Throughout its 143-year history, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok has been an icon of this vibrant city. The River Wing renovation is a stunning complement to the Authors’ and Garden Wing refurbishment and has been meticulously designed to recognise the property’s heritage while ensuring its continued position as one of the world’s legendary hotels. In the Lobby, the original teak bells remain, and the 4 solid timber were removed and replicated in Crystal. Intricately constructed by Preciosa, from the Crystal Valley of the Czech Republic. 2460 pieces of Bohemian crystals have been used within each of the new giant bells that hang within the hotel’s lobby. These now sit alongside the original teak bells.
One of The Oriental Suite key features has been retained and that is the hand-carved pineapple four-poster bed. This feature has played home to many distinguished guests and has been refreshed with new gold leaf and hand-painted. In each of the guests bedrooms, hand beaten brass metal has been used to fashion a collection of metal wall sculptures. Each one depicts one of the many different boats seen on the Chao Phraya River. The grandest, The Royal barge, has been done for The Oriental Suite.
The final selection of 294 differing designs appear within the upholstery, curtains and cushions, of which 189 were sourced from Jim Thompson – renowned silk manufacturer and past co-owner of the hotel. Corridor artwork has been sourced from the archives of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. There are oil paintings, watercolours, tinted lithographs and prints, many that have been in storage for years. Also in the corridors, a series of 50 colour photographs by Photographer Mr. Pein Lee, who’s recent commission of full size wall murals adorn the Presidential Suite of the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo. As a journalistic photographer, he has captured many poignant moments as the Royal procession moves though Bangkok to the Grand Palace.
Having worked on this project previously in 1999 & 2010, this was a large piece of the puzzle that truly united the River wing with the historic Authors’ Wing. The project exemplifies a sense of place in Thailand as well as its key location on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok.
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