Penang is known as a worthwhile destination for travelers on a budget and lives up to its reputation by offering affordable (and in some cases, downright cheap) food, tourist attractions and accommodation. However, there are a few places to stay in Penang, which promise a more lavish experience.
One such venue is G Hotel, located along Gurney Drive, which boasts of being one of the few five-star accommodation choices on Penang island. If you are looking for a little luxury during your stay in Penang, read on!
Convenient location in a bustling tourist hotspot
G Hotel was established in 2006, making it one of the newer hotels along Gurney Drive. It also has a separate branch, which began operations only this year (2015) located on Jalan Kelawai, which is literally just behind the original building.
Located along Gurney Drive, G Hotel offers guests great ease of access to one of Penang’s most popular tourist hotspots. In addition to having a linked walkway to Gurney Plaza, arguably one of Penang’s most iconic shopping malls, G Hotel is also within walking distance of Gurney Paragon, Penang’s latest high end shopping paradise.
Also found in abundance along Gurney Drive, which runs the length of the shoreline, are numerous outlets and eateries serving up delicious street food and delicacies, making G Hotel a perfect location to pamper one’s self while still remaining within walking distance of the more conventional charms of Penang.
Exceptional hospitality and unrivaled comfort
Upon entering the premise, you will be greeted by friendly yet professional staff and a complimentary scoop of ice cream at the 24-hour reception desk. At the front desk, mountain bikes are available for rent (at no extra charge) to hotel guests while transport can be arranged to chauffeur guests to multiple locations in the city including the airport and industrial districts.
The rooms in G Hotel are generally more spacious compared to other hotels and they are decorated by dim lighting, giving off a more classy, romantic feel but it is not built any less for comfort either! Each room comes with a comfy bed and soft pillows. Alternate bedding arrangements are available upon request. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the premises for hotel guests (a login required) and the mini-bar in the room is fully complimentary. Rooms are also all equipped with an en-suite bathroom for privacy.
Standard rooms range from 650 to 710 MYR (between 152.30 USD to 166.40 USD) while rooms on the executive floors (including suites) may go for up to 2380 MYR (557.70 USD) per night! Despite the hefty prices, G Hotel is highly recommended for those who wish to be pampered in luxury and who would like to enjoy the classy grandeur of the hotel.
Take a dip or relax by the poolside bar!
Apart from the usual spas and fitness centers one grows accustomed to in most hotels, located on the third floor of G Hotel is a poolside bar and infinity pool overlooking Gurney Plaza.
The poolside bar operates from 11.00a.m. to 8.00p.m. and serves various, albeit slightly limited compared to the lounge menu, drinks and snacks. The best time to visit the pool and bar is during the evening when it gets darker, as the lighting around the area accentuates the posh feeling of the premises.
The pool itself is free for use and is open daily from 10.00a.m., including the children’s pool. However, do take note that due to ongoing renovation work at the hotel (expected to last until early 2016), you may find that a portion of the pool and bar to be closed during your visit.
Live music @ G Lounge
If having a drink by the pool is not to your fancy, then you’ll be happy to know that G Hotel’s lounge area on the ground floor, aptly named G Lounge, also offers a variety of drinks for those who wish to relax there. Although the lounge opens in the morning where it serves light pastry snacks and assorted fruits, the lounge that is connected to the main lobby truly comes into a league of its own at night.
The style of furniture and the lighting in the lounge enables it to give off a jazzy vibe and helps guests ease into a fully laidback atmosphere. On most nights by 9.00p.m., there will be a live band performance by local musical talents serenading the patrons in the lounge, usually with acoustic renditions of popular modern and classical hits.
The drinks in G Lounge cost anywhere between 21 MYR (non-alcoholic drinks) to 45 MYR (wines and liquor), which comes to about between 4.90 USD to 10.50 USD while on average, a beer would cost about 25 MYR (5.90 USD).
A gastronomical affair!
True to its billing as a foodie paradise, no travel article of any kind about Penang is ever complete without a section dedicated to food!
Located along Gurney Drive and having a connecting walkway to gurney Plaza, guests staying in G Hotel will find themselves spoilt for choices when it comes to food. Being no more than a 10 minute’s walk away from a stretch of restaurants and eateries, G Hotel is a perfectly convenient location for food hunting.
One personally recommended place to eat near G Hotel is Restaurant Goh Teo Kee, a Teochew Style Chinese restaurant famous for its deliciously fresh steamed fish. It is only a rough 5 minute’s walk away from the hotel. But even right outside of the hotel, on the walkway connecting it to Gurney Plaza, there are a variety of eateries and concept restaurants to choose from, including popular outlets such as Chili’s and Euro Deli just to name a few. There is also no shortage of cafes and dessert vendors.
Within G Hotel itself, there is Miraku, a Japanese restaurant serving up meals and sushi daily from 12.00p.m. to 10.30 p.m. on the 1st floor. The California rolls in Miraku are a must try!
A culinary adventure with Taste Café's themed buffets
Despite all the many different choices, the mainstay of G Hotel’s culinary experience is still its in-house 24-hour restaurant named Taste Café, which is located on the ground floor, right next to the lounge area.
A typical day at Taste Café starts with a sumptuous breakfast buffet spread, which consists of various types of bread and puff pastries and an assortment of breakfast staples such as eggs, toast and ham.
There is also a limited but tasty selection of dim sum and local delights such as Nasi Lemak, which is rice cooked in coconut milk and served usually with fried anchovies and sambal (hot spicy chili paste). A handful of chefs are on standby in the open kitchen area to prepare some other local breakfast delicacies such as rice noodle soup upon request.
But the crème de la crème of Taste Café is no doubt its daily buffet dinners, which often follow a different theme each night, ranging from Asian and French cooking to weekend seafood barbeques. The ever changing themed menus keep guests guessing until the very end. However, one item that can always be found on the buffet table is the miniature chocolate fountain in the desserts section in which there is also an assortment of fruits and other sweet delights.
While breakfast at Taste Café is free and included in the room rate, its themed buffet dinners is available at 130 MYR (30.45 USD) per adult. However, there are special discounts and price packages for children below the age of 12 and senior citizens above 60 years of age.
All in all a worthwhile tradeoff
Truth be told, G Hotel on Gurney Drive is not the typical choice for travelers on a budget. But despite its somewhat deterring price, G Hotel remains a worthwhile investment for those who have a little bit extra in their travel budget and would like to be pampered during their stay in Penang. Its wonderful location and classy facilities more than justify the extra bit of spending. All in all, G Hotel is still an excellent recommendation for travelers seeking a touch of luxury within a city known for its humble allures.