John Barnes

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When John Barnes walked in to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel lobby he looked at me and this was the conversation:

“Mr. Barnes, welcome to the E&O Hotel, I am Michael Saxon the General Manager”.

“Where are you from Michael?”

“I am from Harrogate in Yorkshire.”

“I guess you support Man U then?”

“Actually I am a Leeds supporter.”

“Oh dear that’s even worse than I thought.”

It was as if I had known him for 30 years, he is a wonderful, friendly, funny and genuine chap and it is a pleasure to have him in our hotel….even though he is a Liverpool FC fella!

P.S. Yes I know, I have to trim down my tummy, I am going to work hard to get rid of it when our new hotel, “The Lone Pine” opens soon. It’s actually the loose fitting shirt that makes it look worse than what it is Smile

The Sultan of Pahang visits the E&O Hotel

The Sultan of Pahang and Michael Saxon

Many famous people, royalty, celebrities and politicians visit the Eastern & Oriental hotel and it was indeed a pleasure when we had the honor of His Majesty the Sultan of Pahang visiting us. It always amazes me that people of such standing, power and class behave so gracelessly and his majesty was no different. We are always honored to have royalty staying with us and on this occasion the pleasure was all ours as I can assure you that he was absolutely lovely.

Vir Sanghvi visits The E&O Hotel

Vir Sanghvi visited the Eastern & Oriental Hotel whilst filming an episode of “The grand old ladies of Indochina” for Discovery Travel and Living and what a lovely chap he is. He was funny, very pleasant and most intelligent to say the least and never failed to charm the ladies during his entire stay. His film crew were very professional and conducted themselves in a more than honorable manner whilst taking occupying the public areas during the filming. I was impressed with the way he came across as being a very down to earth man, even though he has millions of adoring fans all around the world. I have taken the liberty to extract some info below about Vir Sanghvi from Wikipedia and would like to credit them for the attached informative study concerning his up to date life and times.

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Vir Sanghvi is among India’s leading print and TV journalists.

Currently, he is Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times.

Sanghvi was brought up in Bombay (now Mumbai) and London and educated at Mayo College, Ajmer, and Mill Hill School, London. He won an open scholarship to read politics, philosophy and economics at Brasenose College, Oxford.

His journalistic career began in his gap year before Oxford when he started contributing to India Today. He continued writing for the magazine during his vacations and in 1978, the publishers of India Today asked him to start Bombay, India’s first city magazine. At that stage, Sanghvi was 22, making him the youngest editor in the history of Indian journalism.

The first issue of Bombay appeared in 1979 and though the magazine was an instant success, heralding the start of India’s magazine boom, Sanghvi left it in 1981 to live in London for a year. Awarded a travelling fellowship by the Inlaks Foundation, he visited newspapers in the US and the UK for a project on how the western media looked at India.

In 1982, he returned to India as editorial director of Business Press, India’s largest publisher of trade magazines. While at Business Press, he revamped and reformatted Imprint, one of India’s oldest magazines and turned it into a leading features magazine of the 1980s.

In 1986, he was appointed editor of Sunday, a newsmagazine brought out by the ABP group. By 1989, Sunday had become India’s largest-selling weekly newsmagazine.

In 1994, Sanghvi became consulting editor of the ABP group, whose portfolio included—other than magazines like Sunday and Businessworld—the two largest papers in eastern India, The Telegraph in English and Ananda Bazar Patrika in Bengali.

In 1999, he became editor of the Hindustan Times, the largest-selling English newspaper in Delhi and, over the next two years, launched new editions in Chandigarh, Calcutta, Ranchi, Bhopal and other north Indian cities.

At the end of 2003, Sanghvi was appointed editorial director of HT Media Limited, the holding company of Hindustan Times, and it was in this capacity that he launched the paper’s stunningly successful Bombay edition in July 2005.

His column, Counterpoint, which he began in Sunday, now appears in the Sunday Hindustan Times, and is possibly the most influential political column in the country. He also writes Pursuits—a column that appears in the weekend section of Mint, the business paper brought out by HT Media.

These apart, Sanghvi is a foodie, writing the inimitable—and hugely popular—Rude Food column in Brunch, Hindustan Times’ Sunday magazine. A collection of these columns was published by Penguin in 2004 (Rude Food). The book won the international food world’s equivalent of the Oscar—the Cointreau Award for Best Food Literature Book in the world the following year. Alongside, Sanghvi also won the Best Food Critic award from the Indian Culinary Foundation. He did a television version of Rude Food for the Discovery Travel & Living channel called A Matter of Taste which was a huge ratings success in India and South East Asia.

Sanghvi’s TV career began in 1994 on Doordarshan, the state-owned broadcaster. Starting 1996, he hosted a number of programmes for the STAR Network. Among his successes are shows like A Question of Answers, Cover Story and Star Talk. In 2006-07, he anchored two shows for NDTV, India’s leading English news channel—Face the Music and One on One. He has won innumerable TV awards for his presenting skills at many national and international forums including the Asian Television Awards in Singapore.

In 1993, Sanghvi was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in Davos and he is a member of several important advisory bodies attached to the Indian government, including the prestigious National Integration Council. In 2008, he also received the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Journalism Award, at a nationally televised ceremony.

His published books include Rude Food, India – Then and Now and Men of Steel (a collection of profiles of India’s leading businessmen) which has been translated into 10 other languages and is a huge best-seller. Penguin will publish his biography of Madhavrao Scindia this winter.

H. E. Lee Kuan Yew visits the E&O Hotel

Lee Kuan Yew and Michael Saxon

We had the honor of a visit by His Excellency Lee Kuan Yew to The Eastern & Oriental Hotel and what a pleasure it was.

This gentleman oozes class and carefully selects each and every word he uses to articulate himself thereby making you feel very much at ease in his presence.

I had the wonderful experience of having a couple of private minutes with him where he gave me a little advice on the best way to educate my children for which I will cherish for a very long time.

It was an absolute pleasure to have this man stay with us, he was extremely polite, complimentary to our hotel and my colleagues and always willing to show faith in his people around him.

His calm and polite demeanor helped ensure that everyone around him were also able to stay calm and stress was definitely not the order of the day during his stay.

Your Excellency, we sincerely hope that you are able to come back to visit us as soon as possible so that we can have the pleasure of your presence again around our beloved Eastern & Oriental Hotel.

Celebrity Chef: Emmanuel Stroobant

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We recently had the pleasure to have “Chef in Black” Emmanuel Stroobant visit the Eastern & Oriental Hotel and we had a great time.

He came on behalf of US Potato association where he cooked a few dishes in our ballroom in front of a live audience thereby entertaining them.

I must say that he had all the ladies chasing after him with his good looks & his pleasant manners, not to mention the French accent that left them speechless and gagging for more.

He proved to be a very pleasant man, a great chef and a pleasure to be around.

Well done Chef in Black!

Celebrity Chef Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Food Odyssey, November 2008

Rick Stein

Rick Stein came to visit us for a few days whilst he was filming one of the episodes from the “Far East Food Odyssey”, he was a kind gentleman for whom I have nothing but praise.

He spoke to people as a well mannered chap who continuously flew the English flag with pride during his entire visit.

We had a couple of nights in the hotel bar listening to live entertainment over a few cold ones and I have to say that I enjoyed his company.

I have nothing but praise for him and truly believe that he is offering an honorable service for others less gifted at preparing meals for their loved ones.

Well done to Mr. Rick Stein who is continuously showing the world how to cook food better.