The legendary Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok kicked off its 140th anniversary celebration in style on 27 January 2016 with a gala event presided over by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana of Thailand. The heads of the famed hotel’s majority owning companies – Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s Chief Executive, Mr. Edouard Ettedgui, and Senior Executive Vice President of Italian-Thai Development Company Limited, Mrs. NijapornCharanachitta – welcomed 500 esteemed guests, including the Kingdom’s Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Mrs. KobkarnWattanavrangkul, captains of industry, celebrities and many of the hotel’s loyal international patrons. Guests were treated to a lavish gala dinner on the Riverside Terrace, a moving tribute to the famed hotel’s history and spectacular fireworks over the Chao Phraya River.
The gala marks the start of a series of bespoke literary, music, fashion, art and culinary events throughout 2016 to celebrate a far-reaching restoration of the historic 140-year-old Authors’ Wing and Garden Wing of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. The comprehensive renovation has been designed to significantly enhance the facilities and services of this award-winning hotel, and to restore the celebrated heart of the property to its original splendour.
February will see the unveiling of the Royal Suite, Bangkok’s grandest presidential suite with six bedrooms encompassing 600 square metres and twelve brand new suites with balconies in the Garden Wing. The highly acclaimed Le Normandie French fine dining restaurant has also been rejuvenated and the renowned Authors’ Lounge – a favourite destination for afternoon tea, society weddings and elegant events – has been restored to its classic late nineteenth-century design and further extended to flow seamlessly through to the hotel’s riverside terrace and gardens.
During the gala, Mrs.Amanda Hyndman, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, paid tribute to the hotel’s history saying, “The delicate balance of staying true to our heritage and preserving the mystique of a bygone era while remaining sensitive to our customers’ evolving needs, has been the key to the hotel’s success for many decades. Tonight we celebrate our achievements andlook forward to the future.”
The evening’s warmest applause however, was reserved for Ms. AnkanaKalantananda, the hotel’s longest serving employee who joined the property in 1947. She recalled, “In those days a room cost approximately 100 Baht per night, and The Oriental, as it was then known, was considered a luxury hotel because it had electric fans in the rooms.”