The Dusit Thani hotel has been a fixed point in Bangkok’s hospitality scene (and on its skyline) ever since it opened in 1970. Now that it’s closing down, it’s the end of an era— but another one is sure to open soon.
The Dusit Thani hotel will officially close in January 2019 and undergo renovations that will bring the whole structure up to the standards of Thailand’s tourist industry. “Dusit’s founder developed the property to create a shining example of Thai hospitality,” Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, the group CEO for Dusit International, told Lonely Planet. And that’s what led to “the decision to redevelop our flagship hotel”.
Ms Suthumpun assures that the decision to close down the Dusit Thani was not one taken lightly, and with good reason. When it opened at the beginning of the 70s, the hotel was the tallest and grandest building in Thailand’s capital. “It introduced the city to many ‘firsts’,” Ms Suthumpun explained to Lonely Planet. “The first elegant ballroom, the first rooftop supper club, the first hotel discotheque”. Over the years, royalty, politicians, celebrities and business-people have stayed in the Dusit Thani’s 512 rooms and enjoyed its octagonal pool and six dining options. But it’s important to remember that this iconic hotel is not going away for good.
“This is not goodbye,” Ms Suthumpun told Lonely Planet. The Dusit Thani will return as a new hotel and mixed-use project, one that will include residences, retail areas, office buildings, green space and access to the city’s transportation systems. “In keeping with the original Dusit Thani, many of the original hotel’s trees will be incorporated in the new build, as will the hotel’s distinctive, handcrafted teakwood décor, traditional ornaments, and unique artworks,” Ms Suthumpun confirmed. “We’re proud of our heritage, and we want the world to know it”.
So, if you want to get a chance to experience the “old” Dusit Thani hotel, you still have a couple of months to do so. When renovations will be over, in 2023, you’ll be able to visit the new Dusit Thani, which Ms Suthumpun hopes will be “a new city landmark and a beacon of modern Thai culture to the world, much like the original was when it first opened”.
If you want to stay up to date with the Dusit Thani’s renovations, you can visit its official website here.