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Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Bangkok

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Bangkok, Thailand, Asia
48 Oriental Avenue
Thailand 10500
Tel: 66 2 659 9000's insider take:

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, is one of the oldest deluxe hotels in Bangkok, serving the rich and famous (Princess Diana, Nicolas Cage, and Elizabeth Taylor have all rested their heads here) for more than 130 years. Yet it's completely up to date and right next to the Skytrain. Its 358 rooms and 35 suites feature such chichi luxuries as private butler service and Bose CD players, and all rooms have at least side river views. The furniture is swathed in Thai silks and backed by burnished teak—except in the Garden Wing rooms where the style is neo-colonial. For champagne wishes and literary dreams, there's the Somerset Maugham suite, with sultry four-poster beds, gold-legged stools, and fuchsia pillows. The hotel also houses some of Bangkok's finest restaurants, including Lord Jim's, where seafood is served riverside, and the more formal Le Normandie, where both the service and menu are high French. For diners having a Western jones, there's a wood-fired Italian pizza oven and an outdoor barbecue joint on a terrace by the river (closed from May to September for the rainy season). In November 2006, the Ayurvedic Penthouse spa debuted with classical treatments like Udwatanam, a rejuvenating dry herbal massage. There's also a terrific cooking school.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 96.8
  • Design: 96.4
  • Food: 96.4
  • Location: 96.7
  • Rooms: 96.4
  • Service: 98.2
The oldest hotel in Thailand is "like a durian—uninviting from the outside but delightful inside." The Old Wing favors colonial style, the River Wing is modern, and the Garden Wing overlooks the pool. All rooms are decorated with teak and Thai silk upholstery—"you'll love the Jim Thompson fabrics." At the Riverside Terrace, "dining doesn't get any better, and those green tea and honey smoothies on a hot afternoon—addictive."

(393 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Pool, Spa, Tennis

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