The best way to get a taste of Penang Island's glorious past is to sign up for a heritage tour; and the best way to experience its contemporary comforts? To check into a fabulously chic hotel, of course.
The charming island of Penang is a melting pot of culture, history, culinary wonders and idyllic beaches that never fails to draw the curious traveller. Tourists here to sample its myriad flavours are treated to a colourful mix of old and new that has managed to come together beautifully over the years and this is evident in the island's wide selection of accommodations.
For a taste of Penang's glorious past, check into the sumptuous E&O Hotel, which was established in 1885. A grand lady of Penang also known as Eastern & Oriental, this elegant hotel is noted for its colonial charms and renowned for its superior level of service and luxury. Some of its more notable guests in the past include such literary luminaries as Noel Coward, Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling.
If you prefer a more modern take on your temporary abode, then G Hotel is a sophisticated yet comfortable hotel located near the famed Gurney Drive. Branding itself as Penang's most stylish address, it has an atrium lobby lit with mellow lighting and accented with funky designer furniture set in black, white and smoky grey, while soft bluesy jazz fills the air.
G Hotel's sleek design is minimalist without being cold, and reflects a bold chic style that's perfect for the modern traveller. The monotony of checking-in is lightened by the offering of a perk-me-up cocktail from the ultra-sexy G Lounge bar, which just happens to be a seamless extension of the reception area.
Tubs with a view
Their rooms, ranging from standard, superior and deluxe rooms to executive suites and serviced apartments, are a study of form and functionality. Spacious bedrooms, awash in autumn hues are planned around king-sized beds, and designed to offer ample storage space and pragmatic fixtures. Sleek bathrooms
are decorated with playful splashes of red to spice up the monochromatic colour scheme, while G Hotel's bathtub-with-a-view is a delightful treat that transforms a simple soak into a luxurious experience.
Additionally, all serviced apartments and rooms on Executive floors boast flat screen televisions, iYiYi player with iPod docks and high-speed internet connectivity. Serviced apartments, which are ideal for longer stays, offer a neat pantry with a bar top perfect for breakfast or cocktails, and a living area with plush daybeds that are great for lounging while cruising channels on your telly or curling up with a good book.
Food for the Soul
With its proximity to Gurney Drive, guests have a seemingly unlimited choice of delish local bites.
And the best way to enjoy the sea-front boulevard is to sample its varied offerings rather than fill your belly at one or two stalls.
If you don't feel like tasting local fare, the Sesame & Soy at level one of G Hotel offers contemporary and classic Chinese cuisine in a dual dining concept.
Decadent treats to try include wasabi prawns and soft shell crabs drizzled with homemade XO sauce, while its modern Asian offerings include fresh crab rolls served with sweet and spicy mango chutney and seared prawn glass noodles.
For a nightcap guests can order their favourite drink at G Spot - an ultra cool jazz bar that serves up great vibes and a wide selection of delicious cocktails as well as international alcoholic beverages.
While the G Hotel is perfect for tourists, its central location makes it convenient for business travellers also. Not only is it just a short drive from the central business and banking district, G Hotel also offers a fully equipped business centre, and meeting, teleconferencing and videoconferencing facilities.
After a long day of corporate drudgery, guests can relax with Danai Spa’s signature massage or rejuvenate themselves with a sweaty workout at the friendly, state-of-the-art fitness centre.
Rooms: 304, including fully serviced apartments
Dining options: Eight, including the scenic G Pool Bar
Address: G Hotel, 168A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia
Telephone: 604-238 0000