When you are living in hotels for months on end, the last thing you want to do is stay in more than one in the same city. I have to pack my bag enough times already, thank you very much. So you can imagine the amount of convincing it took for us to leave our sleek haven at G Hotel Gurney to spend the rest of our time in Penang at their sister hotel, G Hotel Kelawai. It was just a short buggy ride round the corner, but I didn’t see much point… surely they would be the same? They’re similar but definitely not the same. As an elder sister, it’s not really in my nature to admit this but sometimes our younger sisters are much cooler than we are. It is true for me, and it seems, for G Hotel Gurney too. At Kelawai, there is a distinctly different atmosphere – the focus is less about business and more about leisure!
G Hotel Kelawai opened its glossy doors only a couple of years ago and brought another level of style to the Gurney area. Its location is just as good as its sister property, with easy access to popular malls and food outlets, however it is far more intimate with fewer rooms and cosier spaces. The team said we would like it better and while it initially felt disloyal to G Hotel Gurney to admit it, we did… the more relaxed atmosphere and laid back vibe at Kelawai was more in line with our travel style, and as a result we felt more at home here!
Checking into an Executive Premier Room
We moved up the ranks at G Hotel Kelawai and checked into an Executive Premier Room, which gave us ample space and all the perks of the Executive Lounge. While our room at G Hotel Gurney felt light and airy, our home here at Kelawai was modern and moody. The specialty Serta mattresses in each room will almost guarantee a good night’s sleep, while those who have to catch up on work will be comfortable at the desks with their ergonomic Herman Miller chairs. Our room also had a great little couch and coffee table area which was where I preferred to catch up on blog work while tucking into the complimentary mini bar snacks. However, my favourite part about our room was the huge bathroom. Not only did we have a high-pressure shower and all the eco-friendly Appelles toiletries, but a separate free-standing bathtub and a window – natural light in a hotel bathroom is such a rarity!
Relaxing in the G Hotel Kelawai Executive Lounge
The Executive Lounge at G Hotel Kelawai is located on the hotel’s highest floor, giving guests excellent views across the city while they enjoy their breakfast in the morning or cocktail hour in the evening. Of course we could have had breakfast in Spoon, the hotel’s main restaurant, however we preferred the smaller, quieter option of the lounge. In the evenings, we trotted back up to enjoy the generous cocktail hour offerings – our glasses of bubbly were always topped up and the selection of hot and cold canapés was always varied and delicious. They have created a space which is trendy and chic, but also very inviting… it was the perfect place to unwind after a day out sightseeing in Georgetown or shopping at one of the nearby malls.
Exploring the Facilities at G Hotel Kelawai
Aside from our room, our favourite space in G Hotel Kelawai was the rooftop pool. It’s not huge but there’s ample space for those wanting to lounge and sunbathe as well as those wanting to get in a few laps for their daily exercise! Both in-house and external guests are also quite fond of the hotel’s casual bistro-style restaurant Spoon, and 2PM, their ground floor cafe. I hear that 2PM is a particular favourite among the Penang’s social media influencers who enjoy the stylish decor and the afternoon tea! We also found their business centre particularly useful for printing out flight confirmations and boarding passes, but guests who don’t have a laptop to hand could also log into the computers provided.
Out and About in Penang
Aside from street art, shopping and street food, Penang also boasts of an eclectic variety of museums. Those after a bit of a chuckle or have kids to cater to will be thoroughly entertained by the likes of the Wonderfood Museum or Upside Down House, while for history buffs, I would recommend the Peranakan Museum and Cheong Tze Fatt Mansion. Both properties have been meticulously restored and provide an insight into the lives of their owners. The Peranankan Museum has an impressive range of artefacts such as jewellery, embroidered clothing and shoes, and homewares synonymous with the Baba and Nyonya culture. Meanwhile, a tour through Cheong Tse Fatt’s Blue Mansion (now also a boutique hotel) shares the interesting tale of his rise to significance and the demise of this property. After a long hot day of seeing those cultural sights, you will be more than ready to head back to the cool, calm haven that is G Hotel Kelawai!
Have you been to Penang? Where did you stay – Georgetown, Gurney Drive, Batu Ferringhi or somewhere else?
We were hosted by G Hotel Kelawai for one night and paid to stay another, but as always, all opinions are mine and mine alone!
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