Stephanie Cavagnaro checks in to one of Bangkok’s oldest hotels
Hanging from a vaulted ceiling were golden teak temple bells and cascading flower installations. At ground level, royal statues of elephants trumpeted their colonial heritage across the Mandarin Oriental’s lobby. Dating back to 1876, it’s one of Bangkok’s oldest hotels.
Despite its age, facilities were impressively modern. My Deluxe Room was luxurious, with views over the Chao Phraya River, a teak king-size bed with goose-down bedding, and opulent extras like a watermelon with a welcome greeting carved into it.
Attention to detail was what the hotel did best. My bathroom’s cavernous bath came with fragrant bath salts; stationary was embossed with my name and, at three to one, the hotel boasts one of the highest staff-to-guest room ratios in the industry.
With eight restaurants, outdoor swimming pools and a health center, shopping arcade, Thai cooking school and spa, the facilities tempted me to stay put. Even breakfast along the riverbank included an immense variety, from pistachio bread to steamed pork buns and papaya juice.
On my final day, a teak barge took me across the river to the Oriental Spa. After lemongrass tea and a steam, a deep-tissue Balinese massage made me feel like royalty.
Address: 48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.
T: +66 659 9000
Price: Rates from THB17,359 ($533) a night, including breakfast.