We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Love the hotel - staff not 5 star though” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Eastern & Oriental Hotel

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Save
You added Eastern & Oriental Hotel to your Saves list
Eastern & Oriental Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   10 Farquhar Street, George Town, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 52 Hotels in George Town
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Love the hotel - staff not 5 star though”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

This is our third visit to the E&O and love the old girl. Ambience of the hotel is charming.
Rooms are beautiful (only stayed in the heritage wing) and look out over the sea. Love the black and white marble bathrooms. Food is good ... however service does let this hotel down. This is a 5 star hotel, but not 5 star staff.
Couple of specific cons ...
- Temperature in the Farquar Bar is FREEZING. Not a random occurance, but everytime we go. If the temperature was slightly higher we would stay and have a drink or two. As it is too cold we do not stay. Maybe that is why it always seems empty
- Service in the restaurants is not to the standard of the hotel. A luxury hotel should have 5 star staff in their restaurants. Simple things like not taking a plate off the table unless all are finished need to be taught.
- Front desk staff seem quite junior and not able to think to make a decision for themselves. A luxury hotel should have experienced staff representing them when guests arrive and leave, not a couple of junior girls who have to keep asking their male compatriot questions.
- All staff should have polished attire. I would not expect a lurxury hotel to allow their staff to have uniforms untucked, shoes unpolished, hems coming undone and carry phones ... and what is it when girls slop around dragging their feet? Cant someone teach them how to walk properly?

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 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.
Write a Review

1,560 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,006
    371
    123
    41
    19
See reviews for
313
782
70
96
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (434)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed at the E&O in mid-Feb for four nights before moving on to the Rasa Sayang at Batu Feringgi for eight nights (see separate review for Rasa).

We travelled from Heathrow to Singapore, then onto Penang. We only had 55 minutes between flights but, as is often the case when flying out of Heathrow, our flight was delayed. They held the connecting flight for us but, unfortunately our luggage didn’t make it. The staff at the E&O informed us that this happens fairly often, so you may want to ensure that there is sufficient time between your connecting flights to negate the risk. Singapore Airlines staff were helpful and we completed a form at the airport describing our luggage and where to send it on to – useful tip, make a note of your luggage brand name and colours of any tags or straps on the suitcase – or better still, take a photo of your suitcase. Our luggage arrived on the next flight, late that evening, but it was still a stressful few hours worrying about if/when it would turn up.

We stayed in the original wing of the hotel as the new wing is due to open in March 2013. Our room was on the 3rd floor with a beautiful sea view. Very clean and spacious. Lovely big bathroom with his and hers sinks. Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit and tea/coffee facilities available in the room which is replenished daily. Newspaper delivered daily.

Breakfast is excellent. Buffet style with lots of choice. Try the freshly made roti, also fresh dim sum and sushi. Look out for the energy booster drinks to start your day served in shot glasses made from a variety of fresh fruit/veg/spices.

Sun loungers are plentiful around the pool area. Towels provided and iced drinking water served during the day. The gym is small and it is a room which guests walkthrough to access the pool area.

We had dinner a couple of times at the hotel. Very nice but more expensive. For a light lunch/meal and drinks there’s a place called ‘Who’s Bryan’ – go straight across the road outside the E&O and walk up the road with bars on either side until you get to the end, ‘Who’s Bryan’ is on the left hand side on the corner. Nice food and good value.

There’s also a nice coffee shop called ‘Just Caffe’ about a 15 min walk from E&O. Turn left out of the hotel and follow the pathway round the corner until you get to a left hand turning (Jalan Green Hall Road) there’s a restaurant called ‘Spice and Rice’ on the corner, walk to the end of that road and the café is on your right. Penang museum, the colonial built city hall, Fort Cornwallis, war memorial etc. are all nearby. Also walking distance from E&O is Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion which has guided tour and is a must see.

Overall an enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

What can you say about the E&O? The sense of history is almost palpable when you're following in the footsteps of famous guests like Rudyard Kipling and Noel Coward. If you ever wondered what top class hotels and service were like when Britain really was a colonial power, this is the place to find out.

The building is magnificent and full of old world character, and so are the rooms, all with magnificent views across the Straits of Malacca to the distant mountains on the mainland. All modern facilities are available including excellent free wifi, but the plumbing can be a little temperamental. Given its age that can be forgiven - it is after all very much in character! The staff are charming, friendly and helpful, they really can't do enough for you. The quality of the food is top class and so are the prices, but that's to be expected in a hotel of this standard. Sarkies Corner is a cheaper option if you don't want the full fine dining experience. Breakfast is everything you could wish for and is served in the morning sunshine on Sarkies terrace. It's a very civilised way to start the day.

The hotel has an attractive outdoor pool area shaded by palm trees where it would be very easy to spend the whole day relaxing, but cross the road from the main entrance and you're right in the centre of historic Georgetown, which can easily be explored on foot. Further afield are the many other attractions of Penang island, particularly Penang National Park - well worth a visit.

We stayed at the E&O for 3 nights during our tour of Malaysia and thoroughly enjoyed immersing ourselves in its old colonial ambience. It's not cheap, but you're paying for something special. If you're going to Penang it really would be a crime not to treat yourself to the experience of staying at this wonderful old hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We were very excited about staying here, but certain aspects let it down. The room was great - spacious and comfortable with a huge bathroom. We had a partial sea view, but the window was quite high as its an old building so it was hard to appreciate. The main let-down was the breakfast service, which varied day to day from good to awful. I sometimes it took three requests and 15 minutes for coffee to arrive, and then without the requested milk. I know this may not seem a big deal, but when it happens a few times during your stay it is annoying. We had also just stayed at the Cameron Highlands Resort, where the service was impeccable. I can't put my finger on what else was missing, but maybe it was the ambiance. There are so many modern additions that some of the character has been lost. Such a shame..

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

It has its flaws but we loved it anyhow - because of its charm, the ambience, the location, the genuine spirit of colonial past.

The hotel is located beautifully, just next to the historical centre, on the Heritage Trail on one side and to the sea on the other. We had a room with the sea view, one of the few rooms with small balconies; in the old part of the hotel (the new wing was not open yet). We were just in the centre of Georgetown but perfectly sheltered from the city noise. The pool area was lovely. The service very friendly and attentive; perhaps they seemed a little confused, but always trying to do their best. The breakfast buffet I found fantastic, with a big selection of both Western and Asian specialities (actually, much better than at Raffles, where we stayed later). The room big, elegant, the bed huge and comfortable...

The flaws? Well, the interior is old and not everything works 100 % perfectly. The beautiful stained glass door to the bathroom (with is huge, by the way, with two separates wash basins for each of us and plenty of room for storing our stuff) did not quite close, which was a bit annoying. The toilet flushing was a bit tricky. Yes, I think that was that.

I recommend this hotel for being an elegant, charming and romantic place.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Beautiful hotel, but it just doesn't have the historical charm I have expected. It was a bit sterile I would say, the fact that the clientele is a bit older gives it a feel of a luxury retirement home. They need a better attention to detail to give it the ambience it used to represent.
Afternoon tea - was nice, not to die for though (scones were a bit on dry side, NO CLOTTED cream - only whipping cream, average sandwiches), saying that the cakes were heavenly. It would be nice to give it a bit more oriental twist.
Breakfast was superb, staff needs training for problems management, they start falling over each other and apologising rather than than making sure things are sorted. Receptionists seem really junior, it doesn't suit the heritage status.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainsborough England
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

We have just returned from a three week holiday in Penang and Langkawi and we stayed here for 7 nights. We are fans of modern hotels but having stayed at Raffles a couple of years ago and enjoying the colonial feel we thought we would try the Eastern and Oriental. It had all of the amenities of a modern hotel but with much more charm and elegance. We loved our suite which was very spacious on the second floor with a sea view balcony. Don't be put off by other reviewers who say that the hotel is over-rated and was better in the past - we loved it - its very like Raffles but without the fuss (and price!!) and we would have no hesitation returning next year.

Room Tip: Rooms with a sea view and balcony in the heritage wing are lovely although the new victory wing room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Eastern & Oriental Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Orbitz, HotelTravel.com, Despegar.com, TripOnline SA, Agoda, Otel, Booking.com and Tingo so you can book your Eastern & Oriental Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Eastern And Oriental Hotel
Eastern Oriental Georgetown
Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang/George Town

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Eastern & Oriental Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.