On my last trip to Bangkok, I stayed at one of the city’s most prestigious addresses. That was when I had the chance to stay at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok which, in fact, is one of the best hotels in the world. The hotel, founded in 1876, is situated along the Chao Phraya river. The Oriental, as it was first called, was the very first hotel in Thailand.
The hotel was acquired by Hong Kong-based The Mandarin in the 1970s, and then Mandarin Oriental. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has been awarded several prizes for its high service standards and, I must say, I could experience it first-hand.
When I arrived at the hotel, I couldn’t avoid being impressed by the sumptuous lobby. It was enormous and beautifully decorated with plants, a large fountain and a touch of Thai. My check-in was efficient, very pleasant and swift. On my way to my suite, I was found out I was staying at the Garden Wing, in the historical part of the hotel.
MY PERFECT STAY AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL BANGKOK
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has more than 400 rooms and suites, and an infrastructure to put many other luxury hotels to shame. Almost all rooms offer Chao Phraya river views and the hotel also has another annexe on the other bank of the river. That is where you will find the hotel’s traditional Thai restaurant and the main spa. MO Bangkok has several traditional style boats that take guests across the river and to other nearby locations.
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok offers its guests a choice of ten bars and restaurants to suit all tastes, from The China House to the Italian Ciao Terrazza. The day I arrived, I had lunch at Sala Nim Raam.
The restaurant is located in the annexe across the Chao Phraya and was built in traditional North Thai style. It offers a huge buffet with some of the best Thai dishes, including some traditional ones from the north of the country. Service was impeccable, both efficient and very pleasant.
In the evening, you can watch traditional Thai dance shows during dinner. But on my next trip, I do hope to try either their Chinese or Le Normandie, the French restaurant.
The Garden Wing is the historical part of the hotel, what The Oriental used to be. It’s there that the top suites are located. These are among the most spacious and luxurious pads not only in Asia but in the world.
Also in the Garden Wing you will find the Author’s Lounge, my favourite part of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, where they serve traditional afternoon tea. The space was recently renovated with an all-white elegant decor. I found it the perfect place to relax with a book or watching performances by local pianists and acoustic guitar players.
MY SUITE AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL BANGKOK
My suite was one of those places I wish I could live in. As you come through the door, you have the whole room below you, so you have to come down a few steps. The suite was spacious, with a lot of natural light coming from both sides and decorated light colours.
It was really a lovely suite, with twin beds (extremely comfortable, I found out later) on one side, and with a sitting area with sofas and armchairs. I didn’t need the two TVs, as I had the most amazing view of the Chao Phraya river and the swimming pool. I wish I didn’t have to check out at some point!
The suite also had a separate kitchenette area with an espresso machine, a kettle, regular and decaf coffee and many types of tea. There was also a fully stocked minibar and a microwave.
The bathroom, although not very large, was very well laid out with a large sink and mirror in the middle, and separate shower and toilet on each side. Just like the rest of the suite, it was very luxurious, covered in white marble, offering Molton Brown amenities and full dental and shaving kits. I absolutely loved the very fluffy towels and the silk robe.
When I returned to the suite after a night out, I found the housekeeping team had already done the turndown service. A small black bag was left on top of the bed with a note saying “We think this will be useful during and after your stay”. Yes, I’m one of those people who really appreciate small and thoughtful touches.
BREAKFAST AND CHECK-OUT
I had a morning flight early the day I checked out from the hotel, but still made the time to go for a swim in the outdoor pool. It would be mad not to use it, after looking at it all the time from my window! Especially if we also consider Bangkok’s scorching heat even at 8am.
After a dip, I went for an outdoor breakfast at Riverside Terrace. They had a great selection of cold and hot food, different types of bread and other pastries. Considering I spent a long time in the pool, I could only have a light breakfast.
My check-out was, once again, very quick and the receptionist was nothing short of polite and pleasant. In fact, all staff members exuded a charm that we rarely find outside Thailand.
With no shadow of a doubt, my stay at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok was one to be remembered for a long time. And one of those you (I!) want to repeat over, and over again!Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, 48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok 10500, Thailand Phone: +66 (2) 659 9000
To book your room at MO Bangkok, please visit the hotel website.