Why is one of Bangkok’s oldest luxury hotels getting demolished?
COME Jan 5, 2019, it will be the end of an era for the Thai capital of Bangkok when one of its oldest luxury hotels closes its doors.
Iconic because of its striking modernist architecture, Dusit Thani Bangkok will be demolished to make way for a mixed-use project that will include the new Dusit Thani Bangkok.
Dusit Thani Bangkok was originally due to close earlier this year but it got pushed back as the new project was delayed.
“So many Thais, as well as expats, have told me how many memories they have of the hotel,” Dusit Thani Bangkok VP of operations and general manager Titiya Chooto told CNN.
“As part of the transition into the new chapter, we’re now showcasing what we’ve been legendary for. The graciousness, the beauty of the building, the architecture, the people side, the product side – every single bit of it. It’s a lot to be proud of.”
The spectacular Dusit Thani Bangkok, located at the Rama IV and Silom Road junction across from Lumpini Park, first opened its doors in 1970.
In nearly half a century, the 517-room five-star establishment has hosted royalty, dignitaries, celebrities, and common folk.
This includes the late US president Ronald Raegan, Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow, soul diva Whitney Houston, and crooner Tom Jones.
Designed by Japanese architect Yozo Shibata, it was Bangkok’s tallest and most luxurious hotel, symbolizing a new era for the Thai capital.
If its weathered walls could speak, they would tell stories of the extravagant events they have seen, from important conferences of leaders to weddings of the rich and famous.
To usher the establishment on its way out, a number of events and promotions are happening, such as charitable concerts and fashion shows, concluding with a large New Year’s Eve gala.
Then, it will be closed for at least three and a half years, to facilitate the development of the THB36.7 billion project, built in partnership with Thai developer Central Pattana PLC.
But what can people expect from the new Dusit Thani Bangkok when it opens in 2022? Will the nostalgia be lost?
Titiya reassured that the essence of Dusit Thani Bangkok is kept. “The ‘Thainess,’ which is our signature, will always be a part of Dusit Thani,” Titiya said.