Eastern & Oriental Hotel @ Penang
History of travel dates back to antiquity where Greeks and Romans would travel for leisure to their summer homes and villas in cities such as Pompeii and Baiae according to Wikipedia.
In my opinion, modern leisure traveler has two distinct school of thought ie the Relax type and the Adventurous type. The Relax type wants the best amenities and luxurious accommodation so that one could rest and relax. The Adventurous type would be at home with basic amenities and lodging as one would be soaked in the local culture and food instead of staying in the room.
But trust me when I say that you can be both Relax & Adventurous if you choose to stay at the infamous colonial style Eastern & Oriental Hotel. One could experience awesome room comfort, fantastic amenities and great service while you could venture out to savour good street food and heritage site, all within 15 minutes of car driving radius.
The property began as the The Eastern Hotel in 1884 and The Oriental was added in 1885, the hotels then combined to become the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. Established by the Armenian Sarkies brothers, Martin and Tigran, they became one Grand Hotel with Moorish minarets, a spacious domed lobby and a sweeping seafront. Read more about history of E&O Hotel HERE.
The Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang (E&O Hotel) located along Farquhar Street and intersecting with Penang Road, the hotel features 2 distinct wings: Heritage Wing and Victory Annexe.
Heritage Wing – boasts of 100 suites which categorized into Deluxe Suites, Premier Suites, Straits/Writers, Penang Suite and E&O Suite. The spacious doomed lobby with handsome geometric-patterned marble floors, grand staircase, revolving door at the entrance manned by doorman in a colonial pith helmet, dark wood reception desk, Oriental lacquer cabinets, antique Persian rugs, posh velvet sofas and Gatsby-worthy chandeliers, the interior exudes old world elegance and impart a sense of history.
The Waygood-Otis cage lift in the lobby, one of the oldest one in Malaysia, although still in mint condition, it is no longer in use.
Time capsule sealed during E&O Hotel’s 130th Anniversary on 2015 by Michael Saxon, Director Group Hospitality & Lifestyle and to be open in 2145.
Walked along the bright and tastefully decorated hallway which connecting the Heritage Wing and the Victory Annexe, where we supposed to stay for this trip.
Open its door in March 2013, the 16-storey Victory Annexe, new wing of E&O Hotel Penang houses a total of 128 sea-view and sea facing suites. Echoing the Heritage Wing’s vintage charm, the lobby of the Victory Annexe is decked in white with vast marbled floors, black marbled pillars, comfortable couches, ambient lighting and beautiful floral decoration. The difference is subtle yet distinct, with a more contemporary and modern feel in the design and furnishings.
E&O Gallery, located at the retail arcade at ground floor, Victory Annexe, display the story of Penang’s social and cultural milestones as seen through eyes of the hotel and its patrons.
Also sited within the retail arcade, The Emporium Gift Shop is one of the nicest boutiques for souvenirs, accessories and books I have seen so far. #takeallmymoney
Stepping into our Studio Suite, we were greeted by a lovely spacious room that received great illumination of natural light from the glass window.
Dressed in a neutral palette to create a soothing ambience, each room at Victory Annexe Wing is sumptuously appointed, in an elegant combination of luxury, tradition and modernity. Our 55 square metres room with timber flooring is equipped with a plush King size bed accompanied by side tables and lamps, ceiling fan, air conditioner as well as a work desk completed with Wifi, business amenities and stationary set.
The suite is luxuriously appointed with a delightfully decadent bathroom featuring black and white chequered tiled floor, quaint white claw-footed bathtub, dual vanities, a separate rain shower/handheld shower and toilet cubicle.
Amenities such as toiletries, iron and board, hair dryer, umbrella, safe box, indoor slippers, bath robes, weighing scale and even sarongs are provided. For the environmentally-friendly practice, the bath towels and bed sheet are changed upon request.
Echoing classic art-deco themes, the sense of nostalgia lives strong while still having state of the art modern furnishing and amenities like the flat screen TV, mini bar (with complimentary soft drinks) and coffee machine.
Despite the vintage charm, the suites feature tastefully modern furnishings, a perfect mix of past and present.
Our room balcony that overlooking parts of the city and the unrestricted gorgeous views of the Malacca Straits.
You definitely don’t want to miss the infinity pool located at level 6 with stunning view of the Straits. The beautiful outdoor swimming pool with stylish loungers lining the waterside surrounded by palm trees and plants add liveliness to the ambiance. One can have a refreshing dip and soak up the tropical sun or relax by the pool side with a cold drink in hand like me, hehe ^__*
There is another sea fronting swimming pool at Heritage Wing as well.
Operating hours: 7.00am to 8.00pm
We were offered with two venues to have our complimentary breakfast, Sarkies and Planters Lounge, both situated in Victory Annexe.
Sarkies – Offers extensive spread of buffet lunch and dinner, it’s one of the popular spot for Penangites for buffet.
Operating Hours: 6.30am to 10.30pm, daily
Interior – spacious and airy, beautiful accentuated by the soft lighting.
The breakfast buffet at Sarkies offers a sumptuous spread of local and western dishes. Breakfast favorites such as sausages, scrambled eggs, pancakes, nasi lemak, Dim Sum, soup noodles, pastries, salads, fruits, yogurt were offered copiously and constantly replenished. Check out the live cooking stations of Char Kway Teow and Roti Canai, the flavour was actually not bad at all!
Planters Lounge – Private lounge exclusively for guests staying in the Victory Annexe, serving Continental Buffet breakfast as well as coffee and tea throughout the day.
Operating hours: 6.30am to 11.00pm, daily
The earthy themed dining area is cozy and classical appeal that exudes plenty of character. Brilliantly sectioned into a few ares, the cozy corner that mimicked one’s study room with a 18th century relief map of Southeast Asia on the wall, comfortable sofas, antique cabinets and reading materials really won my heart.
Get a seat at the al-fresco area so you can take in the breathtaking view of Malacca Straits, sailing ships and flying seagulls.
At Planters Lounge, the breakfast buffet is simpler but still sufficient enough to keep you energized for your morning activities.
Guests staying at Victory Annexe are exclusively entitled to daily evening cocktail hour (5.00pm to 6.00pm) at Planters Lounge serving small bites and assorted of beverages including wines, beers, cocktails, soft drinks, juices, coffee and tea. Guests also can enjoy whole day coffee and tea from 6.30am to 11.00pm.
If you are a fitness enthusiast that can’t skip your workout, there is a well equipped gymnasium located at the same floor as the deck pool and Planters Lounge at 6th Floor.
Pañpuri’s Organic Spa offering Asian-influenced massages and therapies. Nestled on the 6th Floor of Victory Annexe, there are single rooms and couple rooms completed with Jacuzzi. Pañpuri’s Organic Spa also carries a range of genuine “Certified Organic” organic products.
The entire hotel is a magnificent site to tour around and just enjoy the scenery. This is also where the oldest Java Tree was planted before 1885.
Verdict: Certainly the best hotel staying experience that I’ve ever had! Gorgeous and luxury appointed room, friendly service, satisfying breakfast spread, unique staying experience in a historical colonial building, everything has made up for it for my remarkable time spent at Eastern & Oriental Hotel. Although the room rate is on expensive side but rest assured, I can verify that hospitality standards are top-notch. The rustic appeal and amazing service truly sets it apart.
Eastern & Oriental Hotel
10, Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang.
Tel: +604-222 2000