The Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok reopened its doors in December 2014 following extensive refurbishment. The legendary establishment now has a more contemporary look but retains its iconic character.
Originally opened in a tiny room in the hotel’s renowned Authors’ Wing in 1953, the Bamboo Bar has grown into an institution frequented by world high society.
The essence of the old bar inspired the new design created by Thai designers, P49 DEESIGN. Bamboo is used for the bar, chairs, and wall and ceiling finishes. The bar’s original black rattan armchairs have been restored and replicas of rattan seating shown in early twentieth century photos created. Tiger skin print patterns are retained on bar stools and some armchairs.
Hanging on the wall are historical images of the hotel and bar, and pictures of former patrons, including Louis Armstrong, Mick Jagger, and Audrey Hepburn.
Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s General Manager, Amanda Hyndman, said, “Our objective was to weave the past into the future. Old friends will recognise familiar pieces throughout the space that create a real sense of place. The new design better meets the changing needs of our sophisticated clientele, offering more intimate seating and comfort, and clever integration of the outdoor space and the adjacent Cigar Divan.”
The Bamboo Bar’s beverage and liquor concept places renewed emphasis on exclusivity and small production, which includes having one of the largest collections of single malt Scotch whiskies in Thailand. The famous Thaijito and other Bamboo Bar originals created by the bar’s legendary barkeeper for three decades, Sompong Boonsri, remain on the cocktail menu, along with the classics that are still mixed according to their original recipes. New cocktails are classified under Exotic & Sweet, which plays on Asian flavours; Sophisticated & Contemporary; Mature & Robust; and the dessert-like Fruity & Mellow.
The Bamboo Bar is open from 5pm until 1am Sunday through Thursday and until 2am on Friday and Saturday. A live band and resident jazz singer perform from 9pm Monday through Saturday.