In the heart of Thailand's vibrant capital, you'll find the sanctuary that is the Mandarin Oriental.

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With views over the Chao Phraya river, this oasis in a metropolis of more than 12 million people oozes tranquillity. When you're relaxing in a cabaña next to one of the two pools, enjoying a couple's spa treatment at the heavenly Oriental Spa, or indulging in afternoon tea in the renowned Author's Lounge, it's easy to forget you're in the midst of such a packed-to-the-gills city.          

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The food is outstanding. Dine on seafood at Lord Jim's, or head across the river in the hotel's private boat for a traditional Thai experience at Sala Rim Naam, a riverside pavilion where diners enjoy a display of traditional dancing and music. For another culinary treat, guests can learn to cook at the hotel's Thai Cookery School. But what really sets the Mandarin Oriental apart is the service. From complimentary drinks and ice cream by the pool, to remembering tea and coffee orders every morning, the staff are ever-attentive. It's hard to imagine a better location to return to after a hectic day exploring what Bangkok has to offer.

WOW FACTOR The service: friendly, flawless and instantaneous.

GO A double room costs from £260, B&B www.mandarinoriental.com

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