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.
- 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