But please consider that right across the Penang Bridge, which you can cross riding on Penang ferry, there are many attractions in Seberang Perai. Bukit Mertajam is Penang mainland’s biggest town has a lot of things to do and it’s a much more quiet, slow place to experience that “quaint Malaysian life” that George Town has traded for boutique gentrification.
We certainly recommend visiting Bukit Mertajam, at least to take a trip to its Recreational Forest of Cherok Tokun. You can also use it as a base to visit the amazing Frog Hill or take a hike at Bukit Juru, Bukit Panchor State Park, Berapit, or any other of the many others hiking trails in Seberang Perai.
And if it’s an offbeat island you are looking for, Bukit Mertajam is close to diminutive Pulau Aman.
With so many things to do, why not base yourself here, at least for a day, before moving south to start visiting some of Perak’s best attractions, such as Taiping’s food scene, the Taiping Lake Gardens and its hill station Bukit Larut, chilled Pangkor Island, and the fishing villages of Kuala Sepetang and Kuala Kurau.
Best Hotels in Bukit Mertajam
The following is a list of what we consider 10 of the best places to stay in and around Bukit Mertajam. For such a lesser-trawled place, the selection of high-starred hotels is actually quite satisfactory, and you’ll find some budget options, too.
1Hotel Summit Bukit Mertajam
Let’s start straight in the center of town. The Hotel Summit is Bukit Mertajam’s stalwart, rising in walking distance from the best of the Old Town. It may be in need of a bit of a brush-up, but that’s one of the glorious oldies, and to be frank, the outdoor pool and more than decent rooms are perfect for the low price. There’s an annexed restaurant, but of course, being in such a short distance to the town, you’ll use it as a base to go and do all the great things Bukit Mertajam has to offer.
2Vangohh Eminent Hotel & Spa
If you want to save money and yet have a fantastic 5-star experience that’s just a half-hour drive away from George Town, then Vanggoh Eminent Hotel is the best place to stay in Bukit Mertajam. The rooms here are large, decorated with plush satin curtains and a grey-dark color palette that makes them all the more appealing — and some come with jacuzzi. There’s an on-site spa, a swimming pool, and the buffet breakfast is pretty well assorted. A fantastic option for what you get at this price range.
3Iconic Hotel Penang
If you have your own transport, Iconic Hotel may be the best choice. The reason is, this new 5-star hotel, which opened in 2018, is a part of Icon City, a new entertainment area developed between Bukit Mertajam old town and Juru’s Auto City. The hotel has some of Bukit Mertajam’s best rooms, spacious, with a sleek and modern design, and an inviting outdoor pool. Icon City is at its doorstep with dozens of nearby options for dining and entertainment — think Korean BBQ, beer bars, endless Taiwanese Bubble Tea cafes, and all you need to get it kicking in BM.
Another good reason to stay here is the price, definitely affordable for the type of property you’ll stay at.
Another excellent option in Seberang Perai, this time near the town of Seberang Jaya. The Light is a very modern hotel with 303 excellent rooms decorated in wood, floor carpets and pastel hues that make for a welcoming homey feeling with all the bells and whistles of the category included, of course. The family suites are particularly good value, with two double beds, a lounge-like area, and plenty of space to enjoy the company of your closest people. There’s also an outdoor swimming pool to soak and fight the heat, and guests compliment the very sumptuous buffet breakfast included in the room price.
5Chariton Hotel Alma
Set in the suburb of Alma, Chariton Hotel is an attractive budget hotel with very sleek and modern rooms. They all have USB ports, free coffee and tea, and large-enough bathrooms with rain showers. Wood panels and plenty of natural light give it an edge among the competition, and the annexed Brava Cafe, with its industrial-chic design, is a good place to while away an evening. It’s also next to the popular AEON Shopping mall, where you can go window shopping, catch a movie, or people-watching.
6UPlus Budget Hotel
This is a simple, clean and comfortable option for people on a budget, with very adequate rooms for this price range. They may be a bit small, to be honest, but again, it’s in line with the category. One of the selling points is that it is very close to the Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest at Cherok Tokun, one of the best places to hike in Penang’s mainland, so keep this in mind if your goal is to strike off to the forest reserve in the early morning, especially if you don’t have your own transport.
7Grand Orient Hotel Perai
The Grand Orient Hotel Perai is a very nice mid-range choice, with charming ochre-hued rooms fitted with wooden furnishings and dark floor tiles. If you have children in tow, the swimming pool is large and has a mini-aqua park, Laguna Aqua Kids, with full-scale waterslides. It’s a perfect spot to while away a whole afternoon splashing and having fun. There’s also a gym and a sauna, and companies may rent out their conference room to hold comfortable work meetings.
8Mode Inn Hotel Icon City
If you want to stay at Icon City and enjoy all the restaurants and bars, but without spending too much, Mode Inn Hotel is a good budget option. The rooms are clean and well-appointed but a bit small, so consider this if your main objective is coming here to spend a lot of time in the hotel. For a convenient base to enjoy Bukit Mertajam and all that Icon City has to offer, on the other hand, this place is perfect for the price.
9U Design Hotel Bukit Mertajam
Part of the U Design franchise, this hotel has a good location close to food courts and it’s midway between Bukit Mertajam Old Town and the Cherok Tokun Recreational Forest. The rooms are clean, with that mix of industrial-chic and sleek modern design, and yet not pretentious, nor extremely large, but will definitely do. It’s also in walking distance to historic St. Anne’s Church and the delicious BM Duck Egg Char Koay Teow stall.
Set along the Old Road 1 to Taiping and Ipoh (check some Ipoh Airbnbs if you are headed there), Luscious Hotel has large and well-appointed rooms for the price, and kind of a funky hall decor that, in the end, comes across as stylish. The review on Booking.com don’t really reflect the overall quality of this place which is however more convenient as a base to leave town for the South, rather than basking around the center. This said it’s a solid option for the low price.
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