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“Not Impressed”

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Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
Ranked #2 of 861 Hotels in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
Florida, USA
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not Impressed”
Reviewed 3 June 2009

This is a very reputable hotel, and there is a lot to say for it. That is why I gave it 4 stars. However, my experience there was really more of a 3 star experience. I was terribly disappointed in the Oriental. While it does have a super location and incredible history, plus some pretty gorgeous wooden water ferries, the service was consistantly disappointing. The rooms were disappointing (we had 2 in different wings). One was tiny and had an insect problem, the other was just grimy. There seemed to have been a failure in management, as the staff seemed to want to be helpful but just didn't have the proper training in many instances. example: failing to offer assistance to a wheelchair-bound guest that we saw struggling day after day to get to breakfast. example: suggesting the the insect problem was just a common thing that came from plumbing and that we should just run the sink a little. Staff was well-meaning but clueless. Management was disinterested, even after a meeting. Apparently they had a few high profile guests in residence at the time and that was more compelling. In general, it was not what it should have been and I would not return. There are cool wooden water ferries at the hotel across the river, too - try another hotel for your Bangkok experience. This one was not worth the considerable expense.

  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RatherTravelPlanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Unterhaching, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
59 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2009

Impressed by the reviews here and the legendary reputation, our expectations were at an all-time high. A place that claims to be the "best hotel in the world" should deliver umcompromisingly - in every respect.

To forestall our conclusion - they did not.

The first down was the breakfast buffet - not bad but not top either; many hotels not claiming elite status have standard buffets like the one we had here. Same thing with the BBQ dinner, OK but nothing special. The service personell however is very attentive.

So all this may be a matter of personal taste, impartial however is our sad experience with the Congierge Service. Not only that we never talked to the same person twice (do they have a head concierge anyway?), we received wrong information on our flights, delayed mail delivery, most of our requests we had to repeat several times, there was complete confusion about a package send to us, and so on... Thai Airways has damaged one of our bags, and when we requested help by the concierge, the lady suggested we should take our bag to the Siam Mall for repair by ourselves. An answer you would expect from a Motel 6 front desk temp, not from the staff of the "best hotel in the world".

But the special highlight was the concierge wanted to charge us for a long-distance phone call to check on our missing package (which in fact was stored in her back office for hours already).

Maybe you get more attention and better service when you are a regular guest or book a suite.

Anyway, we were not too impressed at all. Next time in Bangkok, we will stay at the Peninsula again.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank UncleSamDavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2009

Having stayed at the Mandarin Oriental last year, we decided to stay there again for a weekend escape in early May. The hotel still sets the standard in Bangkok, and is a comfortable and welcoming escape from hectic and wonderful Bangkok.

The service is still as polished as ever, from the pick up at the airport in the hotel BMW to being taken to your room (which has been fitted with a sound system etc as requested via the website - where 4 preferences are allowed) overlooking the river.

Having stayed at the Peninsula before, we would strongly recommend this hotel not only for its location on the more convenient city side of the rover but also for not feeling like a high-rise hotel, and being a friendly and comfortable place (service at the Peninsula can be snooty).

We made quite a few demands on the butler service (orchid plants that needed vases, etc) and this was always attended to with the utmost friendliness and speed.

The restaurant China House is a must-do, wonderful food, ambience and design.

The only pity is that the spa is on the opposite side of the river, quite a trek to get there.

  • Liked — Service
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Gerhard13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2009

On our most recent trip my husband and I spent five nights at the MO in Bangkok. We stayed in the old building near the author's lounge (room 265 from memory??). The MO is the 'gold standard' to which we compare all other hotels. The use of superfluous gushy adjectives will not even come close to describing the true understated elegance, beauty, incredible service and perfection of this hotel.

* Arrive (if possible) on a Tuesday for the manager's cocktail party
* Have a massage at the Ayuervedic Penthouse suite - relaxation personified!
* Explain your music preferences to one of the ever-so-helpful pool boys - they will program an Ipod for you so you can listen to your favourite music in one of the pool salas.

Living in Australia, travel to the Northern Hemisphere always involves a stop-over in Asia - from now on we will be ensuring our stopover is at the MO Bangkok!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank poppyroberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2009

Not blown away by what is reputed to be one of the world’s best hotels.
Rooms: I was upgraded to a Deluxe Garden Wing room. Decent sized room overlooking the river. A desk in a small separate area. TV not flat screen and bit small for the room size. Saw the River Wing room I had originally booked – smaller and dull design – so yes, this room was better apart from the bathroom.
This was absurdly miniscule, basically a cupboard. And tired. This was perhaps the most notable black mark.
Food: was good. Had some great spicy lobster and local fish. The breakfast by the river is fabulous.
Spa: very special. It’s across the river from the hotel, reached by the hotel boats, which leave every few minutes. It’s an atmospheric traditional Thai-style design with great therapists and fabulous massages.
Pool very good too. Big and pool staff very attentive.
Service: Helpful, bright and swift. You never have to call a lift or open a door – excellent.
Overall, I just felt it lacked a certain something. The old wing has a pleasant feel with wicker furniture and colonial charm, but much of the hotel felt bland and pedestrian. There was a convention, which pretty much took over and gave the place a Holiday Inn feel.
Value: This is much more expensive than most Bangkok hotels. Not sure if it is really worth the premium.
Maybe my expectations were too high. I would go back again – next time with partner and perhaps it would be better.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Jafarcakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2009

This is our second trip to this magnificent hotel. Words alone do not say how great the experience here is each time, from the Limousine pick up to the quality of food and the exceptional staff.
We frequently stay in luxury resorts and hotels throughout the world, but this hotel is indeed our no1 favourite. Try it, you will not be dissapointed.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank rothsberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2009

Many reviews have been posted here telling how amazingly good the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok was and we totally agreed with all of that. My review was about the Authors' Suite which is our home away from home in Bangkok.
We have stayed in this hotel for more than 30 times over the last 10 years. We always stayed at one of the Authors' Suites. The four famous suites are Sommerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, Noel Coward and James Michener. We have stayed in all except the Joseph Conrad. Although a private terrance was added to the room after the hotel major rennovation, we still do not prefer this room.
All four suites were spacious and they were beautifully decorated with a sophisticated Thai theme. There were two experienced butlers, Thavorn and Wanchai. Together with a small team of staff, they treated us like we were members from the Royal Family.
They would do our packing and unpacking. Without being asked, they would take our shoes for shining but always returned them before dinner time. Door to our room was opened for us when the butler heard our footsteps coming up the stairs. When we were not using the room, they would get inside and tidy the place. It was being done everytime we left the room even on the day of our departure.
We have known Thavorn, the daytime butler, for 10 years already. He had in record our preferences and all that we usually requested, which included an extra DVD player in the bedroom, was already set up when we arrived. There was a time that I got bitten by a mosquito inside the room. I told Thavorn before I left for the Spa. When I returned, he did not just kill the annoying insect, he also collected an ointment from the hotel doctor to treat my condition. I was really impressed.
Except for the Sommerset Maugham Suite, there was a flat screen TV with Bose Sound system. Other amenities included welcome champagne and chocolates, fresh flower arrangements, a large plate of fruit, Hermes toiletries as well as daily canapes delivered in the afternoon. Last time I ate a mango from the fruit plate. From that day, the butler brought me a plate of sliced mango everyday.
Our suite was always ready when we checked in even before noon. There was only one time that our suite was still being occupied by the previous guests. Another suite at the Garden Wing was provided so that we could freshen up or rest. All our belongings were moved to our suite for us the moment it was available. Late checkout was never a problem and a request for that was not even necessary. We booked the hotel transfer to the airport so that we were expected to keep the room until our departure time.
The MO Bangkok is well known for its legendary service and they deliver each and every time. The hotel is not modern or chic in appearance. There is also no strong impact at first sight. However, the longer we stayed at this hotel, the more we appreciated the understated elegance of the place. This hotel is a special place in Bangkok. Being treated so nicely, we considered the value for the money that we paid was extremely high.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank ryu0803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

Property: Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
Address: 48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Bangkok > Silom , Bang Rak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bangkok
#1 Family Hotel in Bangkok
#1 Business Hotel in Bangkok
#2 Luxury Hotel in Bangkok
#2 Spa Hotel in Bangkok
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok 5*
Number of rooms: 393
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1876 and ideally located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, has been an inspiration to a host of world-renowned writers from Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maughamto Wilbur Smith and John Le Carre. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok boasts an international reputation for splendid service, style and grace and facilities including eight restaurants. The hotel's private teakwood shuttle boats provide daily access to the world famous Thai Cooking School, the hotel's Thai restaurant, the award-winning Oriental Spa and Health Centre located across the River; as well as the nearest skytrain station (SaphanTaksin) and River City Shopping Centre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Hotel Bangkok
Oriental Bangkok
Oriental Hotel Bangkok
Bangkok Mandarin Oriental

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