There are many reasons why this hotel was ranked number one for so many years and it will always be number one to me. Steeped in history, you share the author's lounge with the ghosts of Joseph Conrad, Hemmingway, Somerset Maugham and so many other greats who chose to pass time on the Chao Phyra river.The attention to detail is something the Oriental has always prided itself on and remembering guest's names is just one of the many nice touches. In room check in, no standing in a queue at the front.
To dine on the Vernadah in the evening at least once is a must each trip. I see once as it is very temping to eat far too much as everything is excellent so once is usually satisfying, unless you have excellent control. The setting, the sounds, the tastes and smells, are all perfect. Morning on the deck is almost wonderful as you watch the river life pass by and are attended to by the extremely well trained staff under the ever watchful eye of Khun Ice - the quintessential maitre d' and charming host. (Please do not leave Khun Ice!)
There have been changes and some are a bit disappointing but not the fault of the hotel but changing demands I suppose of the guests. Up until a few years ago the sign at the bottom of the pathway to the hotel was very clear - no shorts and no sleeveless tops and more I can't exactly recall. The change is now it is no shorts after 6 pm. This is a high-end city hotel not a beach resort but it is remarkable how people dress as if they are going hiking in the mountains. It used to be you could classify people by continent according to how they presented themselves but I am afraid many Europeans are going the way of the other not to be mentioned continent. This is a hotel where you can wear your finest and enjoy others in similar attire. It is a pleasure always to sit in the lobby watching guests arriving for elaborate wedding receptions while the string quarter plays in the corner. Watching hotel guests go in and out in scruffy attire does change the setting somewhat but I know the management is restricted by changes to social norms. This is not limited to the Oriental as similar is happening in luxury hotels all over the world but it is one hotel that did manage to maintain an aura of exclusivity long after others had caved in.
Bangkok is an exciting vibrant city and I have wandered the back streets, temples, high and low end shops and markets many times over the years. The last time I was there, I simply did not leave the Oriental for three days. Mind you there were disturbances in the city but that was an excuse. I just wanted to stay and enjoy all this great hotel has to offer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in 1876 and ideally located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, has been an inspiration to a host of world-renowned writers from Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maughamto Wilbur Smith and John Le Carre. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok boasts an international reputation for splendid service, style and grace and facilities including eight restaurants. The hotel's private teakwood shuttle boats provide daily access to the world famous Thai Cooking School, the hotel's Thai restaurant, the award-winning Oriental Spa and Health Centre located across the River; as well as the nearest skytrain station (SaphanTaksin) and River City Shopping Centre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Hotel Bangkok
- Oriental Bangkok
- Oriental Hotel Bangkok
- Bangkok Mandarin Oriental