At the hotel I was handed a flower garland before I entered the doors and welcomed back with genuine warmth. I was taken up to my suite to check in, staff on the way said “welcome back Kuhn Simon” with cheerful enthusiasm. I was back at my Bangkok home.
I was thrilled by the collection of welcome cards and gifts, including Louis Roederer champagne and macarons spelling out my welcome back message. Then my butler brought incredible fresh orange juice and I read Amanda, the General Manager’s, card etc welcoming me back to “La Grand Dame by the River”.
My iPhone charging cable was damaged on the plane and my butler agreed to get it taped, while I went down to the pool to swim and have a late lunch. The Mandarin Oriental's green and gold pool is a joy to swim in, the best pool during my 6 weeks in Thailand, and my steak with chilli & herb dip and sticky rice was perfect.
Back at the suite my butler had arranged my toiletries in the bathroom, and decorated them with orchids, and there was a stunning white chocolate dragon boat with chocolates. As well as my repaired charging cable, my butler had left a new one too. An Australian friend was telling me I must try the rambutan in the fruit display in my suite.
I opened the champagne and ran a bath using the hotel’s lemongrass products. What a luxurious way to start the evening.
Down in the Bamboo Bar Cynthia Utterbach, the resident jazz singer, was her usual brilliantly entertaining self and bar staff mixed me Christmas cocktails and management chatted to me. It could not have been a more perfect evening.
Back at my suite a crib had been set up for Issy and there were orchids with goodnight messages from housekeeping. I went to sleep in such an incredible mood.
First Full Day
On my first full day, having slept so well, I got up late and ate an Eggs Benedict breakfast reading the shocking news about Paris & Beirut and sending messages about it. The only thing to take my mind of all this tragic news was my stunning view of the Chao Phraya river.
Then it was back down to the pool where I was given a cabana and tried ‘free’ gifts from the pool staff and read about Paris & Beirut.
Then I swam in the incredible pool before a lunch of satay and rice that was out of this world.
In the afternoon an ex-Qatar friend came over and we drank ginger cosmopolitans catching up by the pool in my cabana.
After showing her my suite, I had another lemongrass bath. Next one of my great Bangkok friends came over and we drank the rest of the delicious Louis Roederer champagne.
After this it was back to the Bamboo Bar where my friend drank M&M infused cocktails, as I had more martinis and Christmas cocktails, and Cynthia entertained us again.
We ended the evening getting a boat to The Siam Hotel to see the flowers etc. The problem was the bar was closed at 11pm and so we then just got a taxi back. However, it does look like the stunning property Four Seasons Koh Samui promised.
Back at the Mandarin Oriental I cooled off emailing people etc and admiring Issy in his crib. A Mandarin Oriental Bangkok fan had been left for me.
Another Sad Last Day
My last day at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok started with breakfast by the river. They cook the eggs freshly for you and the buffet choice was impressive. However, it was sitting overlooking the Chao Phraya river that made it so special.
Then I went back to my suite to send messages about Beirut & Paris and pack, feeling sorry to be leaving a hotel that really made me feel at home.
At check out Mayuree from Guest Relations was a joy to catch up with. By the pool it was heavy rain again, I loved sitting in a cabana looking out at the rain working on www.sifrew.com
6 out of 5 ‘teddies’ - the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok is one of the world’s truly great hotels but the staff make you feel like you are back at home and amongst friends. The superb attention to detail from every member of staff is like no other hotel I have stayed in. On this stay Mayuree, the barmen and the staff who put the crib in my suite really stand out. Another hotel that has ‘broken’ my ‘teddy’ score but has also made me decide to rescore Four Seasons Chiang Mai, to given them the same score of 6 out of 5 'teddies' (from 5 out of 5).