x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Hotel Insider: Oriental Residence Bangkok is an elegant oasis

In the middle of the busy Thai capital, the Oriental hotel stands out for its attentive, friendly service.

The pool and terrace on the fourth floor. Courtesy of ONYX Hospitality
The pool and terrace on the fourth floor. Courtesy of ONYX Hospitality

The welcome

Just the right balance of traditional Thai friendliness and attentiveness, without being intrusive.

The neighbourhood

Situated on the busy Telegraph Road in the heart of Bangkok’s business district, the hotel is in an area of high-rise buildings and evergreen tropical flora.

The room

There are 145 rooms and three types of suite, offering from one to three bedrooms. I stayed in a spacious one-bedroom suite with cosy sofas and armchairs that you sink into rather than sit on, a fully equipped kitchen area with a table and chairs as well as a useful desk. The bedroom is also well-appointed with a large, marble-lined bathroom, stocked with generous amounts of Penhaligon’s toiletries. A rather decadent touch.

The service

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner at the wonderful Café Claire, the service is as reliable as a Swiss watch. Room service is similarly admirable, exemplified by a complaint I made about the pitiful strength of the Wi-Fi signal in my suite. Within minutes an extra router had been installed and a letter of apology left on the desk. What more could you ask for?

The scene

Elegant. The hotel exudes a sophisticated sense of style, rather than an over-the-top opulence, and won’t appeal to everyone, which of course, is part of its appeal. The Oriental only opened its doors in January but word about the impeccable service and the easy-going vibe has obviously spread and, as a result, it’s busy. Indulge in drinks on the pool terrace, soaking up the chilled atmosphere while Bangkok gets on with being its inimitable, hectic self on the streets below.

The food

There is only one eatery in the main building: Café Claire on the ground floor. The atmosphere is convivial, with staff from the neighbouring US Embassy, as well as other local business establishments, regularly descending for a hearty breakfast or lunch. The food is imaginatively presented, although hardly original. The fish and chips (Dh50), for instance, is served in a small basket lined with shiny paper and doesn’t look like it would satisfy a toddler. Its size proved to be deceiving, however, and I didn’t have room for dessert. It tasted absolutely delicious, too.

Carnivores are well catered to, and the beef tenderloin with Béarnaise sauce (Dh128) was another winner. The evening menu could make vegetarians wish they’d gone elsewhere as the choice available is quite pitiful. The breakfast and lunchtime menus offer more choice, however, with early diners enjoying the most diverse selections. We tried eggs Benedict and eggs Norwegian at breakfast (Dh34 each); both were excellent.

Loved

The pool. While there is currently no spa, on the fourth floor you’ll find a sizeable and well-equipped fitness centre and residents lounge as well as the glorious outdoor pool and terrace.

Hated

The inappropriate music played in Mandopop, a restaurant that adjoins the hotel and is owned by the hotel group – hopefully the feedback I was asked to provide will have the desired effect in improving the experience.

The verdict

Perhaps it’s the fact that the Oriental Residences caters to people living in its serviced rooms full time, as well as traditional hotel visitors, but the feel here is one that’s relaxed and unhurried. If you’re a party animal then head elsewhere. For the rest of us, this is a perfect place to unwind and escape Bangkok.

The bottom line

A one-bedroom suite costs from Dh695 per night, including taxes. Oriental Residence Bangkok, 110 Wireless Road, Lumpini, -Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 (www.oriental-residence.com; 0066 2125 9000).