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“Delightful Old Hotel”

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Eastern & Oriental Hotel
Ranked #9 of 87 Hotels in George Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 16, 2014

The oldest hotel in Southeast Asia, the E&O old wing has huge rooms, well-designed bathrooms and gorgeous views of the water. The breakfast buffet is amazing - there is little you could want that is not available. The dinner buffet looked equally delicious. The pool in the old wing is very nice and there is a second, infinity pool in the new wing on the 6th floor. Unfortunately, the service at the restaurants and bar is very slow and the staff is not at all proactive. The wait staff needs better training. Other services at the hotel, especially the concierge were excellent, although they were unable to recommend a good local restaurant and repeatedly directed us to the food court nearby. I was disappointed that they do not have a spa but there was a nice yoga class offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Room Tip: The old wing was great, with a view of the water
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Susan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,270 - 2,276 of 3,811 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2014

Do not come here for the beach: there is a beachfront but no beach..
This historichotel is divided in 2 parts:the historc and a modern part:both with modern amenities(also wifi)
Huge pool on the 6th level with bar and snacks(happy hour) and a smaller one(verypretty) on the groundfl.
All the rooms have seaviews;6 different eating venues:Sarkies(international:allday with buffet)
Special mention:1885 restaurant is certainly a superb michelinstar worth

Room Tip: if you wish to stay at the seafrontgarden pool,take a groundfloor room in the historic aisle;otherwi...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank patricklaberche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2014

This hotel is beautiful and classically styled. It has maintained an elegant retro style. All staff are friendly and helpful, but the service in all of their restaurants and bars is painfully slow and inattentive. At breakfast, we had to ask 6 different waiters for coffee and all of them would forget. With lunch and dinner, our meals came out with either the wrong dish or just very very slowly. The final excruciating wait was for the bill when we were in a rush to leave for the airport. We had asked for the bill to arrive with our dessert so that we could settle it and leave as soon as we finished. After 20 minutes, we got up and had to find someone and follow them to the register and hover until they printed and settled everything. Overall, that was the most annoying part.

Other than that, the hotel was beautiful as I mentioned. Our room (Herman Hesse Suite) was enormous, looked out on the ocean, and had a gorgeous interior. Very luxe, just like the rest of the hotel, and we felt like royalty. Everything was clean and very well attended to in that regard.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank abbylok89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2014

We took a room in the new annex- great view and easy access to the lounge with wonderful views across the straits of Malacca from the sixth floor pool. We enjoyed Georgetown on our 3 night stay- we'd been led to understand that Penang has become over commercialised, but we felt the E&O and its location was particularly atmospheric and we didn't feel overwhelmed by tourists.
We'd recommend against the boat trip over to the marina- unless you particularly wish to get a view of the E&O from the water- since there is very little there. Overall an excellent stay- only negative was having to fetch our own luggage on departure as the bell hops had failed to deliver on time.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the E&O for a week in a Victory Annexe room on the 15th floor. The room was cool and spacious, and the magnificent view over the channel was a bonus. The buffet breakfast at Sarkies was terrific, and I was very pleased that it included the full makings of Nasi Lemak, including the best chili anchovy sambal I have ever had. I would have liked it to include congee, but the noodle soup bar was a good substitute. Housekeeping service was to a high standard. The hotel is ideally located near Georgetown's old city attractions, and provides free scheduled minibus service to Straits Quay and Batu Ferringhi several times a day, as well as free water transfers across the harbour to Straits Quay about three times a day (you must book for these as spaces are limited).

Good though it is, the hotel still has a few faults. Service in Sarkies at breakfast time is a little disorganised - replacement coffee sometimes takes so long to arrive you'd think they were waiting for the beans to ripen - and preference seems to be given to table clearing over attending to guests' requests; a meal in 1885, the star restaurant, looks great on the plate but is not as good to eat as it is to look at; the promised welcome drink and towel may not eventuate (it didn't for us); the promised fruit plate may not eventuate for days, and then may be just three pieces of somewhat aged fruit; and the way to operate the lighting system in the room is almost impossible to learn (a manual in the room would be a help).

However, the evening free happy hour at the Planters' Lounge (not forgetting the free tea and coffee at other times) for Victory Annexe guests is a wonderful bonus, and a big drawcard for the hotel, and the 6th floor infinity edge pool is a delight. Free soft drinks in the mini-bar are a good idea and much appreciated in hot weather, and the free newspaper every day was very welcome.

All in all, the hotel deserves 4 out of 5, but it could, with a bit of effort, qualify for 5 out of 5. As it is, it is highly recommended. If you aren't looking for a beach resort and want to enjoy the excitement of fascinating Penang right on your doorstep, it would be hard to beat the E & O.

Room Tip: All rooms in the Victory Annexe have sea views. Rooms 10 and 11 on each floor are a little bigger t...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ayling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2014

We arrived early evening after a long flight. Reception had 1 junior member of staff on duty who clearly hadn't fully learned the ropes. I know it's fashionable to sit guests down for 5 minutes and get them a cold drink and towel but all I want is a room key and get to bed after that long a trip. I'd requested a non smoking double room but was allocated a smoking twin. We were only due to be in that room for 1 night so it was just about tolerable.

Moved to the new wing the next day. The layout is rather odd because of the bathroom and wardrobe being in the partitioned area. That said, it was very comfortable and had a great view from the 12th floor.

We had breakfast each day which I found excellent and a lovely location. Service improved and was satisfactory. We preferred the older pool because it was warmer and less windy. If we stayed again we would choose the new wing.

1 small negative:

In the 3 nights we were there there were weddings every day. While they didn't take the hotel over, a lot of guests were left to feel that they were unwilling witnesses to the proceedings because they take place on the outside promenade. While the first ceremony was interesting, after the 3rd time the novelty soon wore off. I have to say that it would put me off staying there in future if that was a regular feature.

Overall, I enjoyed my stay which improved after a shaky start.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank UKcritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We stayed in the heritage section of the hotel. The room was large but had no view of the sea. Service was very bad. Had to ring room service 3 times before we got any service. The shower still had left over, half-used shampoo and conditioner which by the looks of the scum on the covers, had been left for some time. Due to the weather, cold showers became boiling hot showers if you had them in the afternoon. And the much praised welcome drink and hot towel did not appear. The new wing was much better. Every room had ocean view. Our friends had free cocktails every evening and free drinks from the mini-bar, which we weren't entitled to. Service however, was just as bad; in fact it was nonexistent. My friends request was just ignored! Altogether a very disappointing experience.

Room Tip: For sea view, choose the new wing, for heritage, large rooms, choose the heritage section
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Disappointed501
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 Family Hotel in George Town
#2 Luxury Hotel in George Town
#3 Romantic Hotel in George Town
Price Range: $157 - $296 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Eastern & Oriental Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 232
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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