The Eastern & Oriental Hotel (E&O) stands majestically along Farquhar Street in Penang and each time I pass by it, I’m always awestruck by its elegant beauty. My fascination with the E&O started way back in the 1970’s when I first stayed in this grand hotel. Yes, it was grand, even back then when I was nothing more than a kid. In fact, it made such a great impression on me that I can still recall how I stood at the window facing the sea, feeling the sea breeze on my face and just absorbing every single moment, wishing I could stay there forever. Cracking and eating roasted chestnuts in that hotel room remains one of my fondest childhood memory till today. With 134 years of history, the Eastern & Oriental Hotel (E&O) is a treasure trove of memories that evoke a sense of nostalgia from those who have walked its hallways.
In 2013, we checked out the gorgeous Victory Annexe of the E&O when it was opened after a massive renovation. Then 6 years later, in late December 2019, the E&O re-opened its Heritage Wing after an extensive refurbishment exercise that started in March 2019. So, recently we drove up north to experience the all-suite refurbished Heritage Wing.
The E&O is still as impressive as ever when we caught our first glimpse of this grand dame, driving up its driveway and being greeted by the smartly-dressed doorman. Checking-in was a breeze and we were taken up to our Deluxe Seaview Suite by their welcome crew. After a 4-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, the beautiful spacious suite was such a welcoming sight. Not only was the bedroom luxuriously spacious with super-comfy sleep-inducing beds, the double-vanities bathroom, complete with bath tub was totally what we expected from a grand hotel. The newly refurbished suites now feature a brighter concept with more natural light and a softer colour scheme. I really love the black-and-white chequered floor tiles in the bathroom – it’s like stepping back into the refined colonial grandeur of eons back.
The mini bar in our suite provided snacks, refreshments and even whiskey in a lovely decanter and it’s refilled daily – perfect accompaniment while enjoying the sunset across the sea.
All suites in the Heritage Wing are magnificently furnished, extravagantly spacious and come in 8 different types, with either city or sea views. Each suite comes with modern day amenities and every guest who stays at the E&O Hotel receives individual attention and we felt like living the Crazy Rich Asians’ life just for that weekend. The hotel’s round-the-clock impeccable butler service guarantees that guests’ personal needs and comfort are a constant focus from the moment they arrive. From check-in till check-out, personalized attentive service with old world charm are the hallmark of the E&O Hotel.
Renowned for its timeless hospitality, the Heritage Wing now provides a more personalised experience with pre-arrival services, in-suite check-in and round-the-clock butler service.
Set amidst lush tropical greenery in a beautifully manicured garden, the E&O’s swimming pool faces the sea and is a favourite spot for guests seeking to unwind or to energise the body, mind and spirit. In the evenings we took leisurely walks along the well-manicured paved walkway, thoroughly enjoying the sea breeze and gentle rippling of the calm sea. Along the pathway, we came across the oldest “Java” tree, which was planted before 1885 and it’s still standing majestically, maturing through the decades.
Throughout our stay at the E&O, we enjoyed exclusive privileges such as access to The Cornwallis – a private lounge offering breakfast and complimentary evening canapes and cocktails. Guests can order hot breakfast dishes from a menu besides helping themselves to a buffet spread of other regular breakfast items.
We also explored 2 other outlets for breakfast: Sarkies and Planters Lounge.
Planters Lounge serves continental breakfast while the extensive breakfast buffet at Sarkies will have you spending more time at this restaurant! The al fresco section of the restaurant faces the sea – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast with a sea breeze gently fanning your face. Sarkies serves a huge selection of popular local breakfast items. Our favourites are the live cooking stations dishing out Char Kway Teow and Roti Canai! Their Nasi Lemak is awesome too.
We also enjoyed superb dining at Java Tree, Palm Court and some lovely cocktails at Farquhar’s Bar – more on this later.
During our staycation, we witnessed a beautiful wedding taking place at The E&O. With such lush grounds and splendid sea-facing surroundings, it’s really quite the perfect venue for a romantic wedding. Moreover, the 400-seat Grand Ballroom with a full stage, royal boxes and a gallery gives you the old-world grandeur no other venue can offer.
Located conveniently near food eateries, shopping and the entertainment belts of downtown Georgetown, financial district of Beach Street and surrounding cultural quarters, The E&O Hotel is positioned as an exclusive 100 all-suite Grand Hotel, with strong historical links and traditions that none can rival. This Grande Dame is the ultimate abode of timeless beauty and splendour.
EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL |10 Lebuh Farquhar |10200 Georgetown, Penang |Tel: +604-222-2000|email: email@example.com