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.

Photoshoot at the Oriental, for The Most Famous Hotels in the World®

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.

Lotus flowers at the Oriental Bangkok

Seamless limo transfers

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”.

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?

Holistic heaven at the Mandarin Oriental Spa

Afternoon tea

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.