We loved our stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. The room was neat, clean, comfortable and came with complimentary fruit and in a dedicated butler. We also had a nice view of the river. One major pet peeve was the lack of free wi-fi, which in this day and age I find unacceptable. It's like saying you can have the room but you have to pay extra for the electricity to power the lights, simply ridiculous.
Besides that, the bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom clean and spacious. My only reservation was the toilet being placed directly outside the shower, which means even a well acquainted couple can't really do both at the same time without some blushing. It's minor, but hey, it's not something I'd choose if I had a choice.
During our two night stay, we tried out many of the amenities.
We first had high tea in the Author's Lounge on the day we arrived. Then we met a friend for drinks at the Ciao bar for happy hour. We also had breakfast at the Verandah cafe, the Saturday brunch at Lord Jim. All the catering outlets were adequately pleasant, but none of the food really stood out, except perhaps the high tea set at the Author's Lounge, where was as British as Convent Garden.
We also took advantage of the famous Oriental Spa on the other side of the river. The ferry ride was a bonus as you get to see both side of the river. The setting was great, and the staff very professional and friendly. The massage itself was nice and relaxing.
Needless to say, the service was immaculate all around and the facilities well kept and maintained.
We really appreciated the door staff at the main gate, who were really helpful in guiding taxi drivers to our destinations. We didn't have any problems in terms of heading out of the hotel, but returning to it was a completely different story.
It seems that all taxi drivers in Bangkok assumes that anyone going to the Mandarin Oriental (don't tell the driver Mandarin Oriental, but rather just Oriental hotel next to the river) is a wealthy tourist. With almost all the drivers we had, none wanted to put on the meter. Instead they would just name a price, usually between 2x to 3x the cost of the trip on a meter. You could get out and find another taxi, or haggle. Either way, it's a pain.
On one occasion, when I fell asleep, the taxi driver wanted to charge me 200 baht for an 100 baht trip when we arrived at the hotel. It was obviously too late to bargain, but I got the hotel doorman to talk to the driver and got the price down to 100 baht. I then gave another 100 baht to the doorman (after all, it wasn't about the money, but the principle). I found this weird because I've never had this problem before on previous trips to Thailand, so a assuming it is a Mandarin Oriental thing.
Otherwise, the Mandarin Oriental is a great, relaxing, holiday hotel for Bangkok.
- 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