28 Nov 2008
Mingood Hotel, Penang, Malaysia
1 room
Including breakfast

At 20 Nov approx AU$23

Air Asia rescheduled our flight from Medan and we ended up in Penang at 11.30pm. The Oriental which have stayed at previously was fully booked, but the manager let us leave the bags whilst we found somewhere else and gave us a few possibilities in the same price range, which was really good of him. We ended up in the Mingood, a small hotel which is trying to cater to backpackers and older independent travellers rather than the local business market.

The rooms were fairly basic but comfortable enough and clean, with a comfy bed and pillows. The TV had 4 or 5 satellite channels and there was a fridge but no kettle. Good, fast WiFi was free. We asked for a room at the front - these had a small balcony and we got the corner room with windows on two sides of the room which meant we could get a good cross breeze with the windows open, but the pay off was that it was probably noisier than the back rooms.

Breakfast was light and better than a lot of others we've had - a really nice museli or cornflakes, toast and fruit with tea, coffee and juices. Internet access on the hotel's own computer was available downstairs, although it was quite expensive - not sure why you had to pay for it at all as the WiFi was free. There was also a good selection of books, exchanged on a 2 for one basis. The Mingood also does a Thai visa service which I thought was a bit expensive - we walked to the embassy and filled out the forms for free.

Location is good and bad. Eating and convenience stores are a couple of minutes walk away, and shopping malls and large supermarkets about a 15 minute stroll. If you stay in the area look out for an Indian eaterie that rivals the Curry Leaf in Seremban - didn't get the name, but it's directly opposite a low class hotel/knocking shop called the Towne House which is almost next door to the Cititel on Penang Road. Consistently good for all the time we were there. The backpacker area is a couple of minutes walk away on the other side of Penang Road with everything you'd expect, including motorbike rental at RM20/day and laundry at RM4/kilo.The downside is that the area isn't the best - the hotel has notices warning people about snatch thieves on motorbikes in the area and a conversation with a local man following a minor incident proved to us that late at night, that part of Penang Road really isn't a good place to be, especially alone.

All in all, good value for money and we'll probably go back there again.