Ryokan on Muntri Street, Penang just recently opened its doors to their first batch of guests about 1 month ago. (30th April 2011).
There was a promotion that for the one day only (which is the opening day) they invited 20 lucky facebook fans to have a free stay at the hotel.
Subsequently the remaining fans had a 50% discount of the rooms for the same day.
We unfortunately missed that special day. (To be honest, we missed the FREE STAY more!! :D). But after hearing so much hype about this place, we decided to review it. Of course again, there might be plenty of reviews already of this place online since its such a nice setup. But at backpackies, we try not to bullshit our fans, and of course, we try to take pictures that actually give you the whole feel of what to expect during your stay at Ryokan @ Muntri Street Penang.
So taking out our microscope and V800 “dont take any sh*t” xI3 Faultfinder- We begin to review Ryokan.
Ryokan is located on Muntri Street, just 5 minutes walk from Penang’s Clubbing Hotspot- Upper Penang Road and also Heritage attractions like Kapitan Kling Mosque, Kuan Yin Teng Temple, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, State museum and many more. And the best thing about it is also, it is walkable some of the famous food stalls in Penang. Hameeds delicious roti canai and sup kambing, Red Garden food court with their daily chinese girl singers entertaining you while you dine, Chulia Lanes Curry Noodles, so please don’t get us started.
Verdict: Location A++
The facade was pretty impressive, mainly because of the nice neon lights and decoration. Definitely chic! We love the combination of cement art and the usage of wood in their front door.
|There are some outdoor seating as well, which are only practical in the mornings and nights because during the day, it gets really hot. And not to mention they use Steel Chairs! Really? In the inside,usually during the day, the air conditioning will be on so it’s not that hot. The living area cum cafe is quite spacious and tastefully decorated we must say.We are impressed.
The bar counter wasnt really ready yet when we were there so there were only minimal drinks and food that you could order.
There was a stage in the cafe so presumably that is for the live band to perform sometime in the future. Well actually during their opening they did have someone sing!
The wifi is free but you can only pick up the signal at the very back near the stage. Towards the front, its a bit weak. Its good in a way because, it prevents people from the outside (previous guests) to steal wifi from the road side.
Accommodations are up top. You will need to take off your shoes, and there are some nice racks where you can put them. So this keeps the whole sleeping area clean.
Towards the back, there is another set of similar looking cabinets.
No its not for shoes and slipeprs! These are the free books and magazines for you to read. There are some bean bags, and lights that is meant to be a reading corner.
The flooring on this whole place is wood, so there is a nice texture when you walk around barefooted, you can feel mother natures grains…..massaging your feet. And of course, since its wood, you can hear people walking about the guesthouse. In olden times, this is a security feature, where the residents in the house could know if there were thieves entering their house through the noise from the wood planks.
The rooms and chillax corner, we will show later. The Loft was still renovating when we were there. So we might need to sneak in again for a free photoshoot next time. Damn the planks!
This is the chillax area, where there are fans only, and bean bags, lights and books for you to enjoy a good book. Maybe doable during the nights when its not so humidly hot.
All the rooms are on the left hand side of this walkway. And all of the rooms have air conditioning.
We took the 4 man dorm room which was about 100 ft2 in size. A comfortable size to sleep in. The furniture and bed linen were all white which we love, because with white is, you could actually see if the place was dirty or not by one look. But after we checked it, this place was very clean. (Mainly because it is brand new). The beds were singles (not super singles), but the mattress and pillow were abit on the hard side. At first it felt firm and bearable. But towards the end, it was abit too hard for us. There is a cabinet where you can store your personal items. You will need to bring your own padlock for this.
Also with the bunk bed, you have your own personal light, plug point and small tiny space where you can place small items next to you when you sleep. The reading light was bright and big enough, unlike some places where we have reviewed who uses cheap night lights as substitute. The air conditioning inside comes with the controller, so you can adjust accordingly. There is no fans in the room.
One thing we noticed is that the rooms did not have any dustbins for waste?!
Their room rates are
6 person dorm – RM 35
4 person dorm RM 38
4 Person Girls Only Dorm RM 40
Luxury private room – RM 138
Towel rental – RM 3
Blanket rental – RM 3
(Yes the room does not come with any of these)
Although blanket and towels do not come with the room rate, they do provide a simple breakfast. The breakfast is still more impressive than some of the other guesthouses. But of course Ryokan’s rates are a little higher as well.
The coffee, tea and juice is free flow, but the breakfast menu keeps changing for variety. I could count how many baby hot dogs they gave me. The potato chips was a bit soggy. So if you can, its best to drag your lazy butt from the comfortable bed and have breakfast early. Breakfast is from 8-10.30.
Next weeeee will be checking out the toilets and showers. There is a long sink just outside the showers. They provide gel soap which smells nice.
Since this is the only washing area, i guess you can also wash your small laundry items here as well. You just need to bring your own soap powder. You can get them at the minimarts along Chulia Street. The showers were very spacious and well ventilated.
The water pressure was excellent and it came with hot water and cold water. Not that you really need the hot water unless you were doing some sort of private spa session in the showers. But then again, its nice to have it.
The good thing is, the showers had free fragrant smelling shower gels and shampoo. When i was in the bathroom, i could hear an australian guest comment ” Oh MY GOD, the shower gel smells so nice”. So that actually proves that my nose is still working.
Toilet paper on the other hand was a bit different. They were giving us paper towels to wipe our ass. We find that abit different but at least it wasnt newspapers like they use in China.
The tv lounge was a great concept. There is a nice mural of Ryokan on the wall, and they had bean bags for seating in front of a huge LCD screen., (Im sorry we didnt manage to check the size) But its sufficient. The sound system from the tv was good enough. But i do wonder how loud and till when can you watch tv at night? Since next to the tv area is actually rooms. Do let us know if you have tried it.
Yups, if there is no one there, you can just lift your legs up (even if you wearing a mini skirt), just relax and enjoy the show.
The tv comes with ASTRO (malaysias only cable service)
Till our next review. Ryokan Chic Hotels has certainly raised the standard of guesthouses/ budget hotels in Penang. 5 thumbs up!
If you guys are going to stay in Penang, Ryokan is a good bet.Its clean, its tastefully done up, nicely designed for comfort and look, so there fore
Quality and Comfortability – A+
Just like the painting on the wall i guess, after you leave Ryokan, you become a monkey (because of the other crap services from the other guesthouses around Penang)?
-Ryokan didnt pay us to say this if you are wondering.
Dont tell us you dont have facebook har!! Till then have a safe trip and have fun traveling!