The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok is without a doubt, one of my favourite hotels in the world. Said to be the first hotel in Thailand, it was built in the late 1800’s in order to provide accommodation for the growing number of travellers and traders making their way up the Chao Praya.
After a personal endorsement from King Chulalongkorn, it was decided that the hotel was of a high enough standard to accommodate visiting Royalty and since hosting its first Royal visitors ( Tsar Nicholas) in 1891, the hotel has played host to numerous members of Royal families from around the world, as well as celebrities as diverse as Audrey Hepburn and Michael Jackson.
Over the years, so many authors of note have stayed at the “Grande Dame” that the original wing of the hotel is known as the “Authors Wing” with suites named after Somerset Maugham and Noel Coward, as well as the famous “Authors Lounge, Bangkoks most prestigious address for afternoon tea.
There is always a sense of arrival when pulling up outside the Mandarin Oriental, whether you choose to take the boat from Saphan Taksin pier or by car, something that was heightened arriving as I did, in the middle of a VERY glamorous society wedding.
The floral displays in the lobby are nothing short of magnificent and the ambience is heightened further with their nightly musical performances, where a classical trio play throughout the evening.
Sadly I arrived too late to have lunch at their fine dining restaurant, Le Normandie, however my meal at the Verandah did not disappoint, my mezze platter was absolutely delicious (and authentic) and I was happy with the generous pour of Picpoul de Pinet wine, something you don’t see enough of in Bangkok (the grape variety or the pour!)
The charming front office team checked me in to my 8th floor river view room in no time at all, with my bags and a refreshing welcome drink arriving minutes later, along with an introduction to my personal butler, I knew then it was going to be very hard to check out 2 days later!
The room was of a generous size, with space for both a writing desk and comfortable arm chairs by the window, as well as plenty of cupboard space and a TV console that concealed the mini bar as well as all the coffee/tea making facilities one might need. I loved the use of bone china cups and saucers and was impressed with the selection of (linen) TWG tea bags as well as sachets of coffee, creamer, sugars and sweetener, not to mention the fact that the kettle was plugged into the draw it was concealed in which kept everything nice and tidy and very easy to use.
Although neither Marissa nor I are big fans of baths (showers all the way!) the spacious bathroom had both a bath tub and a walk in raindrop shower available, as well as double sinks and a sliding door to separate the bath and vanity area from the shower and toilet, ideal when they are two people needing to get ready for dinner!
I couldn’t get over how big and comfortable the bed was, I really did have a wonderful night sleep and was gently roused to the dulcet tones of Ella Fitzgerald in the morning, courtesy of the CD they had thoughtfully left on the bedside table – I thought this was a lovely touch!
I was so excited by the wonderful breakfast buffet that I got stuck in without taking many photos!! Shocking I know! As you would expect, there was a huge selection of western and Asian breakfast items including the delicious dim sum you can see in my photos, a live egg station, freshly baked croissants, breads, cakes and rolls with homemade preserves, fresh fruits, homemade yoghurt, cheese and charcuterie amongst others not to mention Chandon sparkling wine for a cheeky early morning cocktail ( I added pomelo juice and passion fruit to ours)
After heading into town for shopping and lunch with friends, we made our way to one of the two swimming pools for a relaxing dip before I headed off to my pedicure appointment at the newly opened Bastien Gonzalez Spa in the Authors wing.
Bastien Gonzalez is a world renowned podiatrist, with spas in some of the worlds very finest hotels from Europe to the Middle East and Asia, whose treatments first involve medical techniques and then finish with a rejuvenating massage and a classic French style nail buff, using a technique passed on from his mother and grandmother before him, which had my toe nails shining like pearls! I’ll spare you the close up photos of my feet, but weeks later my toes nails are still in fantastic shape and condition, and the natural shimmer (they prefer not to use nail varnish as it can damage the nails if used too frequently) is still clear to see. I instantly regretted not allowing enough time for a matching manicure! Trust me on this ladies of Bangkok (or anywhere with a Bastien Gonzalez spa for that matter) I really can’t recommend the treatments highly enough! *Treatments start from THB 1,900*
I had a magical couple of nights at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok that sadly passed way too quickly. Everything about the hotel is just flawless, from the door greeters to the waiting staff, housekeepers, front office and butlers. Everything just seems effortless, service flows instinctively and naturally without feeling forced or intrusive at all. The surroundings are immaculate, so much so that it can be quite a shock stepping onto the streets outside, but one I would choose every time if it meant spending another night being pampered in such style.
* We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental on a special discounted rate, and my Bastien Gonzalez treatment was complimentary. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.