Sunday, April 13, 2014

Penang 2014 | Spices Home, New Georgetown Heritage Shophouse Accommodation for Families & Big Groups

2 weekends ago I was in Penang, Malaysia with some friends for a short getaway. We've been planning this trip ever since most of us traveled to Macau together so very happy that we made it here~ We got to enjoy Penang's sights, sounds and... food!! Oh goodness!! We were there for 4 days and each day, we ate at least 20 dishes at around 10 different locations hahahaha... Valyn and Willy {both from Penang} were so amazed at how much Sau Jun, Karen & I {food-crazy Singaporeans} ate :P

It's no wonder that I gained 2 kg and was noticeably "chubbier" {thanks hubby!} when I returned from the trip. No regrets though, and I'd gladly do it again heh.

We all stayed at Spices Homes, which is a new heritage shophouse accommodation in Penang's culture centre, Georgetown. I'd never stayed inside a shophouse before and was very happy to have this experience!

This group photo was taken at Syok @ Chulia Hostel, which is the largest flashpacker {new-ish term describing an upmarket backpacker} hostel and heritage home in Georgetown. The same group that manages Syok Hostel manages Spices Homes so when we checked-in, we were also given a tour of Syok Hostel. The rooms are really spacious & clean, and I was surprised to see that all their beds are super-single sized! They also offer free wifi and breakfast. You should definitely check this hostel out if you're coming as a couple or with some friends.

For families and big groups, I'd suggest you try out the place we stayed, Spices Homes instead. It really feels like a home away from home, with plenty of space for the kids to run about.

Spices Homes is actually a row of 7 two-story shophouses that have been restored with its original wood and floor boards. Each house is about 1400 square feet and comes with a king size bed, 2 single beds and a sofa bed to accommodate 5-6 persons comfortably. It is also fully air-conditioned - a must-have in Penang!! It felt even hotter in Penang than Singapore because they don't have many tall buildings or trees to provide shade. On some days, it was really quite unbearable so maybe that's why we had to escape the heat into cafes and restaurants #anyexcusetoeat

Anyway, if you're driving to Penang, parking is available just in front of the houses, but it's not free or part of the accommodation. You will have to buy hourly parking coupons from the convenient stores etc. and display them.  

As you walk into the shophouse, you'll immediately enter the living room area with the sofa bed, coffee table, TV and DVD player. Love the rustic upcycled wooden pallets that are used for the furniture!

Next to it is the dining area.. Valyn used it most of the time to do her work when we were back :P The shophouse is fitted with free wireless internet too :)

At the back of the shophouse is the outdoor kitchen, courtyard and toilet areas. The layout is very much like how it used to be in the olden days so yes, all the toilets are all outside, even the one on the second floor. Unfortunately, there's only one shower in the whole shophouse which can be a bit inconvenient if it's at full capacity.

This little nook was the favourite part of the house for me. In Singapore, I don't really have time to finish a lot of my books so I usually bring them with me on trips. I'm glad that I could sit here on these old rattan chairs to read, relax and rest. How serene!

I'd love to have a nook like this in our own home too!!! *I hope the boy reads this hahahah*

The kitchen is very well-quipped with a fridge {we had chilled durian one day so that was fantastic!}, microwave open, electric cooker, electric kettle etc. Great if you want to fix a snack for yourself or prepare food for the kids. Continental breakfast & hot beverages are provided and the service staff will deliver it to you daily at night for your convenience.

All the bowls, plates, forks, spoons, knives and cups are provided as well. And oh, Spices Homes just opened early this April so everything is brand new!!

If I didn't tell you, you'd probably think I was in my own kitchen :P

The beautiful wooden stairs leads you up to the second floor.

There's grills and a children's gate at the staircase to protect the young ones, not to worry.

The main bedroom area with the king-sized bed. All the beds were soooo comfy and firm! Linen, pillow & blanket are all provided. Karen, Valyn and I had a good time having our girly chats here at night hehe.

The location of Spices Homes is really good as it's just walking distance to all the popular street art, food haunts and roads in Georgetown e.g. Kimberley Street and Penang Road. The main bus terminal, Komtar Bus Terminal, is only 15 minutes walk away.

I'm also pleased with its safety as the roads surrounding the shophouses are lighted, and each shophouse is fitted with an electronic door access system, and heavy wooden bolts from the inside. Of course, we never walked out alone at night and always bolted our doors and windows before we left the shophouse, and before we slept.

Tips:
  • For light sleepers, bring your own ear plugs and eye mask as it can be noisy at night since Spices Homes is near the main road, and there are no curtains in the bedrooms.
  • You can borrow DVDs from Syok Hostel.
  • Towels, shampoo and soup are provided, but bring your own toothbrushes and toothpastes.
  • Opposite Spices Homes is a very famous street stall selling Kuay Tiao Tng that you shouldn't miss! I'll share more in my upcoming Penang food post ^^V
  • It will cost about RM40-50 taxi ride to get here from Penang International Airport.

Spices Homes
2-14, Lebuh Clarke, George Town, Penang 10050, Malaysia
Rate: RM800/ house per night for 4 pax {weekdays} and additional RM60/night per pax up to 6 pax. Additional RM50/house for weekends {Fri & Sat}, school holidays & PHs.
Website: http://www.spices.staysyok.com/homes/spices-homes/

Promo: Quote "OPCL" for 50% off the weekday rate i.e. RM400/house per night for 4 pax. Valid until Mon 30 Jun 2014.

* Disclosure: Accommodation was provided by Spices Homes for review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

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8 comments:

Masshole Mommy said...

That looks like a lovely place to stay there there really is a lot of room for larger groups.

Cherry said...

We've been to Penang but didn't get to explore much of Georgetown. Thanks for the heads up, Ai! Will consider staying at Spices Homes on our next visit. :)

mummybean said...

Oo, I've always wanted to stay in a shophouse! Looks really interesting, though having only one shower could be a tad inconvenient.

Ai Sakura said...

Masshole Mommy: yup it's huge!

Cherry: We stayed in Georgetown most of the time during the trip so this was really convenient :)

Mummybean: that's true, but at least there's 2 WCs hahaha

alissa apel said...

That is a cool looking building! I love the pallets under the beds. I'm all about using things that would otherwise be thrown out.

How fun to get away with friends. I so need to get together with mine.

Theresa Mahoney said...

That looks like a nice place to stay. I like it when you can feel at home in a place like this when you are traveling!

Stacy said...

Nice. And as I suspected and is confirmed by the last bit, NOT CHEAP!

Ai Sakura said...

Alissa: yeah I love the upcycled furniture!

Theresa: makes traveling so much more comfortable :)

Stacy: haha really? I guess if you convert to SG it's ok, especially for the size, amenities and location :P