Why on earth would you visit the same hotel 10 times? Well I´ll give you 10 reasons…
By Michelle Chaplow
On my last visit to the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Bangkok, out of curiosity I asked them how many times I had visited the hotel. Ten times, replied the smiling receptionist. Ten times – I was shocked! As a travel photographer, I have very few limitations on the countries and hotel venues that I visit so…. how come? What is it about the hotel which encouraged me to return there ten times?
1. I just love the hotel – to date it’s my favourite hotel in the world.
2. I have very happy memories of special occasions – festivals such as the Loy Krathong, photo shoots for clients such as famous hotels of the world, and visits there with family and very special friends.
3. The photography – architecturally this isn’t the most spectacular hotel in the world, but there are so many images that can be captured the very essence here; it’s a delight to photograph.
4. The limo transfers from the airport – there is nothing nicer than the sight of a smiling Oriental man in an orange jacket, like a magical genie, waiting at the airport with your name on his clipboard. It’s a breeze from there on in: no need to worry about silly things like luggage and camera gear – the next thing you know, you’re on the highway with cool towels, relaxing music and scenes of one of the world’s best capitals flashing by the windows.
5.The welcome – when I arrive, not only do the smiling staff know my name, but they even say “Welcome Home”.
6. The location couldn´t be better, right on the banks of the Chao Phraya river, (river of kings). Activity on this river never stops; it’s the very lifeblood of the city, transporting everything from industrial freight to tourists in ornate teak boats.
7. The butler – such a treat when someone offers to unpack your suitcase; the ultimate luxury.
8. The spa – take a boat across the river, take off your shoes and walk into holistic paradise, then float back to your room… need I say more?
9. The food is superb, from room service to pool service, to their famous afternoon tea and their fine dining; you just can´t fault it.
10. Number ten is, for me, the most important factor. This hotel exceeds my expectations every time.