|Lone Pine Hotel|
|Casuarina Trees on the Beach|
Lone Pine Hotel, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
The first hint that we’d like our stay at Lone Pine Hotel was the parking. Exposed orange brick, neatly lined up vine strings and shady trees marked each car space. If attention to detail was evident even in the car park, it had to be a good sign for the rest of the property.
Lone Pine is an intimate retreat amongst the larger resorts on Batu Ferringhi. With only 90 rooms, it’s classed as a boutique hotel, and has won a number of awards for this category of stay. From two person Deluxe rooms to Grand Premier Suites sleeping up to six persons, all face the sea and all carry over the thoughtfulness given to the finer points as evidenced in the temporary care for vehicles at the entry.
White, bright green, orange brick and, glass form the artist’s palette from which Lone Pine was fashioned. Parallel lines and right angles assemble an orderly, uncomplicated structure. This streamlined and clean finish makes an ideal base for the contemporary geometric artworks, using mostly primary colours and black, that spruce up the walls. Clever landscaping has rows of vines creeping from the roof to the ground in neat systematic columns.
Lone Pine considered a small hotel. There are however enough facilities to not necessitate departure during a stay. A pool, gym, games room, spa and three food and beverage outlets satiate activity, relaxation, party and food cravings.
For the active, the sandy beach frontage is a lovely run in the early morning or late afternoon. The air-conditioned gymnasium has sufficient cardio equipment (treadmills, bikes and a cross trainer), a few weight machines and a stack of gradated dumbbells. The pool is of more than sufficient length to get a good workout swimming laps and, a games room provides a pool table and a few other amusements, great for rainy days. A fun alternative to get the body moving, is a whirl on the dance floor at the batubar where a DJ spins uplifting beats Friday and Saturday nights.
Relaxation is a breeze too with spa, pool, lawn, sand and personal bathtub for choice.
Using spa salt, the pool water is soft, leaving skin pleasantly refreshed rather than itchy and irritated (as is the case with most pools with chemical content). Grey and pale blue mosaic, tiles the base giving the sensation of natural stone, a cool stream in the mountains. Chocolate sun chairs, shaded with cream umbrellas, and tepees mark the pool’s edge. The infinity pool splashes over into a line of white pebbles and a bubbly frenzy churns a second pond of water Jacuzzi style.
Additional unwinding can be purchased at Pure Energy Spa, which offers a decent range of treatments by expert therapists at reasonable prices. Compared to other hotels on the strip, the menu is quite affordable. We tried their signature massage and were pleased with both technique and strength of hands.
Alternatively, for a no cost de-stress, a bubble bath might be just the thing. All rooms feature either a free-standing tub indoors or, a sunken bath on the balcony with views to the sea.
Ocean vistas are a luxury for all, no matter what category of accommodation you book, as every room faces the sea. Shutter windows allow in the repetitive sounds of the waves, which lull you to sleep at night and hush your pulse during the day.
Extra tall ceilings give a sense of space and, both a ceiling fan and air conditioning, give a much-appreciated choice of cooling. The fan complements the natural coastal breezes, making artificial chilling often unnecessary.
A super king size bed is the centrepiece of the sleeping area, with a chair and office area off to the side. Again white is a feature and simple lines support the notion of largeness.
Giant sliding doors open or privatize the bathroom, running seamlessly in line with the wall. Mosaic tiling replicates the glazed ceramics of the original structure dating back to 1948 when the property was leased as the first hotel in Batu Ferringhi. Use of glass and tall mirrors once more craftily enhance the space.
Bathrobes and slippers are the expected, but a sarong and thongs are extra touches making what to wear to the pool an easy decision.
Complimentary broadband access in rooms and around the hotel means keeping connected is a cinch. A television and in-room DVD player provide coach potato entertainment.
Three dining options keep hunger pains at bay.
The Bungalow is Lone Pine’s all day dining restaurant. Buffet breakfast is taken here from 6:30am until 11am making it one of the longest open breakfasts on the beach strip. A Tiffin Lunch set is a bargain. Starter, soup, rice, dessert and three Hainanese inspired dishes is a mere RM22 per person. Burgers, pasta, noodles and local specialties can be enjoyed poolside or at the dining table throughout the day. A Wine and Dine buffet runs Friday and Saturday evenings making it an easy place to eat and drink with friends and family. The roast duck and made-on-the-spot char kway teow are not to be missed.
Japanese flavours are found at Matsu. Stylish, yet relaxed, this is the place to savour the fruits of the sea and the best of the land. With everything, including dressing and desserts, made in their own kitchen, taste is uncompromised and a quality meal is guaranteed. Chef’s Sashimi Moriawase (sashimi platter) and his Macha Tiramisu with Orange Twist dessert should be on everyone’s order.
When the heat gets too much, batubar will cool you down. Friday night is Ladies’ Night where female friends drink for free and, an excellent DJ spins uplifting beats in the chic setting. At other times, beverages are reasonably priced (especially in comparison to hotel standards) and, a range of tapas fill the tummy.
This boutique hotel on Batu Ferringhi is a good choice for couples or friends wishing to have a relaxing few days away in a smart, yet relaxed, environment by the sea.
Reason to visit: all rooms offer a sea view, ideal for couples with no children, great pool, spacious green environment, bright happy rooms
Lone Pine Hotel
97 Batu Ferringhi
+61 04 886 8686
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