G Hotel has been a household name on the island of Penang. Shortly after the opening of the 5-star luxury hotel in 2008 we stayed there once and that was a truly wonderful stay. This year (2015) the equally luxurious G Hotel Kelawai, also known as Baby G among the local islanders, opened its doors. This trendy hotel lies within walking distance of G Hotel Gurney, just behind it along Jalan Kelawai. After finding out that there a new G Hotel had opened in Penang, we did not hesitate and immediately contacted the hotel to arrange a short stay to experience it all ourselves after hearing many great things about it already.
G Hotel Kelawai has a very stylish interior. The theme is modern/business/minimalistic with lots of dark tones and shades. The lobby looks very nice. A nice touch is the free scoop of ice cream at check-in instead of the familiar welcome drink. Checking in was a breeze. Showing my passport was enough and within minutes we were heading for our room.
Guests at G Hotel Kelawai can use all facilities of G Hotel Gurney (and vice versa). There is a complimentary buggy connecting both hotels. Especially nice is the fact that the buggy has a rain cover, so you can easily visit Gurney Plaza when it rains.
All 208 rooms at the G Hotel Kelawai are sleek with a minimalist design, with here and there some nice vintage characteristics. There is great attention to detail and the whole looks both modern and artistic. Especially the rooms at higher floors are really worth the extra costs per night. You can then enjoy a magnificent view over the island. The bed slept wonderfully, which is mainly due to the high class, very luxurious mattress (Royal Platinum by Serta). The furniture was from many renowned international brands. Those that love a specific type of pillow, there is a pillow service where you can easily order your favorite pillow.
Throughout the hotel, you will have free Wi-Fi, also available in all rooms. The drinks and snacks in the mini bar are free and replenished daily. Yes, you read it correct; a mini bar with free contents! Obviously, every room has a smart TV (so you can bring your own movies on a usb stick), but what is amazing is that it is a whopping 55″ in size. Furthermore, there is a very silent air conditioning (which I personally find quite important) and a large rain shower. Nice details about the bathroom were the shower accessories of the popular Australian brand Appelles. Another nice detail is the Nespresso (like) coffee machine, with several complimentary capsules of coffee. No need to rush to the breakfast area for your first cup of the day when you can enjoy your coffee right in your room.
The breakfast isn’t something to be missed, though. The buffet breakfast is served each morning in Spoon Cafe on the 2nd floor. Early risers can go there already at 6.30am, the breakfast buffet closes at 10.30am. Great thing, to minimize unnecessary waste, refilling stops already around 10 am (but you can always ask for more). Obviously the busiest times are between 8 am and 9.30am, as with any other popular hotels.
Coffee is being brought to your table and was of great quality. We were amazed by the spread. There even was a chocolate fountain with marshmallows to dip in. There was fresh bread, fresh cheeses, and numerous other delicious (many of western origin) dishes to choose from. There also were quite a few very nice local dishes. We loved the wrapped nasi lemak. After unwrapping you could fill your plate with all the extras yourself; yummy!
Guests staying on the executive floor may use the special executive lounge. Here they have also their breakfast, free coffee and tea, and a cocktail hour in the early evening.
The hotel has two restaurants. 2 PM Lounge downstairs has a small menu with a variety of quality dishes. Should you decide on eating outside the hotel, you can always enjoy a delicious dessert afterwards at this pleasant coffee place. In addition to dinner, you can also go here for a great lunch. There are several nice tables where you can eat or drink in the cool air. There are also several tables outside (al fresco) if you like to eat outdoors.
The second restaurant, Spoon Cafe, is open all day. This is where you have your breakfast in the morning. In the afternoon, you can come here for a great lunch and in the evening you can enjoy a nice buffet dinner.
Within walking distance of the hotel, you have a huge choice of dining options. Gurney Paragon alone has dozens of restaurants. Try local dishes at the Gurney Drive hawkers (Tip: take the buggy to G Hotel Gurney and from there it is a short walk to the hawkers), or at Northam Beach Cafe.
On the top floor of the hotel, you have the rooftop poolbar called Gravity. Here you can spend your evenings with a magnificent view over Georgetown while enjoying a beer, cocktail or other beverage. Between 17 pm and 21 pm there is happy hour, whereby the so-called. “Buy one, Free one” applies. If you are planning a visit during the weekends, make sure you call up front to make a reservation. During weekdays, the pool area is sometimes reserved for a private function. Also, there aren’t many places to cover during rain showers, so make sure you visit Gravity on a clear day.
Swimming pool and other facilities
The swimming pool on the 24th floor is beautiful and especially great to relax for a bit after a strenuous day full of activities. From the infinity pool, you have a stunning view of the island. During the day, it’s usually pretty quiet at the pool, as most guests are either at work (it’s a business hotel), or they are on the road exploring the beautiful island.
There is a nice gym where you can exercise, free bottles of water are provided and the views from the gym are breathtaking. There are mountain bikes that you can use to explore the immediate area and also the heritage center of Georgetown.
Perfect location for shopping lovers
Gurney Paragon is one of the newest malls on the island of Penang. The entrance to the mall can be found near opposite the hotel. Gurney Paragon contains hundreds of shops, restaurants and a lively square with bars and cozy eateries. You also have several coffee shops. It’s the place to be in Penang and thus an extra reason to stay at the hotel if you are a shopping enthusiast.
Gurney Plaza is one of the most popular shopping centers on the island. Before the arrival of Gurney Paragon this was by far the most popular mall in Georgetown. Gurney Plaza also contains several hundreds of shops, department stores and numerous restaurants. On the ground floor, between G Hotel and Gurney Plaza, you have a street with coffee shops, fast food chains and several popular restaurants.
Besides the two malls Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon there are several other attractions within walking distance of the hotel. Gurney Drive is obviously a beautiful promenade, great for a lovely stroll in the evening. Walk to the large roundabout (northwest of G Hotel) and you will find several hawkers offering local cuisine in the evenings. Within less than 15 minutes walking distance are two beautiful temples; the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddist Temple and the Wat Chaiyamangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple. In about 20 minutes (5 minutes by taxi) you walk to Northam Beach Cafe, a popular food court overlooking the sea. Within 10 minutes by taxi or rental car you can reach the wonderful historic heritage center of Georgetown, with several interesting sights.
How to get there?
Kelawai G Hotel is located just outside the center of Georgetown on Penang Island. It is very easy to find with a rental car, and every taxi driver knows the hotel. The hotel has a private parking space, you can validate your parking ticket at the main reception. Note that both hotels have a large letter G as recognizable logo at the entrance; in the case of Kelawai you can also see the name on the front of the hotel. G Hotel Kelawai is located at Persiaran Maktab Kelawai, accessible via Kelawei Road. G Hotel is situated on Gurney Drive.
Our final verdict
G Hotel Kelawai is without doubt one of the best five star hotels on the island. We were impressed by the beautiful contemporary yet timeless design. The rooms were large (with much light) and also tastefully furnished. The tv was humongous, the only downside was that many channels were non-hd and therefore not that scrisp. The breakfast was very good, with a wide choice and a very pleasant atmosphere during breakfast time (no big crowds).
Travelers with a decent travel budget will have a splendid time at G Hotel Kelawai. The infinity pool is truly wonderful, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the outskirts of Georgetown (the views are especially great in the evening).
If you are a big fan of shopping, then the hotel is your best choice because of its perfect location between Gurney Paragon and Gurney Plaza. If you like good food, then too this hotel is the place to be with several local eateries and also dozens of restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Looking for a luxurious and trendy hotel in Georgetown, and would you like to like to enjoy a very stylish décor and a relaxing rooftop lounge with infinity pool, then G Hotel Kelawai comes highly recommended . We can’t wait to stay there again (and again!).