Eastern and Oriental Hotel, George Town, Penang, Malaysia - The Yum List
Food and luxury travel – Malaysia and the world
Eastern and Oriental Hotel, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Poolside Victoria Annexe
Romanticized thoughts of the colonial era and its perceived grace and charm embody every experience at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel. One of the longest standing luxury properties on the island once known as The Pearl of the Orient, Penang, this hotel has been serving multiple generations of travelers since its humble beginnings way back in 1885.
Safari-helmeted porters, doormen garbed in civilian khaki drills and legendary butler service make every guest feel just as important as the line up of celebrities, dignitaries and artists who have made the E&O their preferred holiday sojourn over a number of decades. Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth and Charlie Chaplin are just some of the names registered in the guest book.
Heritage Wing Pool
British Colonial design is ever present in the original Heritage Wing. Dark wood in the flooring and furniture is brightened with pale flowing fabrics in curtains and bedding. Antiques and water colour paintings depicting local scenes epitomize the character of an era long gone. A functioning old style cage elevator, grand staircase and original dome ceiling too merit a moment or more of awe in considering the grandness and accomplishments of the past.
Heritage Wing Lobby
On this visit though we stayed in the newly opened Victory Annexe. The distinctive heritage style of the original building is clearly carried over to the new wing. Grand entryways, lofty ceilings, wide hallways and generosity of space in general create a feeling of absolute luxury in a world where every square inch is fast becoming out of the price range of the mainstream population. Rich wood furniture and flooring, neutrally coloured walls, trimmings in metal (gold, silver and copper), woven materials such as rattan in chairs and simply patterned rugs, ceiling fans and greenery in the form of potted plants, complete the scene.
Victoria Annexe Lobby
While the style has been inspired by the past, fittings and conveniences have the streamlined comfort of the present. Our Superior Studio Suite with a king bed, featured complimentary Wi-Fi, non-alcoholic beverages from the in-suite minibar, a personal coffee machine, hair dryer, electronic safe and TV. Our only suggestion for improvement here is the reduction of provision of water in disposable plastic bottles. We’d like to see a water unit, filtered water or glass refillable bottles as more sustainable earth friendly options.
Tea and Coffee Making Facilities, MIni Bar and TV
The room was divided into: a small furnished balcony with sea views; sleeping area with lounge chairs and desk; a dressing area with wardrobes and double sinks; and a bathroom with separate shower, claw foot bathtub and toilet.
Bathroom in the Studio Room
View from Studio Room Balcony – Victoria Annexe
A ceiling fan was a pleasant addition to the bedroom, making an open door with sea breeze a fine alternative to the use of the air conditioning. Multiple light switches, although sometimes confusing, were also appreciated enabling control over dimness or brightness of the room.
Victoria Annexe Studio Room
A stay in the Victory Annexe entitles you to access to Planters Lounge, which serves a complimentary continental breakfast, all day coffee/ tea, and evening cocktails. Also on the same floor, and with the same spectacular vista of the Straits, are the Poolside Terrace and exclusive infinity Deck Pool. A well-equipped fitness room occupies the same level making your morning run, looking out over the sea, a rather pleasant one.
A number of food and beverage outlets are frequented by both in house guests and locals. 1885 offers a lovely silver service afternoon tea.Sarkies is the place to go when you’re really hungry, preparing buffets for breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner, there’s even brunch and wine buffets to satisfy your cravings.
Breakfast at Sarkies
Sarkies Outdoor Patio
Farquar’s Bar transports you back to times when clubs were exclusive and private. Dark floors and furniture sparkle with shiny glasses and bottles of spirits. Bar tenders dressed in black and white explain cocktails as they make them and, a cigar cabinet tempts a little indulgence. Signature cocktails are a must to complete the experience. The E&O Sling (Bombay Gin, Grand Marnier, Crème de Menthe, Drambuie and lemon juice shaken over ice, topped up with Sprite and garnished with a slice of orange and lemon and a cherry, RM29), and the Farquhar Street (Smirnoff vodka, Triple Sec, orange juice, nutmeg juice and cream shaken over ice and adorned with a slice of orange and a cherry RM29), are two such perfect examples.
E&O Sling Signature Cocktail
Farquhar Street Signature Cocktail
A daily shuttle service to Lone Pine (a beautiful beachside retreat on Batu Feringghi) and Straits Quay is especially welcome for guests staying multiple nights who would like to see a little more of the island beyond the historical district. Lone Pine is the gorgeous sister property and, if time does allow, is also worthy of a couple of nights stay. The Straits Quay mall is one of the newer luxury shopping scenes in Penang. Also located on the waterfront it offers marina views and a host of bars and restaurants to complete the holiday feel. Although a free bus takes you to the latter, a RM10 return boat ride, from the hotel’s own jetty, is worth the fee as a more entertaining form of transport.
Jetty and Water Limousine
If you should choose to leave this paradise, the UNESCO World Heritage streets of George Town are footsteps away. Food, shopping and history are all within walking distance or an exhilarating rickshaw ride away.
Reason to visit: fantastic location offering both the calm and freshness of the sea and the bustling historical district from one property, spacious ocean view rooms, the newly opened Victoria Annexe with its club lounge benefits, sound proofed rooms (this is a real bonus as some beautiful heritage hotels in the heart of the UNESCO district suffer from noise pollution – not good if you’re a light sleeper)