Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is another heritage hotel we were excited about. This Grande dame has 140 years and judging by her age, it looks like Chao Phraya banks suit her well. One can only imagine how much history is embedded within this institution of hospitality. As a matter of fact, even the Thai royal family is connected with this hotel. Furthermore, while we were staying there, the queen of people’s hearts – Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, had a solo engagement in this very place. All Heritage hotel lovers click here for Mandarin Oriental Bangkok History article.
Table of contents
- We Stayed at the Garden Wing
- Our Room
- Facilities and Amenities
- Service at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
- Ambassador Suite and Royal Suite
- Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Review Card
- Price and Location
And yes, we were lucky enough for a glimpse of the beloved Thai princess. Now, we consider ourselves as a part of this hotel’s history as well. Joke aside, here is our Mandarin Oriental Bangkok review.
Can there be more Thai-inspired hotel arrival than by a long tail boat? I don’t think so, and as soon as we arrived we felt relieved. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel stands on lavish location along the Chao Phraya River. Due to the waterfront, our ears soon recovered from the loud street sounds while our site continued to be blessed by this historical building. For heritage hotel lovers like us, what can be better?
O my god, this must be the most glorious lobby we have ever seen! Decoration made of countless small flowers, several bottle gardens, a fountain and plenty of daylight coming through the immaculate glass wall. Not to mention the live performance of house classical trio playing the soft tunes. Let’s just say that at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok you can expect some cinematic arrival.
Check-in here is very brief. After we showed our reservation at the concierge, we were promptly taken to the room. All the rest was done there and that was it. No need for stepping around the concierge table!
However, there were two things off the course. First one is the enormous white hideous tent, underneath which is the buffet breakfast. A tent has no room at a luxury heritage hotel like Mandarin Oriental Bangkok! The second one concerns the expansion dating years back. In my humble opinion, the design of the Garden Wing or the River Wing is not compatible with old heritage wing or as they call it now “Authors’ Wing.”
I totally understand Jim Thompson, who resigned from Oriental Hotel concerning exactly this expansion. Keeping up with a stylish appearance while developing can be challenging, but it can be done with more grace. When I say this, I think of the extension of the E&O or the Majestic Kuala Lumpur for example. Although in March 2019, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok will renovate River Wing and I hope they will solve the tent situation for good. We did our utopian design for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s park area near the river.
We Stayed at the Garden Wing
Of course, we did. It is the closest to the original building, despite the renovation. Overhaul in 2015 took care of all the needs the modern guests might have. Also, they reconstructed the Authors’ Wing with its famous Authors’ Lounge as well. No surprise why this lounge is one of the most photographed places here in Bangkok. It is picture perfect! Naturally, we took advantage of that while we had our famous Authors’ Lounge afternoon tea there.
Here, we should also compliment sophisticated gift shops, which are placed in an area before the River Wing’s elevator. Shops are neat with excellent window displays and exquisite offer. We also found some cool artworks on the sale and our beloved Jim Thompson clothing shop.
We stayed at the elegant Garden Room, which is a stylish fusion of colonial design with chic contemporary touches. The Garden Room has a split-level layout with plenty of daylight and a personal butler. The layout gives you rather a feeling of a suite than a room. Clever!
All interior is breath-taking and radiates classy homely feel, with a smartly placed electronics installations. In the same fashion, the room also has a small kitchenette, where you can prepare a cocktail by yourself or make some coffee or tea.
Neat as a Pin
Vivi’s sharp eye inspected the cleanliness and confirmed 10/10. After all, the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok review can’t be done without this. Joke aside, the room indeed is spotless and so cozy that we didn’t want to leave it. Windows are super cleaned and floors don’t have any stains. With all this in mind, we even had an urge to order breakfast in the room, which is more pleasing than the tent.
On the negative side, the Garden room doesn’t have a bath though. There is a spacious walk-in shower, which works like a charm. In detail, glamorous marble and clean look make this bathroom naturally neat and classy.
Facilities and Amenities
It is easy to see why Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is one of the best hotels in the world. All room appliances are high-end and TV system here is excellent. To clarify, Harman Kardon sound system with widescreen and their media hub is the best multimedia offer we have seen in luxuries hotels so far. This hub is full of blockbusters and up to date movies of all kind. Maybe we should be ashamed to watch TV in a hotel like this, but we did. It was the Murder on the Orient Express and we regret nothing.
In the bathroom, we got extensive toiletries by their exclusive line of eco-friendly hair and body care line. They are scented with lemongrass essential oil, which soothes and invigorates at the same time. Besides that, the lemongrass is also deeply connected to the Thai people and their cuisine.
Facilities on the Both Sides
This five-star hotel also reaches to the opposite side of the Chao Phraya River. There you can find an outstanding gym with state of the art appliances and kickboxing area. The gym also has Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna where Vivi chilled after yoga. On this side of the river, both of us relaxed under the hands of the professional masseuse as well. In short, all I can say is that this massage changed my life. Here, you can read our Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Spa Review, to see what I mean.
On the same side as The Mandarin Oriental Spa is also the Sala Rim Naam, a Thai restaurant. Here they serve the traditional Thai cuisine along with the live performances of traditional Thai dancing. If you’d rather learn to cook delicious Thai dishes than look no further. On this side, you will also find the cooking class, where you might learn how to cook some of the Thai classics. All in all, the most overwhelming part is crossing a river in the petite teakwood shuttle boat. The skillful captain is very friendly and after a few rides, you’ll have a new local friend.
Of course, the hotel also offers two swimming pools. One is on the ground floor near the garden, while the other is part of the River Tower. We like the complimentary fruit and refreshment at the pool for a quick energy boost after an afternoon swim.
When it comes to activities, the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel surely knows how to please its patrons. Why do I say this? Because this is the best activities offered in hotels, we have come across so far. You can join yoga asanas & meditation, flow yoga, meditative yoga, the spirit of breath & meditation, Zumba dance, Pilates, Tabata training, core training, and even Thai boxing. To point out, this diverse offer is complimentary for all Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel guests.
After recreation, you might visit their award-winning Mandarin Oriental Bangkok spa for an unforgettable treatment. Then again, if you are a foodie like us check their renowned Oriental Thai cooking school and learn how to prepare some of the Thai’s classics. Talking about food, at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok hotel, the food is ambrosial.
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is known for its excellent kitchen skills, no matter where you eat. To this day we still have the Mandarin Oriental Mosaic buffet from Kuala Lumpur in our minds. Luckily there is still a lot of room in our minds, hearts, and bellies for future experiences. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok pleased our taste buds every time. Uh, where should I start?
Ok, let’s start with their breakfast by the river. The location is very nice, but the ambient is in desperate need for improvement. Like I said before, a tent has no room in a luxury five-star hotel! However, the service and quality of the food aren’t deprived at all. The breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is neatly presented with high-quality food.
There is a rich offer for a healthy and satisfying breakfast with house yogurt and chia almond milk pudding. Anyway, we are suckers for bread, and when we saw the sourdough, multigrain and soda loaf among other bread types, we knew we’d have a few slices next to some eggs. By the way, the a la carte egg menu has few signatures besides the selection of the classic eggs. Have I mentioned the free flow of sparkling wine? It goes perfectly with the cheese and cold cuts and so much more. Overall, breakfast is excellent here at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.
Then there is their proud and joy the Authors’ Lounge in the middle of the original part of this heritage hotel. Like all the restaurants at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok also the Authors’ Lounge is open for everyone. There you can enjoy one of the best afternoon teas in Bangkok. This place is also a well-known wedding place with the ambient gracefully complimenting the bride.
Le Normandie Bangkok – French Cuisine
Garden wing has a beautiful view over the garden and eternally active river. On the top floor is situated the legendary two-Michelin stars awarded – Le Normandie Bangkok restaurant. Actually, it is one of the finest dining options in Bangkok following the contemporary French cuisine.
There is no way you can skip a lunch here at Le Normandie Bangkok when your room is only a few stories below. Well, not only that, since you are sleeping under the same roof you can enjoy a glass of wine more. By a glass, I mean a bottle.
As a matter of fact, we had a quick lunch at their Verandah restaurant as well. In this eatery, you can choose from a wide variety of Asian and Western dishes. My choice was all times Thai classic – Tom Yum while Vivi had the Pad Thai. We can say we have become experts for these two dishes and our expectations here are hard to please.
Notably, Tom Yum was adjusted for sensitive foreign guests, but it was still delicious. It is an excellent choice for people who want to try the renowned Thai intense flavors but can’t handle the heat. Because I’m already used to the Thai spiciness, I missed more of that punchy kaffir lime and a bit more chili thrill.
On the other hand, Pad Thai was perfect, sweet and spicy with tasty noodles. Also, the condiments were all there, and the presentation was excellent as well. Service was impeccable and the overall feeling was delightful. A nice everyday restaurant, which every hotel should have.
The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel also offers Contemporary Italian cuisine in their Ciao Terrazza, contemporary Cantonese food at The China House, Seafood at Lord Jim’s, Riverside terrace and mentioned before, Thai cuisine at Sala Rim Naam. We haven’t tried these options, but we made it to the famous Bamboo Bar a few times. Artisanal cocktails here will please every cocktail lover while live jazz performance makes a great atmosphere.
Service at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel has one of the highest staff to guestroom ratios in the hotel industry – every guestroom has three staff members. Our experience regarding the house staff is nothing but perfect. Room was spotless at all times, and the same applies to the common area. You will never sit without anyone noticing you and it is not rare someone will call you by your name. Yes, you read it right. If you share a name with a staff member, he/she will remember it and friendly greet you next time you see each other.
There are so many factors that contributed to our exceptional feel during our stay in this luxury hotel. Special recognition goes to all waiter staff, a concierge desk, creative florist and hearty director of public relations – Ms. Karn Puntuhong. She knew we will be in their hotel and took her time to show us around and explain how their hotel works. We were fortunate to see also new exclusive suits in the Author’s wing.
Ambassador Suite and Royal Suite
These two enormous suits are decorated in elegant colonial inspired style and provide the highest standards in hospitality. Grand Royal Suite has 600 square meters with six bedrooms, a private gym, a private dining room, a private elevator and so much more. Even a special surveillance room for guards. Celebrities are frequent guests here at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel, and it looks like it will stay this way.
As I already mentioned, the modern Garden and River wing outside look don’t go well with the Grand Le Dame. Architecture leaning more towards a colonial look would be a better pair. But this is only a matter of taste. More concerned we are about the tent by the river, where you have your breakfast or one of the buffets. It looks like a fast temporary solution and I hope they might do something about it in the near future. After all, in the 5-star hotel, we didn’t expect this, for sure.
A disadvantage in Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel is a lack of open common area. OK, there is the swimming pool area and lounge area. If there would be some benches for us – romantic getaway lovers that would be awesome. One day we will write an article about hotel parks and their importance in modern cities where it is impossible to walk carefree, let alone sit in peace. Then you will understand better what I am talking about.
This hotel will be forever in our hearts, it was an experience we will never forget. For the first time, we experienced a flawless service and we are happy to see an ongoing success story concerning the legendary hotel like Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel. This for sure is a hotel you need to visit before the world ends. Anyway, our experience is absolutely subjective, that is why we encourage you to see it for yourself.
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Review Card
- ATMOSPHERE - 9.2/109.2/10
- CLEANLINESS - 10/1010/10
- ROOM - 9.3/109.3/10
- FACILITIES AND AMENITIES - 9.3/109.3/10
- FOOD AND BEVERAGE - 9.7/109.7/10
- SERVICE - 10/1010/10
- VALUE - 8.2/108.2/10
Price and Location
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok address is 48 Oriental Ave, Khwaeng Bang Rak, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand and here is a link to the location for easy navigation. Price of the room the same as ours with breakfast for two is about 1100 USD per night.
But What About the Dress Code?
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok hotel has a strict dress code policy. Yes, also in the common area. “It’s tropics, it’s hot, I want to be relaxed…” In our opinion, the dress code for the guests is a way to pay respect to the heritage. Or in other words who doesn’t like an excuse to dress up and look stunning?