>Malaysia – hotel reviews IV

>Penang

The Gurney Hotel and Residences

We’d stayed at the Gurney before and liked it there. The two-bedroom suites are generously large in size and came with a jacuzzi tub with a view to die for. Generous windows open up to a view of the waterfront, the mainland in the distance, fishing boats out on the water and lots of blue sky.

This time however, we came without a prior reservation, and found all the two-bedroom suites had been booked out. We took two interconnecting Studio Suites instead. The walk-in rates for the Studio Suite are at RM265 per room per night. But because KH comes to Penang often on business, his company maintains a corporate account at The Gurney so we were able to get lower rates at RM190 per room per night for a Studio Suite.

We were given a high floor on the 18th floor with panoramic views of Penang Hill, a general city view, and of the Gurney stretch of hotels and condominiums, the harbour and a hazy mainland outline. At nights, when the city lights came on, the view looked like pretty twinkling Christmas lights. On our last morning, we even spotted a sea eagle soaring and dipping over the sea and perching on the fringes of the swaying casuarinas below the hotel.

With a King-sized bed in each suite, it was pretty comfortable for us – although a bit of a squeeze for the 4 kids in one bed. Lucky they are mostly small-sized kids!

But what thrilled the kids most was the large jacuzzi tub which had a ‘window’ into the bedroom. The highlight for them was tub time everynight!

The hotel also had two generous sized pools, one with a slide and the other, an infinity pool. But the drawback was, the water was so cold that the kids barely spent 10min in there before giving up, shivering away. The hotel also offered breakfast with a higher room rate. We chose not to have that – Penang has such a wealth of good food that it seemed a sin to have the standard hotel buffet brekkie.

The location of the hotel is excellent since it is not far from the Ferry Terminal, allowing us to take the coastal road, avoiding traffic congestion in and around Komtar and the centre of Georgetown. Being on Gurney Drive also means easy access to the good food. An excellent small hawker centre about 100m down is well-known for the char koey teow and the roasted chicken wings. Further down the road, within walking distance, is Gurney Plaza where we watch movies and do our shopping. The hotel is also very near the good food places – Pulau Tikus, Jalan Burmah, Lor Selamat, Jalan McAllister, and the Chinese Recreation Club. Also not too far away from Georgetown proper with the sights of the Esplanade, Chinatown, Love Lane etc barely a 10min drive away.

Overall rating: 8 out of 1o. I give it this rating because of the comfy bed, the great views and overall, it is good value for the price we paid! We spent 2 nights here and it seemed better value for money than the upper-crust Parkroyal. The Gurney’s location is convenient and excellent. Amid the hustle and bustle of Penang, this allows you to take in the sights easily, look for good food right on the doorstep and still come back to a haven.


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