The Oriental Turns 140 (and she’s having some work done)

By @ 10/26/15 in Thailand
As seen in ManAboutWorld magazine

Skyline views from a suite inside the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

In 1876, The Oriental opened on the river banks of Siam, becoming the nations first five-star hotel. Throughout the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th, the hotel became a respite from the dirty, chaotic city of Bangkok, a sanctuary for world-renowned writers, many of whom penned their novels in the upstairs suites, the same suites that now bear their names.

It was nearly a century later when The Mandarin Hotel opened in Hong Kong, another five-star affair, and the hotel that would lead to the formation of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. In 1985, when The Mandarin of Hong Kong and The Oriental of Bangkok joined forces, the group was forged, and would go on to become one of the world’s most prestigious and decadent hotel brands.

In 2016, The Oriental (she’ll always be The Oriental  the locals) turns 140. And she looks pretty damn good for her age, and like so many greats, she’s having a little work done. The hotel will undergo a renovation in the upcoming year, with no word yet on when it will be completed.

Lets talk about the rooms for a minute: spacious and dressed in a masculine dark wood and colored with lavender orchid, the decor is elegant. There’s large hardwood floor bathrooms, all marble with silver and lavender. The lemongrass bath soaps are great, and a strong waterfall shower along with a deep soaking tub. But it’s the little details that make a difference: the dental kit (a toothbrush and small tube of paste) detergents, and a a magnifying mirror.

The room looks out onto the skyline and the river, which make sit hard to look at anything else, including the large LCD screen (and though we didn’t even turn it on, it was a nice touch.) The room is technologically equipped with plenty of outlets (and American outlets, as well, which is a huge convenience.) The free WiFi is fast and the office space looks out onto the glowing city.

As for the amenities: who needs an ironing board when there is a dry cleaning, laundry and press service at your disposal. (It’s a little pricey, but fast and convenient.) Your closets have a safe, an umbrella (this one is crucial for those torrential Thailand rains or the brutal heat.) There’s even a cute mailbox for special notes the staff may leave you. (Or for when they shine your shoes.) The breakfast buffet on the terrace overlooking the river is also lovely.

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