Thanks to extensive refurbishments, the heritage of La Grande Dame, as Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is endearingly called, has been carefully preserved for future generations of travellers. Rich Thai silk, teak and exotic shades of burnt sepia, crimson red and cool grey enhance the hallowed lobby, the magic touch of Jeffrey Wilkes, the creative behind the 338 renovated guest rooms in the River Wing – some of which pay tribute to past literary luminaries-in-residence, such as Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham and Noël Coward. Like guests today, the writers would have taken traditional afternoon tea among the palms and white rattan furniture of the airy Authors’ Lounge, now freshly rejuvenated.
Fast-forward to the 21st century and revered modern figures – from the Sultan of Brunei to Mick Jagger and David Beckham – have all checked into the palatial 295 sqm Oriental Suite. Its timeless interior hints at bygone days with exquisite art and artefacts, cashmere Oriental carpets and the original ‘pineapple’ canopy bed in the Master Suite. Plus two private balconies overlook the Chao Phraya River. Aside from a blissful visit to The Oriental Spa across the water or riverside Thai dining at Sala Rim Naam (one of the hotel’s nine world-class restaurants), does – and can – luxury get any better?
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