Whenever I'm on the road, self-service laundry is my best friend. I'm not exactly a light traveler, but that's why I travel with as little laundry as possible. Laundry makes my baggage heavier than it should be. So, when I'm on a big trip, I usually go to the nearest laundromat to get my laundry done to make sure that I only have to bring a few pieces of my dirty clothes.
A lot of people ask me what I usually do with my laundry whenever I'm on my trip, I usually just roll my eyes and tell them that they act like they don't live in the 2020s where we can find a laundromat in almost every big city in the world.
But to be fair, there are some cities where a self-service laundromat isn't too easy to be found. Among many places, I was quite surprised that there weren't many laundry places around Siam Road in Penang. At least not that I found on Google Map.
So in this post, I'm going to write about my experience using a self-service laundry facility around Georgetown in Penang. It's the one located in Summer Tree Hotel, which, according to Google Map, is the nearest laundromat from SO Hotel and Ink Hotel.
Self-Service Laundry in Penang
I've traveled many times around Malaysia, and I have to admit that I was pretty surprised by how rare I find self-service laundry in Penang. I remember when I was in Sibu, a city that is practically not so popular for tourists, a laundromat is only walking distance from Lehdo Inn, the hotel where I stayed.
But now, given the idea that Penang is probably one of the most popular places to visit around Malaysia, it was a tad unexpected that there aren't many laundromats around the city.
The nearest thing that I found, the self-service laundry at Summer Time Hotel in Penang, is quite distanced from my hotel on Siam Road. It took me around 20-30 minutes walking from the hotel to get there, but it did the job, so I'm not gonna complain about it! 😉
Summer Time Hotel is a 3-star hotel in Penang, and from outside… It actually looked like a nice play to stay in the city. I mean, I can't judge it from the room since I've never stayed there. But the lobby certainly looked cozy when I was there.
At first, I was hesitant to enter the hotel since I wasn't sure whether the self-service laundry was only available for the guests. But I went to the front desk anyway.
What The Self-Service Laundry Entails
So, I asked whether the self-service laundry was available for non-guest to the receptionist, and he said yes. He directed me to the corner, not so far from the lobby, and told me that the laundry room was at the back.
He said that the washing and dryer machines are coin-operated, and I had to purchase the coins first there. It cost me 7 MYR (around $1.70) for each machine, and I got 10 coins for 14 MYR to use both services.
The process was quite straightforward, and I just followed his direction to go to the laundry room around the corner. There were only 2 washing and dryer machine in the room, and I had to wait as both were used when I came.
But the good thing is that Summer Time Hotel has a really nice lobby, even if you only go there for the laundry. There are a couple of vending machines and a few big tables where you can wait until the laundry machine is available.
There were also some kopitiams around the hotel, but at the time, Penang was super hot that I didn't have the energy to leave the air-conditioned lobby. LOL. So then I decided to just wait while enjoying some snacks from the vending machine.
How to Operate the Self-Service Laundry Machine
The coins that I purchased for 14 MYR already include the detergent and softener. So, what I had to do is just to put my dirty clothes inside the machines, set up the timer, and that's about it.
I'm not exactly the kind of person who would be so careful about dividing my white clothes from the colored ones, so I just put everything altogether, and that was it. Besides, there are only 2 machines there that I think it was only fair to just one at once.
Everything went pretty smooth, except for how high the drying machine is for me. For your perspective, I'm 158 cm, and the drying machine is higher than that.
But I know it wasn't only my problem, because I actually pushed some chair around the laundry room to take my already clean clothes and… I realized that somebody forgot their underwear before me because I had it in the pile of my clothes. 😐
The Final Verdict: Self-Service Laundry at Summer Tree Hotel in Penang
Yes, it is easier to find coin laundry in other big cities in Malaysia than Penang. But by far, the self-service laundry at Summer Tree Hotel in Penang is the fanciest laundromat that I've been in my travel. And the price wasn't really different compared to the regular laundromat that I've been to in the other cities.
Not only that detergent and softener are already included so you don't need to buy them extra, but the place is also convenient even if you have to wait for your turn. And given the idea there are only 2 machines available, you'll more likely have to wait.
- The staff at the hotel are accommodating, as the front desk will help you if you need anything. From purchasing the coin for the laundry machine, to even exchanging money for the vending machine.
- The lobby area is convenient if you have to wait for hours. Even if you don't buy anything, there's a big table where you can just sit down waiting for your laundry to be done.
- The price is quite affordable, given the idea that you don't need to buy extra for detergent.
- The location is quite strategic as it's not so far from some kopitiam. So even if you want to go out while waiting for your laundry to get done, you can just go there.
- There are only 2 washer and dryer machines available, so it may take a while for you to get your turn when it's busy.
- The dryer is too high. Make sure to double-check so you don't leave any clothes behind for the next user.
Out of 10, I suppose I gave 8 for the self-service laundry at Summer Tree Hotel. Mind you, I think I'd give it 10 if only I didn't have to deal with a stranger's underwear when I'm done.
So, do you use the self-service laundry when you travel? If not, how do you usually do your laundry during your trip? Share in the comment below, and cheerio! 😉
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