A beautiful retro hotel in Thailand retains its original features from the 1960s – despite multi-million dollar offers from developers who want to buy it.
The Miami Hotel in the heart of Bangkok was built in 1965 at the height of the Vietnam War, catering for American GIs visiting the region – hence the city’s name being used as the name.
With the Thai capital going on to become the world’s most visited holiday destination, most of the properties surrounding the hotel have been bought up and demolished by developers who have replaced them with five-star hotels, apartment blocks and shopping malls.
But Miami’s owner, Ton, has turned down ‘’eight-figure sums’’ in dollars to part with his beloved hotel, which has been in the family for three generations.
Incredibly, design lover Ton has retained the hotel's original 1960s architecture as well as furnishings such as desks, clocks, lamps, leather chairs, jukebox, telephone switchboard, beds, tables and bathrooms.
Even the hotel's swimming pool has the same design and tile pattern.
‘’Walking into the hotel is like stepping back in time,’’ Ton said.
‘’My grandparents built the hotel and I’m the third-generation owner. The hotel’s exactly the same now as it was then.
‘’So many people have wanted to buy this hotel because it’s a perfect location, but we’re keeping it as part of the family.’’
The hotel’s authentic retro décor has seen it become popular with producers as a location for films and television shows, as well as photographers who use it for fashion and magazine shoots.
In the middle of the Sukhumvit Road – Bangkok’s prime nightlife spot with thousands of gogo bars, massage parlours and s e x workers lining the street for miles in either direction – the hotel has seen the capital develop over the years.
It still offers ‘short time’ rooms for 600 baht for a couple of hours for men to take their mistresses, or more often, s e x workers from the streets and bars outside.
But the hotel’s main customers are holidaymakers and families from around the world. The hotel is also kept pristine by a team of cleaners and preservation experts, ensuring all the items are immaculate.
Ton added: ‘’If only walls could talk. This hotel has seen everything there is to imagine. GIs having rest and relaxation trips here, planning their secret missions next to the pool.
‘’You can feel the connection to the past when you walk in. It’s a special place and that’s why it so unique. While everything around has changed, we have tried to stay the same.
''There's no chance of me selling. It's not about money. It's most important that the hotel stays in the family.''