Malaysia per night but price depends on the date you booked though. You can book this hostel via their website here directly or any of your preferred booking websites. Overall i would so much recommend this hostel to other travelers. Thanks Roomies Penang, you were awesome and i will totally come back soon!