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“Old World Charm” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Eastern & Oriental Hotel

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Eastern & Oriental Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   10 Farquhar Street, George Town, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 54 Hotels in George Town
Hong Kong
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Old World Charm”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Entering the lobby of the E & O truly brings you back to an era of old world charm! The architecture, furniture and fittings reflect the colonial heritage that Penang in particular has come to represent. The staff are both polite and very helpful, and eager to please.... even offering me the use of a hotel limousine to head to the nearest ATM for my banking needs! The room we had was on the top (third) level, overlooking the small but private swimming pool and the sea further out. The room was separated to a sitting area with work table and TV, and the bedroom. Twin doors invite you further into a huge bathroom that is spacious and tastefully decorated. The furniture in the rooms, and i must say, hotel in general are a little old and well used, but it is this that gives the hotel a feel that is different to your other 5 star hotels in town. The king sized bed was firm and comfortable, enough to accommodate both adults and a toddler who refused to sleep in the cot bed provided. Perhaps the only negative that i could put to the hotel is that being such a huge building with high ceilings, the hotel, especially the Lobby area felt a little spartan, as echoes could occasionally be heard. The hotel could do with more furnishings and decoration in its lobby. Overall, it was an enjoyable stay at the E & O and we were glad we did it... at a fraction the cost of an equivalent hotel, like the Raffles in Singapore.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,581 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Stayed for 4 days as part of a tour of Malaysia, arrived late in the evening as flown direct from London and then connected in KL. Check in was seamless, greeted with the usual cool towel and refreshments you expect from a 5star hotel in the region.

Room are fantastic - said in the original wing and the new extension wasn't open, but the rooms aren't tired at all, have everything you need and are very spacious - beware of the light switch on the right bedside it's actually for the butler!!

The only criticism is the main bar is a little tired and could do will a refurb and is a little old fashioned. Breakfast is fantastic and even better if you eat it outside on the terrace.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

My husband and I and small son stayed three nights as part of our long awaited honeymoon towards the end of September. Traveling with a 15 month old is never easy and the care and attention we received from staff was impeccable and much appreciated. Every time we headed down to reception we were greeted with smiles and genuine delight, especially for our son. Upon our arrival we needed to change rooms due to sleeping arrangements, we felt terrible asking as the staff had used beautiful red rose petals in the shape of a heart to welcome us!! So touching! The room change was the easiest thing in the world as was transferring our petals. Bless! Later in our stay the amazing staff knocked on our door with cake and a song!! Double bless!! The hotel itself is seen to be believed, from the perfect pool to the beautiful hallways.
Our stay couldn't have been more perfect. It can be difficult with young children, but its a once in a lifetime stay for us.
So with much heartfelt thanks to Jimmy, Kelly and Ming and the wonderful staff.
Until next time Mr and Mrs Rashid and little Zedrin

Room Tip: The balcony rooms are wonderful.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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lossiemouth
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

we arrived after a very short flight from langkawi. we were escorted to the seating area and supplied with cold towels and drinks while the staff checked us in. we had boked a georgetown suite and we can only say we were astounded by the size of our suite. the service was excellent and respone to the butler button was prompt. we enjoyed the breakfast in the new area of the hotel and usually chose to eat outside. I personally found the coffee to be on the strong side but that is personal preference. there was plenty of choice i found the omlettes to be very good. we took advantage of the free bus to the sister hotel but unfortunately chose a day that was too wet to enjoy their pool and beach. we did however have a tiffin lunch which we thoroughly enjoyed and was excellent value. we also enjoyed a couple of beers not cheap but what else can you do in the rain. unfortunately my husband was unwell during our trip causing us to extend our stay we were offered a good rate and also we were offered to switch to a seaview suite for the same price. we moved and the suite was excellent smaller than we had but had a balcony and a view of the pool. they were very helpful and provided a car and driver to take him to get checked out. this was fantastic as the driver was able to explain the problem to the hospital staff.
I ate in the bar on two nights and enjoyed my meal and wine,
they were also able to arrange a taxi to take us to the train station in IPOH to catch the train we ahd booked to KL

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Shepparton, Australia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for 4 nights whilst attending a wedding in August.
We arrived early after long fights and were immediately welcomed. The check-in experience is special (I won't spoil your surprises). The staff are immediately warm, welcoming and at every turn surprise with exceptional service above and beyond expectation.
We travelled with our active 20 month old toddler and she immediately was made to feel welcomed and special- she made several friends with the staff and she especially loved Huw who made a fuss over her every time he saw her (as did all the staff).
We had booked an upgraded beach view room which was large with a separate lounge- great for a toddler to run around!! The fresh fruit, LARGE bath and big old style shower were very welcoming. The only slight negative is that there is a butler button above the bed that I kept inadvertently activating- the staff were always very gracious.
The pool area would have to be one of the most photogenic in Asia- you will have seen pictures of it in brochures- just amazing. We sampled (several) cocktails by the pool and they were world class.
Other staff I should mention was the manager of the gift shop who introduced us to her antiques supplier- he was gracious enough to show us his collection and help organise some purchases- the manager then had our purchases wrapped suitable for flying home!!
We also hired Abdul, one of the hotel's drivers, for 3 days. I cannot recommend him (and his beautifully maintained vehicle) highly enough. He was especially patient and helpful with our child- a beautiful person with the most gentle heart. If you want to see the sights of Penang then this is truly the luxury way to go and it is amazingly reasonable compared to typical prices.
The wedding we attended was catered by the E&O and I would say the food served by the Czech chef was truly exceptional- the snapper about the best I have ever tasted.
The only let down we had was the High Tea which was not up to standard.
Overall, we would return in a heart-beat. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Pay extra for the sea view
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

This establishment caters to a very specific, albeit shrinking, demographic: Those who equate luxury with the faded opulence of a bygone age.

Walking into the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in George Town, Penang is like entering an historic monument, into a setting frozen in time, yes you feel as if somehow you've stepped into the past. Very charming if you like that sort of thing.

It's not very elegant, though, quite sparse and devoid of much embellishment. Bare floorboards, poor tiling and very few interesting items on display. OK, so you soon learn that this was one of Somerset Maugham's favourite haunts and Charlie Chaplin stayed here, but not much else seems to have happened here since the 1950s.

Our suite room (I think all the rooms are suites), was dark with a fairly small window at the far end. This is a hotel that was designed long before air conditioning was invented, so to keep out the tropical heat windows were small and shuttered early in the day. So it was difficult to appreciate the magnificent vista from the hotel to the Malaysian peninsula across the sound from our room without actually leaning out of the window.

Now talking about air conditioning, we had a problem in our bedroom. This hotel doesn't appear to a have a central air conditioning plant - each room seems to have it's own system.

Our room hadn't been occupied for a while so when the air conditioning was turned on prior to our arrival the cool overhead vent in the ceiling began to condense the humidity in the room so that 'rain' started to drip from it onto the floor below. 'That's why they don't have rugs on the floor of their bedrooms', I thought. So to avoid slipping all over the wet floorboards at night we called for help. All they could do was to put towels down on the bedroom floor to soak up the 'rain'. Not very satisfactory if you have to go to the loo in the night. Either a) slip on the wet floor or b) trip over a pile of towels in the middle of the floor in a strange room in the dark!
Also when the wind blows - and doesn't the wind nearly always blow at the seaside? - the windows rattled. This doesn't improve your quality of sleep when you are awoken in the middle of the night by the rattling of old ill-fitting windows.

The furniture was nothing to write home about either. Rather cheap Indonesian repro stuff totally without style or character, someone's idea of European elegance, perhaps.

So this hotel, not before time, is in the process of reinventing itself with the new modern Victory Wing due to open in the next few months. The architecture of this new addition is no big deal - it looks very much 'in keeping' with the old. No exciting architectural contrast, just looks very much the same, but built upwards not horizontally along the shore like the old building

But the exciting thing is that the've now moved Sarkie's restaurant from its old location to the ground floor of the new wing. Inside the restaurant offers a pleasant air conditioned dining area, but the new outside terrace is fantastic. Here you can enjoy the sumptuous nightly international buffet with the cool breeze from the Andaman Sea washing over you with the superb view out over the sound and the mountains beyond as the sun slowly sets. Magnificent!

And they serve quite a good Nasi Goreng Kampung.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We stayed at the Eastern & Oriental hotel for 10 nights in September 2012 and what a wonderful experience it was. (We did not want to leave)

The staff were so warm and friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them, especially Zul the head butler who took us out for the day with his wife in his own time. We had a wonderful time and they have given us some very happy memories to look back on. A special mention also to Harold Rainfroy the resident manager who also made our stay special. He always took time to chat and enquire about our day. Such a lovely man.

Our ground floor room was superb. We had a patio overlooking the sea, so idyllic it was a liitle piece of paradise. The suite was huge, lots of space to lounge about. The fresh fruit in the room each day was a lovely touch. We liked the fact the hotel has kept its colonial look and feel to it. It definitely has the wow factor.

Breakfast was very nice, with lots of choice. Something to suit everyone.

The only comment I would make on a slight downside is it would have been nice if there had been a coffee shop in the hotel (although you can get coffee in the bar). We dined in the hotel a few times, the buffet dinner was Ok but we found it quite expensive.

All in all we had a wonderful time, so much so we are thinking of returning next year. Would thoroughly recommend this hotel. If you are looking for a little piece of luxury, this is the hotel to choose. Cant wait to go back.

Room Tip: Apparently the rooms at the front of the hotel can be quite noisy, the rooms at the back overlooking...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Eastern & Oriental Hotel

Address: 10 Farquhar Street, George Town, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > George Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in George Town
#1 Luxury Hotel in George Town
#2 Family Hotel in George Town
#5 Romantic Hotel in George Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Eastern & Oriental Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Eastern & Oriental Hotel is the embodiment of both a special time and a special place. For well over a century, this remarkable hotel - known simply as `The E&O' to generations of travellers - has stood as a testament to the grand elegance of the British colonial era.In many ways, it has also come to represent Penang itself; its story inextricably woven into the island's history, its traditions an indelible part of many a traveller's treasured memory, its name synonymous with the magical island once known as The Pearl Of the Orient. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Eastern And Oriental Hotel
Eastern Oriental Georgetown
Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang/George Town

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