Tel: 60 4 263 0630
Concierge.com's insider take:
The Eastern and Oriental was opened in 1884 by the Sarkie brothers—Armenian entrepreneurs who would go on to build Raffles, in Singapore. A millennial renovation brought the hotel up to 21st-century standards, with a minimum of architectural tampering. The original Otis elevator, the oldest in Malaysia, is still in operation, and the lobby dome's famous echo is as uncanny as ever, but the decor suffers slightly from Ye Olde Repro syndrome, with bellhops dressed in pith helmets and khaki shorts. The 101 rooms are typically colonial, decorated in creams, dark woods, and Persian carpets. Go all out to book one of the seven ground-floor rooms, which open directly onto the seaside gardens overlooking the harbor of Penang.