Often named as one of the best hotels in the world it was time for schuldenratgeber to experience the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok first hand. It is not only the oldest hotel in Bangkok but also hosted heads of state, writers and celebrities from all over the world.
The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok opened its doors originally in 1876 as the Oriental hotel. In 1976 it united with the Mandarin in Hong Kong to create the Mandarin Oriental group. Russian Tsar Nicholas put the Oriental on the map in 1891. Located on the famous Chao Phraya River the Thai Royal Palace is located a little bit upstream making the Oriental an ideal place to stay.
And although the center of Bangkok moved away from the river over the years the Chao Phraya still attracts a lot of tourists, businessmen and locals alike. The Mandarin Oriental offers a green refuge in the hectic Asian city.
The hotel has 393 rooms including 35 suites located in three wings; the river wing, the garden wing and the old wing where the Oriental was founded. The old wing is also known as the Author’s wing and home to the Presidential Suite which encompasses over 600 m2 and six bedrooms. We stayed in a Garden Room nr 350 with high ceilings and a beautiful view of the river. The interior is very luxurious as you may expect from a Mandarin Oriental and includes all amenities you can wish for. The decorations from the in-house florist makes you feel at home even though the rooms and especially bathrooms are not as spacious as some newer luxury hotels in Bangkok.
Check-in takes place in the room and all floors have a dedicated butler. After our welcome drink we explored the facilities which include two outdoor pools, a spa with 14 treatment rooms, gym, kids club and cooking school. The staff is friendly and plentiful throughout, the only drawback is that the spa and the gym are located on the other side of the river along with the Thai restaurant and cooking school.
The choice of restaurants is extensive with a total of 8 outlets available for lunch and or dinner. Le Normandie, Bangkok’s finest French dining venue; The China House with its avant-garde 1930s Shanghai Art Deco interior; Lord Jim’s, featuring daily talk-of-the-town seafood buffet lunch galore and a la carte menu for dinner; The Verandah Coffee Shop; BBQ Riverside Terrace; Sala Rim Naam Thai Restaurant, revived into a mini palace serving a lavish Thai Buffet Lunch spread daily and set dinner with Thai Classical dance show nightly; the outdoor Terrace Rim Naam featuring a la carte Thai menu; and Ciao, a seasonal outdoor Italian bistro The historical Authors’ Lounge serving the popular Afternoon Tea and The Bamboo Bar, providing live jazz.
The history, rooms, restaurants and facilities alone are worth a stay at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok but there is one thing that sets the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok apart from other luxury hotels in Bangkok and around the globe and that is the exceptional service. With a staff to room ratio of 3 to 1 and over 1,000 employees in total it is the staff that makes the difference. Each and every staff member we encountered was professional yet personal without being intrusive. Each request was handled with care and focus and the staff really went the extra mile to make our stay and that of the other guests we met extraordinary.