Bangkok has been in the news for about one month. Tourists and residents alike have been giving the city a wide berth.
But for at least one hotel in the Big Mango, it has been business as usual. One of the city's oldest and best known hotels, the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, which was rated by Travel & Leisure magazine in 2009 as the Best City Hotel in Asia and one of the top 20 hotels in the world, has remained an oasis of calm amid the current political upheaval rocking the Thai capital.
“The hotel is functioning normally with all of its restaurants and the Oriental Spa and Ayurvedic Penthouse in full operation.” says Somsri Hansirisawasdi, director of public relations at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.
“Obviously, the current political situation has affected our occupancy levels. However, [our] location by the Chao Phraya River in a way has shielded us from being a direct hot spot for politically related activities. “Of course, it is sad to see the formerly booming tourism industry of Thailand being challenged at this point in time. We are optimistic the impasse will end in a peaceful way and look forward to a quick rebound of the industry.”
There have been no disruptions on the route to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport, and the hotel's concierge desk has been manned around the clock to keep guests informed about places to avoid when they make excursions outside the hotel.
“As the safety and security of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok guests and employees are of paramount importance, we have stepped up security measures throughout the hotel and are closely monitoring the situation and any developments to provide relevant updates to our guests and for appropriate action.” Somsri says.
“We would like to assure safety and security of guests who are already in-house as well as recommend those planning to check in at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, to go ahead with their plans to come to Bangkok.” And even if the situation outside the hotel does get tense, there is plenty to do within the property.
There are several stylish F&B outlets, a beautiful swimming pool and gardens overlooking the river, a fabulous spa, and a stylish selection of shops.
“There’s plenty to do within the premises of the hotel such as enjoying many types of – Chinese, Thai, Italian, French – at our eight restaurants, enjoying a blissful massage or two at our award-winning Oriental Spa and Ayurvedic Penthouse, taking a leisurely dip in the championship size large pool or taking advantage of the hot weather for a beautiful and healthy suntan. The list goes on.”
And then there are the shops – both within the hotel and within easy walking distance of the hotel. The Accidental Travel Writer sent emails to several five star hotels in Bangkok to enquire about how they were faring during the current crisis. The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, was the first to respond.