GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s “Grand Dame of Hospitality”, The Eastern and Oriental (E&O) Hotel, on Sunday announced the much-anticipated re-opening of its Heritage Wing following an extensive refurbishment exercise which began in March this year.
The RM40 million upgrade has seen the 134-year-old heritage landmark maintain its historical grandeur and key elements such as the echo dome, while upgrading works were carried out to offer better hospitality experience for guests in its 100 suites.
The newly-refurbished wing will open its doors to paying guests on Dec 20.
“Beloved by the people of Penang as well as a global audience, the E&O Hotel has an appeal and affection beyond being a beacon for travellers to this beautiful island,” the hotel’s general manager, Alison Fraser, said.
“Generations of guests and visitors alike have chosen the famous Heritage Wing as the backdrop for their magical moments over its history.
“Mindful of this beloved legacy, careful consideration has been taken to ensure we retain E&O’s treasured style of timeless elegance that is unique to this cherished heritage landmark,” she said.
Renowned for its timeless hospitality, the Heritage Wing now provides a more personalised experience with pre-arrival services, in suite check-in and round-the-clock butler service.
Guests are also entitled to exclusive privileges such as access to The Cornwallis — a private lounge offering breakfast and complimentary evening canapes and cocktails, the Heritage Wing pool as well as an in-suite decanters with premium selected beverages and snacks that will be replenished daily.
Press members attending the reopening of the Heritage Wing were taken on a tour by Fraser, who showed them the new suites, dining outlets and an E&O exhibition at the Francis and Martina suite.
Fraser also unveiled the new art colonnade situated along the hallway outside The Cornwallis, showcasing artworks by local photographer Howard Tan from now until end of January 2020.
With the reopening of the Heritage Wing, the hotel is also introducing new culinary experiences as it celebrates both classic and heritage flavours with three new dining outlets — Java Tree, Palm Court and Farquhar’s Bar.
The E & O Hotel was the first hotel established by four Armenian brothers from the Sarkies family in 1885.
This luxury heritage hotel, was once pronounced “The Premier Hotel East of Suez”, and boasted a 274.9m seafront, then described as “the longest of any hotel in the world”.
The Sarkies brothers later established other hotels like the Crag Hotel on Penang Hill, along with Singapore’s Raffles Hotel and The Strand in Rangoon, Myanmar.
Complimenting the hotel’s Heritage Wing, is its Victory Annexe which opened in 2013 and features 118 studio suites and 14 corner suites.