On my recent solo trip to Malaysia, I stayed five nights at the Campbell House in Penang. A small boutique hotel in a beautifully renovated heritage building in the heart of George Town.
On the Rocky Travel Blog, you can read about my overall experience the Campbell House and on this page, you find my review about individual hotel features.
The Campbell House Hotel Review
The Campbell Hotel has 12 rooms on two floors, but no two rooms are the same. My hotel room in the Loft on the second floor. A suite on two levels with lofted ceiling and the bedroom on the upper level. On the ground level the sitting room with a small office desk, a couch and a minibar.
The room is refurbished and decorated with scrupulous attention to detail. Inside there was a beautiful wooden dresser with an imposing mirror, the Chinese floral rug above the bed, the wooden benches, a small wooden table with a mother pearl inlay. Each piece of furniture isn’t the same and creates a harmony that reflects Penang’s present and past multicultural influences, such as the Peranakan culture.
The room features in the Loft suite
The bed is a comfy king size, with four large bed pillows. The bathroom is a small room shaped into the building’s hexagonal exposed corner. I love the huge rain shower, and the toiletries are the highlight: soap and shampoo and body oil all from natural pure organic products. I’m quite surprised that the room isn’t that noisy. Thanks to soundproofed panels built into the towering wall windows the noise is minimal. The colourful stained glasses oft the windows give a glamorous touch to the room.
In my room, there is an aircon unit on the upper level where I sleep and a ceiling fan on the ground floor. Furthermore, there is also a small electric fan on a shelf, which I haven’t used. All bath towels were changed daily, and during my five nights stay the bed lining was replaced once. The small wooden cupboard contains bath slippers and a bathrobe along with a safe. I haven’t used any of them, though.
The room service in the Loft suite
The big amenities from the room service are two bottles of refreshment which are placed in the fridge: one of ice-cold lemongrass and one of ice-cold water. The room service adds them daily along with a sweet treat. From a slice of cake, a small panna cotta bowl or a chocolate biscuit, every day there is a surprise to delight me after a long day out visiting Penang.
As all staircases were renovated to maintain the old characteristic of the heritage building. They are quite steep, and the steps are narrow, so to make it easier to take your luggage into your room they use a long rope reel to lift your luggage onto the first and second floor. It looked a bit scary to me, but I can tell, it’s safe and also fun to look at it.
Communal areas at the Campbell Hotel
The hall with the reception desk is a small and cosy area with a couple of wooden benches where you can sit down to relax. At the entrance, at the right corner, there is a shelf with material and info material to consult or take with you, such as Penang leaflets, brochures of tours and activities.
The library on the first floor is the best part of the communal areas of the hotel Campbell House. It’s a well-appointed, comfy and welcoming place where to chill or sink in the sofa. You feel cosy as wall libraries with an ample choice of local magazines, books, DVDs surround you. There is also a small desk with a laptop, so if you need to google something and look for a place in town, it’s free to use.
There is also a rooftop with two sofas on the second floor which I haven’t used though. I only took a glimpse of this area. It’s a small area with benches where to sit down. There are many aircon units too. As the hotel is entirely a non-smoking place, the rooftop can be used for smoking.
In the hotel, there is the rule of walking barefoot on all wooden staircases and in your room. There is is a shoe-drawer in the hall at the first staircase where you can leave your shoes behind.
Hotel Campbell Services and Amenities
I was surprised at the many services the Campbell hotel offers. Here they are in details.
Breakfast at the Campbell House
Breakfast is served from 8.00 am to 11.30 am. in the restaurant Il Bacaro, on the ground floor, which lies adjacent to the hotel reception. It’s more of a western type breakfast which includes fresh juices, a selection of fresh local tropical fruits, coffee, tea, bread, croissants, yoghurt and cereals. Moreover, there is one choice from the hot breakfasts menu, ranging from various types of omelettes to pancakes and more. I loved the local fruits platter of Penang; the Mango and the dragon fruits were my favourite.
At the Campbell House food is high-quality and excellent in the preparation. As an Italian myself, I know that Italian food is not equal everywhere in overseas restaurants. The food I had at Il Bacaro is authentic and of excellent quality. So I can recommend it if you want to escape from the Penang Food Street Mania.
Wifi at the Campbell House
There is free-of-charge wi-fi throughout the hotel and in the restaurant too. Each room has ist own username, and password plus the public places like the library and the hall have a standard log in data.
The coverage was excellent. There have been a couple of minor issues where the connection was slow or disrupted due to technical problems. But it was only for a short time and in the evening. While in Penang you cannot expect a superfast internet connection, I must say that I was all in all happy with the internet service.
More services at the Campbell House
All team members, the hotel manager Vanessa and the owners, Nardya and Roberto are very knowledgable about George Town and Penang. They are willing to help out with your trip and give you advice and tips for visiting Penang.
Among the services they offer, they can book a taxi to pick up or drop at the airport and taxi rides from and to George Town. They can help you get around in Penang with booking tours, activities and what to do in George Town. I had my first five days activities planned but was happy to get a good tip from Nardya with regards to a spa and massage in Penang.
Conclusions – My verdict
It’s hard to find something that I didn’t like at the Campbell Hotel in Georgetown. Everything was spot-on. Cleanliness was top too: I haven’t seen a speck of dust in the whole place. So I think it is one of the best hotels in Penang. Among all Georgetown hotels, the Campbell is on the top 5 for excellent value for money. Room rates vary depending on the room you choose and start from 120 USD.
What I liked most was the service and intimate ambience. It is a beautiful hotel in Georgetown for couples and solo travellers alike. As a woman travelling alone, I truly felt at home, thanks to the Campbell family’s approach.
Room for improvement at the Campbell House Hotel
The only thing that in my opinion could be improved is the time for the complimentary breakfast.
Since Penang traffic is pretty bad; in the morning it can take up to an hour by car to drive 20km, it would be beneficial to have an early breakfast. Most of my activities were planned with an early pick-up at 8.00 am, so I think that breakfast starting from 7.30 am may be a good idea. Nonetheless, I was able to book my breakfast at 7.30, and 7.45 am on a couple of mornings. So you can request an earlier breakfast, if you wish, by booking it in the evening ahead.
Details of the Campbell House Hotel in Penang
Hotel Location: Adress: 106 Lebuh Campbell, 10100 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Book your Stay: Campbell House Hotel Penang
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