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“Turned the Best Day of My Life into the absolute Worse!”

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The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang
Ranked #71 of 85 Hotels in George Town
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Where do i even begin? the rooms are dated, but big..small TV...but the worse part is their management and customer service is definitely NOT up to par. After news of it being taken over by Swiss Garden, we had hoped things would be better with professional management in place, but apparently not...I had a wedding dinner reception there on the 8th December 2012..the best night of my life..you guys made it officially the worse...this is what happened..

1) Having stood around all night greeting people and gathering everything we finally made it back to the bridal suite at around midnight. As usual we had to wait some time at the elevators as they are really slow and there are tonnes of people mulling around during the weekend. It took us forever to arrive at the 34th floor as it seems to stop at every other floor to offload guests. So finally when we arrived, what a relief. But when we got to the door, we couldn't get it open. The card malfunctioned. By the way, this was the 2nd time on the same day the card had malfunctioned. Being too tired to make it to the reception again, I called one of my friends to give a call to the reception to send up a spare key card to the bridal suite at room 3407 instead. That request was immediately shot down with the reply that they can't do that, and that we had to come down again. Needless to say I was very very upset that we both had to go all the way back down just to rectify a problem that was not of our doing!

2) After going through all that we went back up to change and met our friends to go out grab some local food. As you are aware there are 2 car parks reserved for us, one the bridal car and second the accompanying car. We took both cars and left, and returned about an hour later around 2:00am. To our surprised our car parks were fully occupied. I stopped by the person attending to the parking, and asked him why our reserved car parks were occupied. Guess what, he extremely rudely replied,

"at night no more reserve parking. reserve parking only for function and not for after function."
"you can't see today weekend, school holiday so many people no parking available you need to go park upstairs"
"your function is for the 8th December, now already 9th (at 2am) so no more reservation"

I had explained to him that we just stepped out for a quick bite, we were of course entitled to have the parking from check in 8th Dec to checkout on the 9th Dec. It was incredibly brainless to give such excuses. Needless to say I was ABSOLUTELY FUMING LIKE MAD. After about 5 minutes of arguing with him, as he wouldn't budge and cars behind were honking, we had to park upstairs. I went straight to reception, for the 2nd time in 2 hours, the same lady had to be on the receiving end. She apologized and mentioned that yes, we were definitely entitled to the car park. Not sure if she the made a report of this incident.

3) Upon check-out on the 9th, we encountered another problem. We took the 1pm check-out. To my surprised when we checked out the front desk issued me with an outstanding of 1 room payment to be made. I was surprised as my mom had already informed me that all rooms were paid for. We were busy arguing that the charge should not be there, and she insisted we had to pay for the extra room cos an extra room was taken. I explained to her that on the 8th when we checked in there was a slight re-arrangement of rooms as we off-loaded 1 room. Unknowingly when we pointed out the name for which to the room was to be removed, the previous day's front desk lady failed to inform us that there were 2-rooms attached to that name. We eventually realized that instead of 9 rooms to check in, we suddenly had 8-rooms. We then ask her to re-instate the one room which was accidentally removed.

She couldn't understand what we were talking about, and printed out the list of rooms that she said we took keys for, and asked me to show her proof of our payment for all the rooms. As my mom had left for lunch i had her take a pic and sent to my mobile to proof to the front desk lady that we had paid for total 13 rooms for the 8th December. She insisted that on her record we had a total of 14 rooms. Luckily, my mom in law wrote down all the numbers of the rooms taken, and we crossed checked with the list. There was an extra room which she claimed had checked in and taken the key which was definitely not taken by any members of our party. It was room 3408 (right next to the bridal suite). I was very firm with her that none of us took that room, she called house keeping to verify if the room was used. This whole incident at the front desk lasted about 1 hour 15 mins. We were all very hungry but we had to settle this unnecessary problem. My friends, parents in law, their relatives were all waiting for us to settle this issue. Eventually, she told us we could go and if there was any issues she would call me.

It was a very unfortunate turn of events for us. On what was supposed to be a really joyful and happy day for us to celebrate our wedding dinner at Gurney Hotel, regretfully, we will forever remember it even more for the less-than-desirable way we were treated, and of a few of its staff. Frankly, we as a couple have traveled extensively, and have even stayed a couple of times at Gurney Hotel previously, unfortunately, this has been by far the worse experience we have ever encountered, made even worse taking into account the occasion.

The response we got from Gurney management was that they would give us a free meal..are you serious?? after choosing your hotel for the most memorable day of our lives with a bill totaling over MYR10,000 only to have it utterly mishandled, and you guys want to insult us by giving us a free meal?? also, taking into account, we are from outstation..so you mean for us to travel 4 hours down from KL all the way to Penang book a night's stay just to have your meal?? Please think before making such a ridiculous offer. I am very sure you guys have more sense than that...utterly disgusted...

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nickyeost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurneyHotel, General Manager at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Dear Valued Guest,
We had apologies during and followed up and discussed thru several email with my Sales Manager with regard to your complaints. We have no intention just to give you free meal but to get the opportunity to discuss further when you are here. We look forward on your visit so we can discussed further. Please accept our sincere apologies and do give us a call on your next visit to Penang.

Shepard Ku-General Manager

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Reviewed March 8, 2013

Hotel looks tired. Checked in at 4pm then when out for a walk n some shopping checked out at 8pm. Reason being hot water wasn't workin , saw 2 baby cockroaches in the room , tv frm the 80's reception poor, no king beds, wifi slow. The location is good but very bad condition for the rate we are paying. Also after I complaint n wanna check out (I wasn't nasty or anything) No apologies was extended by the staff they were more concern that I pay fully for the nite even if I was not happy or stayed. I paid fully including my surcharge frm my Internet booking mind u frm the hotel own website. Quickly found another hotel at the beach area run by IHG that was cheaper, look nicer, renovated even though the hotel is more than 15yrs old, cleaner, with great wifi.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank adrian_cecil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurneyHotel, General Manager at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Dear Valued Guest,
Thank you for the positive comment and apologies for the inconvenient causes during your recent stay with us. Please bear with us as we are in process to refurbish the room condition. In the meantime we had refurbished and upgraded rooms from level 28th to 35th floors. As for the front desk staff I will speak to my manager concerned to arrest the shortcoming. Once again we apologies for the shortcoming.

Shepard Ku-General Manager

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Reviewed March 3, 2013

This was my 2nd time at the hotel but the 1st time using the 2 room suite. Stayed there 5 days 4 nights.

On arrival we were instantly assisted with our luggage. Check-in was a breeze. Place has not changed since my last stay. Room rates were rather high compared to other better or newer hotels. I guess the rates are high due to their location and large children's pool.

The room was fairly spacious, however lights and other fixtures in the room were rather rundown but operational. Lighting in the rooms need to be improved, as it is actually quite dark. View from the room was great, but noticed that window glasses were dirty or blurred. I can imagine this room when it was new, it would have really looked remarkable, however, the management should seriously consider spending some money to bring this nice hotel to the 21st century. TV was and old CRT unit but had a reasonable selection of channels with and ok reception including childrens channel. Additional lamps were placed in the room as an after thought, but had their wires lying around messily. The wall grouting between the tiles were bad and stained. Throw pillows on the sofa had a large hole that was patch sewed. Main room was equipped with jacuzzi, but 3 out 4 jets were functional. Maintenance of this once upon a time fine hotel is really wanting, hopefully something is done before they loose all their guests.

Housekeeping needs a little improvement. Cleanliness can be improved. They just replenished soap, shampoo, water, changed the towels and nothing else.

Breakfast at the coffe house was reasonable but should be imrpoved. Its the same few things daily. Why is the coffe bar at the other end of the coffee house? A more centralized coffee bar will be preferable.

All the staff we met were friendly and helpful. Did complain bout housekeeping sevice at the reception, but did not notice any difference. Coffee Bean, Starbucks, Subway and a discotheque avilable at the ground floor. Hawker food available a short walk away. Shopping complex available a 15 or 20 mins walk away. For ppl unfamiliar with Penang, hotel is facing the sea but not a beach. Noticed that hotel is not suitable for disabled; access to lobby, coffee house and basement parking were via stairs.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ogopogo76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurneyHotel, General Manager at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Thank you for the positive comments. For the guest room lighting we are in the process to brighten up especially on standing and ceiling light. For TV we also managed to change to new LCD TV on total 9 floors already and hope to complete all the rooms soon. Housekeeping cleanliness and service I will look into it. We do have ramp for the disable guest in front of the hotel main entrance and lift to coffee house at the east wing block but however no excess to basement carpark and my advice to drive up to the hotel main entrance. We look forward to welcome you again in future

Shepard Ku
General Manager

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Reviewed February 15, 2013

Generally the hotel is OK, I've stayed here once before and nothing hasn't changed since 2 years ago.

1. Room TV's need upgrading (CRT and poor reception).
2. All 1 bedroom rooms are two single beds made into one king bed..not great!
3. No mini bar, at present its just a fridge.
4. Limited Towels supplied

Generally there isn't any investment made in the hotel since it opened from year dot. Its ok on a budget however will look around next time than staying here again.

Good Points:

1. Breakfast OK
2. Location
3. Friendly door staff and sometimes reception
4. Wifi

Room Tip: Ask for non-smoking floor
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Aussier0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurneyHotel, General Manager at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Thank you for the positive comments and as for the shortcoming issues I agreed the hotel need to refurbishment which we are in the process to do it like changing to LCD TV, new curtain, re-upholstery of sofa seat, replacing with new linen etc....we look forward to your next visit and hope you will see the different.....

Shepard Ku
General Manager

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Reviewed February 13, 2013

we stay here during chinese new year 10-12/02/2013. overall our stay very satify.. my kids love the kids pool. only shopping centre need to walk 25-30mins. my girl complain about the walking distance.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank phineyeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurneyHotel, General Manager at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Thank you for the positive comments and we certainly looking forward to see you again in future.

Shepard Ku
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

OMG pool was green so couldn't swim kids pool ok. All that was going for it was the spacious room. full of broken lamps, air con, & missing remotes 4 smallest TV screens ever. Poor rabbit in pen to entertain kids in the non existent kids club. Staff friendly. Asking $1 to play on a ripped pool table by the end was well !!! Good location well & truly needs overhaul

Room Tip: Families on a backpacker budget looking for big room & friendly staff & good breakfast ok &a...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Michelle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurneyHotel, General Manager at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Thank you for the comment and we certainly will look into the pool condition, and others shortcoming issues. We are in the process to upgrade the room condition stage by stage by starting with changing the old TV to LCD TV, changing curtain, re-upholstery sofa seat, and replacing new linens....In the meantime please bear with us

Shepard Ku
General Manager

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Reviewed February 3, 2013

The receptionists were very accomodating.Thks to Suraya for allowing our late check out.The room was very spacious but the furnitures and curtains are beyond description.The breakfast was good and the food was replenished fast.The 7th floor was great for children with variety of activities.The view was awesome covering both hill and sea view.Located within eating outlets
and you can never go hungry.We enjoyed our first trip to Penang in this stay.

Room Tip: Get the rooms which have been newly furnished.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kadir1803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurneyHotel, General Manager at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Thank you for your comment and I will pass my message to Ms. Suraya. We certainly look forward to welcome your family and yourself back again soon.

Shepard Ku
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang

Address: 18 Persiaran Gurney, George Town, Penang Island 10250, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > George Town
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in George Town
Price Range: $46 - $88 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang 3.5*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Brimming with matchless elegance, top-notch provisions, and cordial, genuine service, The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences in George Town, Penang, Malaysia truly stands out among the multitude of hotels in the locale. We invite you to bask in well-appointed suites replete with essential amenities, such as free Wi-Fi Internet access, cable TV, and a private bath with jacuzzi. Business travelers can use spacious and well-lit conference halls, while holidaymakers can have a relaxing time in our restaurant, pool, and spa. Sitting along the tourist belt of Gurney Drive, adjacent to the Central Business District, our 4-star resort is a few kilometers from the airport and ferry terminal. It also enjoys an address with easy access to shopping centers, like the Gurney Plaza, Gurney Paragon, and Batu Ferringhi night market. Moreover, it is just a short drive away from several tourist attractions, such as the Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang Bird Park, and Snake Temple. With these wonderful features, The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences in Penang truly is the preferred luxurious accommodation for any occasion at anytime. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gurney Resort Hotel And Residences
Gurney Hotel Penang
Gurney Hotel Malaysia
The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences Penang George Town

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