Eastern and Oriental hotel, Penang

We picked Penang as our destination to kick back, relax and recharge over 9 lazy days.

The 123 square metred Corner suite in the Victory Annexe of the Eastern and Oriental Penang met our requirements perfectly. The suite was redolent with the luxury trappings of colonial days gone by.

Our version of a lazy vacation is doing not much and enjoying the hotel facilities to the fullest with occasional forays to tourist spots. What made this trip different was both of us came down with a stomach virus when we arrived and didn’t leave the hotel premises for the first 2-3 days. In that time, we experienced the best and worse that the hotel had to offer.

Positives

The spa and cheerful disposition of their staff

We loved the spa and the massages helped relieve some of our discomfort.

The staff at the Planters Lounge

Staff were very attentive and had can do attitudes.

The old school French classic menu at 1885

Oh my god! They had crepe suzettes and I loved the fact they flambéed the crepes in front of us.

The food at the Breakfast buffetThe gorgeous infinity pool at the Victory Annexe

Negatives

Reception staff twiddling their thumbs and lack of decorum

Hate to say this but I found the reception staff aloof, at times disengaged and more often than not busily chit chatting with other staff behind the counter. Not a good look.

Inconsistent meet and greet of breakfast guests at Sarkies

The same waitress greeted us 5 days out of 9 and every time was different and based on her mercurial moods. Some days we had coffee served at the table, other days we had to ask.

The “free” soft drinks from the mini bar

Found this perk very annoying as it was hit and miss on what was replenished daily and lack of common sense at differentiating between hotel cans and drinks I had purchased externally.

What butlers?

Wearing a smart uniform does not make a good butler and the inability to comprehend a guest’s request is a definite “no no”.

Lackadaisical service

Remember the scene from Pretty Woman where Mr Lewis and Vivian are in the boutique and his priceless quote?

What is holding the hotel back from being a world class hotel is the ability to provide their guests with “major sucking up” and the lackadaisical service from front of house staff is their biggest impediment.

We could have gone to town at the hotel a lot more if there was some care and concern shown towards making our stay more hospitable and effortless for us. It just felt like the staff were doing us a service by being there with a couple of exceptions. It was also tiring for us having to ask for things to be done that we didn’t expect to have to ask.

Attention to detail is not their strong suit and unfortunately it’s only the managers who appear to have the nouse and “can do” attitude one expects from a five star hotel establishment. Which is a pity as it leaves an unfavourable impression with patrons when simple requests are escalated into issues for management to deal with.

What a waste of a beautiful hotel with its majestic grandeur and sweeping sea views. I sincerely hope they can address their service challenges.

The layout of the suite

Video

I couldn’t resist taking a video of the suite.Here’s a closer look for those too lazy to watch the video.

Separate living area

The lovely claw foot bath that we didn’t use for its intended purpose. It was great as a clothes dryer though.

The boudoir

The blockout curtains are good as long as you pulled the drapes together as tight as possible. The bed is extra firm and after 4+ nights the old man’s back started to hurt.

Balcony Views

What do you eat in Malaysia that’s not Chicken rice, duck rice and satay sticks?

Lots of street food choices but here are pics of above dishes we had at the hotel.

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