Lone Pine Hotel, Penang

You've been working hard, putting in the long hours, absorbing the stresses of life, you're tired, and your partner is complaining that you are 'never there'. You need a break! Like a marathon runner you have to keep up the pace for a few miles more. You picture the finish line in your mind, and the relief to be felt when you can stop running. In a few weeks the pressure will lessen, the project will be done or that deal will be closed, and there's a holiday weekend around then.

So you decide you and your partner will head off on that long weekend to luxuriate in the care of a top-notch hostelry, have your weary exhausted and creaking bodies pampered by those skilled hands in the renowned spa there. One of you puts in a few of those precious 'personal' hours on the internet, hunting down the best deal for flights and hotel. By the time you're finished making the bookings, every detail of passport numbers, credits card numbers and expiry dates, the price of every option for sea view, garden view, standard rooms and super standard room bouncing around your head like balls in a pin ball machine.

The time passes slowly, but finally the job is done, the deal is closed and the long anticipated mini break weekend is here.

Awake early on the appointed first day, the bags are packed, you don't mind the tedious drive to the airport 'cause you're on HOLIDAY. Join the slowly snaking, check-in queue; patiently tolerate the trainee check-in person as he or she struggles trying to find your booking. Pass through security, willingly permitting the pat downs and detailed scrutiny of your luggage. Through immigration, a few minutes standing waiting in a crowded departure lounge, a flight squeezed into a small seat, the disembarking hassle, baggage collection, customs, immigration again are all a piece of cake. An adventurous taxi ride to a hotel you hope will live up to the blurb in the brochure or website, off to your room, drop your bags and if your lucky have a 15 minute guided description of the facilities. Off to the beach to start your break. But it's a slow learning curve as you try to remember which way to go, where's what in these unfamiliar surroundings. You are probably 2/3rds the way through the first day of perhaps a three-day break more frazzled than when you started. Your partner is steaming like a kettle 'cause you forgot the sun tan lotion...

And at the end of your far away stay, though you are relaxed and refreshed, you then have to face the daunting prospect of the whole journey in reverse! By the time you get home again your patience is non-existent and you need a holiday.

Perhaps you now understand why when we need a short break, we wake up late, pack our bags and drive the short distance to some of our favourite hotels in Penang.

We quickly feel relaxed and under no pressure to cook, clean, tidy or launder as one does when at home. The opportunity to enjoy a touch of luxury and to be pampered in the spas of these hotels without spending a packet of time or money on the journey, we can spend it on the end result instead.

We get welcome from familiar staff at the destination hotel, drop the bags and adjourn to the pool side and in less than an hour we are settled on our mini-holiday. Even though we might be only 10km from home, we still feel 'away from it all'.

Wouldn't you agree that you are more likely to get maximum 'relaxation' both in time and quality with a local hotel?

Ok, so you don't get the experience of the culture of a new place, or the crystal clear waters of which ever resort you like to travel to, or the super cheap shopping of wherever. These are benefits that are best enjoyed on a longer trip.

One of our favourite 'staycation' hotels in Penang is the Lone Pine part of the E&O Group. In the past we loved to stay in the colonial ground floor rooms with small verandas looking out over the lawns to the sea beyond. Recently refurbished, the hotel now offers a variety of beautifully appointed rooms and suites with exquisite décor. White wood panelling combined with dark wood furniture with vibrant accent colours creates a very relaxing ambience. The new pool area is gorgeous and much larger than before. A new spa called Pure Energy has been added to the hotel's facilities and offers treatment that will recharge and revitalise you, a blissful experience!

With two restaurants, one at the old Bungalow and a new Japanese inspired one on the first floor plus the new bar area, the epicure in you is sure to be sated.

Come Sunday afternoon, our bags packed we check out, but if the weather is right a few more hours by the pool, sundowners in the bar, a light dinner and we are back home relaxed and refreshed, and just have time to watch a movie before its time for bed.

Weekend packages (2 nights including breakfast) can be had from RM880.00++ (promotional rate). Being local means we can also get maximum benefit from using the E&O group loyalty card, which gives up to, 60% discounts on rack room rates.

Lone Pine
97, Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang.
Tel. +604 886 8686
Fax. +604 886 8600

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