Dusit International draws upon 60 years experience in the hotel and hospitality field. The group’s origin dates back to 1948 when Honorary Chairperson, Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, opened her first hotel, the “Princess” on Bangkok’s New Road. This successful venture represented a major breakthrough for Thailand’s hospitality industry creating and evolving what is today the nation’s leading hotel company.
Continuing in this pioneering spirit, Thanpuying Chanut embarked upon a luxurious city-centre property, Dusit Thani Bangkok, which has become the company’s flagship hotel. Dusit Thani opened in February 1970 and from the beginning achieved widespread popularity, setting new standards for hospitality. Since then, despite increased competition and the unprecedented scale of new hotel construction, Dusit Thani has remained at the forefront of Thailand’s quality hotels.
The essence of Dusit Thani is best symbolised by the statue of King Rama VI, which stands just across the street. King Rama VI devised a Utopian concept in 1918, named Dusit Thani, meaning “Town in Heaven”. To Thais, the name “Dusit Thani” has two very special connotations. First, Dusit is the mythological name for the fourth of the seven levels of heaven. Second, King Rama VI took the name adding “Thani,” meaning “Town” in Thai, to be the title of a model city for democratic society where everyone would live in happiness and freedom.
The company takes not only its name, but also much of its character, from the ideas of King Rama VI, whose thoughts on the modern state blended Western and Thai influences. Thus the architecture of a Dusit Thani hotel displays contemporary lines that nonetheless echo traditional Thai style. Similarly, the interior design exemplifies genuine Thai artwork and reflects classical Thai motifs, while the facilities and amenities surpass the highest expectations of modern deluxe hospitality.
In 1987, Dusit recognised tourist trends towards resort style accommodations and acquired a hotel which was renovated to become the first resort property, Dusit Thani Pattaya, followed by another beach resort in Phuket – Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket. In 1989, the prestigious Dusit Resort and Polo Club opened in Hua Hin (now renamed Dusit Thani Hua Hin). Royal Princess Chiang Mai was opened in Chiang Mai, capital of the north in 1991, followed by a second northern hotel in Chiang Rai – Dusit Island Resort Chiang Rai opened the same year.
In 1995, Dusit International acquired the Hotel Nikko Manila by purchasing shares in the holding company, Philippine Hoteliers Inc. (PHI), from Japan Airlines Development Company Limited and JAL Trading Inc. The Hotel Nikko Manila came under the management of Dusit Thani Hotels & Resorts, and was renamed the Dusit Hotel Nikko, Manila. In order to meet the high Dusit standards, the Manila hotel also underwent a major renovation programme and became Dusit Thani Manila in April 2008.
In early 2001, Dusit Thani Dubai opened, adding a vital important new market, the Middle East, to the Dusit portfolio. The majority of Dusit Thani Dubai staff and employees were recruited from Thailand itself, thus ensuring a perfect transfer of the warmth and charm of traditional Thai hospitality. In 2005, Dusit set up the Middle East Regional Office also in Dubai, covering the Gulf Cooperation Council member countries, to meet the challenges of the fast growing hospitality industry there.
In November 2006, Dusit Thani Hotels & Resorts added a brand extension – the Dusit Lifestyle Collection with dusitD2 hotels & resorts. dusitD2 is the second generation brand of Dusit Thani Hotels & Resorts, representing a new concept in balance between tradition and trend, with international high standards and warm hospitality that is distinctly Thai. The first property in the dusitD2 collection opened in November 2006 in the historical city of Chiang Mai. dusitD2 chiang mai is a ‘D’ynamic, ‘D’esirable and ‘D’lightful blend of serenity, individuality and modernity that is authentically Thai. The second dusitD2 hotel – dusitD2 baraquda pattaya was officially launched in February 2009.
In addition to the Dusit sub-brand extension, the company introduced Dusit Residence Serviced Apartments, a combination of the advantages of an exclusive residence with five-star service levels that balance the need between residential privacy and hotel-like convenience and excellence. Pearl Coast Premier Hotel Apartments, Dubai, United Arab Emirates was opened in Janaury 2007, followed by Dusit Residence Dubai Marina, United Arab Emirates in 2008.
Dusit International also proudly includes Dusit Princess Hotels & Resorts, offering first-class, affordable accommodation in primary and secondary destinations throughout the country. Each is unique to their location and serves a particular city or market segment.
The rebirth of the spirit of the original Princess hotel came with the 1989 opening of the Royal Princess Larn Luang, Bangkok, a boutique-style hotel opened near the city’s Grand Palace. There are currently 10 Dusit Princess Hotels & Resorts in Thailand; with the latest addition and first Princess resort being Dusit Princess Koh Chang official launched on 17 March 2008. The first Dusit Princess outside Thailand, Dusit Princess City Centre, Dubai is slated to open in November 2009.
In 2007, Dusit entered into a joint venture agreement with Bird Hospitality Services (BHS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bird Group – one of India’s largest hospitality technology companies, to bring the collection of Dusit International property brands to India. The first hotel, Dusit Devarana New Delhi is expected to open in May 2010, followed by the first dusitD2 hotel outside Thailand – dusitD2 New Delhi opening in 2011.
In order to support Dusit International’s expansion and concerned with providing the best education – from basic to top-level knowledge – in the hospitality industry spurred Thanpuying Chanut to set up Dusit Thani College, founded in 1993 and has since become the leading centre of hospitality learning regionally, and the first institution of its kind to gain recognition from the Thai Ministry of Education. In 2009 Dusit Thani College initiated a programme with Lyceum University in the Philippines to prepare the young people of today for an exciting career in hospitality services in the future. Lyceum University has commenced the first Dusit Thani College – Lyceum University programme in June 2009 with over 4,000 enrolments, which has exceeded all expectations for the programme’s inaugural enrolment.
In the same educational pioneering spirit, Dusit International has forged an alliance with Le Cordon Bleu, the world’s largest, distinguished culinary arts institute in Paris. In August 2007, the Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School opened, making it the first of its kind in the Southeast Asian region. The institute offers a wide range and scope of Gourmet short courses and highly sophisticated Le Cordon Bleu three-month courses including the Classic French Course-Superior Cuisine. Furthermore, the school will also offer English-language Tourism and Hospitality courses – basic, intermediate and advanced lasting 10 weeks each. The Dusit Thani College currently offers an international Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration in Kitchen and Restaurant Management, also in association with Le Cordon Bleu.
Besides Dusit Thani College and the Le Cordon Bleu Dusit joint venture, the Dusit Executive Development Center Co., Ltd. (DEDC), established in 2005 and a subsidiary of Dusit Thani Public Co., Ltd., provides top-level executive training courses and customised programmes to individuals and various organisations specialising in, or dealing with, the hospitality industry. DEDC’s managerial and executive level tailor-made courses have been praised for their dynamic approach – the Centre actively collaborates with leading institutes and universities, committed as it is to provide the most reliable quality and solid expertise in the hospitality industry.
Dusit International now has a unique portfolio of deluxe hotels. Dusit International comprises five hotel brands: Dusit Thani Hotels & Resorts, Dusit’s second generation dusitD2 hotels & resorts, Dusit Princess Hotel & Resorts, Dusit Devarana Hotels & Resorts, and Dusit Residence Serviced Apartments. It also operates its own signature Devarana Spa. Dusit aims to provide the traveller with a unique experience and deliver quality that always excels. It is this total focus on serving the needs, and anticipating the desires of their customers, which has set Dusit International apart from the more uniform chain operations. With a team of dedicated professional and experienced managers, Dusit International has built upon a heritage of Thai traditions to create a personal experience that is unique to Dusit; in short, an experience that enlivens the individual spirit no matter what their journey.