Mandarin Oriental Bangkok – Visiting Bangkok’s La Grande Dame

Live classical music in the lobby

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is with out a doubt one of Asia if not the world’s most famous and iconic hotels. It opened as Thailand’s first hotel in 1876, and since then it’s grown into one of the world’s most luxurious hotels.

The hotel in Bangkok is one of The Mandarin Oriental chain’s flagship hotels, so high expectations for your visit here no matter the occasion are in order.

I feel the uniqueness of this hotel as soon as I enter the lobby, where splendid décor gives me my first initial feel of wow, as my ears picked up the music from the small live orchestra playing. This is not your standard five star hotel for sure.

The staff here are as friendly as you can imagine, professional to the teeth and everywhere. You go very few steps without someone reaching out to you or giving you a friendly smile.

Selection of bottles at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok's Bamboo Bar

Bar Snacks Deluxe at the Bamboo Bar

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has a vide selection of restaurants – from the highly respected and absolutely beautiful Le Normandie, by many said to be the best French cuisine restaurant in town, to Chinese and traditional Thai restaurants. The Hotel also boasts all of three terrace style restaurants where you sit right by the Chao Phraya River.

My reservation for tonight was at the Riverside Terrace, for their famous buffet-extraordinaire. Luckily I was early, (I rarely say this, as I am not the most patient person when food is in play) so I got to take a seat at the famous Bamboo Bar for an aperitif.

I make my order at the bar – “just give me one of your favorites” I tell the bartender feeling a bit adventurous. I sit down in the soft seats and look around the beautiful bar, it’s quite early for pre-dinner drinks so the bar is almost empty.


Inside the Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

I get the drink and a quick presentation, but I have to be honest I zone out totally on the drink presentation as I see the snacks accompanying the drinks!

Wow, I have never seen snacks like this presented with a drink at a bar. My inner foodie immediately kicks in and I start smiling.

Besides the nice but quite expected mix of nuts, I get this beautiful little plate with two hors d’oeuvres. They are a beautiful and extremely tasty combination of, to the best of my knowledge, delicious ham and lardo – rich and fatty, accompanied by a bowl or dehydrated okra.

Now I have never really had a thing for okra and I have mainly seen it as a texture agent then anything else, but this crispy and deep flavored okra I consume with the biggest delight and newfound respect for the product.

I finish my snacks and my drink that also was fantastic as well, by the way. Now I am even more excited about my food to come.

Drinks and snacks at the Bamboo Bar Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Snacks served at the Bamboo Bar Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s Buffet-Extraordinaire

I get seated at my table at the Riverside Terrace, right next to the dessert-section – feels like they know me so well already!

As yet another aperitif I start with some wine and enjoy the beautiful views over the Chao Phraya River. The water is dark but the small waves make it seem very alive, and the reflection from the skyline across the river gives it a beautiful flow of colors – like a beautiful display of northern lights, unfolding for me in the river beneath me.

View from The Riverside Terrace Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

The buffet is comprehensive and a real treat for your eyes, every section you look at you have beautiful displays of food, one more luring then the other – buffets definitely does not have to be boring or a secondary experience.

I go for the lobster and do a few revisits, I have some salmon sashimi – silky smooth and delicious. I have a slice of the beautiful roast beef and delicious greens. I also try the Thai-section, with some spicy salad and scrimp. Last but not least I sneak by the macarons sections for a perfect sweet finish.

Ice sculpture at the Riverside Terrace Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Desserts at the Riverside Terrace Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Sushi buffet at the Riverside Terrace Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok – Finishing thoughts

If you sit with a big smile on your face during the dinner and you immediately after dinner get the feeling of “I must come back here” then you know you hade an extraordinary experience.

I truly felt that and loved my experiences and Mandarin Oriental Bangkok from start to finish. I must come back!

To read more about the Bamboo bar or make dining reservations, you can go here

For a hotel suggestion for an evening such as this, nothing would be more obvious or appropriate for you then to book a stay at the Mandarin Oriental  hotel itself.

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