Tourism Malaysia

The Eastern & Oriental (E & O) Hotel at Penang, Malaysia (Part 1)

The Eastern Oriental Hotel (popularly known as the E. O) (N5.42314 E100.33597) is located at 10, Farquhar Street, Georgetown, Penang. We spent our family vacation here for 3 days 2 nights on May 2013.
I will separate into 2 blog posts because the page might load very slow due to many photos.

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About the Eastern Oriental Hotel :-
Established by the famed Sarkies Brothers in 1885, whose architectural landmarks also include the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the Eastern Oriental (EO) Hotel in Penang island is the only hotel in the heart of the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site that possesses prime sea frontage. Over its century-and-a-quarter history, the EO Hotel has played host to some of the world’s most celebrated artists, writers and heads of state.

Today, the luxurious 100 all-suite hotel stands as the grand dame of heritage hotels, its distinctive classic elegance and grace of service enhanced with time. Majority of the suites look out onto the ornamental garden and swimming pool with views across the Andaman Sea.

The Hotel’s restaurants and bar—Sarkies, 1885 and Farquhar Bar—have a celebrated reputation for serving an extensive menu ranging from Penang’s local delicacies to European fine dining.

EO’s stately grand ballroom is perfect for hosting formal banquets, replete with viewing balconies and polished timber floors to honour the era and romance of debutante’s balls and black tie dinner and dancing.

The adjacent annexe block is currently being fitted out and scheduled for completion in late 2012. The 15-storey building will be named the Victory Annexe, its namesake being an old block of the hotel, so named after the British victory in World War I. The Annexe will add a further 139 suites, all sea-fronting, to the present 100, complemented by new restaurants, meeting rooms, pool, spa, and niche retail outlets. To distinguish between the two hotel sections, the existing hotel building will be known as the Heritage Wing.

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The hotel staffs were really nice and helpful. The feeling started from the reception. At first we went into the Heritage Wing and found out that our room was at the Vicotry Annexe Wing (the new wing), therfore they guide us all the way to the other reception area politely without any hesitation.

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Then we walked through the Nice passageway from the old building to the new building. Honestly, I never feel tired walking through this heritage passageway…especially during the night time where all the lights up…I’ll share the photos with you later…

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The check-in was nice and fast! I like the polite lady who attended to us and we were impressed when she request us to wait at the sofa sitting area then she brought all the keys to us.

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The young lady (from the reception) was patiently explain every facility that we can utilize within the hotel, I like the way she presented to us.
I will show the room photos in my next post, and now…let me show you around the hotel…

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The Gallery is situated behind the lift lobby (on the right), the place tell everything about The Eastern Oriental Hotel of Penang. It was just like a mini museum…

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The above photo showed the outlook of E O Hotel on year 1885, it was the fisrt look…

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The above poster explain the journey of the four Sarkies brothers and the year they built the hotel…
There was a nice lady who well known the history and patiently explain to us of the beautiful stories of Eastern Oriental Hotel of Penang. Appreciated.

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The History :-
In its early days as an outpost of the East India Company, Penang drew travellers of every shade and description – merchants, missionaries, mercenaries, sailors and adventurers. From London to Singapore, one was required to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, an arduous journey which took four months on the average. In the 1840s, an overland rail route was established which made it possible for travellers to by-pass the Cape of Good Hope altogether.

But it was not until the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the arrival of the steamship, that travel to Asia assumed unprecedented style and luxury. Writers, actors, playwrights, the rich and the titled, bored with Europe and America, looked to the exotic East to satisfy their wanderlust. Suddenly, there was a new breed of travellers – the globetrotters.

It was to meet the demands of these new affluent travellers that the Eastern Oriental was born.

Already renowned in Southeast Asia for their enterprise and business acumen, the Armenian Sarkies brothers, Martin and Tigran, settled down in Penang and established the Eastern Hotel in 1884. Encouraged by its success, they opened another hotel, the Oriental in 1885, on an adjacent piece of land facing the sea. Combined, these two hotels became the largest hotel in Penang, offering 80 comfortable and tastefully appointed rooms.

The above history is Only part of it, if you interested to know about the hotel, please visit their ‘Gallery’ in the Victory Annexe Wing. Thanks.

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As I said, I like to walk pass the passageway between the old and new wings countlessly because of the heritage deco. The pathway was different during the day time and the night time…

During day time…

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Then we reached the Lobby of the Heritage Wing…the Dome design is marvelous! It’s echoing every single words below, that’s mean…there will be no secret under the Dome area…:)

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The Antique Lift which is still function well, according to the Manager of E O Hotel.

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Follow by the restaurants in the hotel….

The hotel has 2 Sakies Corner, they are located at the Heritage Wing and the Victory Annexe Wing…both are having a different setting and decorations…

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This restaurant looked so quaint and I like the ambience very much! The warm lightings during the evening make the restaurant feel more comfort and cozy…
Operating hours are from 10.00 am – 11.00 pm (Daily)

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Next to the Sarkies Corner, it is the 1885 Fine Dining Restaurat.
Named for the year that the EO Hotel was established, 1885 offers classical yet contemporary cuisine in an elegant environment in the finest traditions of colonial fine dining.

The selection of inventive fusion dishes from thier accomplished chefs, accompanied by a superb selection of wines, marks 1885 as the perfect choice for an enjoyable dining experience.

The environment of the 1885 Restaurant

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The atmosphere was Perfect! I can’t really describe in words but you have to try it yourself…

Traditional English Afternoon Tea is also served in this elegant setting.
Candlelit tables, starched linens, silver service, and attentive staff create a magical experience.

Operating hours are from 2.00 pm – 11.00 pm (Daily)

Not to forget, the Farquhar’s Bar is situated beside the lobby of the Heritage Wing. You can have some beers or others alcohol to relax yourself after your sumptuous dinner…

Operating hours are from 11.00 am – 12.00 am

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There is a live band performance during the evening and I like the wooden armchair design very much!

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I did mentioned that I like to walk along the passageway countless time…and when the night fall and all the lights up, it presented the other beauty of it…

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Beside the passageway, the garden also painted with all the beautiful warm lightings accompany by the sea breeze from Penang Strait…it’s kind of romantic garden area in the evening…

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It was another enjoyment strolling in the garden during night, the Penang Strait was on the left and the background lights was from Butterwoth town of mainland.

We had 2 restaurants to choose for our daily complimentary breakfast, The Sarkies Corner or The Planters Lounge on the 6th Floor. Both are located in Victory Annexe Wing and also called the ‘New Wing’. The Sarkies Corner had much more varieties compare with the Planters Lounge, but the lounge has more privacy for the hotel guests.

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Full of varieties in the breakfast, they serve local foods, western foods, raw foods, breads and many more…you can easily spend 2 hours by enjoying the breakfast here…

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And my breakfast is always ‘simple’…

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The Planters Lounge is the private lounge exclusively for all the guests who stay in Victory Annexe Wing. It dining area connected from the lounge to the 6th Floor Infinity swimming pool. The lounge is open from the afternoon unitl 10pm, but we visited during 5pm – 7pm where they served all the finger foods and alcohols.

The interior and dining area of Planters Lounge (6th Floor of Victory Annexe Wing)

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And you can also choose the outdoor session area where with the excellent scenery of the Penang Strait. It connected to the Infiity Pool area…

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The foods and drinks by the Planters Lounge

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And they do serve soft drinks, Red Wine from Chile, white wine and Anchor Beer. All on the house!

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We like to enjoy our foods and drinks at the pool area, we did it for 2 days! 🙂

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After the foods and drinks, we jumped into the pool…we did that for continuous 2 days during our stay…:)
I like to swim to the edge, admiring the view of the Strait…

The hotel has a nice jetty located in between the 2 wings, maybe you can get down from the Cruise directly and walk to the hotel in the near future…

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The Eastern Oriental Hotel is one of the Best place to relax yourself and it is also the Only 5 starts Heritage Hotel in Penang. I felt the different within their services compare with other 5 starts hotel.
We were really comfort interacted with the hotel staffs, and not to forget the most friendly person in the E O Gallery. I apologies that I cannot recall her name, she generously explained the histories of E O Hotel to us was really appreciated and I like her attitude! Great!

Definitely it’s worth for the second visit and it was one of the Best Hotel we ever stay before!

Ms Eileen Chong and Ms Melvis, thanks for your warmest hospitality and we really appreciated.

*  The virtual tour for the few types of rooms will be continue in my next blog post.

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Related post :-
The Suite Rooms in Eastern Oriental Hotel in Penang (Part 2)