Review: 28 Bahari (Hostel, Penang, Malaysia)

Name: 28 Bahari
Address: 28, Jalan Sri Bahari, George Town, 10500 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Phone:+60 17-783 4047

Pros: Great location. Very clean. Nice facilities. Owner is outstanding host.

Cons: Traffic noise might disturb light sleepers in the front rooms. Premium nightly rates higher than hostel rates (but for good reasons).

Rating: 5/5 (recommended, would stay again)

Introducing 28 Bahari

28 Bahari guesthouse Georgetown Penang<alaysia
The stylish sign for 28 Bahari, a cute hostel in Georgetown, Penang

This is a cute little hostel located close to the centre of Georgetown. Ideal for solo travellers and groups alike, the place has rooms to suit most travellers. While not as cheap as a regular hostel ,it’s features are nowhere near as basic either.

What’s it like?

It is a restored, double-brick old-school town house. 28 Bahari comes complete with vintage tiled floors, plastered scroll work, and semi-enclosed balconies – part of the private rooms on the second floor.

Where is 28 Bahari?

The hostel is located at it’s namesake – 28 Jalan Sri Bahari, George Town. As a town house, it can be quite easy to overlook. The owner has remedied this by adding a large sign, and adding the premises to google maps. It is a 15 minute walk from the local bus terminal, and is within walking distance to many attractions and requirements. Launderettes, temples, shops, malls, boutiques, artworks, temples, heritage listed attractions, public transport and more.

Penang spiced eggs
A serving of “old-school” eggs – with a modern touch – from a local cafe.

And then there’s the food. You are spoiled for choice! Penang is known for its amazing range of delicacies. Ad just five minutes away, you will find a range of cafes, bars, eateries, hawkers, stalls, stands, mamaks,food halls and such that it will boggle your mind. Here, the owner’s advice on what to eat is invaluable. Everything we tried was good, but if you’re only here for a short time, then you want to get the best meals in and don’t have time to waste on middling or average meals.

The only down side I noticed about the location was the road noise. The front rooms experience roadside frontage with little to block the sound of passing vehicles – or drunken tourists. In rooms further back in the house, this isn’t a problem. And if night-time noise is a problem for you, earplugs work wonders.

What are the people like?

28 Bahari street view
The front of 28 Bahari as viewed from the street

The owner Balan is cheerful, friendly and generous. He stays on-site to greet all booked guests, and is always happy to take his new friends out on the town. On arrival he will give you his smartphone number, and encourages you to call him if you need anything – and he means it. During our time here, I saw him drive guests all over town. To the jetties, to the beach, to the bars, to the local food markets. You name it, he’ll do it if he can. It really is a one-man show. The rest of the staff were courteous and polite, but it was Balan who really made this place stand out.

Would I stay again?

Well, yes! Balan made the place into a new home. The next time I am in Georgetown Penang, I will make a point of staying here.


The reception desk at 28 Bahari
The reception desk at 28 Bahari
Original floor tiling in 28 Bahari
Original floor tiling in 28 Bahari
Enclosed balcony 28 Bahari
Enclosed balcony at 28 Bahari
Type Hostel
Dorms? Yes
Privates? Yes
WiFi? Yes
Fridge? Yes
Kitchen? Yes
Tea/coffee? Yes
Breakfast? No
Lockers? Yes
Laundry service? No
Hot showers? Yes
Air conditioning? Yes



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