About This Listing
*August is available only for long term stays* Home away from home! The Shophouse is a renovated apartment-style accomodation in a 100+year old townhouse in George Town.
The Shophouse is a renovated apartment-style accomodation in a 100+year old townhouse in George Town. The city is now celebrating its 7th anniversary as a World Heritage City, so this is a great time to experience the ambience of staying in a living heritage city!
This is the ground floor suite of a three-storey house. As a self-contained private apartment unit, it has a queen-sized bed and a convertible sofa (firm and comfy!) so it works for a couple and an extra person. It comes complete with an ensuite bathroom, a simple kitchen and dining area. Only a microwave (to heat up food) and kettle (for hot drinks) are provided because guests are literally surrounded by Penang's best hawker foods available throughout the day. One 2hp air-con and two ceiling fans keeps the place cool, and the room's centrepiece is its lovely airwell. Despite being in the city, you could be woken up by the chirping of birds in the mornings and in the afternoon, the warm, yeasty aroma of baking bread will waft in from the next door bakery - one of the few still making traditional Hainanese bread.
*A minimum two-night stay is required.
* Please notify me before booking if you're planning to check in after 7pm because I'm not always able to accommodate this.
*During your stay, the first floor could be occupied by the host, or the second floor could be occupied by other guests. All share a main door and common staircase but all have separate entrances to their floors so it's like your own private apartment.
Dato Koyah is off Penang Road which is a paradise of the best hawker foods in Penang. This is a great space for foodies who want to enjoy the rhythms and pace of George Town. The street is largely residential with low-traffic businesses, except at night when one end of the road draws in the supper crowd. Staying in a George Town shophouse will mean ambient sounds of the city. There will be some traffic noise, ie muffled drones of motorbikes whizzing by and the Krishna Temple bell that is rung at 730am. But this suite is relatively "embedded" within the building so the sound is muted. **If you're looking for absolute silence, this is not a suitable space.
Hawker highlights around the corner include my neighbour's kaya toast and eggs (Toh Soon, 7.30am-6pm at Campbell Street), wonton mee (morning), koay teow th'ng (morning to early aftn), pork broth (12pm till late), roti prata and fried maggi mee (9pm -4am), Nasi Kandar (24 hours). ** A food map will be provided!
Dato Koyah is off Penang Road which is a paradise of the best hawker foods in Penang. This is a great space for foodies who want to enjoy the rhythms and pace of George Town. The street is largely residential with low-traffic businesses, except at night when one end of the road draws in the supper crowd. Staying in a George Town shophouse will mean ambient sounds of the city. There will be some traffic noise, ie muffled drones of motorbikes whizzing by and the beeping sounds of automatic car locks. But this suite is relatively "embedded" within the building so the sound is muted. **If you're looking for absolute silence, this is not a suitable space.
Interaction with Guests
I will check guests in, or arrange for someone to when I'm not in town, and might continue to see them if I stop by the house. Sunday check-ins are generally not preferred.
It's a residential neighbourhood with small businesses and calmer compared to parallel roads but yet within short walking distance to every amenity, primarily food and heritage sites.
It's really easy to walk everywhere and to catch the bus to Komtar where the main bus terminus is. There is sufficient public carparking on the street, take note that Penang has now changed to a coupon system. I usually arrange for my regular cabbie to pick guests up from the airport for RM40 and you can subsequently make your return arrangements with him.
Other Things to Note
Please let me know your check in times soon after you book, for planning ease. I'm generally flexible with check-in and check-out times but if there is a back-to-back booking, then do note that the standard 12pm check out time and 3pm check in will apply.
Please let me know your arrival/check in and check out times if they are especially early (bef 12pm) or late (after 5pm), for planning ease. I also allocate about 30 mins to be on site to check in guests, so do let me know on that day if your flight is delayed or you're gg to make a detour before arriving at the appointed time. I also expect to be checking in the person who made the booking, so please inform me beforehand if otherwise.
Strictly no smoking indoors. I hope guests will appreciate that they are staying in a heritage home - which is made of timber!
If there are other guests staying on the upper floors, please do observe the system for bolting and barring the traditional wooden front doors, when going in and out!
Place was perfectly clean, with basic amenities such as towels and bath items provided. As there could be guests staying upstairs as well, please do be prepared for noise when they walk up and down the stairs. Lucky for us, the guests upstairs doesn't walk around up and down too often. Place gets quiet and darker at night, but however location was rather good as it's of walkable distance to Kimberly street where yummy food lies.
We were welcomed by Sc mother - who explained how everything worked and the security system for when there were two families "renting" at the same time. Whilst Sc has no control over the way people respect the privacy of the other family - the couple who were there at the same time as us did not seem to worry about the noise they made when they came home at night - doors banging talking outside our bedroom and then the noise they made when going up the stairs was quite disconcerting. This was not good for us but as I said Sc has no control over the way people respect others.
Our experience in Penang at Sharon's shophouse studio is nothing short of expectations and advertised - the place was quaint, clean, and accessible (made even more accessible by Sharon's hand-drawn map of the surrounding eating places!). Even without turning on the aircon, the studio is kept cool amidst the sweltering heat outside, and the little outdoor space within the apartment to let in natural light really helped with the ambience and mood of the place. A great experience overall.
Sharon is a fantastic host whose warm introduction saw me quickly familiar with the building and the local area. That she could handle my stay on short notice (the night before!) reflects how polished her setup and arrangements are.
The Shophouse itself is a great space. It's well located close to all the local sites and is well appointed with tasteful decor and modern conveniences, while retaining all the character of a century old building. The studio is airy and breathes so well that I found I didn't need air conditioning during my stay. Last but not least the food map was an extremely handy cheat-sheet to the local cuisine.
I only wish I could have stayed longer.
Upon arrival, Sharon introduced us to the Shophouse studio and took time to explain the good food/sights in the area. She also had a food map readily available. It was a good location, and parking lots were easily available - in front of the Shophouse as well as across it. Sharon's a thoughtful and lovely host. We found the Shophouse studio locally authentic, charming and quaint - we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there!
We loved our stay at Sharon's place - a true feel of a traditional Chinese shophouse. Everything was very organised and effortless. The place is very spacious and kept cooler than the temperature outside. Sharon was very helpful and responsive to all our questions making our stay more comfortable. All the food and sites are a short walk away!
This is a charming, comfortable, character-filled apartment in the heart of George Town. The host (Sharon) is incredibly accommodating and helpful, including providing copies of her meticulously hand-drawn map of local eateries.
Everything in the apartment is set up well and you can see the attention to detail everywhere you look. There are instructions and labels everywhere you could possibly need them. The Wi-Fi signal was strong, and although I had an issue where it became unavailable, it was fixed quickly and without hassle.
The only potential downsides would be the fairly complicated old-fashioned door locking and barring system (which I actually thought was a nice novelty) and the fact that the restaurant over the road cooks until the wee hours of the morning (tap-tap-tap on the wok). But these things really add to the character and help you to experience the "real" George Town, which I think you'd miss by staying in one of the generic international hotels dotted around the place.
One last comment - make sure you try the Wonton Mee place around on Jalan Argyll (see Sharon's food map) for breakfast - some of the best noodles I've ever eaten!
This host has 61 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Sc
I've lived in Malaysia, Singapore, the US, UK and parts of Europe. I'm a writer and have authored a travel book on Malaysia. As a traveller, I believe in a more "authentic" experience rather and getting a sense of the local way of life. That's why an Airbnb hosting appeals to me.