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“Good weekend family escape” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Eastern & Oriental Hotel

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Eastern & Oriental Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   10 Farquhar Street, Georgetown, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 49 hotels in Georgetown
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Good weekend family escape”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

First trip to Penang and we originally wanted to go beachside in Batu Ferringhi, but in the end opted to stay in town...and feel lucky to have done so.

Georgetown is charming and delicious, and the E&O (new wing) is a good microcosm of this characteristic.

While the label "grand dame" probably doesn't apply, the E&O nevertheless provides a very good flavor of Penang, of a bygone age, with enough trappings of modernity to provide comfort.

It IS:
-a good hotel with good service and attention to detail, relative to the context of Penang
-generously portioned rooms
-quiet and safe
-clean and comfortable
-child friendly

It is NOT:
-a ultra luxury hotel, neither in terms of hardware nor software...nor does it misrepresent itself to be such
-a long stay hotel with lots to do onsite to maintain interest
-a place that we would likely return to...not because of the hotel, but Penang itself is not so well developed as to support significant return tourism traffic

We liked:
-friendly staff
-comfortable views of the sea
-generous spaces (wide corridors, reasonably large rooms with balconies)
-security (lift access to upper floors need key cards always)

We wished:
-that better attention was paid to some details such as tired hardware (even in new wing!)
-for bathrooms that made more sense (huge, but not that useful, and toilet had no privacy)
-fittings worked better (bathroom door latch that works, please)
-bath amenities can be better quality
-internet to be faster
-food to be even better
-bar to be open till later
-in-room entertainment to be more adequately provided

From the above you might be right in assuming I should have rated this hotel an average. What kicked it over to Very Good is that the front desk staff were very helpful. They deserve a good tip.

Room Tip: Get upper level sea view rooms if you are in the new wing
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (308)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I was looking forward to afternoon tea at this establishment that was included as part of our tour of Penang. I had visions of starched tablecloths, fine China, super service and a sumptuous feast served by white-gloved waiters.

What a disappointment it was. While the hotel itself appeared to be a fine establishment the afternoon tea was self service with ordinary food and no finesse, it reminded me of a school cafeteria.

If you want to see this hotel just wander in, take a look around and give the afternoon tea a wide berth.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I had expectation for my E&O experience because 1) it's our 1st trip as newly weds -yes you can call it a honeymoon trip; 2) E&O charges 2-3times more than the other hotels in Penang; 3) it's raving reviews by guests.

Day 1- we stayed at the heritage wing (old building which is perfect for those who likes colonial styles), headed over to the lounge at Victory Wing's 6th floor for pre-dinner drinks. Staff recorded our room number and someone attended to us whom told us that we can enjoy the snack and beverage spread as they are meant for the guests. Imagine our horror as we area out to help ourselves with a glass of wine and staff approached us in the middle of the room to tell us that the spread is meant for the guests of Victory Wing only. No clarification during reservation or upon check-in. Feedback was shared via email, service recovery gesture extended, case closed.

Day 2- went to confirm our dinner reservation at Sarkies after drinks at lounge (again, it is a lovely lounge). Approached a gentleman who had the reservation list in his hand, he looked and spoke to me like I owed him money. Ok maybe I approached hum at a wrong time? Moving on, dinner was ok, had drinks at Farquhar bar, the cabinet merlot served went sour; some friends joined us, we ordered a bottle of Nicolas feuillatte, that turned out to be flat though it was opened in front if us. Ok, product goes off sometimes, tough luck but we waited 20-30min for someone to attend to us after we inform them the champagne is flat. We requested to speak w the duty manager, that was another 20-30min. My better half went out to look for the duty manager, zairol, who said he can't leave the front desk as he is alone. Shortly after we saw him walking into the bar; we left without having another drink cuz we were sick of waiting - it was closing time so they are shirt handed, we understand.

As we head off, we bumped into zairol, our guests expressed his dissatisfaction and zairol's answer was - 'the best I can do is to arrange doe you to speak with someone tomorrow morning!'. My jaw hit the floor upon hearing that and that aggravated the situation, our disappointment is that zairol did nothing to dilute the situation but made it worse.

Though one of their staff sat and spoke to me before we check out. We are certain we are not returning again. We thought of bringing our parents from Australia and Hong Kong to stay there but no, thank you.

So we left, with no desire to return to E&O Penang ever again nor recommend it to anyone.

Some may read my review and feel I'm being too fussy, maybe you are right but if you are paying premium and have read raving reviews before booking, I'm sure you'll walk in with expectations.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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
    • 1 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
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Budget didn't quite stretch to staying here so we opted to try out the afternoon tea at the 1885 restaurant. We didn't book ahead and simply turned up on the day ( Friday) around 2.30pm. A good selection of tea, cakes/sandwiches average. It's more the experience you are paying for. Service was good and the hotel itself is beautiful. You did feel as if you were stepping back in time to the colonial era. Afternoon tea for 2 will set you back around RM 130.

Stayed April 2014, 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.
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

My friends and I booked a suite and the E&O last weekend (4th to 6th April) because we had heard many rave reviews about it, both from Tripadvisor and friends who had stayed there. Overall, it was a nice hotel, but there are several aspects of it that do not warrant the 5 star ratings.

The hotel is very well located in the heart of Georgetown, within walking distance to many of the attractions in the area.

Service was thermally very good, the hotel knew we were celebrating a birthday within the group and thoughtfully sent us some cakes on the day. We also got given a lift to a restaurant 3 minutes down the road because it was raining and they had run out of umbrellas for all of us.

The hotel breakfast is really good, with a wide variety of local and western dishes, and one of the nicest char kuey teow I've tasted in Penang! The fresh fruit juice station is also much appreciated.

The Straits Suite was very nice, but the bed a bit too soft for our liking. The bathroom is large and fully stocked with amenities, with a very nice shower.

Room service takes a bit too long to arrive, always requiring a second call to inquire where the ordered drinks/items required are before they arrived. On average there would be a 30 minute wait for extra glasses, ice buckets, bottle openers.

Apparently there is only one bottle opener to be shared amongst all the guests in the hotel; when my friends and I called down for a bottle opener, it arrived 20 minutes later and the staff informed us that we would have to use it and return it immediately as there was only one to be shared between everyone in the hotel. We managed to borrow it for a while, after which, we received a call to the room at 1230am asking if they could pick the opener back up! This is ridiculous for such a fine hotel, and while I don't completely fault the staff for calling us so late, I also do not expect such a prestigious hotel to be running low on commonplace items such as this, to the point of having to call us so late at night to request the return of the bottle opener.

Finally, we were disappointed that a taxi we took from the hotel wasn't honest. As we were a group of 5 and the taxi was an MPV, the driver told us that there would be a 50% surcharge on every fare as it was a big car. We were a bit suspicious but paid up anyways as we thought a taxi taken from the hotel should be relatively trustworthy. We subsequently used the same taxi 3 times that day as it was the most convenient and comfortable way to travel. Imagine our surprise when we mentioned the surcharge to our taxi driver the next morning and he told us there should have been no such surcharge; surcharges only apply after midnight, regardless of vehicle. We brought the issue up with reception upon checkout but have not received any feedback about this. In all, we were charged about 50rm extra on top of the actual fare, it may not seem like much but it's just the principle of the matter. For those who are interested, the driver is called Jamali and he drives a blue Toyota Innova. Unfortunately we didn't get his car registration number.

All in all, it was an ok stay but I think for future visits to Penang I'll try other hotels, have not had an experience that makes me want to return to the E&O anytime in the near future.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, California
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I stayed for three nights here, in their new wing. Beautiful room, all the luxuries I needed as a business traveler and more. The bathroom was amazing, with a colonial era free standing tub (in new condition). Breakfast was really good with a wide selection.

Will come back again.

Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
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Penang Island, Malaysia
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The E&O does not disappoint if you are looking for old world colonial charm. I feel like I have stepped back in time to another world. Make sure to visit Merlene in the Gallery for a true insight into the incredible history. Love it here! A bucket list destination.

Stayed April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Also Known As:
Eastern And Oriental Hotel
Eastern Oriental Georgetown
Eastern Oriental Hotel
Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang/Georgetown
Address: 10 Farquhar Street, Georgetown, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Georgetown
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 Georgetown
#2 Business Hotel in Georgetown
#3 Family Hotel in Georgetown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Eastern & Oriental Hotel 5*
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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