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Type of Five-star Hotels in Penang

Penang`s five-star hotels can be divided into five types of hotels that are colonial hotels, commercial hotels, conference centers hotels, residential hotels and resort hotels (Abraham Pizam: 2005). The only unique and old colonial hotel in Penang is Eastern and Oriental Hotel located in Lebuh Farquhar. This is because E&O in short form was built by British architect long ago and the hotel still exists until now. Commercial hotels are such as Parkroyal hotel, Hard Rock hotel, G. Hotel, and Sheraton hotel. Parkroyal hotel which situated in Batu Ferringhi is place where it is hidden and private for guests but complete with convenient facilities. Hard Rock hotel is the new hotel which has a concept of ultimate Rock Retreat. G. Hotel is a five-star hotel that really built in chic and stylish concept. Sheraton hotel is also called as The Dorsett hotel which specialty in its cuisines. Traders hotel is in category of conference centers because of well known as the biggest ballrooms in Georgetown and situated in area of city. Then, residential hotel is such as Evergreen Laurel hotel that located far from the busy city. There are a lot of resort hotels in Penang such as Holiday Inn Resort, Shangri-La`s Golden Sands Resort, Shangri-La`s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Sri Sayang Resort Service Apartments and Mutiara Beach Resort. Holiday Inn Resort is well known for its cultural heritage and fascinating in its ways. Shangri-La`s Golden Sands Resort is located in Batu Feringgi popular for it natural and tropical getaway among guests. Shangri`s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is unique in its way by just give a great service for guests and chosen destination by many famous personality. Sri Sayang Resort Service Apartment is modern in its interior which will give the feel like staying at our own home and good services by the staffs. Mutiara Beach Resort, located at Teluk Bahang which known as “Glowing Bay” and full of complete of services and facilities.

Style and Quality of Hotel Architecture in Penang

Each and every five-star hotels in Penang are unique and have their own style and quality of architecture. The research were conducted on these five-star hotels in Penang; Eastern and Oriental hotel, Mutiara Beach Resort, Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Sheraton Hotel, Traders Hotel, Shangri-La`s Rasa Sayang Resort, Equatorial Hotel, Parkroyal Penang Hotel, G. Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Holiday Inn Resort Penang, Sri Sayang Resort Service Apartment and The Northam All Suite Penang.

In 100 Resorts Malaysia (2004a), Eastern and Oriental hotel is a colonial-style hotel that already exists in year 1885 and it is luxurious hotel that still follow British Empire style of services. It also has similar style of architecture with Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Maxcarrydotcom sdn. Bhd. (2007) reported that it is located in the city of Georgetown, north of Peninsular Malaysia that is very strategic and some part of hotel is facing the beach view that make beautiful scenery. In short form, it is called E & O Hotel. It is also known as old charm colonial style hotel that has 101 suites with large spacious, furnished by regency style with sea front lawn. The design of suites in Eastern and Oriental Hotel was decorated in a convenient interior and modern for the guests to stay. The facilities insides these 101 suites are including television, air-conditioning, mini bar, telephone, tea and coffee and toiletries. The guests may have a choice whether to choose to stay in suite that has a view of sea scenery from the window. The Deluxe Suite was design with separate living room and luxurious bathroom that comes with sea view. The Eastern and Oriental Hotel is suitable for guests who really appreciate the beautiful of nature. Besides, the Strait Suite of E & O Hotel is oversize offers a great décor with suite that have main lounge area and the dining table overlooking the strait of Penang. It is so special because of unique opulent bathroom that has separate shower, long bath and claw. Furthermore, this hotel is desired hotel by guests to come for the business as well as leisure traveler. The coffee shop of Eastern and Oriental Hotel, Sarkies Corner is elegant and colonial style design that have a relax ambiance while experiencing in the coffee shop. Besides, Verandah is one of the restaurants in Eastern and Oriental Hotel that provide alfresco dining with beautiful scenery of tropical garden and sea as well. Then, The Deck is very casual style and comfortable dining at the E & O Hotel which offer light meal and refreshments. The hotel also provides guests Farquhars Bar which suitable place for post dinner drink including life band for entertainment. The Eastern and Oriental Hotel provides facilities such as fitness centre, sauna and swimming pool. Besides, The E & O Hotel`s function rooms can accommodate up to 400 people.

Mutiara Beach Resort has its own style and quality which differ from other five-star hotels in Penang. Mutiara Beach Resort has it quality standard which is new standard for Asian Resort Hotel. It is listed as one of the world`s finest palm-fringed beaches. Well known as “Glowing Bay” which has landscape of tropical greenery and located at Teluk Bahang on a prime beachfront and forms a scallop-like shape along Teluk Bahang bay provides private and peaceful environment. There are 438 extensive rooms and suites which gives the guests the view of sea and garden. The furniture are naturally finished and luxuriously furnished with unique and quality fabrics. There are several dining at Mutiara Beach Resort that is House of Four Seasons, Tsuru-No-Ta, La Farfalla Restaurant, Puppetry Lounge, Palmetto Lounge and Swim-up Pool Bar. Then, recreation facilities are two free-form outdoor swimming pools with Jacuzzi`s and swim-up bar, fitness centre with a range of cardiovascular and fitness equipment, steam bath, sauna, massage, aromatherapy and foot reflexology, four floodlit tennis courts, four squash courts, mini golf, comprehensive range of water sports, leisure activities both for adults and children and Sinbad Kids Adventure Club.

Evergreen Laurel Hotel is located at Gurney and situated in quite far from the hassle and bustle city. It is an elegant and private business hotel with accommodate with first-class facilities. Evergreen Laurel Hotel has 18 storey building with 367 guestrooms and suites which really suitable for guests on business trip or vacation. Insides all these 367 guestrooms and suites are marvelous furnished equipped with minibar, telephone, television, air-conditioning, safe deposit box, coffee and tea making and hair dryer facilities. Its first-class facilities are all oversized and can still fix with 1 extra bed. The Superior room can be choose either to have a king size bed or two single beds. The Deluxe room in Evergreen Laurel Hotel has a great perfect view of sea whereas the Executive Suite there is oversize and can add an extra bed which can fit 3 adults. Besides, the Evergreen Laurel Hotel provides facilities such as tennis courts, banquet hall, a spa, a swimming pool, state-of-the-art gymnasium, business centre and four restaurants. Furthermore, the hotel`s four restaurants are Café`s Laurel, Canton Palace, Lobby Lounge and Poolside Teracce. Café Laurel is special with it ala carte and buffet style which is fare of local and international favorites. Dining which has a stylish style is Canton Palace which provides tasteful authentic culinary delights. After a very tiring work, guests may relax themselves at Lobby Lounge that design for personal entertainment and may have some drinks. Poolside Terrace offer some special light snacks and drinks.

Sheraton Hotel is located in capital city of Penang that is Georgetown which gives a beautiful view of the city and the ocean. This hotel is unique because it is built according to historic pre-war buildings which are rich in heritage. The guests that come to Sheraton Hotel would get an opportunity to feel the era of evolution of Penang. After Penang already established as a British trading outpost, Penang become more develop its international holiday destination and chosen as important Asia`s location for expositions and conventions. There are 237 guestrooms which is well-decorated with luxurious suites in the Sheraton Hotel. The rooms are known as “Delight Soft” which has a concept of oak brown classic and period furniture. The types of rooms that are available at Sheraton Hotel are superior room, deluxe room, corporate club room, long stay room, executive suite, apartment suite, premier suite and presidential suite. Each of the rooms are equipped with the facilities such as Electronic Key Card System, In-house movie and music channels, remote controlled television, high speed internet excess, high speed fax/data line, IDD telephone, Voice Mail, In-room electronic safe, hairdryer iron and ironing board, individual rooms controlled air-conditioning, 24 hour in-room dining Coffee/tea making facilities and daily newspaper. There are four restaurants in Sheraton Hotel that are The Grove Brasserie, Chances “R” Sports Bars and Lounge, Lapann and Bee Won Korean Restaurant.

Traders Hotel is a business hotel which located in the city of Georgetown. The hotel has around 443 guestrooms and suites which is modern and contemporary style of Malaysian designs. Each room has the view of Penang Bridge or city of Georgetown. The suites in Traders Hotel are Executive Suite, Horizon Suite, Penang Suite and Malaysian Suite which have a separate sitting area just for business meetings and Deluxe Suites provides extra space suitable for groups and families. Besides, Traders Hotel has its own club called Traders Club Room. Traders Club Room is at 16th and 17th floors of Traders Hotel which both offer scenery of city and Penang Bridge and has elegant furnishings and Traders Club services. In both of Traders Club Room dimensions are counted as 28 sq m/301 sq ft. Facilities in Traders Hotel including The Fitness Center, Aerobics/Dance Studio, Pool, Massage, Sauna/Steam Room, and Table Tennis. Furthermore, the dining at Traders Hotel are Islander and Lobby Lounge where both located at lobby level. The Islander dining has concept of authentic local and international cuisine which has the fabric and wood textured interior. Then, Lobby Lounge is stylish style and bar along the lounge is filling with variety of teas, coffees and fresh juices.

Shangri-La`s Rasa Sayang Resort is located at Batu Feringgi, Penang which the area is surrounded by palm trees and cover over 30 acres of green gardens. The Shangri-La`s Rasa Sayang Resort considered as luxurious hotel and being chosen as landmark of fascinating destinations. It has a very fine architecture with ultimate interiors. Well known resort by its marvelous services and contemporary amenities which attract and make the tourists love to come and stay there. The special about Shangri-La`s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is that has represent many famous Hollywood stars and political people.

Equatorial Penang Hotel is five-star hotel with great architectural that surrounded by award winning landscaped gardens. It is located on the South Eastern part of Penang Island, which situated 500 feet above sea level on Bukit Jambul. It has 688 guest rooms and suites which decorated with modern amenities. Besides, the hotel`s Columnless Matahari & grand ballrooms can fix up to 2000 people is selected as the largest on the island. The Equatorial Penang Hotel is also famous for businessmen and conference organizers because of 21 other function rooms which can fix for 10 - 300 with ease including its unique ambience and convenient location. Furthermore, the hotel`s exhibition hall can fix with 240 booths.

Parkroyal Penang Hotel well known of it marvelous destination where it is located in Batu Ferringhi that create a unique “East meets West” charm. The hotel is quite private place but full and complete with facilities. The Parkroyal Penang Hotel is called as a “sparkling tropical paradise” because designed with natural landscape.

G. Hotel is new and modern five-star hotel with stylish and chic type hotel located in Gurney, Penang. It is complete with stunning interiors and contemporary design which provide accommodation with style and substance. “The ‘genesis' in ‘G' is inspired by its location while the emblematic design of our logo reflects the quirkiness and welcoming nature of our living space,” according to G Hotel Consultant Billy Theodas (2009). This hotel is suitable for business and leisure travelers following with marvelous service and unique facilities. The unique of the interior design in G. Hotel is ‘Spoon Chair' by Kartell and Cappellini`s ‘Felt Chair' which gives a feeling of relaxation and comfortable.

Hard Rock Hotel is five-star hotel that is the latest hotel in Penang which opened at September of 2009. It is located in Batu Feringhi which situated along the beaches. It is the only Hard Rock hotel in Malaysia. This hotel provides 249 tricked-out rooms that including with beautiful views and balconies. The Hard Rock Hotel has unconventional layout and mistakable Hard Rock vibe and comes with extra facilities that are free-form swimming pool and kiddies' clubs. Furthermore, Hard Rock Hotel is so special and unique compare to other five-star hotel because of it iconic resort`s walls are featured with showbiz icons and memorabilia; and also with hotel`s rock-star treatment of its guests and a rock-and-roll ambience. Therefore, the hotel is known as ultimate Rock Retreat suitable for all ages.

Holiday Inn Resort Penang is located at Batu Ferringhi which situated on island of Penang that famous with it culture heritage. The resorts provide an elegant guest rooms that are desirable decorated and give the guests a feature of modern amenities. The Holiday Inn Resort Penang`s restaurant and bar offer marvelous finest cuisine and serving for 24-hour room service. The resort`s meeting and banquet has a good facilities which suitable for either small private gathering or large corporate events that also including business services. Besides, the Holiday Inn Resort Penang has recreational facilities which have range of activities and water sports. The resort also provides concierge services and free parking. Furthermore, the beachfront is so rich in panorama of sun set and beautiful beach which suitable for families, couples, corporate or incentive groups.

Sri Sayang Resort Service Apartment is located at Batu Ferringhi. It is situated near the beach which makes the resort so calm and soothing to be a holiday destination for tourists. The resort gives easy excess to outside of resort to the tourists to enjoy major eateries, entertainment and night market which only walking distance. The resort also provides a modern amenities and recreational facilities that have a pool and garden where guests can rest and refresh themselves. The special about this resort is the guests will feel like a home when they stay at the Sri Sayang Resort Service Apartment because of friendly staffs and complete amenities.

The Northam All Suites Penang Hotel is a business hotel style which located in Georgetown. The area of this hotel is surrounded with urban living and feature in refined luxury suitable for business and leisure traveler. The guests are given a good rejuvenate experience at relaxing place at sightseeing and if for business, the guests can have excess the expert support, functional meeting venues, and perfect facilities. The hotel`s guests room are feature is variety of toned and cozy fittings which mix modern and elegance. There are 142 suites which equipped with air-conditioned and everything for business and leisure. Besides, each of suite is built with a private toilet and bath, guests powder room and water-massage Jacuzzi. Then the Northam All Suites Penang Hotel also has amenities such as two cable televisions, ironing board, hair dryer, coffee/tea maker, telephone and room safe. Furthermore, for corporate guests, they will discover that the suites also offer daily newspaper, two-line speaker phone, full-sized desk, lounge, high speed Internet connectivity, fax machine, mini-bar, data/modem port on phone. The hotel`s dinning is Coffee House, Lobby Lounge, East ‘n' West Restaurant, Taipan Fins Restaurant, and Roof Terrace.

Evolution of Hotel Architecture

All the five-star hotels in Penang can be considered as luxury and high class hotels with focus on quality and sophistication. Penang five-star hotels have their own way in evolution of its architecture which now a lot of five-star hotels already exist in this state. My research was conducted and showed that Penang still develop the five-star hotels from time to time and in the same time still remain as Unesco World Heritage Site in Georgetown. Therefore, to show how Penang's five-stars hotels architecture develop, the diagrams below are illustrated as figure 1:- Development of Hotel and Resort Locations :

Figure 1: Development of Hotel and Resort Locations Focus on Five-star Hotel:

Location

Development

1.

Existing traditional hotels and resorts.

Renovations in hotel and resort facilities and environment to raise convention and recreational use: urban and beach-front landscaping, investments in sophistication sports/entertainment facilities and pedestrianization.

2.

Focus hotels and resorts in new destination.

Integrated development with control over zoning and planning. Include High-grade hotels, Resort hotels and Suite hotels in widen the tourists regions.

3.

Individual resort hotels in solitary area.

Mainly high-grade hotels based on parkland, exclusive golf, beach or lakeside attractions. Include converted mansions and chateaux.

4.

Vacation villages and mixed developments mainly in remote areas.

Resorts catering for family vacations and/or specific interests in sport. Generally low-rise vernacular buildings carefully integrated with the landscape, and recreational facilities.

Five-star hotel that is built long ago in Penang is Eastern and Oriental Hotel where it is established in 1885 by Armenian Sarkies Brothers which is the oldest five-star hotel in Penang. The architecture is base on colonial-style hotel and in 1927, it very immodestly described itself as “The premier hotel East of Suez” (2004: 118b). However the Eastern and Oriental Hotel was closed for improvement and expansion from December 1996 to April 2001 (2004: 118c). The latest and new five-star hotel in Penang is Hard Rock Hotel which just open last September 2009. The design of Hard Rock Hotel is definitely more modern and the facilities provided are suitable for all ages. The differences between the oldest hotel, Eastern and Oriental Hotel and the latest hotel, Hard Rock Hotel are Eastern and Oriental hotel are more focus in giving the guests feel and experience staying in rooms and suites that are feature with ancient and antique design, taste the traditional European cuisine from 1885 Grill restaurant and can use the facilities that consider as antique appearance but modern in use. Therefore, this is the way Eastern and Oriental Hotel attract their tourists by the traditional design of overall hotel (Ahmad Sanusi Hassan: 2004). Whereas Hard Rock hotel attract their tourists by its own unique architecture which focus on ultimate Rock Retreat and more toward performance of life band and music. After Eastern and Oriental Hotel was build, other five-star hotels were built as well. Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort was built in 1973 after Eastern and Oriental Hotel, followed by Holiday Inn Resort Penang in 1979, Traders Hotel in 1986, Mutiara Beach Resort and Equatorial Penang Hotel in 1989, Parkroyal Penang hotel in 1990, Evergreen Laurel Hotel in 1997, and G. Hotel in 2007.

Problems of Hotel Architecture in Five-star hotel in Penang

There are problems of hotel architecture encounter by five-star hotels in Penang which it is very important to do research about it. This is because each of five-star hotels in Penang needs to be maintaining it quality of architecture so that the tourists will keep on coming and love to stay at their place. The problems they may encounter are such as the weather, God`s law of nature, maintaining the facilities and amenities and competitive with other five-star hotels in other state or other country. In Penang, the weather is tropical type which rain and hot every year. This will slowly make the hotels or resorts building become dull in it paint colors. The five-star hotels in Penang must concern about the quality of the architectural that lies in each of the hotels and resort because five-star hotels are rated as perfect and complete hotels to the tourists. The area that should focus in each of five-star hotels in Penang are treatment of walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, color and lighting schemes. These areas will effects the hotels and resorts when the factor of weather comes in. Sometime we cannot avoid the God's law of nature which will happen beyond our expectation. Penang experienced in Tsunami before which totally destroyed the land. Luckily, five-star hotels in Penang were not affected. In order to be more aware of the nature law, this problem needs to be alert. In each of five-star hotels in Penang must be frequently maintained its facilities and amenities in order to keep a good quality control. According to The Edge Malaysia (4 Oct., 2004, p.10), it was reported that Rasa Sayang Hotel in Penang will be close for 2 years start at December 2004 in order to do major in renovations to ensure it will be long-term survival. Besides, Eastern and Oriental hotel also has experience in major improvement in order to sustain it. All these two cases showed that how important to maintain the facilities and amenities to keep it new and satisfaction by the guests. Furthermore, all five-star hotels in Penang will definitely face with competitive among other five-star hotels in other state or other countries.

Strategy to Improve and Develop Hotel Architecture.

1) Powerful conglomerates share the markets with a competitive fringe and core resorts share tourism spaces with peripheral destination (2004: 219)

2) Followed key qualities: Charisma, tranquility and unspoiled terrain (2006: 33)

3) Run the hotels or resort in different ways that are a franchisor, a manager and on an owned-and-leased basis (Peter Jones, 2009)

4) Stress on the ideology of “development” that should be in everyday life that would produce the power of relations between architecture, tourism, status and politic (Francis Kher Gee Lim: 2007).

5) Reflect the concept of each five-star hotels in Penang more to identity of Malaysia and its variety of ethnic culture (Mark Crinson, 2008)

Future Plan

1) Most important is enhance the environment and highly managed of hotels and resorts and keep the value of beaches clean (Tim O'Callaghan, 2008)

2) In future, built more five-star hotels that follow the architecture of Islamic which really shows the image of Malaysia country and unique from other country (Mohamad Tajuddin, 2008).

3) Develop the popularity of town in Penang, such as Bayan Baru on the island, Seberang Jaya and Batu Kawan on the mainland in order to attract the tourists to come to the town first which is doing the promoting than build some five-star hotels in that area (Dasimah Omar, 2004).