The Coolest Airbnbs and Holiday Apartments in Penang, Malaysia

Penang's capital, George Town, overlooks the Strait of Malacca
Penang's capital, George Town, overlooks the Strait of Malacca | © Crystal Image / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Austin Bush
16 April 2021

Penang is home to some of Southeast Asia’s best boutique hotels. But if you’re travelling in a large group or simply want a bit more space, this Malaysian island is also home to an impressive selection of stay-worthy holiday rentals. The following offer both a bit more room to roam and the convenience of home – book your stay with Culture Trip.

Gat Lebuh Sandilands by Sanguine

3/5 (1 Reviews)
Courtesy of Gat Lebuh Sandilands by Sanguine / Expedia
From $72 Per night per room

For a homey base in the heart of George Town, consider one of the two three-bedroom apartments up for grabs here. Both are similarly outfitted in stylish, contemporary furniture with splashes of powder pink, baby blue and bamboo. There’s a sleek kitchen-diner and a smart, expensive-feeling bathroom, but the star is the large balcony with views across the water to the mainland. Plus, Penang’s best eating, shopping and sights are just a short walk away.

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Shamrock Beach Villas Seaview 15

Short-term Rental
From $161 Per night per room

So the choice of wallpaper in some of the rooms might not be to your taste, but you can’t argue with the space and overall quality of these two villas. Beside the extra bedroom, there’s not much in it between the six-bedroom and five-bedroom option, as inside both, rooms are decked out with designer furniture, bathrooms are big and bright and kitchens are modern and well-equipped. A north shore location means you’re a short taxi ride from some of the island’s best beaches, too.

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Shamrock Beach Villas

Short-term Rental
3.2/5 (6 Reviews)
Courtesy of Shamrock Beach Villas / Expedia
From $161 Per night per room

Holidaying with family for a wedding, or a milestone birthday, perhaps? Then one (or even both) of these two six-bedroom villas on Penang’s north shore could be just the ticket. They’re certainly stylish enough for a special occasion, with backlit mirrors, sleek breakfast bars and a chic monochrome colour scheme. What’s more, both villas come with their own garden for BBQs or sunset cocktails, and you’re within striking distance of some belting beaches, too.

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Short-term Rental
From $213 Per night per room

Located just outside central George Town, this huge five-bedroom home sleeps up to 20, making it perfect for a large family getaway. As well as spacious bedrooms with vast balconies, there’s plenty of communal space for hanging out, as well as a garden area and carport. There’s a simple kitchen and dining room, and a large flat-screen TV with squishy bean bags in the lounge. Want to explore? You’re not far from Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple.

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iBook 3 – Beachside Bungalow

Short-term Rental
5/5 (1 Reviews)
iBook 3 - Beachside Bungalow | Courtesy of iBook 3 - Beachside Bungalow / Expedia
From $136 Per night per room

Eschew the typical resort stay with a stint at this rustic home in Penang. Despite calling itself a bungalow, this period cottage has six bedrooms over two floors that boast fun, lively furniture. There’s lots of communal space, including a vast yard and a cosy living room, and a location on the coast means views over the Straits of Malacca. Perched on Penang’s north shore, you’re also just a short taxi ride from some of the island’s best beaches and other outdoor pursuits.

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  • Nordic Suite at George Town Penang

    Short-term Rental
    4/5 (1 Reviews)
    Courtesy of 10Pax Nordic Suite at George Town Penang / Expedia
    From $72 Per night per room

    If for nothing else, it’s hard to look past this modern, two-bedroom apartment for the unbelievable outdoor infinity pool you’ll have access to. Located several storeys up on the side of the building, you can float to views of Penang’s Unesco-listed historical core. Inside, there’s ample space, and rooms are decked out with contemporary furniture and stylish designer touches, and as well as the pool, you’ll have access to a fitness centre and other communal areas.

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    218 Macalister Penang By Plush

    Short-term Rental
    3.2/5 (6 Reviews)
    Courtesy of 218 Macalister Penang By Plush / Expedia
    From $83 Per night per room

    The apartments at 218 Macalister Penang By Plush are sleek and modern, a contrast with much of the often dated accommodation on Penang. Rooms are decked out in bold colours and contemporary furnishings, and guests have access to an Instagram-worthy infinity pool and sleek fitness centre. There’s a functional kitchen for self-catering, or alternatively you’re a short walk to some of the island’s best street stalls and restaurants.

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    George Town Sunrise Seaview Seafront Duplex

    Map View

    If you like sea views, pool views, and Penang Hill views, this duplex suite does it all with a touch of urban class. Luxuriously spacious, and spanning a ground and mezzanine floor, this apartment-style loft can host up to eight guests at any given time. Restaurants are super close by, and you can ask the host for recommendations. The heritage George Town is about 10 minutes away by car.

    Tien 186 - Master Suite

    Map View

    What happens when you combine the contemporary and the historic? You’ll find it here: walls with brick elements, bathrooms with traditional Peranakan tiles and round mirrors with fancy backlighting. Local food vendors and stalls are nearby, so whenever you need a nosh, you need not look (or walk) far.

    Michelle Leong contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on April 16, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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