We just came back from our family trip to Bangkok. Before we went, one of the first questions we faced was “Which Hotel are you staying in?” Everyone had a hotel to recommend. (Bangkok is one of the most travelled cities for Singaporeans) Well, when we told them the hotel, nearly all had same response, “Ohhhhh!”. Suddenly, there were no more Bangkok experts, suddenly, all the advices about the food/shopping/attractions flew out of the window. You see, we were going to stay in the grand old dame of Bangkok—the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
If you are one of the frequent travellers to Bangkok, I’m quite sure you would go, “Ohhhhh!” too. The Mandarin Oriental is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. It’s not the usual hotels along the famous shopping belt. It sits on the historical side of the city, as it was the first hotel built in Thailand.
Just what is this Mandarin Oriental? Well, its first taste of royalty was King Chulalongkorn hosting a party. One of the guests was Tsar Nicholas of Russia. Moving along history, these authors stayed at the hotel: Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, Barbara Cartland, etc. They all claimed to have drawn plenty inspiration while at the hotel. If you want something more contemporary, the hotel has hosted Prince & Princess of Wales, Richard Nixon, Audrey Hepburn, David Beckham, Michael Jackson etc etc… The list is endless and we didn’t want to ask more.
How was the hotel? What is so great about it? The Mandarin Oriental is famous for its service, style and grace. Look at what we experienced:
The amenities in the room was amazing. Have you been in the room that provides bottles of drinking water next to the bed, in the bathroom, next to the study table, and in the sitting area? I’m not hard up for that bottle of water, but I feel strongly that when a hotel looks into this basic necessity, you can imagine how detailed they are with other little pampering!
We asked for an extra bed cos Nadine wasn’t feeling well. The butler told us he noted our request, but would only set up the bed when we go down for dinner. The reason? So that “you have sufficient space to move around, and won’t be restricted in your movement!” WOW!!!
We came back at about 4 p.m. to take a short break. This is what we found! Seafood cocktail for all! Enough as an appetiser and enough to make an impact!
After dinner, the butler prepared water by our bedside, bedroom slippers laid out, and my personal favourite—the bed sheets were tucked OUT, so all I had to do is slip into the sheets and sleep! I don’t have to yank out the sheets from the foot of the bed, nor did I have to toss the comforter & extra cushions away. The butler made it very easy for me to go to sleep! (I didn’t get to take pictures, cos it looked so inviting, we all just crashed in straight away!
These good night ‘notes’ were left on our bed. Isn’t that just so sweet?
I felt like a queen in this hotel. The staff treated me as one, the room was prepared as if I was one, and the service rendered was superb. The fact that every floor gets a dedicated butler (the first hotel to offer this service!), it is no wonder that the Mandarin Oriental was voted the best hotel in the planet! The butlers were so friendly, so helpful and was always able to pre-empt our needs and met them most excellently.
So why do people go “Ohhhhh!” when they hear we are going to stay at the Mandarin Oriental? I think it’s because everyone heard of the Mandarin Oriental, but very few know of it. I’m so privileged that we got to stay in this historical hotel, and get to tell you what a gem this hotel is. There must be something that keeps a hotel going for all these years, while maintaining its classic look. There must be something that draws these royalty and celebrities to the hotel whenever they are in Bangkok.
I will show you that something. Today, it’s the room and service. Next week, I wanna give you a tour of the hotel. See it and decide for yourself!
The Mandarin Oriental sponsored the family suite. All opinions are 100% my own.