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Penang EQ Ferringhi Hotel Review

Updated on December 29, 2010
Outside EQ Ferringhi Hotel
Outside EQ Ferringhi Hotel | Source

EQ Ferringhi Hotel Review

EQ Ferringhi hotel is a budget accommodation situated in Penang's ritziest neighborhood called Batu Ferringhi, an area filled with new high rise condos and luxury hotel resorts meet sand, palm trees and ocean.

I love visiting Malaysia, especially the island of Penang and its classic old world charm. This time I decided to stay in the northernmost tip of Penang in an upscale section called Batu Ferringhi. 'Ferringhi' translated from Malay means foreigners.

This particular location of Penang Island is filled with expensive condominiums perched on top of cliffs facing the ocean as well as many luxury hotels and resorts. And it's where most foreigners with cash to spend choose to make their home or book hotel rooms. So it's easy to understand where the word 'Ferringhi' comes to play.

EQ Ferringhi is the hotel I chose to stay in Batu Ferringhi mostly because I prefer being a budget traveler and I know most people these don't want to overspend on hotels, especially these days.

Even though EQ Ferringhi is located in an expensive part of the island the rates are very affordable and worth the price.

Though there is a popular night market with plenty of delicious hawker foods nearby, there is a downside to staying in the Batu Ferringhi. It's a bit far from Georgetown, the island's main center of attractions.

A video review

Two free bottles of water are available for guests. There's no refridgerator but if you want something cold to drink there is a 7 Eleven shop just a few minutes walk from the hotel. There is also no hair dryer inside the room but they might have one at the front desk if you ask. WiFi Internet is free but you only get a signal in the hotel's lobby.

My Review on EQ Ferringhi

After getting off the 101 bus (read more about getting to the hotel below) I needed a bit of help on finding EQ Ferringhi so I asked a taxi driver who pointed the direction. After walking past several hawker stands I again asked for directions. Yes EQ is sort of tucked away. But it's not far at all.

EQ is in a quiet area, not quiet in a bad way since the area looked very safe. Made my way to the lobby and was greeted by a lovely young lady. I handed my passport and told her I booked through Agoda.com a hotel reservation agency I use often. It was cheaper than booking directly from EQ Ferringhi's website.

Then I was handed remote controls for the television, air conditioner plus the key. That was it. No filling out forms or anything else so checking in was super simple and easy. Even though my room is only on the first floor I took the elevator instead just to check it out. It was a big elevator so no worries at all if you have a lot of luggage.

As you can see in the video the room is a good size for 2 people. Now for some the bathroom might be a problem since there is no bathtub. Don't worry, there are 2 drains that will take care of the water. The shower unit is new though and water pressure is very strong with hot water.

Overall I recommend EQ for budget travelers who want to be near the beach and its beautiful surrounding scenery.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bus #101 to Batu Ferringhi at Komtar bus stationRapid Penang Bus
Bus #101 to Batu Ferringhi at Komtar bus station
Bus #101 to Batu Ferringhi at Komtar bus station | Source
Rapid Penang Bus
Rapid Penang Bus | Source
Eden Parade Shopping Complex
Eden Parade Shopping Complex | Source

How much is the bus fare?

Bus fare to Batu Ferringhi cost RM2.70, a little less than $1 US dollar and you will need exact change. You pay the bus driver who will then give you a ticket. Make sure to keep the ticket because sometimes a bus inspector may come on board and check.

A ride from Batu Ferringhi to Georgetown cost the same.

Getting to EQ Ferringhi Hotel

Here's the tricky part. Don't get me wrong. Penang's bus system is great. It's clean, affordable and very efficient. However, getting to where you want to go for the first time, especially at night, which is when I checked into EQ is where it gets a bit tricky.

The bus stops in certain locations and spots. For example Batu Ferringhi has multiple stops in the specific area. So as a traveler you have to look for certain buildings as a landmark. In this case keep an eye out for a large shopping complex called Eden Parade.

To get to EQ Ferringhi you take Bus #101 which makes stops along a major avenue called Lebuh Chula. To make things easier you can catch Bus #101 at Komtar bus station. Komtar is a shopping mall district and everybody knows where it is.

The bus ride is not a short trip, about 40 minutes barring traffic, which is one reason why some may not like to stay at EQ Ferringhi and rather stay closer to Georgetown.

It's quite a scenic drive though as the bus climbs up a winding cliff-side road, past many beaches and new super expensive property.

After the beaches keep an eye out for Eden Parade shopping complex which is on the left side. When you see it push the stop button, there are many located throughout the bus.

Now head straight to Eden Parade (pictured left) and look for a 7 Eleven store. Make a left and you will have reached EQ Ferringhi hotel. For extra help you can follow the map below.

Keep in mind that buses are a very popular way for locals to get around Penang too so it will get full during morning and evening rush hours.

Map to EQ Ferringhi

Pin icon is Eden Parade shopping complex and green house icon is EQ Ferringhi Hotel
Pin icon is Eden Parade shopping complex and green house icon is EQ Ferringhi Hotel | Source
Bargaining is expected
Bargaining is expected | Source

Pasam Malam Night Bazaar

The closest tourist attraction near EQ Ferringhi is the popular sidewalk night bazaar that stretches all the way down to the Holiday Inn Hotel, which cost a more than twice as much if you are interested in staying there.

Here you will find loads of local handmade souvenirs, t-shirts, custom jewelry and of course fake luxury merchandise such as handbags and watches.

It's easy to shop and bargain for whatever you want because most locals in Penang are able to converse in English. Just keep your cool when bargaining. Shopkeepers will appreciate it when you keep your voice low when asking for discount.

There are also massage parlors, tour agencies and money exchangers too in the area.

The night market is just minutes away - It opens around 7pm. Not sure what time it closes though.
The night market is just minutes away - It opens around 7pm. Not sure what time it closes though. | Source
Food hawker stalls and shops are everywhere
Food hawker stalls and shops are everywhere | Source

Conclusion

EQ Ferringhi is a very budget no frills hotel. There's no breakfast served in the morning like most hotels might offer but hey, there's plenty of excellent street hawkers that Penang is most well known for to nosh in. And food hawker food is very affordable too.

Staying at the hotel was enjoyable but what really bugged me the most was that there were no maps available for guests to take with them at all when I was staying there. Maybe they just ran out while I was staying there but regardless I think any hotel should keep a good supply.

Despite the little faux pas I think most budget travelers will enjoy the area's quiet and peaceful slice of life in Penang.

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