I love Georgetown as much as the next street-art-obsessed slave to the ‘gram, but I also love getting away from it at the end of the day. The excitement of navigating its narrow streets in search of quirky street art, colourful colonial gems, and insanely great food in this UNESCO World Heritage site is probably what entices people to Penang in the first place, but it does not mean you have to spend every moment of your trip in the thick of it. We like to stay somewhere that’s close enough to the action to let you experience the essence of a city, but just far enough way to have an oasis to escape to. So we ruled out staying in Georgetown, considered Batu Ferringhi but remembered that it was just a tad too far for our liking the last time we were in Penang, which left us with that sweet spot right in the middle – Gurney Drive. Once that was settled, G Hotel Gurney was the obvious choice.
This modern 312-room property has a prime spot on Gurney Drive, making it a firm favourite for both business and leisure travellers. It was always a looker, but since getting a facelift last year it is more popular than ever. The open lobby is huge and airy, the atmosphere is really swish but inviting, and the ever-so-smiley staff lined up behind the desk were friendly and welcoming… G Hotel Gurney sure knows how to make a first impression. As much as I would have enjoyed lingering in lobby which seamlessly flows into the G Lounge, we were whisked up to the Executive Lounge to complete check in formalities. It was a much more intimate space – just where we wanted to be to enjoy our welcome ice creams (can more hotels do this please) after a long, hot journey!
Checking Into an Executive Room
When I opened the door to our room, I couldn’t quite believe that this was their entry-level offering… it was sophisticated and incredibly spacious. During the day, the floor to ceiling windows gave us a view of the sea and life on busy Gurney Drive while also letting in plenty of natural light. While at night, the black out curtains and king size Serta Royal mattresses meant we slept like logs. They have not held back on maintaining the sleek, modern look throughout the hotel; along with the fancy beds and luxurious bedding, each room has internationally designed finishes like ergonomic Herman Miller desk chairs, eco-friendly toiletries from Appelles in Australia, and huge televisions which connected directly to the internet so you could even browse from bed. This is exactly the kind of luxury that a certain someone and I look for in a hotel – modern but understated and comfortable!
However, if that is not luxurious enough, you could always upgrade to one of the higher categories. I particularly liked the duplex suites where there’s a lounge space downstairs with the bedroom upstairs – perfect for those who might need to split their work and leisure time. Although the ultimate indulgence would be one of the two G Suites which I am convinced are bigger than some one bedroom apartments in London. I thought the separate living and dining spaces and balcony were spacious but then we entered the bedroom complete with a huge ensuite and dressing room area and I basically had to be dragged out. The style and design is the same as the other rooms but there are extra details such as the panelling on the walls and added furniture which make it just that little bit more special – I can see why it’s ideal for honeymooners!
Relaxing in the G Hotel Gurney Executive Lounge
One of the reasons why business guests love G Hotel Gurney so much is for the quality and convenience of the Executive Lounge. It has everything a working traveller might need – plenty of space to work while still being in a relaxed atmosphere, excellent wifi (actually it was remarkably speedy throughout the whole hotel), and access to drinks and snacks all day! We added the perk of Executive Lounge access to our room and were quite impressed too. We preferred having our breakfasts here, though the selection was smaller than that offered at the main buffet at Taste Cafe, there were still enough hot and cold offerings to keep us sated, and it was much quieter. I thoroughly enjoyed starting my days with a nasi lemak, pastries and fresh fruit! Though we didn’t need the Executive Lounge for work, we did venture back in the evenings for the cocktail hour because the free-flowing drinks (I was partial to the bubbly) and delicious range of canapés were too good to turn down!
Exploring the Facilities at G Hotel Gurney
Even without access to the Executive Lounge, guests are well-looked after with all of G Hotel Gurney’s other facilities. We didn’t get a chance to dip into their pool but there were plenty of guests in and out on the sun loungers scattered around. I was also impressed by how busy the gym was, but it turns out that because it’s one of the best around, they even offer membership to non-guests. If you don’t feel like getting active, there’s a petite but thoughtfully curated art gallery displaying works from local contemporary artists – such a great initiative to add a bit of flair to the hotel and give the artists some exposure. The hotel is also home to a few restaurants including Taste Cafe, Tree Bar, and Korean, Japanese and even an Aussie pie shop which really hit the spot when you’re not in the mood for Penang street food.
Prime Location on Gurney Drive
As I said, one of the main reasons we chose to stay at G Hotel Gurney was for its prime location on Gurney Drive. One day we took the 40 minute walk into Georgetown but it was much quicker to take a taxi costing around MYR20 or an Uber which was about half the price. The hotel also provides a free shuttle service into Armenian Street during the weekends, and free use of their bikes everyday if you’re game enough to cycle in. There were also days that we just stayed in the area; G Hotel Gurney is jammed in between two of the city’s most popular shopping destinations, Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon, and Gurney Drive hawker centre is just down the road. You really do get the best of both worlds here in at G Hotel Gurney – we loved our stay and would happily return the next time we are in Penang!
Have you been to Penang? Where did you stay – Georgetown, Gurney Drive, Batu Ferringhi or somewhere else?
We were hosted by G Hotel Gurney for one night and paid to stay another, but as always, all opinions are mine and mine alone!
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