EASTERN & ORIENTAL
Arriving at the Eastern & Oriental Penang is like stepping back in time- to a very sophisticated and stylish era- a category we definitely didn't fall into after being caught in a downpour as soon as we touched down in Penang. Luckily the helpful and welcoming staff have us checked in and up to the room faster than I can say "SOS: grab me the hairdryer".
Founded by the Sarkies Brothers in 1885, this colonial heritage style hotel has undergone major reconstruction and refurbishment to bring the hotel - notably the Heritage Wing - back to its former glory. The Sarkies brothers founded several luxurious hotels through Southeast Asia- probably best known for Raffles in Singapore- and this particular property definitely lives up to expectations.
Located on the seafront, the hotel is situated in Georgetown- the capital of the state- which is a bustling city listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The town has a strong Chinese influence which is apparent in the buildings, storefronts and temples. There are a few shops and restaurants around the hotel- including a small weekend market that are worth spending a couple of hours at.
The hotel itself has a very grand white façade- Victorian in style and extremely beautiful. The restaurant is amazing- the buffet breakfast has everything imaginable. An egg station, freshly squeezed juice, pastries, fruit, many hot and cold dishes. The dinner buffet was even more impressive (if that's possible) - a varied selection of fresh local seafood, curries and rotisseries. The dessert selection was out of this world- there were so many options we didn't know where to start. Who am I kidding- I knew where to start- THE CHEESECAKE.
Now onto the rooms: they are very spacious, comfortable and once again- luxurious (it really is the only word that encapsulates the hotel). Black and white art deco style marble bathrooms, comfortable large beds with soft-as-silk linen and every mod con you could want in a room. With the exception of one of those mirrors that make you look REALLY skinny- we really needed that false sense of security after eating at the buffet.
The pool area is stunning- full of palm trees and umbrellas to provide shade, bright colourful flowers and a cool ocean breeze (perfect conditions for a poolside nap). The pool staff also provide amazing service.
The Eastern & Oriental will always stand out as one of our best experiences to date with any hotel we have visited. It was truly faultless. Even though Penang wasn't our favourite destination- the hotel is somewhere we would love to revisit just to have a few days of complete pampering. We normally have to love a destination to revisit somewhere- this time the hotel alone would have us returning (and in a heartbeat!)
For more information: www.eohotels.com
All photos by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au