And so… I headed to Penang for a 4D3N eating fest and it was good! My travel companions and I don’t have a lot of cash to spare (as always) and since Penang has such bustling, hipster backpacker crowd, we decided to rough it out and stay in a backpacker’s hostel. In all honesty, it was a good, value for money experience.
I did my booking via Hostelworld.com. It’s quite simple and fuss-free so give it a try!
We stayed in Love Lane in Georgetown. That’s where all the backpacker’s hostels are. The prices of the hostels are largely similar with some ultra low priced ones. These are usually the ones that are more run down than the rest. There are also the higher end flashpackers (flashpackers are backpackers with higher disposable income) hostels which are one grade up from backpacking hostels but not quite there yet as hotels. I think the flashpacking ones are the best because you stay in nice, character-ful places which are as clean (or even cleaner) than hotels in Penang.
Okay, back to our hostel. It’s situated at 55 Love Lane which I originally thought would have been some seedy, red light district in Georgetown but it’s named for its old time’s sake as with a lot of streets in Georgetown. some say it’s named after a British official called Love, others say Love Lane is where all the old-time brothels used to be situated.
We stayed at Red Inn Penang in a three bed dorm. There’s a couple of other hostels owned by this Red Inn chain called Red Inn Heritage and Red Inn Cabana.
Photos courtesy of Roger Leong. Look him up if you want shoots done! Welcome to a virtual tour of Red Inn Penang.
My thoughts of the hostel at the end of this post.
1. The price of the hostel is really good. We paid about $40 per person for three nights which average out to $13 per person per night for three bed sharing dorm with communal shower and free simple breakfast. Blankets and towels included. No toiletries are provided.
2. The hostel staff are really friendly and kind to help out with your requests.
3. The facilities were clean when we were there. The toilets were clean and our sheets were clean.
4. Not a lot of hostels provide a three bed option, they are mostly single, twin or four bed dorms. But with triple sharing, the price is lower but the squeeze is so much tigher.
5. Right outside the hostel, there are street hawker carts at night and a 7/11 so you won’t have to worry about supper options or having nowhere to purchase a toothbrush. Oh, the hostel does sell some toiletries too.
1. Red Inn is not suitable for people who are light sleepers. It is smack next to Reggae Penang, a bar that plays loud music until 3am or 4am at least. Our 3-bed dorm was at the front most part of the hostel so you can hear strains of music and cars zooming by. I’ve read reviews about the other dorms not having windows so we’re lucky we have one. However, if you’re a light sleeper, you’ll be affected by the sunlight.
2. While it’s stated there is free wireless, it’s not exactly true! This is what I hate most about hostels and hotels that do not disclose in its entirety. The wireless router is at the communal area which is the strongest. Our room was the furthest from the communal area so we had two bars wireless signal.
3. The blankets. Oh no, let’s not get started on this. They are like smelly socks I swear.
4. The shower heads are heated but the rain showers and shower spas are not. They are freezing cold which are good for an afternoon shower but freezes you at night.
5. It’s quite a squeeze. We don’t have any tables or chairs that we can put our laptops or eat our food at. If you purchase any food, you gotta eat on the floor or at the tables outside the hostel.
Will I stay there again? Probably not. There are a lot more hostels to choose from at quieter areas and the prices are mostly similar.
Tip: Do do a check on the hostels beside the one that you are staying to see if they have any bars located beside it. These bars are normally open till late and can be quite noisy!