Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
Searching for an incredible experience? I know a place…
The Mandarin Oriental takes you on a journey back in time to the British Colonial era with its style and outstanding service. When entering the lobby, the magic of the Mandarin Oriental comes to light. A stunning lobby, filled with flowers all over the entry area… Suddenly you leave the noisy, fascinating, exhausting Bangkok and enter in a cocoon of comfort that remains, essentially, stylishly Thai.
The Mandarin is located right on the the side of the river and there is an hotel shuttle boat that takes you to the major tourist attractions and temples – a tour that you must do. The original building, dating from 1886, retains the period charm (including four-poster beds in the Heritage Suites) that enchanted famous guests, from actresses to rock stars.
Since the Mandarin Oriental opened its doors on the banks of the Chao Phraya in the 1870s, the area has become known for luxurious accommodations. In the more than 100 years that have passed, other super luxury hotels, including the Shangri-La and the Peninsula, have opened, giving the neighborhood a concentration of luxury hotels not found anywhere else in the city. Nowadays there are plenty of other luxury properties in Bangkok, however none offer the ambiance and the view that Mandarin Oriental Bangkok provides.
The Staff was, as in MO Hong Kong, extremely polite and helpful, always with a smile in their faces. After the check in, I went to my bedroom… In every floor you have a doorman to help you if necessary. Surprisingly he knew my name and he never forgot it during my stay. They memorize everything… If you only eat your favorite fruit from the fruit bowl in your room, next day they will double the portion. In conclusion, service, 10 out of 10.
The door key is an incredible detail, electronic but maintaining the old key and lock design. Rooms are well appointed and maintained with care, though they can feel a little old fashioned in terms of layout and décor for some people, for me it was classy, with character, perfectly cosmopolitan while exuding traditional Thai charm. Huge windows with stunning views to the river, fresh tropical fruits, a wide variety of drinks, high quality cosmetics, silk robes, and even a Mozart CD can be found in the room. Some of the common areas celebrate neo-colonial style, others luxurious Thai design and material. The huge lounge area is bright and airy, as are the perfectly appointed rooms. The bathroom is pure luxury, spacious with the perfect atmosphere to relax.
When the subject is cuisine, guests are spoilt for choice with eight restaurants, including Le Normandie, serving excellent French cuisine and Sala Rim Nam, one of the best Thai restaurants in Bangkok. After lunch you can seat and appreciate the atmosphere while having an afternoon tea. Afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental is a unique experience and a must for any lover of tea while in Bangkok. You can also have some fun at the cozy Bamboo Bar that features live jazz and well-made martinis and cocktails. Breakfast is served outside, next to the river. The options are endless.
Guests can get some tan at the large pool next to the river… I loved the atmosphere there and also the huge red soft towels that are provided. In the other side of the river, you have the spa, the gym and a cooking school where you can learn some amazing Thai dishes while here. The spa is incredible, all the cabins have a bathroom with shower. I tried one hour of Thai massage and it was amazing, I’m definitely going there again.
At the end, my experience at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok was unforgettable. I’ve been in many luxury hotels, but none so charming and historic like this one… without a doubt, the best hotel I visited in Asia.