Eastern & Oriental Hotel is one of the luxurious lodgings of travelers in Georgetown. The hotel is proud that it has been providing accommodation for over a century. It is also proud to have been a temporary lodging in Penang of notable individuals like the Singapore’s First Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and “Jungle Book” Author Rudyard Kipling.
Location – Heritage Site and Sea Fronting
The Eastern & Oriental Hotel is the only hotel located within the UNESCO Heritage Site in Penang and at the same time has an overlooking view of the sea. Other than these, the hotel is within walking distance to other establishments like bar and restaurants, hawker centers, convenience store, and museums.
From E&O, you can take a five-minute walk going to the oldest Christian Cemetery in Northam Road. Or, head to the boutique hotel/heritage museum known as the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. If you’ll be craving for something to eat, an only 6 to 8-minute walk from E&O will need for you to reach the Love Lane, a street known for lots of cafes, bars and budget hostels within its vicinity.
A complimentary bus shuttle service for guests going to and from Lone Pine Hotel and Strait Quay are available. I’ve listed down the schedule of the free shuttle: (Note: Schedule may change due to traffic condition)
From E&O going to Lone Pine Hotel
From E&O Going to Strait Quay
1:30 PM, 5:00 PM, 8:30 PM
From Lone Pine Hotel Going to Strait Quay
10:30 AM, 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM
From Strait Quay going back to E&O Hotel
11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 6:30 PM
From Strait Quay going to Lone Pine Hotel
2:00 PM, 5:30 PM, 8:45 PM
From Lone Pine Hotel Going Back to E&O Hotel
The Eastern & Oriental Hotel has 232 Suites housed in two Annexes, namely Victory Annexe and Heritage Wing. The Heritage Wing has classic British colonial design concept. It kept its original steel elevator, mailboxes, light switches and other similar furnishings. In this Annexe, they offer seven different types of Suites to choose from.
Most of the suite types in Heritage Wing have a relaxing sea view. Usual facilities of each suite include safe box, closet, ironing facilities, writing desk, lounge, dining area, mini bar, coffee or tea maker, electric fan, and air conditioning unit. In each bathroom, there are often two separate hand basin areas, bathtubs, shower, hairdryer, and huge picture mirrors. Although it has a traditional design concept, each suite has televisions with satellite channels, telephone, and free Wi-fi internet access.
Among the suite types in Heritage Wing, I’d say the Writer’s Suite is the most elegant and spacious. It is quite bigger than an average hotel suite. When booking this room, you can either choose to have two single beds or one double bed.
If you prefer a city view suite, then I suggest you should book the Georgetown Suite. This one is also spacious and complete with lounge, bedroom, and bathroom. All Georgetown Suites though only are similar with only one double bed.
E&O Suite is actually a one-bedroom suite on the 3rd floor furnished with a writing desk, lounge, walk-in closet and his/her bathroom. If additional bedroom will be requested, it can be given an easy access to another two adjacent bedroom suites. Aside from this, the E&O Suite can be given access to a separate formal lounge and private dining area which can accommodate a maximum of 22 people. With the allotted area’s own bar, mini kitchen for food servers and guest restrooms, it will be a place for your small gathering or meeting without having to go far away from your suite.
If you want a terrace of your own and overlooking the sea, then you should choose the Pinang Suite which is on the 2nd floor. Apart from the two seafront private terraces, this one-bedroom suite has a mini kitchen, large lounge, dining area, restroom for guest and, bar.
Let’s now move to the higher Annexe building of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, the Victory Annexe. This is the newest building which officially opened only last March 2013. And, this building is suitable for people whose preference is a modern-classic furnishing in the interior of their hotel suite. It still has a trace of the heritage colonial concept of the hotel but has a contemporary touch that overpowers the design of the whole building.
The 15-storey Victory Annexe gives its guest seafront view from the any of its suites. There are two room types in this Annexe.
The bigger suite in this Annexe is the Corner Suites. This suite type has a living room, dining area, guest restroom, balcony near the living room and another balcony in the bedroom with one king-size bed.
When we were in Penang, we got the Studio Suite in the Victoria Annexe. This hotel suite only features a basic bedroom, bathroom, and balcony. But, I’d say the room is spacious and is still elegantly furnished.
The bedroom has one double bed or two single beds, writing desk, television with satellite channels, coffee, and tea maker, and minibar. Guests can also get complimentary soft drinks and daily fruit platter. Other drinks and snacks in the mini fridge will be charged to your room. Prices of the food can be checked on the menu inside the mini fridge as well.
In the bathroom, you’ll find a rain shower stall, a separate bathtub with claw and ball feet and two separate his/hers basin areas. I love the bathroom with old-fashioned bathtub and black and white checkered flooring. These old furnishings worked well with the modern minimalist design. My favorite part of the bathroom is his/hers basin area which means that I have a sink and mirror of my own.
Inside the bathroom, the E&O provides their guest with bathrobes, room slippers, sarongs, mini safe box, iron and ironing board and toiletries. The toiletries include shampoo, shower gel, and soap. Other toiletries neatly arranged in a box are a towel, body lotion, towel, vanity kit, dental kit, shower cap, nail filer and a sewing kit.
Each Annexe of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel has pool venue. The Heritage wing has its outdoor swimming pool on the ground floor. What makes it more special is its seafront view.
The Victory Annexe has an open infinity pool on the 6th floor. This L-shaped pool is partly covered by the upper floors of the building and partly an open rooftop pool. It reminded me of Greece.
Not only does the hotel provide free and reliable wifi internet, it can serve as a one-stop business center. Here, the guests can have access to a computer with Wi-fi. Additional assistance like mailing services, limousine transfers, airline reservations may be rendered by the hotel staff. Thus, making the Eastern & Oriental Hotel a convenient lodging for business travelers.
During our stay, I’d say all the staffs were approachable and helpful. The front desk staff assisted swiftly when we were checking-in. They were able to give us essential information and directions that helped us maximize our stay in Penang.
The Victory Annexe and Heritage Wing have each fitness center open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Both are complete with cardio and strength equipment. Water dispensers and cold towel are available within the fitness centers.
A steam and sauna facilities are additional amenities within the Fitness Center of the Heritage Wing.
As part of their complimentary services, Eastern & Oriental Hotel provides free yoga sessions which are held on the hotel’s seafront lawn. In-house guests can kick-start their business or pleasure travel while in Penang through yoga sessions every 8:30 in the morning of Tuesday and Thursday.
We planned to have this on our schedule. We just didn’t get to wake up early for the sessions. During our tours, we would often go back to the hotel really late. But, it could have been nice since the sessions were held on a seafront lawn.
Cocktail Hour in Planters Lounge
Every night, complimentary cocktails for guests staying at the Victory Annexe are served in the Planters Lounge located on the 6th floor. When the cocktail hour starts at 5 pm until 6 pm, their buffet table will then be laden with canapes, turkey ham, cheese, wine, tonic, vodka, fresh fruit juices, and of course, cocktails. This was a really good way to pregame. Getting alcoholic drinks may only be limited to 5 to 6 servings per person. Anyway, unlimited servings of coffee and tea are available in this restaurant is available throughout the day.
Planters Lounge is actually a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Any guest from either Victory Annexe or Heritage Wing may dine here and order from their a la carte menu. Actually, many guests prefer this Restaurant because it is a quiet place, has less crowd and has an al fresco seating on the terrace overlooking the sea.
Pampering With Everything Organic at Panpuri Spa
On the same floor as the Planters Lounge, you can find the E&O’s award-winning pampering haven, the Pañpuri Organic Spa is globally recognized that it already has 9 branches in Asia Pacific. Its “Certified Organic” products are even patronized by many consumers from across the world.
“Certified Organic Products” are available at the Pañpuri Organic Spa branch at E&O. It E&O, you can also avail of their Traditional Thai Massage therapy and other Oriental massage techniques. Everything used in these massage therapies is organic from towels, bathrobes, spa oil up to their natural foot scrubs. Aside from their organic treatment, the design of this pampering haven is leveled to the objective of the firm which is to give a tranquil vibe and refreshing energy.
The Eastern & Oriental Hotel has six in-house restaurants.
Sarkies Corner is situated in the Heritage Wing, which serves local Penang and international cuisines a la carte from 10:00 AM until 11:00 PM. This should not be confused with the Sarkies Annexe.
Sarkies Annexe is a new in-house restaurant located in the Victory Annexe. They have an al fresco seating with sea front view which I find really cool. It is more spacious than the indoor seating. Indoor seating though is nearer the buffet table. Buffet breakfast is served from 6:00 AM to 10:30 AM. They offer Penang dishes and international cuisine. They had Chinese, Indian, Continental and what not. The wide variety of food is served hot. We enjoyed it. For lunch, the Buffet starts from 12:00 NN until 2:30 PM. Then, buffet dinner can be served from 7:00 AM to 10:30 PM.
Another option of buffet breakfast for Victory Annexe guests is at the Planters Lounge. They only serve Continental breakfast which may consist of chicken sausages, bacon, mushrooms, and toasted bread with four spreads to choose from.
For a traditional English Afternoon tea, you can dine at 1885 located in the Heritage Wing. The Afternoon tea in this old-fashioned but classy setting starts at 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM. The Ala carte menu is available from 2:00 PM until 10:30 PM. They offer a set menu for a fine dining dinner from 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM.
We had our English Afternoon High tea here on a rainy day. I’d really recommend it because of the ambiance that transports you back in the British colonial period. Also, you should try their bite-sized desserts, delightful finger sandwiches, their fruity flavored teas, and plain and raisin scones.
At the Heritage Wing near the pool, you can find the classic British pub of Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Farquhar’s Bar. This watering hole opens at 11:00 AM until 12 AM. They serve steak and sides aside from the usual gin tonic, beers, chasers, and wine. Their popular signature cocktails are Singapore Sling and E&O sling.
Today, it is now known for serving a mini-buffet “Weekend Roast”. The main features of the buffet table are slowly cooked to perfection meats. The Roasted Beef Rib Eye, Grilled Chicken Breast, and Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with side dishes, soup, and desserts are served every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 12:00 NN to 4:00 PM.
About the E&O
Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang is a seafront luxury hotel which aims to introduce to travelers the rich culture and history of Penang starting from the British colonial period. It is the only hotel that fronts the sea and at the same time located within the UNESCO World Heritage site.
In 1997, this heritage hotel was officially established by the Sarkies Brothers who were four Armenian brothers and who already had a fair reputation in the hotel industry. Before the E&O became what it is today, Sarkies Brothers have first established Eastern Hotel in 1884 and a separate Oriental Hotel in 1885. A merger of these successful hotels was then made in 1889 giving birth to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel.
To catch up with the growing trend in the hotel industry, the E&O underwent a major renovation. The front wing of the hotel, the “Heritage Wing”, was only refurbished in order to retain its original British colonial architectural design.
In 2013, the official opening of the new Victory Annexe is marked as another major milestone of the E&O Hotel. Although it still has a touch of colonial heritage design, the Victory Annexe with 14 Corner Suites and 118 Studio Suites has a contemporary design equipped with modern facilities that truly give more convenience to its customers.
Tina, Kay and I definitely enjoyed our stay here. If we find ourselves in Penang again, this would be our perfect base. We loved that we always had cocktail hour and it was just the perfect place to relax in after a full day of exploring the city and food tripping. We absolutely love Eastern & Oriental Hotel.