Penang hoteliers celebrate return of tourism with new properties

Penang hoteliers celebrate return of tourism with new properties

As Christmas and New Years arrive, the Penang hospitality industry celebrates new beginnings

ENCOURAGED by a quick turnout in tourism fortunes, several hotel owners and management in Penang have decided to open up new hospitality properties here or have refurnished existing ones – adding up to 500 new rooms for the state.

As Penang also welcomes record setting foreign direct investments (FDI), it is also the investors in the leisure sector, who are gaining attention on their own.

There are now over 2,000 registered rooms in Penang, not including an equal number of homestays or those listed as Airbnbs.

Amari Spice

The Amari SPICE Penang, which now boasts as the largest convention-themed hotel in the northern region with over 400 rooms, debuted their first ever Christmas tree lighting ceremony to the delight of 250 specially invited guests.

General manager Noorazzudin Omar and his team were beaming ear-to-ear, as the occupancy rate has been good since their formal opening last month, but more importantly they are witnessing encouraging responses to their food and beverage scene.

Indeed, senior hoteliers here have revealed that the response to Christmas and New Year’s luncheons and dinners as well as hi-teas, were better than anticipated despite concerns over a possible global recession next year.

“Revenge tourism remains on the up tempo. We hope it can be sustainable into next year. We also hope for fresh tourism initiatives from the new government to mark the new year,” said Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) vice-president Khoo Boo Lim.

“We welcome all of you to our very first Christmas tree lighting ceremony. I sincerely thank all of our guests for the support,” said Noorazzudin.

The George

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow recently officiated the soft-opening ceremony of the newest luxury hotel in Georgetown – The George, which offers up to 92 rooms and suites, and services tailored to meet the discerning guests.

Others present were the state executive councillor in charge of tourism, Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang legislative speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang, Penang director for the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry office Jonathan Freedy Bagang, MAH Penang chapter chairman Tony Goh and The George’s managing director Catherine Teoh.

“I am happy to see the completion of this hotel. I am confident that it will bring vibrancy to the heart of our city. Congratulations is in order,” said Chow.

The site where the latest hotel in Georgetown sits was the former Australia Hotel, then a Teik Bin Chinese Dispensary, and later, it was the Osakaya Japanese Sundry Shop.

It is a heritage-themed hotel and its completion marks the accession of the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site as a credible contributor to tourism.


Another hotel opened up in the past week here – CapitaLand Investment Limited’s (CLI) owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott) officially launched the Citadines Connect Georgetown Penang hotel.

It brings guests to the city, but not to be ensnared by the congestion but to stay connected while recharging and visiting Penang’s famed heritage streets.

It is located at Nordin Street with 143 chic and modern rooms, suites, and apartments.

Mondi Mecja, Ascott’s country general manager for Malaysia shared that Citadines sees to further extend the operational excellence of the Ascot brand across Penang.

G Hotel

The G Hotel reception area. – Ian McIntyre pic

One of the highlights of this festive season, is the return of grand lady of the scenic Gurney Drive, and soon Gurney Wharf landmark – the Singaporean owned G Hotel.

The leading chic and contemporary property on the island, G Hotel underwent a major upgrade to drive through a new concept of the hospitality business.

It is the first hotel in Penang, which offers a unique checking in experience.

The reception and lobby have now been elevated to the third floor, leaving the ground space to a myriad of food outlets, leaving the property to the potential of becoming the location to unwind and socialise in Penang.

In other words, it allows its guests to check in with a full tummy.

“We are extremely delighted to welcome our business and leisure guests to the hotel so they can experience the new level of comfort and sophistication. It is an ideal location for travellers to enjoy hospitality and to tuck in from the exclusive dining concepts,” said the property’s general manager Michael Hanratty.

The hotel is also located next to the Gurney Plaza, one of the major malls here.

G Hotel also boast a spectacular view of the highly anticipated Gurney Wharf, which is a new public recreational beachfront park just across the hotel. The scenic landmark is expected to be ready by late next year, and it will likely add value to the hotel’s settings.

Despite being home to new dining outlets, G Hotel will also welcome guests to its existing food and beverage outlets at The Tree (bar), Cafe 168, a new coffee house setting and G Spot, a new wine bar – setting for afternoon tea occasions.

G Hotel general manager Michael Hanratty and world famous shoe designer Datuk Jimmy Choo at a recent event. – Ian McIntyre pic

To mark its return, the hotel invited internationally acclaimed shoe designer Datuk Jimmy Choo.

The Penang-born international shoe connoisseur wooed the crowd with his presence and gamely posed for selfies to mark the re-launching of G Hotel.

MAH expects the hotel scene to return to its previous vibrancy but also noted that a few more properties remained closed pending a decision by the owners.

“We hope that tourism is a sustainable venture. We had enough of too many ups and downs. Now, it is back about returning a sense of steadiness to the business,” said Khoo.

source – The Vibes

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