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“Nice, but a bit too plastic to be great” 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
Copenhagen, Denmark
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Nice, but a bit too plastic to be great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

I stayed one night at the hotel as I wanted to experience some "classic colonial feeling". The building is really nice, and the staff is generally good (with an exception that I will cover later). But somehow it is so obvious fake that it lacks something, I did not get the feeling I was after. It feels a bit plastic, that goes for everything, the service (it is not sincere), the renovation was just too much. It feels a bit like going to a italian mall in the middle east or seeing paris in Las Vegas.
The rooms are really nice, the breakfast was the best I had in Malaysia (and I had many good ones) and the staff reacts quickly.
One one occation though, just after arriving, and having tried to follow the signs from the car park, there are no clear signs all the way from the car park to the reception, so at a few places it was possible to go to the wrong direction. When this was pointed out to the reception staff, we were met with laughter, implying that "there cannot be anything wrong with this hotel, you must be stupid to go the wrong way". I find that behaviour unacceptable for a place like this!
General value for money: Not really, super nice, but there as nice hotels (with the same plasticity but no fake colonial heritage) for less money in the region. I would prefer them next time.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 2 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.
HaroldRainfroy, Resident Manager at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post this review.

Whilst I am glad that you found our rooms really nice and that breakfast
was the best you ever had in Malaysia, I am naturally concerned about
your unfavourable experience with the reception staff mentioned in this
review. I only wished you had pointed this out to us at the time as we would
have done our utmost to resolve this. Nevertheless please be assured that
your comments have been taken on board and I apologize for the confusion
of the direction signages.

It is rather disappointing that you did not like the rich heritage of our building,
which we received many compliments from the guests.

It is our sincere hope that you will visit us again.


Kind regards,
Harold Rainfroy
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,590 reviews from our community

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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 (449)
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Singapore
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

My family and I took up 3 rooms at the Victory Annexe from June 20-23 and experienced one of the best stays we ever had in Penang. The rooms are have an exquisite view of the sea, especially if the curtains are opened all the way. The balcony is cosy and private, a nice place for a good read with a cup of tea. Soft drinks are complimentary and there is even a Lavazza coffeemaker with capsules provided. The luxurious bathrooms boasts a roomy shower stall with a rainshower plus a standalone old-world bathtub. Two separate sinks and two wardrobe areas, one thougthfully catering to the lady and the other, for the gentleman. The bathroom size alone is the area of two HK hotel rooms! Breakfast spread is extensive and delicious, there is even a Penang Char Kway teow station. The only problem we had is that one of the room's keycards kept glitching and could not be used to open the doors.

Tip: For excellent sup kambing, walk out of the hotel towards Penang Road until you reach the stalls opposite Hotel Malaysia. Good mamak food too!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
HaroldRainfroy, Resident Manager at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

It has been an honour having you and your family with us and it is a
huge compliment to be considered one of the best stays you ever
had in Penang.

Your compliments on our newly opened Victory Annexe Studio Suites
and the facilities are very much appreciated as it gives other reviewers
a better idea of what we offer.

A wide selection of items are available on the breakfast buffet including
Dim Sum specially made by our own Dim Sum Chef and our other talented
Chefs do a great job in ensuring all tastes are catered for, and I am glad
you found the breakfast to your liking.

I did note your comments in regards to the faulty key card which will be
investigated further, and would like to offer our sincere apology for the
inconveniences caused on this occasion.

We do hope that you would be planning a return soon.


Kind regards,
Harold Rainfroy
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

We booked this hotel for its convenient location to Georgetown and to enjoy some luxury whilst we were at it and spent most of the weekend in the hotel. We booked into the new victory annex where we had a standard room with a balcony overlooking the sea. The room was a really good size with a beautifully comfy bed. The bathroom was the same size as the bedroom! The arrangement of the double sinks and the free standing tub make you feel like you are staying somewhere grand- but the shower was the highlight of this room, amazing after a hot day!
The real high point of this hotel is the pool and terrace in the new wing. From 5-7 each evening residents are invited to come stay the planters lounge and indulge in wine and canapés- which we made full use of! We actually took our wine to the sun loungers by the pool to completely relax- divine.
The location of the hotel is perfect for exploring the streets of Georgetown and visiting the UNESCO heritage sites- the blue house is actually only a 3 minute walk away. If you don’t feel like venturing out we can vouch that that the food served on both the terrace a carte menu and at the main hotel buffet are very good. Just go, relax and enjoy!

Room Tip: Ask for a sea facing room
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  • Stayed May 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

On my second trip to Penang I knew that I wanted to stay in this hotel and was delighted to see that with the opening of the Annexe section I was able to book a suite at a very reasonable rate. I chose the newer Annexe section and our stay included breakfast and daily "happy hours" (open basic bar of beer, wine and several spirits as well as a range of finger food that changed each day) on the 6th floor Planter's Lounge. Although I chose one of the smallest rooms it was huge and had an ocean facing balcony. Several reviews have mentioned the noise in this section of the hotel due to the hard flooring, and I could see that if the suite next door had guests entering and leaving often it could be annoying, but we really couldn't complain about the noise levels while we were there.The pool in this section is fantastic with an "endless" design that appears to marry into the sea beyond. Breakfast was well presented although I would concur with some of the remarks about the wait staff not being up to the standard of a 5 star hotel, but it was a minor inconvenience having to chase down someone every morning to ask for a coffee rather than have someone ask me. We also tried the legendary afternoon tea which was quite nice and beautifully presented by the well trained staff, but having grown up with the bench mark of afternoon tea at The Windsor in Melbourne it was certainly not in the same league. The hotel is perfectly placed for shopping along the Penang Road area and the staff couldn't have been more helpful in offering assistance with any request for information and advice about sightseeing. Would I stay there again? In a heartbeat...

Room Tip: All the suites in the Annexe have ocean facing rooms and we preferred this section to the older sect...
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
HaroldRainfroy, Resident Manager at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience of The Eastern & Oriental Hotel
and I am certainly glad that you had an enjoyable stay with us in our
brand new Victory Annexe with access to the Planters Lounge for the
complimentary drinks and canapés during the Planter Hours from
5pm-7pm daily.

With regards to the noise issue that you had raised, we make every
effort to ensure our guests are provided peace and comfort during their
stay and I am very sorry for any disturbance you may have experienced.
Do let us know when you next make a booking so we can ensure a location
that may suit you better.

The pool at level 6 is indeed a beautiful sanctuary for relaxing after a tiring
trip or to start the day with a refreshing dip. I appreciate your comments
regarding the dining experiences around the resort and that you did like our
popular English Afternoon Tea. However, I am sorry to know that the service
experiences at breakfast was variable and definitely something for us to work
on. Rest assured we will establish some very detailed actions for improvement.

Our hotel is indeed located very central with both dining and shopping attractions
just around the corner and it was great that this suited you well.

My team and I very much look forward to your return soon.


Kind regards,
Harold Rainfroy
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

From the moment we stepped in, we felt so welcome plus a personal butler to assist us. The room was so lovely, ours was facing the sea and the swimming pool........simply gorgeous. The room was divided into three sections, the lounge, bedroom and a big beautiful bathroom. The food was good too, especially the breakfast buffet. It was a lovely stay and we will definitely come back again!

Room Tip: Definitely facing the sea
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HaroldRainfroy, Resident Manager at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

We are most pleased that your experience at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel
Penang was enjoyable and are even more pleased to hear of your return.

It gives us great pleasure to know that you enjoyed the buffet breakfast and
liked your room presentation, and that your butler at the Heritage Wing made
your stay even more personable.

We very much look forward to receiving you again soon.


Kind regards,
Harold Rainfroy
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

We walked in and.... felt like a celebrity!

We were in the victory annexe and were absolutely in love with the place from the start. Our room was amazing. The bathroom is massive - bigger than some hotel rooms I have stayed in!! The room had a beautiful room of the water and was spacious and well appointed.

Some great things that we enjoyed - the pool was amazing. Great comfy lounges to just lie by the pool and read and relax. The club room with afternoon drinks and food was very welcome. Staff were friendly and very helpful. They all say hello and open doors and it seems cannot do enough for you. Breakfast was very impressive for a hotel breakfast. We had the famous high tea and it was everything that it is hyped up to be!

Location was very central in Georgetown.

So all in all - stay at E&O if you want a special trip, some luxury and a peaceful and relaxing holiday.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HaroldRainfroy, Resident Manager at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Allow me to thank you for such an amazing feedback in relation to your recent
stay with us.

It was with great pleasure to read this feedback and that the quality of the hotel
surpassed all expectations as well as your compliments to the team. So delighted
you found every aspects of your visit to your satisfaction in particular your room
at our brand new Victory Annexe, breakfast, famous English Afternoon Tea,
complimentary drinks and canapés at the Planters Lounge and the swimming pool
which is indeed a beautiful sanctuary to start your stay with a refreshing dip.

The hotel is indeed located very central with both dining and places of attractions
just around the corner.

It has been a pleasure having you as our resident and we are glad to have provided
you with a memorable experience. We thank you for your patronage and look forward
to your return soon.


Kind regards,
Harold Rainfroy
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013 via mobile

I booked online as a solo traveler and somehow accidently chose a twin bedroom instead of king. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the twins are actually singles. Paying the full price to sleep in a 'cot' was not my idea of 5 star treatment. Anyway reception agreed to move me. Although I asked if the new room had any problems like noise I was told no. So there I was at reception at 2 in the morning asking when the disco music from across the road would stop. A third room was found for me which at 3 in the morning finally met expectations. I had dinner in 1881. I will open a separate review on this, but it was really really bad. I wrote an email to the RM during the night and he came up to my room the next day with an assistant. They were polite and apologetic, but perhaps a little defensive. The RM did offer a special service in the restaurant for the following night but I declined. I felt the restaurant was beyond saving as I had a similar experience in it about 6 years ago. Im capable of self reflection, and I really think I am being fair here. On a positive note, staff were much better trained this time in vustomer service, and yes the hotel is an interesting colonial relic which is well maintained.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
HaroldRainfroy, Resident Manager at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Whilst I note your positive comments on the improved customer service and our
well maintained heritage building, I am naturally concerned there were aspects
that could have done better.

I do recall meeting up with your goodself in the room in regards to your dining
experience in our contemporary dining outlet, The 1885. Allow me to share the
good news that we have recently hired a new Malaysia Award Winning Chef and
a Manager for this particularly outlet. We would certainly appreciate an opportunity
to welcome you back in future and change your impression.

I understand your confusion in regards to the online booking you have made and
am glad that our Duty Manager and I managed to sort it out by offering you another
room that met your expectations.

Thank you again for your valuable feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back.


Kind regards,
Harold Rainfroy
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Luxury Hotel in George Town
#1 Business 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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