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The Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

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  • The Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

    Across in the hotel room views thread, I have already mentioned that the opportunity arose to stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok for one night, 5th December 2011. It was an opportunity to make the most of, and, rather reminiscent of pakarang’s night in Jumbo Hostel, I took an exceedingly large number of photographs!

    The number remains large, nearly 100 images, even after considerable editing. But as this is far from an everyday experience and may be of interest to guests to our forum too, I am going to show these posted in several instalments.

    Some of you will recognise, from another thread, this night vista of Bangkok taken from high in the Peninsula Hotel across the river from the Oriental, which is seen on the left of the photograph. Knowing that the Oriental is one of the grand hotels of Asia from times past, you may be forgiven for momentary confusion on being confronted by more modern architecture. A photograph from the same location taken in daylight will help me explain.

  • #2

    Alongside old colonial-style buildings in the street on the right, you can see the roof of the surviving building from the early days of the Oriental Hotel, almost hidden behind the palm trees, and now known as the Authors' Wing.

    A fire, which had spread from nearby commercial premises, destroyed an earlier establishment named the Oriental in 1865. It was a partnership of Danish captains who opened its replacement, and thus the “official date of establishment” of the hotel is now taken as being 1876. It soon became a favourite with royalty, writers and celebrities, and passed through a succession of owners.

    Reopening in 1947 after the second word war, a popular bar, the Bamboo, was established and further development of the hotel’s accommodation and facilities followed.

    In the photo, behind the Authors’ Wing you can see the Garden Wing, formerly named the Tower Wing, which opened in 1958. A gourmet French Restaurant “Le Normandie” is located on the top floor. A later building was demolished and, with acquisition of adjoining land, made way for today’s main building, the River Wing, which was completed in 1976. Spa facilities opened in the early 1990’s, and a major renovation of rooms completed in 2003. The hotel is now part of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and is formally named the Mandarin Oriental.


    • #3
      I stayed in the River wing, but first let me show you some of the public areas of the hotel, and I’ll start with some boats! The Spa and a Thai restaurant are actually located across on the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River, and are reached by these boats. They also, like the Peninsula and Hilton hotel boats, provide a shuttle service to a nearby pier which connects with the BTS Sky Train.


      • #4
        Reception and Lobby

        Next, some images of the hotel lobby and surroundings.


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            • #7

              View from the lobby towards the vehicular access to the hotel outside in the courtyard, across from which are luxury shops of the international brands you would expect, and an arcade.


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                • #9

                  In the next instalment, I celebrate the King’s Birthday, and start to explore the old part of the hotel in the Authors' Wing.


                  • #10
                    Re: The Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

                    Dear Lady C,

                    Thank you so VERY MUCH for taking me back to Thailand and the Oriental Hotel again... so many years since I enjoyed my afternoon business tea here.
                    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                    Main page:
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                    Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


                    • #11
                      The King's Birthday

                      Although the hotel had remained open during the period of the flood alert, not all of the hotel facilities were fully functioning. I did not have the opportunity to take the traditional afternoon tea in the Authors' Lounge, but that may have been as a result of the public holiday, for I was able to look around and take photographs the following morning. I will show you these later, but first, something very special…
                      It was the birthday of His Majesty the King.


                      • #12
                        The following message arrived in my room:-

                        "As a nationwide tradition in reverence to His Majesty the King, we are delighted to invite you to join the staff of the hotel in the traditional candle light ceremony in honour of our beloved King on Monday, 5 December 2011 approximately at 7.00 p.m. in the Lobby.
                        The Management and staff on duty of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok will congregate in the Lobby to hand out candles for the ceremony."


                        • #13
                          As the time approached, everyone moved outside into the courtyard where a TV screen had been set up, showing the proceedings from the Grand Palace.

                          Needless to say, it was far from easy to hold my lighted candle, a sheet with the words of the royal anthem Sadudee Maha Raja, and my camera, let alone taking one-hand held photographs in the candlelight, but I am delighted if I have even to a small extent captured something of the atmosphere of this most special, charming, and very moving occasion.


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