Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang [Malaysia] – Part I

The Eastern & Oriental Hotel is a colonial-style hotel that is located in Penang, Malaysia. Established in 1885, many people have no idea that the Eastern & Oriental Hotel is actually a sister hotel to the Raffles Hotel in Singapore that was established in 1887.

At first glance, the facade and main entrance of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel does remind me a lot of Raffles Hotel!

The perimeter of the hotel is nicely lit-up at night. This particular traffic light just outside of the Easter & Oriental Hotel will turn green within five seconds of pressing the pedestrian crossing button – give it a try!

The Eastern & Oriental Hotel is divided into two main sections – the Heritage Wing, where all the original suites are located, and the Victory Annexe, where almost all the suites are sea-facing. We specifically chose to stay at the Victory Annexe which opened in 2013, and requested for a room with an excellent sea-view for our stay.

By choosing to stay at the Victory Annexe, the entrance to the Victory Annexe’s lobby would be at the other end of the hotel, facing the sea. Our driver dropped us off at Heritage Wing’s lobby instead, so we had to walk a little bit to Victory Annexe. Let your driver know so that he could drop you at the correct lobby place!

Pretty quiet looking entrance, as you can see.

One of the reasons that we chose to stay at this hotel is because of its sea-front location. By opening our balcony doors, the soothing lullaby of sea waves would instantly reach our ears.

Right outside the hotel is actually a public area, so you can see guests just lazing on the sea wall and enjoying a little bit of the sun.

Too bad, entry to the jetty is restricted.

Massive cannon that used to protect the shores of Penang – not that it helped huh?

[learn_more caption=”World War II – 1941 (Learn More)” state=”close”] With news of the imminent attack of the Japanese, the European population was evacuated beforehand, leaving the rest of Penang’s population to suffer under a brutal Japanese occupation, causing much disillusionment and injury to the British prestige and image of invincibility. The British withdrawal left the island defenceless against the invading Japanese forces.[/learn_more]

I’ll stick a few pictures of the view from the balcony of our Victory Annexe’s suite here first. The rest of the pictures of our room will have to come later.

The Andaman Sea, I think?

Our stay coincided with Hari Raya in Malaysia and the hotel’s staff at reception were all dressed in gorgeous traditional costumes.

The Eastern & Oriental hotel lobby is pretty grand and spacious, being able to accommodate quite a bit of guests who are checking-in at the same time. We took a seat on the sofa seats while we waited to check-in.

Special mention for one of the reception staff (Evelyn Ooi, if I recall correctly) who impressed us with her great service. On one of those days, I dropped by the reception desk to ask if there were any tours or drivers affiliated with Eastern & Oriental Hotel that they could recommend for us. Responding politely, she took the effort to give us a map of Penang’s Georgetown and explained to us the history behind the various points of interest as she marked them down on the map.

Dedicated service is what that differentiates the great from the good, the memorable from the forgettable.

Hassle-free check-in and we’re on our way up to the hotel room in no time. They offered to help us with our luggage, so we didn’t have to drag them up ourselves.

We would slowly come to appreciate the ridiculous amount of efforts that Eastern & Oriental Hotel makes to establish itself as a top-notch hotel. While taking a quick glance at the ash tray on top of the trash bin at the lift lobby, we noticed that the hotel’s staff has made an E&O logo in the sand.

Before I get to the pictures of our Victory Annexe suite (that will have to come in another post, too many pictures urgh), a couple more of the hotel’s interior when we made our way from the Victory Annexe wing to the Heritage wing.

Huge and spacious hallways connect the old wing and the new wing.

The Sarkies Brothers of Armenian ethnicity, who were the founders of Eastern & Oriental hotel.

We popped by one of the restrooms in the hotel and came across this lovely little sanctuary! Incredibly clean and well-maintained, it was like a time capsule to the past. There was even a shoe-shining kit that you can use!

The hotel lobby at the Heritage Wing that is circular in shape, which I felt was rather impressive.

The antique lift! Too bad we couldn’t try taking it.

Proudly displaying the winner’s plaque from TripAdvisor.

A couple of well-known figures from Singapore have stayed here at Eastern & Oriental Hotel before, such as Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and Mr. David Marshall.

More shots of the hallways as we roamed around the Eastern & Oriental Hotel – we noticed that the hallways are almost twice as wide as the ones in hotels these days. The luxury of space is undeniable.

Delightfully-framed pictures adorn the hallways.

The hotel has a gym which we tried – guess it wasn’t a popular area in the hotel as it was pretty empty.

Feeling energetic, we headed to the gym one night for a little workout. The gym, while small, has a decent collection of gym equipment which should be able to fulfill your needs. Although the gym wasn’t manned by any staff, clean towels and bottled water are available.

Part two of the review on Eastern & Oriental Hotel will be coming right up, this time focusing on our Victory Annexe suite as well as the food at E&O.

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