Siam Intercontinental Hotel/Paragon news 2002-2005

Siam Intercontinental Hotel/Paragon news
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Note about the Paragon article - The Nation, June 28, 2005
A funny letter about the Paragon article below: "Costs soar, but Siam Paragon on course for Nov 1 opening," Business, June 27. "All outlets have been carefully chosen. Siam Ocean World, for example, will be the largest aquarium in the southern hemisphere." Siam Paragon will be huge indeed if it stretches into the southern hemisphere!

Costs soar, but Siam Paragon on course for Nov 1 opening - The Nation, June 27, 2005
All traffic will lead to Siam Paragon when it opens on November 1, with the centre’s world-class shopping and entertainment promising to make it the jewel in Bangkok’s retail crown.
...Siam Paragon is located on a 52-rai property, which is part of the Sa Pathum Palace, owned by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. This has added to the project’s distinction. The centre faces onto Rama I Road with Phya Thai Road to the west, Phetchaburi Road behind it and Rajprasong Road to the east. A road will be cleared so that the traffic can move from Siam Paragon to Phetchaburi Road...

Bangkok aquarium to be region’s biggest - The Nation, July 27, 2005
Australia’s Oceanis Group will open Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium at Siam Paragon in November with an investment of Bt1 billion.
Siam Ocean World will occupy an area the size of two football fields and will be able to accommodate 20,000 visitors per day...
The centre will comprise a main “oceanarium” with an acrylic ocean tunnel, a 360-degree panoramic “fishbowl”, touch pools for children, a 4D theatre, a rainforest area and many other features...

'Hi-so' party for the launch of the Paragon - August 17, 2002
The area in front of the Siam Intercontinental Hotel hosted a huge water and light show to inaugurate the construction of the Siam Paragon. All the papers had articles on this--one of the best was the Nation's. All the usual suspects were there touting how great the elegant project will be. After a quote by Supaluck Umpujh that the Paragon will be a "world-class destination because we will offer only the best to customers," William Heinecke explained that the Paragon would have outlets such as Burger King, The Pizza Company, and Dairy Queen. The Paragon sounds like just another big shopping center. However, the business community is excited because the management team that developed and runs the successful (and elegant) Emporium also is behind the Paragon.

The closure of the Siam Intercontinental Hotel has gone on with barely a whisper of protest. There was a sole sorrowful reader comment at the bottom of the Nation article ("It is very sad to see the destruction of Siam Hotel for the new shopping center that will only add to the pollution and congestion of Bangkok."). 2B was told by several sources about the fear of public protest over the removal of such a well-known landmark. However, no one seemed to care. 2B was asked by the Siam Intercontinental whether our webpage on the hotel would be "complimentary" before they would give us the hotel's press kit.

Here is an article about the launch party from earlier this week (the article also mentions that the Emporium will soon undergo a 200 million baht facelift). There are already huge billboards advertising Paragon around town. We have also noted from photos of models in the press that the Paragon will be built right up against the road (about as close as Siam Center is?) with a short bridge to the Skytrain. Whatever happened to setback?


Never again - photo from June, 2002 showing the famous hotel roof lit up for the last time.
The Baiyoke II, Amari Watergate, and Grand Diamond buildings can be seen in the background.


June 30, 2002 - Last day at the pool

Siam Inter-Continental to be Demolished - The Bangkok Post, March 9, 2001
The Post reports that the 35-year old Siam Inter-Continental will be torn down early next year (This is the hotel next to Siam Center and across from Siam Square--the Siam Square Skytrain stations sits in front of it). "The 50-rai plot is owned by HM Private Property and the company has leased the land for 35 years. It has extended the contract for another 25 years." The new project would include a five-star hotel, an auditorium, "cultural and interactive museum, library and Thai heritage centre" and be completed in three and a half years. International marketing research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres is making the feasibility study.


Landmark to be torn down - The Bangkok Post, June 30, 2002
Khunying Chodchoy Sophonpanich, the hotel's first public relations manager when it opened in 1966, went through a baptism of fire. The hotel's design was controversial and drew great flak. ``People were really angry at the design, which was inspired by a royal hat,'' she said. ``The controversy made the hotel very hard to promote.''

Hotel closes doors at 36 - The Bangkok Post, June 30, 2002
When it was opened in June 1966, many people believed the design, said to resemble a hat worn by an early King of Ratansakosin, was inappropriate. The late M.R. Kukrit Pramoj thought building the hotel in the likeness of a royal accessory was scandalous.

Some reports state that the hotel is fully booked until its last day. The Bangkok Post reports that no date has been set for demolition (we wonder if it will be made public before the building is torn down). The article also mentions the new shopping center will include a "museum" and ...the company will auction nearly 5,000 items including furniture and amenities from the 400 guest rooms, on July 10-11 at the hotel near Siam Square....

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