EASTERN AND ORIENTAL HOTEL
Pearl of Penang
By Hiranmayii Awli Mohanan
The grand dame of hotels, Eastern and Oriental Hotel Penang, affectionally regarded as E&O, has stood the test of time and remained stately and stoic since its inception. In many ways, this hotel is a reflection of Penang – its story integrally woven into the island’s history and traditions. Erected in 1885, the hotel’s Victorian aesthetics and interior transport you to the days of British colonialism through its vintage elevators, echo dome, pictures of Penang’s storied past and antiquities that are steeped in historical grandeur. One can expect impeccable hospitality, honed for over a century.
Fresh off a labourious restoration and refurbishment, the suites at the Heritage Wing of E&O Hotel return better than ever, sporting natural light-filled space and softer colour palette that feeds into the stylish, classic interior. Our favourite of the suites, the Deluxe Suite, is furnished with a lounge area, king size bed and sweeping windows that allow you to lose yourself in the magnificent seafront of the Andaman. Twin vanities and long bath remain as the hotel’s signature, along with round-the-clock butler service in-suite, decanters with premium selected beverages and snacks that are replenished daily.
Dining options are aplenty here. Palm Court takes a nod to the area’s roots by offering ethnic Asian-inspired dishes, casual international fare and an indulgent three-tier classic afternoon tea.
Evenings call for a romantic stroll along coconut trees lined by the shore and then, saunter into Farquhar’s Bar — a nod to its eponym, Robert Townsend Farquhar who served as the second Lieutenant- Governor of Prince of Wales Island (now Penang). Inside, lavish interior of oak and brass bar, plush leather sofas and antique furnishings greet guests. With its picturesque view of the waterfront, one can bask in the scene with a sundowner or digestif in hand. For the adventurous, we recommend the Bloody Maria — an exotic and spicy tipple while the Aged Negroni is a twist on the classic cocktail.
For dinner, experience a melange of Nyonya recipes and classic European dishes at Java Tree. We relished in the well-curated Peranakan set and indulged in a few signature Western dishes too. Besides the sumptuous fare, the highlight of the dining experience here comes in the form of a trolley cart carrying a beautiful array of desserts, each varying daily and is sure to please the sweet tooths.
The Cornwallis, an exclusive lounge , offers complimentary evening canapés and cocktails as well as daily breakfast for guests staying at the Heritage Wing. The opulent setting here is supplemented by a mini buffet and dishes such as Eggs Royale and French Toast prepared upon order. Meanwhile, for an international and Malaysian spread, Sarkies serves up an extensive selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Heritage Wing’s private swimming pool and sauna is just what the doctor ordered to banish the aches and pains that come from a long day of discovering the island. Facing the stunning sea, the view eases the senses and calms the mind, preparing you to end the day in a serene mindset.
Address: 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang.
Tel: 04 – 2616333