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“Over-rated, better in the past” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Eastern & Oriental Hotel

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Eastern & Oriental Hotel
Ranked #11 of 77 Hotels in George Town
Certificate of Excellence
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
65 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Over-rated, better in the past”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013 via mobile

I stayed at the E&O when they first opened and was blown away by their cozy colonial elegance and classy opulence. I was keen to go back again and after many years, we found time to go. It was my husband's first time staying there and was looking forward to it after hearing about my memorable stay. Boy, were we disappointed!

We booked into their Georgetown Suite (#335), which was huge in size with a separate living room and dining area, bedroom, walk-in closet (a room in itself!) and a big bathroom. But it being so large, there did not seem to be enough furniture or interior furnishings to fill up the space! What furniture there were were tacky and cheap, much like a 3-star hotel's furnishing. Lighting was not sufficient for such a size, so parts of our suite were shroud in creepy darkness. The bed was also big but hard, and the pillows were much too soft and thin. The airconditioning was also arctic no matter how you adjusted it.

What irked us most was the noise - we had our baby with us and were assured that our suite which faces the city/main road would not be noisy as their latest refurbishment included double-glazed windows. This is NOT true - we heard every music beat playing from opposite bars, every car driving/horning by and each motorcycle rattling pass. We were also unfortunate enough to have the noisiest water pump in the planet above our suite, which clanked, hissed and sighed throughout the day and night. Our baby kept waking up throughout the night, as did we.

We were informed that breakfast would be served till 11am, but by 10.30am the food were not replenished and they began to start clearing the buffet trays away. That said, we enjoyed their freshly fried noodles and roti canai; and the buffet spread was good.

Service on the whole was acceptable but not particularly notable. You would expect staying at such a beautiful hotel paying these prices that your stay would be the most memorable one... But we beg to differ.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FoodEnthused
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,883 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (839)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights in beautiful suite rooms. Location is also fairly good. However, the whole time we were there we had shocking service. On the first night we had dinner in Sarkies restaurant which is more akin to a school canteen. There were 8 occupied tables and 4 wait staff. We were not shown to a table, totally ignored and ended up getting our own menu. We waited 45 mins for food despite constant reminders. For 3 days they had no chicken satays on the lunch menu- an Asian staple food! One day we wanted to get a taxi and I asked one of the door ladies to help and she told me to go on the street and wave it down myself. Not a big deal but at this standard of hotel you would expect more. The pool area in the day time felt more like a care home. We were the only people with a young child and even though she is fairly quiet I felt like we were being looked at. There are several long term British guests and it felt like there was a hierarchy of clientele. The manager only spoke to the 'regulars'. There is some work going on the shore so one morning we were having breakfast on the terrace accompanied by the sound and diesel smell of the digger. Breakfast is good and the wait staff were very attentive. Over rated over priced. Would definitely not recommend this for families and I wouldn't stay here again unless the rates were halved.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SMHBkk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We had a great stay at the E&O last weekend, despite a bumpy start being given an incorrect room (think this was Agoda's fault, however the hotel staff should have been slicker rectifying the issue). We were left in the room for 30 mins and then told the hotel was at full occupancy so there was no alternative. This was clearly not the case. In the end we were found an alternative perfectly lovely room, although it was clearly a downgrade. in any case, after this we settled in really well. The building is a glorious colonial facade, refreshingly cool and calm inside and with spectacular views of the sea. Decor is very "heritage" throughout (eg bathrooms are huge with original features, well appointed in the traditional colonial style).

Food: plenty of options at breakfast but don't arrive late as they stop replenishing so there's less available, the a la carte restaurant is fine but expensive; the bar food was very tasty. Afternoon tea was disappointing, particularly the sad looking sandwiches with fish paste spread.

Service: was good, and mostly accommodating, but slow and surly in places (especially breakfast)

Room service: a major gripe for me, and i think this was down to our room change. We had no towels both times the room service had been in, toiletries were not replaced either. Having said this, when we let them know, they quickly brought these things to us. I do think this wouldn't have happened if we had not changed rooms but it was irritating nonetheless.

Overall we appreciated the E&O for all that it offered in Penang. Next time I would stay here again, but perhaps in the new block they are currently completing.

Room Tip: Be sure to demand a sea facing room
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank zoetherese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

We stayed two nights to celebrate a special wedding anniversary. The hotel knew this but we were amazed when ushered to our room to find a large sheet of paper on the bed with a heart outlined in rose petals and two roses for my husband to present to me. And furthermore on the next day, the actual anniversary, we were telephoned in the afternoon on our return to the room to say a "parcel" was on its way up. This turned out to be 5 of the staff with a plate with two pieces of cake and a greeting in chocolate icing which we held while they sang "You are the only one for me"!!
The only criitcism of the suite (sitting area with sofa, desk etc opening on to bedroom then large luxury bathroom with bath, shower , his and her wash basins...) was that we could not get the room temperature sufficiently high for comfort in the day time- whatever we did it was too cold so we opened the window if there in day time. We did mention this to the desk but although we think someone came to the room in our absence it was clearly not possible to do anything. The bed was vast, but mattress on the hard side. The pool and sitting area with comfortable recliners and large parasols on the terrace by the sea is superb. So is breakfast. But we suspect that when the rest of the building,including an enormous tower block, is completed the place will seem too crowded - unless it is the plan to have separate pool and breakfast areas for the newer part. Breakfast from a fantastic choice sitting under a canopy outside was an experience to remember for ever. The location is good for walking into China Twon and Little India. There is a food hawker market quite near - so no need to pay large sums for hotel dinners. The staff anticipate one's every wish and need and are charming.This is undoubtedly one of the great hotels of the world.

  • 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
Helpful?
Thank NorwichKate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bridgetown, Exmoor
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Just lovely to find the E&O in Penang. Excellent breakfast. Big room with sea view, bathroom had his and hers sides (so mine was tidy!). The red garden food hall across the road was great - you choose your dishes from the surrounding stalls and give them a table number and they trot along with their stuff and collect their cash - at £2 a course -yum! Only downside was the Coel birds in the tree outside our room -diurnal and active at 5am!
Arrived by bus from KL (60 ringgit each -can do cheaper) that terminates in a backwater bus station some 25 ringgit set fee to E&O in a crappyish old taxi. Airport transfer from E&O was 57 ringgit in a posh taxi (only 30 mins but traffic was good).
Weather this feb was torrential rain every night - so be prepared!

Room Tip: Think all rooms had a sea view. A few have balconies. Very well supplied and replaced - one addition...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank glenna1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
77 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

My sister & I stayed at the E&O in January this year and had the best stay ever. We were in a premier double room overlooking the sea. The room was so nice. My sister is a smoker so she had her own private balcony to smoke which was good for me as I am a non-smoker. We also had are own sinks - so good for 2 girls. We loved all the staff - they were so friendly, helpful and respectful. We spent most afternoons having a quiet cocktail in Sarkies - the staff treat you so well. We tried the afternoon tea at the restaurant which was a special experience.
We recommend Paul for Taxis rides - he is honest and so helpful. We wished we'd asked him originally to take us places as we know we would have had a better experience. He knows so much. Breakfasts were amazing - so much choice and it wasn't too crowded when getting our meal. We will be going back so thanks E&O for making our holiday extra special.

Room Tip: One with balcony overlooking the sea
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank varsityGoldCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaysia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Just spent 5 days at the hotel. We have stayed there many times while we were in Penang. A few visits ago they disappointed us with both service and f&b quality. This time around, we found that they have taken our comments and complaints to work and have revised their food menu and improved their service tremendously.
Their food menu, although seem limited was open to cooking meals that were not in the menu. However, they do not have a kids menu and I found that lacking. They seem to have a lot of families staying in the hotels and the hotel should make some adjustments to make the little ones feel welcome. Perhaps a small play area in the hotel or an outdoor play slide next to the pool garden.
Apart from that it was a good stay in the E&O. They are slowly getting their old charm back and with the new wing coming up soon, they will need to continually improve.

Room Tip: Sea facing room is always a good pick.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank coolchique
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

Property: 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
#2 Family Hotel in George Town
#3 Romantic Hotel in George Town
#3 Luxury 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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