Arrival/Check-in: Stretching almost 46 feet, the atrium lobby is designed to be an extension of the G Lounge, furnished with giant shaded chandeliers and island groups of upholstered ottomans and distinctive curvy chairs — named the Spoon, Capellini and Shell — created by noted designers. Guests can sip a signature cocktail or nibble sweet mousse cakes or other snacks while efficient attendants at the shimmering blue and lavender back-lit reception desk check them in.

Guest Quarters: All 304 guestrooms and suites are decorated in the same monochromatic color scheme shot with bright red accent sconces on the walls. I could choose to work at the desk overlooking the floor-to-ceiling view of the famous Straits of Malacca or flip channels on the flat-screen TV. The Executive Floor offers check-in ice cream; evening cocktails; breakfast; complimentary newspapers, shoe shines and local phone calls; and an Internet station in the lounge.

Services/Amenities: Although the hotel is situated on the beach, the water here isn’t good for bathing. But the hotel’s large infinity pool, with G Lounge poolside dining, is edged with palms and adjoins the state-of-the-art fitness center with Technogym gear, a yoga studio and outdoor Jacuzzi. On the same level, the Baptain Salon uses Wella hair care products, and the Danai Spa has a full menu of services including a Fires of the Earth treatment with volcanic rocks.

The lobby-level G Café features international dinner buffets. Sesame & Soy serves Pan-Asian/Chinese cuisine, and guests can also walk a few steps along Gurney Drive to one of the city’s most popular outdoor food courts. Adjacent to the hotel, almost 400 shops in the sparkling Gurney Plaza Shopping Mall sell such familiar names as Guess, Valentino and Rolex; the mall includes an Apple Centre and 12-screen movie complex as well.

The Experience: The privately owned G Hotel manages to be as stylish as other trendy chains yet homey at the same time. The comprehensive dinner buffet is authentic and delicious — not the Western fare you find too often overseas that looks familiar but misses on taste. It was fun to mingle with chic local urbanites in the G Spot lounge with its shimmery metal curtain walls.

While upscale travelers to Penang Island traditionally gravitate to Raffles’ sister hotel, the classic E & O, the G Hotel offers a new and fashionable option on (and named to reflect) historic George Town’s bustling seaside promenade,Gurney Drive.

GT Checklist

  • Doorman/valet
  • Less than 10 minutes for check-in
  • Separate tub/shower
  • Large vanity
  • High-quality towels
  • Large, flat-screen TV
  • Large desk with convenient outlets
  • Complimentary in-room WiFi
  • Ample lighting
  • High-quality bed linens
  • Choice of pillows
  • Powerful, unattached hair dryer
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Easy-to-set alarm clock
  • On-site restaurant and bar
  • 24-hour room service
  • In-room coffeemaker
  • Large, complimentary laptop safe

G Hotel

168A Persiaran Gurney
10250 Penang, Malaysia
tel 60 4 238 0000
http://www.ghotel.com.my