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Reviewed 17 August 2012

It was my solo trip to Penang and it wasn’t my first time there. Had a 3 nights stay at Cititel Penang on 02 August 2012, Room 0616 – a standard room.

I was greated by Mr. Fonas (I think it’s his name, printed in the Payment Receipt) during my arrival. It was a typical check-in experience. I think Mr. Fonas should show some enthusiasm when it comes to serving/entertaining guests, not just being a “prototype” reception staff. There are some instances where I couldn’t quite catch what he said because it wasn’t clear. Reception staff should speak in a clear tone with a moderate speed. I would feel embarrassed for saying “Pardon me/excuse me” too often.

The first thing I did after I settled down in the room was to look under the bed. I had 2 single bed for myself but I only looked at the one I wanted to sleep on, which was the one closest to the window. There was a paper napkin under the bed which I suppose housekeeping overlooked. Kind of disappoints me as the room isn’t that big and it means that the housekeeping doesn’t make it a routine/duty to clean under the bed. Even though most guests would not look under the bed like I do, but it doesn’t mean housekeeping can ignore the cleanliness at places which guests couldn’t see. I threw the napkin away as I couldn’t ignore the fact that there is rubbish under the bed.

Other comments on the bathroom :-
i) Stains on the door facing the inside of the bathroom and under the basin;
ii) To scrub not only the bathtub, but also the handle on the side of the wall;
iii) Shower head handle (bottom) that is mounted on the wall is loose and detachable;
iv) Toilet doesn’t flush well. Toilet paper always floats up. (Not sure whether it’s my method of flushing is in correct);
v) Shower curtain smells like sweat that has gone sour. It’s because it’s not water proof. I suppose it’s not often replaced because the odour is strong on my first night staying in 616. I think if the shower curtain can’t often be replaced with a fresh one, then change it to a waterproof type. Then would safe all the hassle and would indeed not smell.

Furniture in the room is still in good condition. However, they are kinda worn out on the surface. I personally think the hotel should do a makeover. Modern furniture in dark tone would look good in a bright room. Maybe the hotel should come up with themed room. That should be interesting.

I have the privilege to visit the Health Centre at Level 3. Went to the Jacuzzi pool, but I only enjoyed the pool, not the Jacuzzi. Not sure if I should get someone to turn on the Jacuzzi (?) There are debris like sand/concrete in the pool. Sauna – please get someone to clean the small window glass on the door, it’s dirty.

I had a pleasant time during check-out. It was 5am and was greated by Ms. Sooi Kee. She is friendly, with a smile that would brighten up your day and make me feel at ease. I had a chit-chat with her and told her I walked from Gurney Plaza to Cititel and took me 1hr10mins to reach the hotel. (Would’ve arrive in less than an hour if I wore sneakers instead of slippers) She told me guests would ask how far is Cititel to Gurney and no one knows the exact amount of time to get there. She also helped me to check whether my airport transfer is ready. I hope other front desk has her spirit and enthusiasm.

I’m not sure whether any hotels in Malaysia practise this kind of gesture, I know Japan does. It’s just a suggestion from me that maybe there should be a small gesture for those guests who has an early flight in the morning. It’s doesn’t have to be a fancy meal, just a bottle of water and sandwich would warm the hearts of those who have stayed at Cititel Penang. And also it’s difficult to find hotels in Malaysia that provide FREE BREAKFAST. This is an important point for travellers who has a budget to keep track to. I hope the hotel has this type of promotion in the future.

I would return to stay with Cititel Penang again if my travel plans bring my back to Georgetown with hopes by that time, better promotions, better room/bathroom and better everything ;p

Thanks for reading.

Room tip: Ask whether you can hear outside noise during night time. I one had a terrible night sleeping in one of the hotel in KL, can hear the loud music booming from a distance. The windows from my room can't filter the noises. Luckily at Cititel Penang, no such problem. If you wish to have a splendid view of the sea with lots of sunshine, ask the reception staff whether they can locate a room with the sea view. Don't be shy to ask.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Lexxiusna
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TonyGoh-GM, General Manager at Cititel Penang, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2012

Dear Ms Tan

Selamat Sejahtera from Cititel Penang.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on your recent stay with us and I hope that you had a good trip home.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconveniences and the disappointment encountered during your stay with us - I appreciate your taking the time to list the areas of improvement which I have immediately looked into. I have also shared this review with my Front Office and Housekeeping Managers who are aware of the shortcomings and will ensure that these instances do not recur.

We offer breakfast as an option to our guests as there are many places within the vicinity, serving local hawker fare which Penang is famous for. However, breakfast is also available at a very special price if booked through our online reservations site during the time of reservations. Thank you for the wonderful suggestion of providing a little take-away breakfast box for guests who leave early. I will look into this with my F&B Manager and Chef.

On a happier note, thank you for your kind words about Ms Ng Kooi See, our Duty Manager, who was on duty on 05 August 2012. I was thrilled to personally inform Kooi See of your gracious comments about her passion in serving our guests.

My sincere thanks once again for writing in as it is through your kind feedback that we can continuously strive to improve and ensure that our guests enjoy their stay with us.

My team and I look forward to be given another opportunity to make amends and look forward to welcoming you back to Cititel Penang again soon.

With kind regards
Tony Goh
General Manager

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Reviewed 16 August 2012

Staying in the Cititel Penang from 14th - 19th August on a company trip. 1st impression of hotel was very good. Service was great with lots of friendly staff who are most accomodating. Started off great but little details that I experienced during my stay started to tilt the scales in a less favorable manner:

1) On the 1st night, returning from outside I requested for a new shower curtain to be sent to the room as there was a faint sweaty smell emitting from the damp shower curtain when I checked in. FO staff took note and picked up the phone to call housekeeping. However, the curtain never arrived, much to my dismay.

2) Being a hotel catering to business travellers, complimentary wi-fi would have been much appreciated, especially if being called a 4-star property.

3) After housekeeping made up room on 2nd day, quilt cover was changed but had extensive, visible stains all over. If changing to a new cover then linen should be stain free.

4) Had a good experience with 1st breakfast experience at the buffet. But a different chef the next morning was a bit cold and less pleasant.

Having said the above, I have bumped into some staff that I felt were excellent. Among them I can recall Seow Ling(?) Comms. manager who just stopped at her tracks to talk to me and a colleague when we were exploring the banquet facilities and gave us a brief tour of the banquet level, as well as Christine (colleagues call her Chris) at the buffet who really made effort to look after you and anticipating your needs.

Hope to encounter some positive experiences in my coming days that might help tilt the scales back to being an excellent trip to Penang.

Room tip: Pick room packages that includewi-fi if the price is good.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank firedove84
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TonyGoh-GM, General Manager at Cititel Penang, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2012

Dear Donavan

Selamat Sejahtera from Cititel Penang.

Thank you for taking the time to write and I truly appreciate your kind comments about our team members.

I truly apologise for our lack of attention to the details in your room; I have reminded my Housekeeping team on this with an assurance that this does not recur. I have also spoken to my Executive Chef to ensure that the Kitchen team possess a pleasant disposition when serving our guests.

Yes, we presently offer complimentary WIFI connection for one user per room, if the booking is made via our dedicated hotel online reservations site, or through the corporate rates offered. Am pleased to share that we now provide 4G speeds up to 20Mbps connectivity in our hotel – the very first hotel in Penang to offer this service – and guests are able to sign up for this hotspot device rental when staying with us. It can also be connected to any WIFI- enabled device, allowing the use of 4 gadgets at one go.

It is with much pride for me to convey your kind words to Ms Foo Siew Lin, our Communications Manager and Ms Christine Tan, our F&B Assistant, from the Main Street Café, that the service they rendered is highly appreciated and acknowledged.

Thank you once again for sharing your stay experience and my team and I look forward to be given the opportunity to serve you again. Please do not hesitate to contact Siew Lin (comm@cititelpenang.com) or myself at gm@cititelpenang.com if we may be of any assistance.

We hope to welcome you back again on your next visit to Penang. Until then, my best wishes for a great weekend ahead!

With kind regards
Tony

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Reviewed 12 August 2012

PLUS POINTS:
> Service - Receptionists and cleaners were quite friendly, and were more than willing to provide personal recommendations on good places to eat at
> Free WIFI is provided, but it is limited to one device per room booked.
> Bathtub provided
> Cheap
> Minor points - its a tall building so you will never be lost in the close vicinity. Also, nearly every taxi/bus driver or passer-by will know where it is, so it's easy to get directions and there's never a real threat of getting lost anywhere in Georgetown

MINUS POINTS:
> Service - Air-conditioner leaked water in my room, and when I reported this to the reception, they took their own time to fix the issue (though I do not blame them as their pace of life is just simply slower than that of Singapore or London. Still, worth stating)
> WIFI was limited to just one device per room booked, which was okay. However, there was this cumbersome log-in system which you had to access via a web browser first, before getting any internet access. You had to leave that webpage open while surfing. If you wanted to surf the net with another device, you have to go back to that webpage and log out with the current device, before logging-in with the new one.

However, some mobile devices can only display one webpage (no tabbed browsing, can't open in a new window etc) so you would have trouble logging out. When that happens, you cannot change the device you intend to surf the net with since you can't log out!

> Got a room on Level 10 with a supposed "high floor with sea view". This was one of the selling points of the Superior Room which I booked. Taking into account the fact that the hotel was 19 storeys high, L10 is not really a "high floor". Moreover, the sea view was partially blocked by 2 or 3 buildings in the distance.
> Dustbin did not have a plastic bag, so I had trouble disposing of perishables
> No conjoining room available for a large family (though in their defence they informed me of this earlier on)

Summary: Room size is average. This is a very average hotel in most aspects. I can list a few good points about this hotel, but every aspect comes with a "but" behind it, so it evens out to be just average.

Room tip: Got 3x Superior rooms 1025/1026/1027. No conjoining rooms available. I chose sea-view units (you could choose between sea or city view for Superior rooms) but it was partially blocked by taller buildings in the distance.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cowfart
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TonyGoh-GM, General Manager at Cititel Penang, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2012

Dear Guest

Selamat Sejahtera from Cititel Penang.

I appreciate the kind feedback on your recent stay and thank you for your gracious comments about our front desk staff and the plus points you mentioned.

I deeply regret the waiting time on the repair for the air-condition; our Maintenance Team is aware of this shortfall and will ensure that this does not recur.

Yes, we presently offer complimentary WIFI connection for one person per room and am pleased to share that we now provide 4G speeds up to 20Mbps connectivity in our hotel – the very first hotel in Penang to offer this service – and guests are able to sign up for this hotspot device rental when staying with us. It can be connected to any WIFI- enabled device and allows the use of 4 gadgets per time.

We do have a few other categories of rooms available at the hotel which would be more comfortable for you and your family's use in terms of room size and one higher floors, and I hope that you would want to try them out as well as our 4G internet connection on your next visit.

Until then, my best wishes for a great week ahead.

With kind regards,

Tony Goh
General Manager

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Reviewed 11 August 2012

On checking in to the hotel in the evening, I was given a double bed ... I do not need double bed!! The room was booked a month earlier ... anyway, the room is quite clean and comfortable.
Bathroom is clean, but the cotton bud packet was already opened!!!
Iron and ironing board is quickly sent to the room, and the ironing plate is smooth!! Whoa ... i can iron my clothes with no worry.
Breakfast ... I requested for sesame oil and the staff fetch it from the kitchen in a zippy! Good service. However, I need to stress that even though the nasi smell of fragrant coconut milk, but it was not properly cooked .. the rice is hard! The dim sum is ... soggy ...

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mimug
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TonyGoh-GM, General Manager at Cititel Penang, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2012

Dear Guest

Selamat Sejahtera from Cititel Penang.

Thank you for taking the time to write – and for your kind comments on our restaurant service staff.

Please accept my apologies for our lack of attention to the details in your room; I have reminded my Housekeeping team on this and to ensure that this does not recur. I have also spoken to my Kitchen team on the quality of food served to our guests.

Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to welcoming you back to Penang soon.

With kind regards
Tony Goh

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Reviewed 11 August 2012

This is a centrally located hotel upto western standards unlike many hotels in this area which are suited to the Chinese. The rooms are clean and look like they have been updated recently, as seems to be the case in many Asian hotels the beds are very firm. The bathroom is functional but looks like it was tiled in the 90's and looked more like someone's home bathroom than a hotel due to the tile designs, bit dated but clean.

Hosts a number of places to eat but we only ate breakfast in the hotel which was decent and had a good number of options for Asians and westerners.
At the end of the street outside the hotel is upper Penang road which has a few bars and across the road is a open air food market which has a selection of food which I thought was poor quality but then most street hawker food isnt great anyway it's just being soaked up in the vibe that makes people blind to the shocking quality and cooking conditions and this place isn't all that cheap, infant my room service meal was the same price and far better.

As for the pool and gym area avoid this as for some crazy reason a decent hotel has let some two bit Chinese pimp run the place. This means guys hanging around smoking, filthy changing rooms, paint pealing off the roof of the pool and falling in, plus the guy will jump on you to offer a "massage" when you enter if your not with a woman or kids.

Book direct with website as they offered the cheapest rates.

Room tip: Ask for a view of the sea from a high floor when booking direct, indirect bookings seem to get bad rooms.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank DlrowTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TonyGoh-GM, General Manager at Cititel Penang, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2012

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments on your recent stay at Cititel Penang and am happy to note that you like our breakfast buffet and rooms.

I must apologise for the unpleasant experience at the Health Centre; the personnel have been cautioned many times on their conduct whilst at work and towards our guests. As this is a leased outlet at the hotel and I am pleased to share that we have ceased their contract at our hotel come end September 2012. A reflexology centre and other health and beauty services are in our plans for this area.

I hope that this did not detract you from the overall enjoyment of your stay and look forward to welcoming you back to stay with us.

With kind regards
Tony Goh

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