Double celebration brings windfall to small hotels

GEORGE TOWN: With two big celebrations taking place on Sunday, the smaller hotels here are in for a busy time.

Most of their rooms are filling up for the weekend ahead of the double celebration of Thaipusam and Chap Goh Meh on that day.

A check on several small hotels in the state found that most of them were full.

On the other hand, five-star beach hotels were reporting an occupancy rate of between 50% and 80%.

At the corner of Jalan Gottlieb and Jalan Utama, Hotel Waterfall director James Neoh said its 48 rooms have been fully booked for three days.

The hotel is just a stone’s throw from the Waterfall Nattukotai Chettiar Temple and Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Waterfall Hilltop Temple along Jalan Kebun Bunga.

“Our strategic location makes it an ideal place to stay during Thaipusam. We have been getting good support from our regular guests over the past 10 years.

“As the area is expected to be packed, we will enhance security to ensure the safety of our guests,” said Neoh.

The hotel has been decked with decorations for Thaipusam as well as for Chinese New Year. A number of people was seen dropping by to enquire about the availability of rooms.

Reservations are also filling up at Tropics Eight Suites, less than 200m down the road from Hotel Waterfall.

A call to the hotel showed that only its two-bedroom suites were available.

While smaller hotels are enjoying brisk business this weekend, major hotels are not reporting high occupancy rates, said Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chairman Tony Goh.

“Major hotels are only about half-full this weekend. We don’t expect to be busy,” he said.

The director of a five-star resort in Batu Ferringhi noted that this weekend’s celebration is especially for domestic tourists while international hotels and resorts in Penang could take a “breather”.

Meanwhile, Penang police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said there will be a free shuttle bus service throughout Thaipusam to benefit those heading to and from the celebration.

He said 12 Rapid Penang buses will transport commuters at no charge along a route from Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal and Penang Adventist Hospital, which is near the Jalan Kebun Bunga Indian temples, tomorrow and Sunday.

“On Saturday, the 12 buses will operate from 2pm to 1am the next day.

“On Sunday, they will operate from 5.30am to 1am the next day.

“The buses will move at intervals of 20 to 30 minutes from both points,” he said in a statement.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said 1,250 police personnel will be deployed to ensure the Thaipusam celebration proceeds smoothly.

As a safety measure, he advised the public not to play with fireworks, drink alcohol publicly or wear jewellery that might attract the attention of snatch thieves.

“Action will be taken against any party that does not comply with the authorities’ instructions,” said Comm Mohd Shuhaily.

To view the maps of roads that will be closed, visit the Penang PDRM Facebook page. For inquiries on Rapid Penang’s bus shuttle services, contact 04-255 8000.

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

SRC case review verdict: Najib arrives at Federal Court
HK actress Jacqueline Wong shows up for boyfriend’s UK concert
INTERACTIVE: How Safe are Your Holidays?
Current tax model not sustainable
Give us a break, say politically fatigued Melakans
Doctors’ strike will lead to long waits, group warns
Some can skip booster shots, but not safety steps
‘A unified Asia is a stronger Asia’
UTAR Hospital set to fully open in June

Others Also Read