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“Alright, but not in a rush to return”

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Eastern & Oriental Hotel
Ranked #11 of 85 Hotels in George Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 12, 2014

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
5  Thank Fina_J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 11, 2014 via mobile

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
Thank SeNaInCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2014 via mobile

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
Thank Julsmclean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Having read the reviews on TA and browsed through the pictures, i was dying to stay at EO since last year. A taxi from the airport cost about 45rm and takes about 40min to reach the hotel. This might be faster during the weekends where the cars are lesser. Penang seem to be more regulated now. There are dedicated airport transfer taxis which you can buy the ticket from the booth.

EO was built during the colonial days by Armenian brothers. The new Victory annex was built just over a year now and has merged very nicely into the heritage wing. We stayed in the Victory annex so my comments are mostly for that wing. There are only about 40 rooms if i am not wrong on the Victory wing so you would not feel like the hotel is noisy and crowded.

The rooms were extremely huge, with a king size bed, couch, astro tv and a small desk. The tables were quite small and gave little room for putting things. However, this gives you more room to walk around. The bed was too hard for my liking, did not sleep well every night. Every room in the Victory wing has a balcony that faces the sea which is beautiful especially during the morning and evenings. We were able to see the EO jetty downstairs, Straits Quay on the left and the port on the right. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting by the balcony reading newspapers and hearing the waters crash into the rocks. The toilet was almost as big as the room. Having 2 sinks was such a luxury. Behind the 2 sinks were wardrobes. The bath tub was def the most beautiful thing in the room. You open the doors while bathing and savour the view in front of you, stunning! The toiletries were also of high quality which ensure you to be spoilt throughout. If you need a quick bath there is a rain shower. The rooms are extremely cooling, even with fan it is ok during the afternoon. We did not sleep with the air con on.

There is a wide selection of restaurants to go to for food. At the heritage wing, there is Sarkies corner that serves ala carte, 1885 for fine dining and Farquhar bar for finger food. Breakfast can be at Sarkies or Planters Lounge (continental). Sarkies serves a wide variety of food from local to japanese to western. There is a noodle counter where you can ask for soup noodle of char kuay teow. The egg counter was very average, the scrambled eggs had no milk. There was a roti canai counter where 1 side is usually burnt. I liked the juice counter where you can order different types of juices from the waiter. Oh and the hash browns were pretty good.
Staying at the Victory annex gave us access to the Planters lounge for complimentary cocktails. There was canepes, finger food, wine, hard liquor, beer, soft drinks from 5-7pm. I had an awesome time, the chairs were comfortable and it was relaxing to just laze there for 2 hours. We ordered food at Planters lounge and Sarkies corner, the food was average and prices are affordable (~25-30rm for asian selection). Pistachio cake was good. Sometimes we feel lazy to go out , its nice to know we can just eat in the hotel. Before i forget, coffee and tea free all day long, just go to Planters. Soft drinks in the room free and replenished daily.

I found the service above average at best. I did not find the staff overly friendly, and I did feel the westerners were served slightly better. The only person worth commenting is the stout chinese guy from Sarkies who gives the most sincere smile early in the morning, i think his name is Boon. Cleaners make their rounds every night to shut the curtains and lock the balcony door.

Though i did not try the gym it looked awesome. There were about 3 treadmills with all sea-facing. The pool is almost like infinity pool but it was very close to Planters lounge. The hotel provides free bus shuttle to Lone Pine Hotel where you can use the facilities there and to Straits Quay, where there are limited retail shops. Alternatively you can opt to go by fast craft, ours was complimentary.

I had a great time at EO hotel and no wonder they are able to retain many repeat customers. Other hotels in Penang are so much cheaper but EO is just a class of its own. You can just relax and stay in the hotel the whole day without feeling bored or just walk to nearby Jalan Penang for food. Just got back yesterday but already thinking about coming back!

Room Tip: all rooms on the Victory should be same but the view of sunset or sunrise might be different. obviou...
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank gryphonmonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014

I am currently staying in the E &O (7/4/14) what a fabulous hotel, old colonial stylish and very clean. We are staying in the Victory wing the rooms are huge and spotless, the staff lovely and I have found them all very helpful. Highly recommend if you are staying in Georgetown, very near the centre and if you catch the 204 bus from the street opposite it takes you right to the funicular cable car for 2mr (40p) there are a number of good eateries nearby as well. Although the hotel food is good.

Stayed: April 2014
1  Thank Helenbirrell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

I love these old Colonial Hotels and this one did not disappoint! We had a lovely large room and all the comforts we could ask for. I personally would go for charm every day of the week but this place provided charm and comfort. So we got the entire package. Took a couple of day trips, hired a taxi driver for the day. The Orchid garden was beautiful and the Butterfly Garden was incredible! Drove around the Island to a Fruit Farm and bought some great dried fruit! Take a drive and just soak up the beauty!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Furmommy2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

First trip to Penang and stayed here after reading previous reviews. Was thinking of staying here 4 nights and 4 nights at their sister hotel Lone Pines but decided to stay full 8 nights here and glad I did.
We stayed in the Victory wing and were delighted with our room. This wing is only about a year old but it has been really tastefully done and is very in keeping with the rest of the hotel. The hotel is beautiful and is very well maintained. Breakfast was excellent with a vast amount of choice and a great way to try lots of different foods. You could eat inside or out which was nice although it did get very busy at the weekend. If you stay in the Victory wing you get access to the Planters lounge on the 6th floor where every evening between 5-7 they have complementary drinks and nibbles. It was amazing and lovely to sit outside enjoying a glass of wine after a relaxing day. The hotel has two pools, one in each wing and we enjoyed both of them. The prices in the hotel are very reasonable and the food is very good. We had lunch by the pool and coffee and cake in the coffee shop and really enjoyed the food and the service. Would also recommend the Eastern and Oriental Sling cocktail which was really tasty.
The area around the hotel had lots of bars but they always seemed empty, we jumped in a taxi ( 10 mins ) and went along to the Paragon Mall along Gurney Drive, a few times in the evening. This is a new mall, very western, and has lots of restaurants and coffee shops on the outside with water fountains and is a really nice place to go in the evenings. Our favourite place was the Brussels Beer Cafe which had an excellent selection of lovely Belgian beers and also did great food.
The hotel runs a shuttle bus to its sister hotel the Lone Pines on the beach and we spent one day there. We had lunch there and enjoyed it but we're glad we stayed the full 8 nights at our hotel as we definitely preferred it. This hotel is a good choice because it is a cross between being a city hotel and a resort hotel as it looks out over the sea. Felt like the best of both worlds to me. Would definitely stay here again and highly recommend it.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank LDS009
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
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 Luxury Hotel in George Town
#2 Family Hotel in George Town
#3 Romantic Hotel in George Town
Price Range: $143 - $247 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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