The Mandarin Oriental has a sense of history and authenticity that the competitors lack. The lobby impresses from the outset, with giant teak lanterns overhead and wildly extravagant floral arrangements. Service from doormen, to checkin to bellstaff is personal and welcoming. I prefer the garden wing rooms...which are lower in terms of overall floor, but have a full-on river view, and many have sleeping balconies. All these rooms, however, I find have smaller bathrooms where 2 people staying together fight over bathroom space and suffer somewhat cramped showers. Larger rooms in the newer tower can solve that problem. Because it's an older property, it is somewhat of a warren of hallways and spaces. It is what it is. But among those hallways are some nice shops worth some browsing time. Among the bars and eating places, I find the Author's Lounge very old-lady tea room, and not appealing. The Normandie French fine dining is impressive, and frankly the terrace restaurant and bar while casual is lovely in terms of a riverside meal with the warm breezes blowing by. I found the Terrace food so so, but the breakfast buffet perfectly adequate. Take the every 5 minutes ferry ride over to the other side of the river to the spa, or the Thai cuisine restaurant, which I found delicious. There is some construction in the pool area right now...which people may object to. Frankly, the pool is not a feature here...it is surrounded by vegetation and feels buried between buildings. As for the perennial battle between the Peninsula and the Oriental....the Peninsula has a more anonymous resort feel. The public spaces are more impressive, the terrace and pool area especially. You get a spectacular view of the river, and the pool is stunningly beautiful and open to the scenery. The bar is a pokey closet and not appealing. I find the service less welcoming. So, if standard luxury resort feeling is important to you, then go for the Penninsula. The ferries going back and forth or so frequent, one side of the river or the other isn't important. However, the food is much better at the Mandarin, and is had much more of an authentic environment, not to mention warmer service. My choice is the Mandarin.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in 1876 and ideally located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, has been an inspiration to a host of world-renowned writers from Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maughamto Wilbur Smith and John Le Carre. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok boasts an international reputation for splendid service, style and grace and facilities including eight restaurants. The hotel's private teakwood shuttle boats provide daily access to the world famous Thai Cooking School, the hotel's Thai restaurant, the award-winning Oriental Spa and Health Centre located across the River; as well as the nearest skytrain station (SaphanTaksin) and River City Shopping Centre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Hotel Bangkok
- Oriental Bangkok
- Oriental Hotel Bangkok
- Bangkok Mandarin Oriental