16 Mar Eastern & Oriental Hotel
Walk southeast along Farquhar Street and you might just find yourself at the renowned Eastern & Oriental Hotel complex, popularly known as E&O. A luxurious hotel renowned for its seafront and colonial-style accommodation, the hotel building itself has a rich history within George Town’s Heritage Zone.
E&O comprises two combined hotels; the Eastern Hotel was founded by a group of Armenian-Iranian brothers, known as the Sarkies brothers, in 1884, while the Oriental building was completed a year later. Under the brothers’ management, the hotel complex received extension renovations, with the present-day complex keeping its 1929 efforts. A 1996 renovation project restored the front wing, now dubbed the Heritage Wing, and the 1929 wing back to their original architectural design in an effort to bring back the hotel’s popularity. The building was reopened in 2001 and continues to be popular among locals and tourists passing by, even going so far as to host cultural events such as the George Town Festival.
There is a colonial-themed coffee shop located in the Heritage Wing of the hotel called Sarkies Corner, where visitors can dine on various local and international cuisines, enjoy desserts and pastries (complete with chocolate fountain!) at the aptly named The Bakery, and on occasion witness the chefs prepare the dishes themselves! There is also a variety of buffets held on certain days of the week, each serving generous spreads of Western or even Japanese + Chinese dishes.
The hotel seafront is also rumoured to house the oldest of all trees on Penang Island, which, if confirmed, makes it older than the Baobab tree on Macalister Road!
The E&O Hotel may have had its golden age pre-WWII, but it still stands today as a living relic of George Town that continues to enchant visitors and locals alike with its colonial charm and vintage interiors.