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Time for tea and history at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

Guests are invited to enjoy a guided tour entitled ‘The Oriental Journey’, a permanent exhibition which chronicles a collection of memorabilia and photographs of this famed hotel’s 140-year history.

HONG KONG – Traditional English afternoon tea at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s Authors’ Lounge now comes with a generous serving of the hotel’s unparalleled heritage. Guests savouring this grand institution are invited to enjoy a guided tour entitled ‘The Oriental Journey’, a permanent exhibition which chronicles a collection of memorabilia and photographs of this famed hotel’s 140-year history. 
 
Conducted by Ms. Mayuree Laolugsanalerd, Director of Guest Relations, who has attended to the hotel’s famous guests’ every need for more than 20 years, the tour offers old video footage, black and white photographs, royal gala invitations, vintage advertisements and much more. Fans of celebrity life are also rewarded with a veritable treasure trove of rare and special images depicting some of the world’s biggest personalities who have called Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok their ‘home from home’ in Thailand. These include political figures such as Henry Kissinger, Kofi Annan and Margaret Thatcher; musicians such as Ray Charles, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Elton John and Michael Jackson; actors such as Elizabeth Taylor, Julie AndrewsAudrey Hepburn, Sir Peter Ustinov, Sophia Loren and Bob Hope; and the Royal Families of Bhutan, Bahrain, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Malaysia to name but a few.
 
Vaslav Nijinsky, the fabled Russian dancer, once performed here; Eleanor Roosevelt, the US First Lady, spoke here on human rights; and Roger Federer, the tennis professional, opened the hotel’s fitness centre. According to Laolugsanalerd, perhaps no celebrity group has had quite the same impact on Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok as the literary giants who have stayed here. “Opened in 1887 as the original Oriental Hotel, the very first luxury hotel in Siam, the Authors’ Wing immortalises four of the hotel’s best known writer guests: Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and James Michener as individual Heritage Author’s Suites. Moreover, suites in the River Wing are also named after various authors who have stayed here, such as Graham Greene, Norman Mailer, John Le Carre, Barbara Cartland and Wilbur Smith,” she says.
 
Situated on the ground floor of the Authors’ Wing, the Authors’ Lounge enjoys vintage colonial charm with whitewashed rattan furniture, Siamese umbrellas, soaring bamboo and graceful palms.  Afternoon tea options include traditional, Thai and vegetarian sets, served with a fine selection of coffees and Mariage Frères teas.
 
The guided tour of ‘The Oriental Journey’ takes place on Tuesdays between 15h00 and 17h00 for prior reservations and in-house guests.
 
All ‘Tea and History’ tea sets include a copy of ‘The Oriental Bangkok’ book, which details the history of the hotel.

 

Photo caption: Authors’ Lounge at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
 
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