King's Hotel 1959 photo

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Source: M Hotel Sathorn

King's Hotel is among Bangkok's oldest hotels. It was opened in 1959 on South Sathorn Road beside the Embassy of Malaya (still the location of the Embassy of Malaysia). Guest of honour for the opening ceremonies was Field Marshal Praphas Charusathien, among the most senior military figures of the time and one of the "three tyrants" who ruled Thailand from 1963 until the student massacre of 1973, after which he was forced into exile in Taiwan. Through much of the 1960s King's Hotel was considered among Bangkok's finer hotels and was the temporary headquarters for JUSMAG, as well as providing BOQ (Bachelor Officer's Quarter's) for many of the US troops then stationed in Thailand.

One of its more famous guests was the actor Kirk Douglas, who was sent by President John F. Kennedy on a public relations tour to explain U.S. foreign policy in the region in the very early days of the American military buildup in Vietnam, and indeed in Thailand itself.

With the departure of US forces in the 1970s, the King's Hotel downgraded to a budget tourist hotel and serviced apartment. By the late 1980s it was somewhat run-down, though always clean and well-managed. In the 1990s it had become dwarfed by the construction of much larger buildings all around it, including the Alliance Francaise, new Malaysian and Australian Embassies, and numerous hotels, condominiums and office towers.

In early 2007, the hotel has been sold and temporarily closed for renovations, and will reopen under new management as the M Hotel Sathorn. The metallic facade has been removed, revealing the original design, not visible for at least a couple of decades. Though it will be modernised, essential elements of it's classic design will be preserved. It is expected to open in early 2008.

King's Hotel 1991


King's Hotel under renovation 2007


The inner courtyard was lined with murals of depicting scenes from around Thailand.

Field Marshal Praphas Charusatien, wearing a polka-dotted bow-tie, arrives at Kings Hotel in 1959 for its Grand Opening and tours the facilities.

Boon Vanit Guide 1962

Advertisement from 1962

The restaurant/bar on the second floor featured live rock and roll combos.