The Eastern & Oriental, popularly known as the ‘E&O’, is an all-suite luxury hotel and the only one with a seafront in the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. Widely revered as the grande dame of heritage hotels, the E&O was established in 1885 by the famed Sarkies Brothers whose architectural landmarks include the Raffles Hotel in Singapore and The Strand in Rangoon.
In the days well before World War II, travelling enthusiasts put into motion an adventurous ‘Grand Tour’ of Asia, where only one hotel in any one destination can make the grade as the accommodation of choice for worldly travelers of means and breeding. Not unlike a precursor to the five-star rating, the names on the list included the finest of Asia at the time: the Taj in Bombay, the Galle Face in Colombo, the Oriental in Bangkok and the Peninsula in Hong Kong. And for Penang, the hotel of choice was always the E&O.
In many ways, the E&O has also come to represent Penang itself – its story inextricably woven into the island’s history, its traditions an indelible part of many a traveler’s treasured memory, its name synonymous with the magical island once known as the Pearl of the Orient. With the completion of the restoration and refurbishment of the E&O’s iconic Heritage Wing in December 2019, the hotel has come full circle, reassuming the mantle as a leading destination in classic hospitality with new facilities and a host of exclusive privileges – making it an even more delightful experience for guests staying here.