There are few hotels in the world more famous than the riverside Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, originally known as The Oriental. For nearly 150 years, travellers have beaten a path to its door and today, the property has 331 guest rooms including 60 suites, most offering views out over the Chao Phraya River or the city.
There are 11 restaurants and bars from traditional Thai cuisine to the two-Michelin starred French dining, Le Normandie. Private teakwood shuttle boats provide access to The Oriental Spa, the hotel’s Fitness and Wellness Centre, The Oriental Thai Cooking School and Sal Rim Naam and Terrace Rim Naam, the hotel’s Thai restaurants located across the river. The Fitness Centre features state of the art aerobic machines, weight training facilities, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. There are also two swimming pools –one surrounded by cabanas for relaxing dips and a 25-metre (82 feet) pool, idea for swimming laps. Private yoga sessions can be arranged and there are also two floodlit tennis courts available.
The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, a five- minute boat ride to the city’s Saphan Taksin Sky Train and luxurious shopping at IconSiam.
Situated in the heart of Bangkok’s cultural district - Bang Rak, a short boat ride away from the breathtaking Grand Palace and Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn), the property has easy access to Suvarnabhumi Airport by Expressway.
The property also offers a FastTrack Service and Airport Transfer where guests are met at the arrival gate and whisked through immigration and baggage retrieval to be transferred to the hotel via an exclusive BMW 7 series. Transfer times can take anything from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.
The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok has 331 guest rooms including 60 suites, most offering floor to ceiling windows with magnificent Chao Phraya River or city views with the finest Thai silk furnishings. Guest room highlights include butler service, HD LED Smart televisions with digital films, Bluetooth speakers, luxury tea and coffee making facilities, clothes steamers, 530 thread count linens, silk bathrobes, fresh fruit and flowers and biodegradable and glass water bottles.
There are five room categories with the entry level Deluxe Premier Rooms in the River Wing being spacious and elegant with wooden floors, a large seating area and river-inspired rugs and furnishings. There are floor to ceiling windows showcasing city and river views and this room type can be upgraded to enjoy a balcony. For those who prefer a colonial style, the Chao Phraya Rooms have a more traditional style with views out over the garden and river. These rooms can be attached to the Chao Phraya Suite in the Garden Wing for family stays.
The Mandarin rooms are a little more spacious and include a dining area whilst the State Rooms are richly decorated in traditional Thai style with dark wooden furnishings and brightly coloured Jim Thompson silks.
The 60 suites vary in both style, size and furnishings. The Junior Terrace Suites are open plan with a large sitting area, a dining table for up to five people and feature a private furnished terrace. The deluxe one- and two-bedroom suites however have separate living and dining areas with private balconies looking out over the pool and river.
The Chao Phraya Suites are either single or split level with custom furnishings, separate living and dining areas, river and garden views from the balcony and private butler service. The Authors’ Suites celebrate the well-known names who have stayed at the property and have delicate finishes and a balcony overlooking the river. The Premier one- and two-bedroom suites have wonderful river views with private balconies and seating areas whilst the Deluxe One- and Two-bedroom theme suites enjoy a top floor location with uninterrupted sweeping views out over Bangkok. The Siam Suite, as the name might suggest, is furnished with Thai antiques from Chiang Mai, magnificent Persian carpets and a varied art collection. Thai-styled with wood panelling, the suite also features a carved lotus cornice and floor to ceiling windows and a balcony, flooding the space with light.
The Ambassador two-bedroom suite is located in the original Oriental Hotel and exudes sophistication and vintage grandeur with a private glass conservatory and two living rooms. The two-bedroom Selandia suite enjoys both city and river views with two balconies and a nautical inspired design. Named for the famed ship, The Selandia which in 1912 was the world’s first diesel-powered ocean-going ship and completed its maiden voyages from Copenhagen to Bangkok.
The Royal Suite is custom designed with space to both entertain and to work. There is a private dining room for 12, a large living room, his and hers separate dressing areas, a stunning white marble bathroom accented with purple, crystal chandeliers, a long balcony and private spa and fitness rooms. Additional rooms can be added to the space for security or family members.
The two-bedroom Oriental Suite has a wraparound balcony offering panoramic views over the river and the city. It features coffered ceilings with chandeliers, an entertainment room, a unique pineapple canopy bed, a full open kitchen and a private dining room for up to 12. Light and airy, this suite has played host to royalty and heads of state and is decorated with antiques, Thai silks, teak floors and Persian carpets.
The Oriental Spa is situated just a short ferry boat ride across from the hotel in a century-old-restored teak house, set in verdant gardens – a perfect serene oasis and the first city spa to open in Bangkok. Treatments range from traditional Thai to Western techniques. There are ten treatment rooms with private shower and steam, three treatment rooms dedicated to facial therapy, five specialty suites including four with vitality pools, a Moroccan Rhassoul, a relaxation lounge, a Spa boutique and Bastien Gonzalez Pedi Mani Cure and a BGA InSoles Studio.
With daily complimentary fitness classes, the nearby Fitness & Wellness Centre is very popular. Choices range from Muay Thai, meditative yoga, HIT Training, Fit Ball Workout, and a variety of fitness and wellness sessions. There are also a range of healthy activities designed exclusively for children aged from eight to sixteen.
For gym-based activities, there is everything required for a total body workout from aerobic machines, weight training facilities, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi with personal trainers available on request.
Set within beautiful greenery are two swimming pools – one surrounded by cabanas for relaxing dips and a 25-metre pool perfect for laps.
There are a number of customised activities available for guests including Thai cooking classes at The Oriental Cookery School, giving alms – food and flowers to local Buddhist monks and receiving a blessing in return, exploring the canals, area and crafts of Ban Bu and Koh Sarn Chao or taking a Historical Bangkok by bike tour with an English-speaking guide alongside and lunch included.
For takeaway patisserie treats, the Mandarin Oriental shops are based both in the hotel – in the lobby – and in Bangkok at Siam Paragon, Central Chidlom, The Emporium and Gaysorn Village. A selection of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok luxury gift items and souvenirs is also available at The Oriental Boutique in the Authors’ Wing of the hotel.
In the hotel world, there are few hotels that are as legendary as The Oriental, Bangkok - now known as the Mandarin Oriental. Since it opened in 1876, the property has notched up a number of firsts – the first luxury hotel to open in Bangkok, the first to open on the river, the first to have a jazz band and the first to offer guests a hotel spa. It was also the first to have electric lights, imported chandeliers, carpeted hallways and Parisian wallpaper.
This is a property that opened when Thailand was still Siam, when Joseph Conrad drank in the bar, Nijinsky danced in the ballroom and Somerset Maughan suffered from malaria in his suite. Silk king Jim Thompson owned it for a time, Peter Ustinov loved it, the late HM The Queen stayed in it and Michael Jackson hid in it.
The thread of history runs through the property and its pursuit of excellence has seen a mammoth 2019 renovation by interior designer Jeffrey Wilkes which honours the legacy of the property. It’s legendary service standards prevail to this day with a 4:1 staff to guest ratio (the highest in the city), ensuring visitors will keep returning to this Grande Dame on the river for years to come.
With a choice of eleven restaurants and bars, cuisine choices range from the contemporary French inspired menus of the two-Michelin starred Le Normandie on the top floor of the hotel’s Chao Phraya Wing to Sala Rim Naam with its richly decorated Thai pavilion and the al fresco Terrace Rim Naam, both located across the river for superlative Thai food with spectacular river views.
Other choices include Lord Jim’s (after Jim Thompson), Bangkok’s meeting place serving fresh seafood, menu classics and prime cut meats; Kinu by Takagi, refined Kaiseki dining offering Kyoto-style cuisine in an intimate setting and The China House, Chinese flavours served in a stunningly moody 1930s Shanghai setting. All fresco dining can be enjoyed at The Verandah for all day dining with a choice of Western and Thai favourites, the Riverside Terrace for a nightly BBQ riverside experience with rotisseries, tandoori ovens and buffet stations or Ciao Terrazza, inspired by Italy’s Mediterranean specialities including authentic pastas and risottos and artisanal pizzas.
For a traditional afternoon tea, the choice has to be The Author’s Lounge with its old-world charm and for live jazz and cocktails, the famous Bamboo Bar with its sensual, 1950s vibe so beloved by Mick Jagger. The Author’s Lounge is located on the ground floor of the original Oriental Hotel and features turn of the century wicker furniture and hand-painted fabrics, the perfect accompaniment to the framed photographs of many of the famous writers who have stayed at the hotel in the past.
Mandarin Oriental is committed to “Acting with responsibility” which they strive to achieve through their Naturally Better plan to make things better for the planet, for communities and for their guests.
The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok has implemented several measures which align with the group wide policy of eliminating single use plastics. This includes the widespread use of biodegradable cling film, reusable containers and removing plastic bags from their kiosks. By engaging suppliers in their initiatives, they also ensure that produce is transported using crates and reusable containers, with the exception of some items that are sensitive to air and moisture, and that banana left is used to cover vegetables. In the spa, linen has replaced plastic for body wrap treatments and natural grains are used in place of microbeads while guest rooms feature wooden and aluminium amenities as well as sustainably packaged products in mini bars. The property holds the Plastic Free Badge of The Oceanic Standard for efforts to fully eliminate single use plastics at their hotel.
Other initiatives include managing and reducing food waste; reuse of linen and towels and repurposing old linen for use back of house. The property’s restaurants are supplied with a range of herbs, vegetables, fruit and honey that are derived from sustainable agriculture across Thailand.
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