Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Eastern & Oriental Hotel – Penang, Malaysia ~ Updated


A 2-hour delayed flight from Langkawi, choppy plane ride and wrong bus stop; I was worn-out, drained and almost ready to give up. My buddy was tired but not as cranky as me. I was totally battered; until I walked into our suite at Eastern and Oriental Hotel and got blown away by our funky retro modern room. I went into the bathroom and almost cried in so much joy. I didn’t expect that bathrooms can totally revive my spirit back.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang

It was sundown as we arrived at Penang International Airport. We took a bus, instead of a cab, ‘coz the rush hour traffic might cause ridiculous fare all the way to our home in Georgetown. Oh, by the way, we booked on one of Penang’s heritage sites for three days (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Penang).

Established in 1885, Eastern and Oriental Hotel (or E&O) was built during the British colonial era by four Armenian brothers, the Sarkies, who also established some of the best hotels in the world that are still in operation today (including The Raffles in Singapore and The Strand in Yangon, Myanmar). Braving two World Wars, E&O stood the test of time and retained its charm after more than a century of providing luxurious accommodation to its guests. There are two wings at E&O, Heritage and Victory Annexe, the former being the oldest of the two. Both share the same coastline, Penang’s Selatan Strait.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Heritage Wing's swimming pool
Confused on where the wings were, we entered an old school revolving door and were transported back in time; there’s a dome in the center of the lobby that reverberates everyone’s voices, a spiral staircase that seemed to have its own stories to tell than most of the shophouses in Georgetown, an old elevator that still has grills on it, a lone piano resting on one corner, and front desk ladies that appeared to have just come out from a black & white TV show. It felt timeless, classy and lavish.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Heritage Wing's lobby
Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Heritage Wing
Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Old school wash room at the Heritage Wing
Walking along the hallways and corridors going to Victory Annexe, I felt out of place as I tugged my funky blue backpack and camera bag. Neutral colors dominated the area and I could imagine the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling and Hermann Hesse as they walked along the same path I was tracing.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Heritage Wing
The Victory Annexe was completely different from the Heritage Wing. It had the same feel of elegance but the stylish lounge chairs with orange throw pillows gave a modern twist to it.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Victory Annexe's lobby
Our booking reservation was swiftly attended to at the front desk and minutes later, me and my buddy were up on the 14th floor and were being welcomed by some framed Penang photos with individual spotlights on the corridor. It actually felt like a gallery rather than a hallway.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Framed Penang photos on hallways
We found our Studio Suite (check room types and rates) and were totally blown away with it.

On my left was a white wooden shutter cum divider that concealed the room but my attention was focused on the en suite toilet and bath on my right. Dominated by shades of black, grey and white, the standalone bathtub with three-lamp chandelier on top was its focal point. And it totally changed my mood altogether. It felt extravagant and lavish that it made me take a warm bubble bath right away to soothe away all my stress.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang

His and hers lavatories with its own set of bathroom amenities and vanity closet greeted me as I opened the frosted glass double door. It thrilled me as I checked my own space and area.

I move farther and found a separate toilet and shower area on both ends of the tub. The black and white checkered tiles added charm to its modern retro feel.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Gorgeous, ain't it?
Moving on, I went on a corner of our room and examined it from that standpoint. A separate desk with lamp and chair was set as a work station. Dark wood was employed and it perfectly matched the wood parquet flooring.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang

A wooden entertainment rack rested beside it with flat screen TV, mini bar with complimentary drinks and coffee machine.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Studio Suite
I jumped into the bed 'coz my body was aching for rest when my buddy gasped as he pushed aside the heavy drapes on one end. It revealed an open-aired balcony with a great view of the city and Selatan Strait. At night, the hazy sky lit up. It instantly became our favorite spot in our suite (aside from the bathroom, of course).

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang

I went back inside the room and rested on a comfy lounge chair. We were planning a night out but then decided to just have dinner on an eatery nearby. After which, we went back to our suite for a much needed respite that lasted for hours; It was the best I had after weeks of our Beach Hop Asia 2016 summer backpacking trip.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
View from our private balcony
Morning light creeped into our room as I stirred to wake, I remembered leaving the drapes open last night as I wanted to open up the space. It was eight in the morning and the sun was slowly emerging from the horizon. It was a great day, I declared.

I woke my buddy up and mentioned that great Penang Food was waiting for us on the ground level. Complimentary breakfast comes with the stay and is served either at Sarkies Restaurant (which had more choices) or the Planters Lounge on the fifth floor (for more intimate ambiance); we opted to have it at Sarkies.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Sarkies
Beautiful noise from the different buffet stations and from the diners dominated the restaurant as me and my buddy walked through it. It was paired with different aroma from the food that was being served. The buffet spread featured different areas with international and Penang breakie favorites.

My buddy dashed into the noodle station where he had laksa and char kway teow while I went into the bread station and had some freshly-made roti canai. It was a feast, as I filled my plates with everything I craved for during my Penang trips years back.

Char Kway Toew Penang
Char Kway Teow
Penang Laksa
Penang Laksa
We went back to our suite and relaxed for a moment. The scorching heat of Penang totally drained our energy so our plans on going out to our fave spots in Georgetown were ruined. Good thing though was that there are so many things to do at E&O that we didn't get bored at all.

Ernest Zacharevic Penang Art
Ernest Zacharevic's (Penang Street Artist) Gallery located at the Victory Annexe Wing
Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Peranakan tiles from old houses in Penang
We had some chill time at the pool area which I loved, we also had afternoon tea at 1885 (a café at the Heritage Wing) and then enjoyed the cocktails at Planters Lounge where we had some free-flowing cocktail drinks and snacks overlooking the calm waters of Selatan Strait. Our day was packed, and we haven’t gone out yet.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Afternoon tea at 1885
Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Planters Lounge
Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Poolside terrace
The next day it was the same staycation itinerary; we did a quick dip at the infinity pool and lounged on our suite. 

A photo posted by blissfulguro (@blissfulguro) on

It was a short but sweet stay as we get to enjoy one of Penang’s finest hotels. The walls of the century-old Eastern & Oriental Hotel were quiet witnesses to the splendor of the English colonial era that it felt like I was walking back in time. Lovely. Timeless. Splendid.




UPDATE 2017: Staycation at Georgetown’s Premier Hotel with our Moms

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang

At five in the afternoon, me and my buddy found refuge from the intense Penang heat on the outdoor swimming pool of Eastern & Oriental Hotel; a déjà vu from last year’s trip. We were enjoying our lazy afternoon dip when suddenly, my mom came out from nowhere informing us that the afternoon cocktails has just started. We immediately washed up and got reunited with our moms at Planters Lounge. We were enjoying the overflowing snacks and cocktails while sharing funny anecdotes from the trip; priceless moments shared with our loving mothers.

Me and my buddy were on the first leg of our annual two-month backpacking trip, Same Same Summer Trip 2017, and for the first time, we were traveling with our respective moms. Nothing seemed new on the itineraries on this fourth year of our summer trip. But this particular vacation was special as we tagged along our moms for the first two weeks to show them our lives away from home.


We chose Malaysia to be our first stop for we consider it as our second home in Asia. So after showing them around on our favorite spots in Melaka and Kuala Lumpur, we headed to one of our favorite cities in the world, Penang, for a weeklong historical and gastronomical adventure.

It was nearing the end of our Penang trip when we checked in on our favorite hotel in Georgetown. It was just a year ago when me and my buddy experienced three full days of nothing but a nice holiday in the middle of our backpacking trip. We’ve been to Penang around five times already and at that time, we were yearning for full relaxation which we found at E & O Hotel.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Lovelier the second time around
This time around, we’re only staying for a night. So after coming from its sister hotel in Batu Ferringhi, Lone Pine Hotel, we hopped on to the complimentary service shuttle and were brought to Eastern & Oriental Hotel for a two-day staycation with our dear moms.

I knew exactly what to expect and I didn’t wanna ruin the experience for them so I never divulged any information about our next hotel. We arrived at three in the afternoon and were assisted immediately by the front desk representatives on our booking. In no time, we were ushered to our rooms and as expected, the moms had the same reaction as I did a year ago.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Victory Annexe
I booked two Studio Suites at the Victory Annexe, the same as what we had last year.

I tapped on the keycard and my mom gasped on how huge our room was. I let her inspect each space and area until she came into the lovely bathroom, my favorite part. She was speechless as she saw the his & hers lavatories complete with separate wardrobe closets complete with bathroom amenities. 


Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Studio Suite's toilet and bath
She also loved the freestanding bath tub that rested underneath a cutesy chandelier. She was totally blown away with the swanky bathroom we had, same reaction from me a year ago.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Retro chic
She went on and checked out the two single beds and the classy side tables with night lamps. She lounged on the comfy bed and cocooned herself under the warm duvet. I prepped up some tea and enjoyed the fresh fruits that served as the welcome treats.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Studio Suite
I felt the need to cool down so I asked my buddy to go to the fifth level and take a quick dip at the pool while the moms were having their afternoon siesta. It was déjà vu from last year as the same Malaysian summer heat compelled us to have a refreshing dip into the cool water.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Planters Lounge at the fifth level where we enjoyed the afternoon cocktails with the moms
We then enjoyed an afternoon full of laughter as we recalled some funny tales during this particular trip with the moms while enjoying the complimentary afternoon cocktails for in-house guests at Planters Lounge. The moms were having coffee and canapés while me and my buddy were enjoying some wine and cheese. This certain moment was one of my favorites during our two-week adventure with them.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Exquisite canapes
We were satiated on what we had that afternoon that we didn’t have the urge to go out for dinner that night. Instead, we packed our luggage and got ready for our flight the next day. We converged on one room as we tried to, once again, reminisce on our favorite parts of the trip.

That night, I slept like a baby while savoring the last night I’ll have with my mom. For the next two months, me and my buddy will carry on with our trip while the moms will be going back home. We intended to postpone our beer sesh that night for more bonding moments with them.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
My favorite spot in the room
The next morning, we had breakfast at Sarkies Restaurant. And because this will be my last Malaysian meal for the trip, I filled my plate with local favorites like nasi lemak and roti canai. My mom was so enthused on the healthy choices on the buffet spread; she tried some fresh fruit juices and salads.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
Sarkies Restaurant
We had to leave early as we needed to catch our early morning flight back to Kuala Lumpur. You’d think that we were all be gloomy about parting ways but the ride was extremely fun as we, again, recalled each notable moment during our Penang trip. And when I asked the moms on their favorite hotel all throughout the two-week holiday they had, both of them mentioned E & O Hotel, hands down. As for me and my buddy, this will not just be the second visit on our favorite hotel, there will be more, I’m sure.



Eastern & Oriental Hotel (check for discounted rates)
Lebuh Farquhar, Georgetown,
Penang, Malaysia
Contact Number: (+60) 4.222.2000
Email Address: luxury@eohotels.com





2 comments:

  1. Hi Ms. Carla, nainspire ako magbook sa E&O Hotel dahil dito sa post mo. :) Mag-birthday trip ako sa SE Asia! Pwede malaman kung anong bus number ang sinakyan nyo from Penang airport to E&O??

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    Replies
    1. Wow. That's cool. I super love E & O Penang. When is your trip? I forgot the bus number but there are, I think, only two bus lines from the airport to the city :) You can easily ask aruond there.

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