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1 time only in Bangkok: Peninsula or Oriental?

1 time only in Bangkok: Peninsula or Oriental?

Jan 12th, 2005, 08:26 AM
  #1  
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1 time only in Bangkok: Peninsula or Oriental?

Hello all! I will be traveling to Bangkok in September of this year and am undecided as to what hotel to stay at: The Peninsula or The Oriental. This may be my only trip ever to Bangkok and want to choose the Hotel that will be the most memorable. For those of you that have stayed at both, which one would you pick and why?

Thank You,

Doug

pimpyd is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 09:52 AM
  #2  
 
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doug---i break your thought process by saying i have only stayed at the peninsula which is fantastic in every way....

i find the oriental, from many visits there, but never overnite, is more traditional, more grand in an old world way and larger....i also find them less welcoming, but that is because they have so much traffic just coming through for a look-see....so i do not blame them for this...if you are a guest, overnite, i am sure they are much more welcoming...

i think the answer to your question lies in what you truly want to get from this stay.....

the penn is more up to date and modern...the rooms are among the best in the world....every room faces directly out onto the river....i believe it is a taller building than the oriental, which for some is a turn-off....i find the view from high up is magnificent...

of course the lux of a room often depends on the price paid also....all penn rooms seems to be very lux...

the price is a consideration for most of us also...the oriental is almost always more expensive in every class...i think i would stay in a base cost room at the penn, but would not chance it at the oriental...

the food is excellent in both hotels...

the pools are nice in both, but not the best in bkk....the marriott holds that prize....

the oriental is a "bigger" operation

the oriental is the more famous....

the penn has been voted the best hotel in asia for several years running, but as fodorites suggests this is very subjective in the evaluation....

by the way once you have been to bkk, YOU WILL RETURN...

how about splitting your stay between the two hotels??

bob
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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A couple of points in response to Rhkkmk.

I would say the pool at the Oriental is definitely not the hotel's strong point. It can be enormously crowded during peak season.

The rooms at the Penn are definitely more high tech but the Oriental's rooms were completely redone in the past year so they are new -- just fewer tvs and phones and "gadjets" but it has all the basics including Bose stereos.

The standard rooms at the Oriental are lovely and all have a view of the river but they are not as large as the standard rooms at the Penn.

The Penn is definitely much taller and much bigger than the Oriental.

In the last year or so the Oriental has reduced the number on non-guest tourists who go through the hotel -- largely for security reasons. They no longer have their cruise to Ayutthya which always brought a big crowd. What the lobby of the Oriental does have is a lot of "local" activity -- Thais and ex-pats meeting, going to weddings and other functions at the hotel. It provides for great people watching!
glorialf is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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This site has several fairly detailed, recent consumer reviews of both the Peninsula and the Oriental which may also help you make a decision.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g2...ok-Hotels.html
glorialf is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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There must be something about the Penn hotels that I am missing. OVERRATED comes to mind, and as far as the one in Bangkok, here was my experience last Saturday night there: We cruise over in the Penn boat about 10:45pm, their outdoor River Terrace bar was closing up-closing up at 10:45pm! (by contrast Marriott's atmospheric riverfront bar closes up around 1:30am or so, and there are still people sitting there drinking and talking after that point!

We then went inside to have a look around-DEADSVILLE-it seemed as if no one was there. What I did see was a somewhat sterile, impersonal environment-the air in the lobby close and acrid with cigar smoke-one would not expect that at a Penn hotel-I started to go into the bar-but the cigar smoke was emanating from there, and much stronger, so I desisted. The hotel sits out there as a glassed-up high-rise with no soul-I'm sure it has all the high-tech gadgets and luxe and large rooms, but speaking for myself, I wouldn't be caught dead staying there.

My advice for a lovely, relaxing and memorable stay in Bangkok would be to choose the Mariott Resort and Spa-it's one of the best resorts I've stayed at anywhere in the world-polished teak floors, and teak molding throughout the room, beautiful Thai interior design, balconies with lovely views from all rooms, myriad restaurants and bars, some better than others, but all good-and taking that teak boat ride back and forth from the skytrain each day, early in the morning, and at sunset, and later at night-it's relaxing, romantic and unique- I love it.
Spygirl is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 04:06 PM
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Bob - looks like you have another convert.
Craig is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 04:26 PM
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The Oriental has the advantage of being within walking distance of at least two very good moderately priced restaurants, Harmonique and Tongue Thai. I suspect you would find either hotel memorable, but if you want to spend endless hours reading opinions (we do) check out the many O v. P posts on this forum.
Gpanda is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 06:29 PM
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yes craig, you are correct, but at least this time we did not have to have a lecture about the state department warnings....

the marriott is our #1 choice overall, but it does not compare in any way with either the oriental or the peninsula, except that it has the best garden and pool area in bangkok, imho....it is also anywheres from 30-75% cheaper than the lux places...that adds to its attractiveness....i love its remoteness, although some find it more than they want to deal with...i find that 10 minute boat ride a hit each and every time i take it....
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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I'll chip in with a recommendation for the Krungthep Wing at the Shangri La.

River view balconys beautiful big rooms, right next door to the sky train station, and all the facilities of the main Shangri La hotel next door
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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When this post came up I suspected the usual alternative recommendations would come up, for which I'm guilty.

Pimpyd, In this part of town, you are really spoilt for choice.

Most of the regular posters here have stayed at least a couple of the main river hotels (I've done the Shangri La, Pen and Royal orchid Sheraton) and we all sort of have our own favourites

Like spygirl (and I can't believe i'm agreeing with her for once) I found the Penninsula an undeniably Grand hotel, but a bit cold and austere in the public areas. I've always thought, more so than any other Bangkok hotel, you're paying for the name at The Oriental - Food and drink here seems the most expensive in town, and often way more expensive than its river rivals (peninsula included). I find the atmosphere at the Shangri La a little more relaxed and the staff a little less formal, which suits me fine.

You will be very unlucky if you plump for any of the following river hotels and have a bad time.

Peninsula, Oriental, Shangri La, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Marriot Royal Riverside.

Most of these 5 have at one time or another featured in various "Worlds Top 10 Best Hotels" lists.

The only ones I would say avoid if you want luxury are The Royal River and the Menam Riverside Hotels (these are more 3-4* hotels)
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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Bob - I think its best to have a short memory when it comes to this forum. Therefore with much reluctance, I did not bring up past threads where the referenced poster might have expressed opinions that conflict with mine. You never know, she may show up in New England one day for one of our GTG's.
Craig is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 05:39 PM
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not if the state department puts boston off limits and with a republican adminsitration in power, demo mass. is on thin ice...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 04:54 PM
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Thanks for all the advice!! As of right now, I will be staying at The Oriental. They even have a cheaper (slightly) rate than does The Pen-$199 vs $210. But what is really drawing me to The Oriental is its history. At 125 yrs old, it surely has seen much history happen during its years of operation. It seems to me that The Pen is a Hotel that can be found in many major cities, but The Oriental, like Raffles Hotel in Singapore or The Strand in Burma is truly a "Grand Hotel of Asia". That is what I am basically looking for. During this trip, which may be the only time I ever get to Bangkok, I want to experience Thailand completely. And staying at The Oriental is a important part of Thailand. At least that's what my on-line research tells me!!!
pimpyd is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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As someone who has stayed at the Oriental a lot, I can promise you that you are making the right decision. It is a very special hotel and one that is unlike any other I have ever stayed in.

What did you use to get the $190 rate?
glorialf is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 07:14 PM
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I got the $199 a nite rate (excluding taxes) from the Mandarinoriental.com Website. It's for a Superiour River View Room. Expedia.com had the same rate. The Peninsula was $210 for the same period. I have read that the Pen is usually cheaper than the Oriental?
pimpyd is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 02:39 AM
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I would have voted for the Peninsula. Incredible service and beautiful room. It has beat the Oriental during the past few years in ranking of best hotels in the world. We stayed at the Peninsula two years ago.
lacontessa is offline  
Jan 16th, 2005, 01:25 PM
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Loved the Peninsula and its wonderful service (and was upgraded)Also preferred their wonderful ferry ride across the river...
rara is offline  
Jan 16th, 2005, 06:03 PM
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this question will continue until one of those hotels falls into the river....
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 17th, 2005, 09:15 AM
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I posted this earlier but it seems to have disappeared so here it is again. Why I prefer the Oriental to the Penn and how I feel they differ.

I have stayed at both although I have only spent two nights at the Penn and have probably spent 150-200 nights at the Oriental over the past 20 years.

I MUCH prefer the Oriental largely because of the warm and personal service and for the history of the hotel. It feels much more intimate to me than the Penn and it oozes history and charm.

I found the service at the Penn to be extremely good but also extremely cold. Much of the staff at the Oriental has been there for years and they take a huge pride in working there and a joy in getting to know and helping their clients.

The Penn's rooms are larger and much more high tech. It has a more "western", commerical/sterile feel to me.

Both are very deluxe and you will have a wonderful experience at either. It really depends what type of hotel you are looking for and what your priorities are.



glorialf is offline  
Jan 17th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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I think it would be fair to say if you'd stopped 200 nights in any hotel you'd expect the personal attention paid to your needs to be tip top.

Chap I work with stops in the same hotel on and off the equivalent of 3 months a year, the service he gets cw the service I get when I stop there on average 3 days a year - well its very noticeable.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  

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