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A Bangkok institution since the 1860s, whose famous guests have included Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene.
For a city hotel, the Mandarin Oriental has exceptional facilities, including two outdoor pools, two floodlit tennis courts, squash courts, a gym and a jogging track.
Across the river in a traditional Thai-style carved-wood building is the renowned Oriental Spa, which offers a range of Ayurvedic remedies and traditional Thai beauty treatments. Guests can also enjoy complimentary fitness classes, including yoga, pilates and tai chi.
In addition, the Mandarin Oriental boasts a wide choice of dining venues and bars offering Thai, French, Italian and Chinese cuisine. There is also a good seafood restaurant, a riverside terrace where a barbecue is held every night, and even a traditional rice barge which offers dinner cruises on the river. Drinking spots include the Bamboo Bar, famous as a jazz venue.
Why we love it
Most of the old buildings are no longer standing, except the 'Author's Wing' which contains the top suites. Most bedrooms are in modern buildings which lack the old colonial charm but have the same great location on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the heart of Bangkok.
Katie, Original Traveller