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G Hotel is located towards the western end of Gurney Drive (or Persiaran Gurney) which is the hottest thoroughfare in Penang for shopping outlets, upmarket restaurants and renowned food stalls. To be exact, it is located right next to the Gurney Plaza which is a popular shopping mall on the island-state. There are various ways to get to the hotel, either by driving, city cabs or public buses which I intend not to elaborate much as Gurney Drive is relatively known by heart by almost everyone.

G Hotel caused quite a stir on the island's hospitality scene when it first opened in January 2007. With bold external structure of glassy façades infused with chic interior designs, G Hotel breathes a new lease of life in contemporary offerings that had taken years to land on the shores of Penang. The hotel building is hard to be given a miss as it sits just next to the Gurney Plaza, arguably the hottest shopping mall on the island, not to mention by being along the most popular and exclusive address in town, the Gurney Drive (or Persiaran Gurney).

The main lobby takes a bulk of the available space on the ground floor and its design is like no other. Stepping inside from the main entrance, one shall be greeted with handsome spaciousness of the main lobby that stretches to the opposite end of the hotel. The middle section is lined with a series of designer couches, chairs and coffee tables while stylish pendant lightings are shrewdly placed on the overhang to create a dramatic impression especially in the evenings. The reception desk is placed on one side of the elongated lobby such that the sense of spaciousness is unobstructed. If you ask me, the main lobby truly exudes the quality of an urban boutique hotel which not many have managed to achieve.

In total, there are 304 rooms, suites and service apartments in G Hotel. The room categories are Standard (38 sq m, no that’s not a typo), Superior (55 sq m), Deluxe (47 sq m), Executive Suite (78 sq m), Honeymoon Suite (187 sq m), G Suite (187 sq m), Duplex (88 sq m), 1-bedroom Apartment (67 sq m) and 2-bedroom Apartment (113 sq m). Each room, suite or service apartment is generally furnished with commonly found amenities such as regular flatscreen TV, writing desk, IDD telephone, built-in clothing wardrobe, cushion sofa and (surprisingly!) complimentary broadband internet access. Obviously, the higher premium categories feature some extra creature comforts depending on the unit type, such as LCD TV, iYiYi stereo system with iPod docking, see-through glass bathroom design and extended long bath tub, while as in the case of the service apartments, washer-and-dryer, microwave, two-door fridge and cooking stove as well.

As for the detailed review, let us start with the lowest room category in G Hotel, namely the Superior room. As mentioned previously, the Superior room boasts a whopping size of 38 sq metre of living space which more often than not, is a typical built-up size for a deluxe category in most hotels. Other room and suite categories with even bigger built-up space are generally incomparable to their similar classes and are rather atypical for a city hotel. The essence of minimalist yet functional room designs is clearly pervasive throughout all the rooms and suites, with soothing colour selection of monochromatic schemes that emanates warmth. The stylish influence does not end in the bedroom as it is transplanted to the bathroom as well, with rectangular bowl-type wash basin, generous utilisation of glass and mirrors, as well as its relative spaciousness to the bedding area. Moving up one category is the Superior room with somewhat similar arrangement but with much bigger room size of 55 sq m. The extra built-up is catered for additional features such as a bath tub and an extended study area that is partially partitioned. The Superior room is also available with a poster bed that sits in the middle of the bedding zone, which is really a change from a conventional bedroom arrangement. Meanwhile, the Deluxe room measures at a slightly reduced size of 47 sq m, which may raise some eye brows, but upon stepping inside the Deluxe room, you will immediately know why. Each Deluxe room is placed on every corner of the hotel building and due to such location, the built-up is just a tad smaller than the Superior room, albeit by not much. The corner placement is to cater for an additional glass window in the bathroom which overlooks either the ocean or the city centre right from the bath tub. The Standard, Superior and Deluxe categories are also available on the Executive Floors and they generally carry similar setup to their regular counterparts, with the extras being an iPod docking station and high-tech sound system in each room. Guests on the Executive Floors can also access the G Executive Lounge on Level 15 which features dining and lounging areas, a meeting room, internet workstations, free flow of non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day, evening cocktails from 1800hrs to 2000 hrs as well as personalised breakfast selections from 0630hrs to 1030hrs.

G Hotel also offers 29 service apartment units in either 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom configurations for long-term staying guests as well as families. For example, the 2-bedroom apartment features both twin- and king-bedding configurations, each caters for adults and children respectively. The service apartment features a compact and practical kitchenette equipped with refrigerator, washer-and-dryer, microwave, cooking stove and ample storage compartments. The kitchenette overlooks a living area that features comfortable L-shape cushion sofa, dining table, writing desk and 32” Sony Bravia LCD TV. The bathroom is also stylishly designed with elegant dark tiling, contemporary wash basin and white granite top as well as glass-enclosed shower stall.

Moving on, the various suites in G Hotel are luxuriously appointed with practical design selections infused with total modernity. The Executive Suite, at 78 sq m of space, features a separate living area and bedding zone. The living area is fitted with an L-shaped sofa, writing desk and 32” Sony Bravia LCD TV while the bedding area comes with a plush king bed and a separate day bed just next to the large window. However, the most striking feature of the Executive Suite is the humongous bathroom space. The bathroom is stylishly designed in a see-through glass concept with clear partitions for in-bath wardrobe, luxuriant bath tub, rain shower stall and water closet. Meanwhile, the Duplex, as its name would suggest, is a two-storey unit that measures at 88 sq m of space. There are only four Duplex units available in G Hotel with the lower floor features a well-designed living room with timber-strip flooring, designer L-shaped sofa, LCD TV and a large window that spans across the two levels. A flight of stairs brings you to the bedroom area and an impressive bathroom that is fitted with a glass shower stall and an oval-shaped standing bath tub that uniquely faces the glass window which the living room can be viewed from. Finally, the G Suite and Honeymoon Suite portray the ultimate designs of high-life living. At a superlative size of 187 sq m, the G Suite and the Honeymoon Suite feature separate living room overlooking outdoor balcony, bedding area and outdoor-style bathroom that boasts an oversized jacuzzi tub which opens out to the views of the sea.

In term of guest amenities, G Hotel provides a great line-up of facilities to cater for its multitude of guest segments, leisure and business travelers alike. For example, a host of health facilities are put together on Level 3 which include a swimming pool, a fitness centre and a spa outlet called Danai Spa. The swimming pool is uniquely structured in an infinity-edge concept that is surrounded by adequate landscaping of abstract forms, water fountains as well as natural shrubs. A dedicated sunning area is available with tropical-inspired wooden sofa while a jacuzzi pool is placed right nearby. As for business facilities, the hotel provides a business centre on the ground floor which opens daily from 0900hrs to 1700hrs. For meeting and banqueting facilities, G Hotel offers a Grand Ballroom that can be partitioned into two smaller, equally spaced ones. The hotel also takes a cue from its strategic city location to promote its wedding services which include a special showcase gallery for mock-up guest table arrangement, bridal items and others. The wedding packages shall utilise various banqueting facilities available at the hotel.

As for F&B, G Hotel offers several outlets that spread across the two levels of the lobby. The main dining outlet is the aptly-named G Café which is located on the ground floor. It is an all-day dining outlet specialising in local and international fares that are served in its indoor or outdoor settings. On Level 1 lies Sesame & Soy which is a unique two-in-one restaurant concept where dining areas are clearly distinguished by the type of cuisines that are served. The outlet first opens into the Sesame section which is fitted with contemporary interior arrangement and is catered towards more fusion type of Asian cuisines. Further at the back is the Soy section which is appointed with a more laid-back and traditional ambiance commonly associated with your mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant. Also on Level 2 is the Miraku Restaurant which serves a multitude of Japanese dishes with dining options for either open kitchen counter or private tatami rooms. On the main lobby lies the G Lounge that hosts sparse seating arrangement of designer sofa of various forms. The G Lounge serves delightful coffee, tea, light beverages as well as cocktails until just after midnight. Last but not least, the hotel has recently opened a night pub which is controversially named the G Spot which offers evening entertainment of music and live bands. Chuckle as you may, but if you really think about it, after G Hotel, G Café and G Lounge, there has to be another G-something, right?

Here goes a fairly lengthy write-up on a brand-new hotel with an unorthodox concepts and designs. As I am about to pen down my tired fingers, our review team would like to express a heart-felt gratitude to Mohd Ferdaus Md Taib, the Sales Manager, and Ivy Ng, the Marketing Communications Executive of G Hotel for facilitating the visit. We are on the consensus that G Hotel, overall, is a different kind of hotel and we are very impressed with most, if not all aspects of the offering.

For more information, please visit the official website of G Hotel.

January 2008

Style has a new address in Penang.


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