I had a close call in Penang, Malaysia. Back when I traveled there with my mom, I was super stubborn and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on hotels/hostels. But my mom was determined to stay at the grand old Eastern & Oriental Hotel.
There was a youth hostel next door, where I was going to stay. But when we arrived there, it was empty and no staff person was in sight. So I caved in. And boy was I glad I did! Check out the back of the hotel.
We ate inside the night we arrived and I felt like I was in a John LeCarre novel. Another guest from the hotel joined us and it was fun to talk like Old Asian Hands.
Then in the morning we ate outside on the verandah. Pure bliss.
I’ve heard the E&O has undergone massive renovations since my stay there in 1991. Thank goodness it was affordable back then!