In August this year, I went to Penang on my own under #MyFascinatingPenang2015 blogging programme for 5 days and stayed at 4 different hotels. Two of them are chain hotels, i.e. St. Giles Wembley, Penang and Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang; while the other two are independent hotels, i.e. The Chambers Hotel and Ren i Tang Heritage Inn, Penang.
Below is my review of Ren i Tang Heritage Inn following my overnight stay at the Inn.
Below is my review of Ren i Tang Heritage Inn following my overnight stay at the Inn.
1. The Inn
Ren i Tang is a small independent heritage inn that has 17 rooms to offer to its guests. It occupies the first and second floors of 3 shop house lots in the Core Heritage Zone of George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage site. The ground floor of the shop lots is occupied by Bistro Tang, a courtyard, a small museum (The Yin Oi Tong Chinese Medical Hall Museum) and a shop that sells items made locally by local artists and talents.
The Inn is housed in a 19th century Early Straits Eclectic Styled Building that has been undergoing a restoration project for more than 2 years. “The name "Ren i Tang" is the phonetic spelling in Mandarin of South East Asia’s oldest Chinese Medical Hall Wholesaler, Yin Oi Tong which is translated as The Hall of Benevolence.” Yin Oi Tong was established in 1796, and was the first business to be officially registered in Penang. The business moved into the building in 1885 and only moved out 124 years later in 2009. As part of its aspiration to retain the history and influence of the original & historic business that used to occupy the building, Ren i Tang has dedicated a section of the building on the ground floor as The Yin Oi Tong Chinese Medical Hall Museum.
1a. The Reception
The reception area of the Inn is located at the back of the middle shop lot of the building. Entrance to the reception and Inn however is either via Bistro Tang on Penang Street or through the entrance at the side of the building on Lebuh China.
The reception area is small and is manned by just one person, reflective of the place status as a small independent inn. Check-in process was smooth and I was assigned Room 15, called Air-Well Room, on the second floor of the building.
The staircases to the upper floors are very steep and might not be suitable for some. If you have big luggage, you might have a problem bringing it upstairs to your room. The Inn however has a unique pulley system to bring your luggage to the upper floors and to your room. They also use the pulley system for housekeeping.
1b. The Room
My room, Room 15, is called Air-Well Room simply because the air well of the shop house sits right in the middle of the room. This makes it pretty unique as it has a separate sitting area, a reading bench area and the bed area apart from the bathroom. Some of the furnishing use old furniture that was left by the previous business (Yin Oi Tong) and this, no doubt, adds to the charm of the room. The design makes the room looks like a kampung house despite the fact that the Inn is located right in the city centre.
At some 34sq meters, the room has plenty of space for luggage and stuff, and comes complete with two bedside tables, a work/dressing table, 2 easy chairs, a bench, and a wardrobe. The room also has a tea/ coffee making facility and an LCD TV. Iron & ironing board are available upon request. On top of air condition, there’s also a ceiling fan in the room.
The mattress and bed are very comfortable. Linens and towels are okay. The towels are embroidered, giving them a touch of luxury. The bathroom (shower only) is not bad either, quite spacious.
Overall, the room is well furnished with a kampung touch yet modern facilities. The room should be good for a leisure stay and maybe for business travellers too to a certain extent.
The Inn serves breakfast at Bistro Tang on the ground floor. The breakfast spread is simple and include cereals, breads/toasts with butter and jams, fruits and made to order eggs.
1d. Internet Access
Internet access is available for free via Wi-Fi at the inn. The password is available in the room.
1e. Other Facilities
Ren i Tang only offer rooms and a bistro/bar called Bistro Tang. And as previously mentioned, there’s a small museum on the ground floor that is dedicated to the original business that first occupied the building for 124 years, a Chinese medical hall called Yin Oi Tong. Be sure to ask the reception to have a look around the museum. Despite its small size, the exhibits on display are quite interesting.
2. Where to Eat
Apart from Bistro Tang, you’re spoilt for choice as Ren i Tang is located in Chinatown and near Little India area of George Town. The Inn has also listed several nearby eatery places that cover Penang Chinese food, Indian Muslim food, Malay food as well as local snacks like puttu on their website here and here. If you're in Penang for the food, you'd be thankful for these helpful lists.
3. Getting Around
How to get there:
The best way to get to the inn is probably by taxi although if you’re already in George Town city centre, you probably can just walk there. Pengkalan Raja Uda Bus Terminal (and the ferry terminal) is just 5-10 minutes’ walk away.
Interesting places nearby, if any:
The Inn is located in the Core Heritage Zone of George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage site and the area can easily be covered on foot or by bicycle/ trishaw so the location of the Inn is quite an advantage if you’re planning to explore the heritage part of the city. Nearest attractions to the Inn include, among others, China St Art Gallery, Penang Peranakan Museum, and Penang Heritage Trust.
5. Further Information
|82-A Lebuh Penang, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia|
|+604- 250 8383|
|Website | Facebook|
Check in 2 p.m. / Check out 12 noon.
Stayed at Ren I Tang Heritage Inn as suggested by @rambleandwander Great hotel with great vibes & great staffs. Definitely will come back!— Izuan A. H (@izuanhalik) August 20, 2015
A Thank You & Disclosure Note
I would like to thank the organiser of My Fascinating Penang, My Amazing Malaysia, as well as the management of Ren i Tang Heritage Inn for the arrangement to stay at the inn. The stay was sponsored as part of My Fascinating Penang 2015 programme. The sponsorship however has in no way affected my review of the inn.
Other official sponsors for the programme, among others, include the following:
|St. Giles Wembley, The Chambers Hotel, Evergreen Laurel Hotel|
|Escape.My, Tropical Spice Garden, The Camera Museum, Made in Penang Interactive Museum|
|Hop On Hop Off Penang, Easybook.com|
For all other blog entries on My Fascinating Penang, click here.
For more photos, please check out Ramble and Wander's Facebook page
I have yet to wander to cities outside of KL in Malaysia, but this hotel looks like an interesting one to check out when I visit Penang.ReplyDelete
Penang seems to be one of the more popular destinations outside of KL. Some don't like it, but most do & say it's a must visit destination especially for its world fame street food & interesting street art. As for the hotel, yes, I'd totally recommend this place if you're visiting Penang.Delete
I think I'd use the pulley system even if I had a small bag. ;)ReplyDelete
We're hoping to explore more of Asia starting in November.
Haha! I wanted to try the pulley system too but I only had a small backpack with me, it's kind of embarrassing if I needed to use the pulley.Delete
In hindsight, maybe I should have just asked the reception that I wanted to try it.
This looks like such a charming place to stay. Hubby and I are potentially planning to travel to Malaysia in 2016. I've bookmarked this post for later! Thanks for the info!ReplyDelete
You should totally consider this inn for when you're in Penang! It's something different and the location is just perfect for you to explore the UNESCO World Heritage part of the city by foot.Delete
I love the architecture and colors featured. Looks like a great place to catch a night of decent sleep!ReplyDelete
I love the architecture too. I was pleasantly surprised with the inn actually, with the way they retain the heritage of the building while still offering modern conveniences & comfort. Something I didn't expect when I arrived and first saw the building from the outside.Delete
Wow! That looks like a very cool inn! During our stay in Penang we couchsurfed and it was a great experience but if we hadn't managed to find a host, I would have loved to stay in a place like this!ReplyDelete
I thought it's cool too! Nothing pretentious and everything authentic. :) The location is a huge plus point too! Anyways, hope you guys had had a great time in Penang?Delete
I love the look of this hotel and I really like the fact that they have the museum on the ground floor, it looks really interesting. Great recommendation!ReplyDelete
I fell in love with the place when I got to my room. :) Had checked out the museum the next day and was quite impressed with the way the inn tries to preserve the history of the building not only through recycling some items & furniture throughout the inn, but also by working together with the previous occupant of the building in maintaining the museum.Delete
Sounds like a great place to stay!ReplyDelete
It was, indeed!Delete
Looks like a great experience!ReplyDelete
It was! I wish I could have stayed here longer!Delete
I love that there's a museum inside the inn. You don't see that very often! I think that adds a lot to the history and significance of the building.ReplyDelete
It does add some character to the inn and the building. What's more special is that the museum reflects the history of the building itself, which is a heritage building that is located inside a UNESCO World Heritage site.Delete
I love hotels like these! While I've been to Penang, I didn't stay. It was a quick stop on our way.ReplyDelete
The place looks so historic and nice. Will definitely spend an overnight there! (eventhough USM is not that far away from the town. Haha.)ReplyDelete
It's quite nice actually, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate going back there for another stay again.Delete
Finally! I'm here. Looks like a place I want to stay at on my next trip to Penang.ReplyDelete