The oldest and grandest hotel in Bangkok, fronting the Chao Phraya River and surrounded by tropical gardens, the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is renowned throughout Asia for its luxury and service. One of the most famous hotels in the world, it has welcomed kings, presidents, rock stars and writers. It even has a Writers' Wing where everybody from Somerset Maugham to Noel Coward have resided. It also has a choice of restaurants and bars and a shopping arcade. Across the river, accessed by the hotel's beautiful boat, is the Mandarin Oriental's traditional Thai restaurant, cultural centre, where workshops and the cookery school are held, as well as the award-winning Spa.