Gurney Paragon is the newer of the two shopping malls along Gurney Drive, George Town. The upmarket mall contains numerous top fashion brands and several fine dining restaurants, as well as a cinema and an arcade featuring the colonial façades of George Town.
Gurney Paragon was built around the St. Joseph's Novitate, and its design merges both colonial and futuristic architectures. The former novitate now forms the fine dining portion of the mall. It is also flanked by the twin Gurney Paragon Condominiums, the second tallest skyscrapers on Penang Island.
Since its opening in 2013, Gurney Paragon has been vying for a share of the upmarket customer base, competing against Gurney Plaza just two blocks away. It has also positioned itself as a major fine dining centre in George Town.
*All prices are quoted in Malaysian Ringgit (RM).
The St. Joseph's Novitate, built in 1918, was used by the Catholic De La Salle Brothers as a seminary to train priests who would then teach in missionary schools throughout Southeast Asia. The Brothers were notable for establishing well-known missionary schools in the region, such as St. Xavier's Institution and Convent Light Street in George Town, St. John's Institution in Kuala Lumpur and St. Joseph's Institution in Singapore.
By the 1980s, the seminary had ceased to function, and the building was leased to the International School of Penang (Uplands) in 1988. In 2004, the building and its surrounding lands were bought from the De La Salle Brothers by a developer firm, Hunza Properties (Penang) Sdn. Bhd. The acquisition amounted to RM97.86 million. Subsequently, the International School of Penang (Uplands) relocated to its present grounds within the suburb of Batu Ferringhi in 2006.
Hunza Properties (Penang) Sdn. Bhd. then began work on an integrated shopping mall and serviced condominiums, collectively known as Gurney Paragon, while preserving the St. Joseph's Novitate. The project was inspired by the CHIJMES (Convent of Holy Infant Jesus) in downtown Singapore, which now functions as a happening dining, shopping and entertainment centre.
Therefore, Gurney Paragon was constructed by merging the colonial novitate with the more modern and curvy nine-storey shopping mall made of steel and glass. The twin Gurney Paragon Condominiums, currently the second tallest skyscrapers on Penang Island, were built on either side of the novitate. Meanwhile, the novitate was refurbished at a cost of RM10 million and renamed St. Jo's. The restoration of the St. Joseph's Novitate, with its post-modern pillars, marble floors with stained glass windows, Peranakan-inspired mosaic tiles and wrought ironwork trellises, won the firm a World Silver award at the FIABCI Prix D’Excellence Awards 2014 under the Heritage category.
The shopping mall was opened completely in 2013. With over 40 branded fashion boutiques and several fine dining restaurants, Gurney Paragon is quickly turning into another happening place in George Town. In addition to its position as a major fine-dining destination, the opening of a TGV Cinema inside the mall has heightened the competition with the nearby Gurney Plaza.
- Lower Ground Floor : Cafes and restaurants, with a few health and accessories outlets, and other services.
- Ground Floor (including St. Jo's) : Cafes and restaurants, as well as a number of apparel and accessories outlets.
- 2nd. Floor : Apparel and accessories outlets, plus a few cafes and restaurants.
- 3rd. Floor : Apparel, accessories, and healthcare and beauty outlets.
- 4th. Floor : Furniture, textile, accessories, healthcare and beauty outlets
- 5th. Floor : Cafes and restaurants, a bookstore, apparel, healthcare and beauty outlets.
- 6th. Floor (Penang On 6) : Electronics, accessories, and healthcare and beauty outlets, as well as a number of cafes and restaurants.
- 7th. Floor : Healthcare and beauty outlets.
- 8th. Floor : TGV Cinemas and cafes
Among the more than 40 fashion boutiques are top brands like Padini, Victoria's Secret, Cotton On, Hush Puppies and Charles & Keith.
There are also over 30 restaurants within the mall, with some of them located inside the St. Jo's with an impressive view of the seaside. Among the food and beverage (F&B) outlets inside Gurney Paragon are Miam Miam, T.G.I. Friday's, Italiannes, Brussels Beer Cafe, Morganfield's, Godiva Chocolatier, Haagen Dasz, Starbucks and Baskin Robbins.
TGV Cinemas, the second largest cinema chain in Malaysia, has opened its newest cineplex on Penang Island at the top floor of the shopping mall. It also includes a 311-seat IMAX theatre.
1000 hours - 2200 hours daily
Getting to Gurney Paragon
If you are coming from the George Town city centre, you can take Rapid Penang buses 101, 102 and 103 to Gurney Paragon.
Those from the neighbouring suburbs of Pulau Tikus and Tanjung Tokong can use Rapid Penang's Free Pulau Tikus Loop bus to get to Gurney Paragon, whereas those from the suburb of Tanjung Bungah can only take bus 104 to Gurney Paragon.
104 : Tanjung Bungah - Jalan Gajah, Tanjung Tokong - Evergreen Road, Tanjung Tokong - Fettes Park, Tanjung Tokong - Mount Erskine Road, Tanjung Tokong - Pepper Estate, Tanjung Tokong - Mount Erskine Road, Tanjung Tokong - Burmah Road, Pulau Tikus - Pangkor Road - Kelawei Road, Pulau Tikus
Free Pulau Tikus Loop : Kelawai Road, Pulau Tikus - Tanjung Tokong Road - Fettes Park, Tanjung Tokong - Mount Erskine Road, Tanjung Tokong - Burmah Road, Pulau Tikus - Pangkor Road - Kelawai Road, Pulau Tikus
If you are coming from the south, such as the Penang International Airport or the Sungai Nibong bus terminal, Rapid Penang bus 102 also takes you to Gurney Paragon via George Town. Those from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), and the suburbs of Gelugor and Green Lane can take Rapid Penang buses 102 or 304, while those in Bayan Baru and Queensbay Mall can take bus 304.
102 : Penang International Airport - Sungai Nibong express bus terminal - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Batu Uban entrance - Gelugor - Green Lane - KOMTAR - Kelawai Road, Pulau Tikus - Tanjung Tokong Road - Tanjung Bungah Road - Batu Ferringhi - Teluk Bahang
304 : Sunshine Square, Bayan Baru - Queensbay Mall - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Sungai Dua entrance - Gelugor - Green Lane - Penang General Hospital - KOMTAR - Bagan Jermal Road, Pulau Tikus - Gurney Paragon
Alternatively, tourists can use the Hop-On Hop-Off double decker buses to Gurney Paragon.
Penang State Government
N.25 Pulau Tikus State Assemblyman : Yap Soo Huey (Democratic Action Party)
Malaysian Federal Parliament
P.048 Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament : Zairil Khir Johari (Democratic Action Party)