Since 1990 the Siam City Hotel, Bangkok has been championing the best in local, regional and international talent. Over its 20 year history the hotel has regularly hosted an array of superlative entertainers and artists from around the globe. From Ivy League singing groups and award-winning jazz trios to celebrated sculptors, fiery flamenco dancers and avant-garde painters, all have held successful shows at the hotel. In line with the owning Sukosol family’s love and admiration for the arts, the hotel has championed many distinguished and up-and-coming personalities. By skilfully joining together business and pleasure, this well-respected and admired Bangkok hotel is able to consistently bring entertainment, culture and enjoyment to the local community.
This month (June 16-19) will see the hotel hosting a slew of international guitar players for the fifth time as part of the Asia International Guitar Festival & Competition. This event is undoubtedly the biggest and most vibrant event for classical guitar aficionados and music lovers in the region. This year’s agenda includes master classes, guitar exhibits, competitions and concerts by acclaimed world-class musicians hailing from Asia, the Americas and Europe. This year will see rising stars and celebrated veterans of the guitar world perform. Highlights include Jorge Luis Zamora, Paul Steidl, Koki Fujimoto and Paul Cesarczyk. Not to mention that two award-winning orchestral groups, Kaizuka Guitar Mandolin Ensemble from Japan and UP Guitar Orchestra from the Philippines, will also put on a showcase.
Over the years, the hotel has hosted an enviable array of top international talent. Recent offerings have included blind pianist Ignasi Terraza, mainstay of the Barcelona jazz scene and winner of the prestigious 25th Great American Jazz Piano Competition and The Whiffenpoofs from Yale University (also returning June 24-25), one of the world’s oldest and most famous American a cappella groups.
The hotel has hosted so many prestigious art exhibitions over the decades that it is impossible to list them all here. Of late, one of the most successful was entitled ‘Siam Days of Glory: 19th Century Photographs of Thailand’. It featured a collection of privately owned rare and original images of Siam in the 19th century.
Other exhibitions of particular note have been two nation-wide student art scholarship competition under the banners of ‘Water for Life’ and ‘Thailand is Good’ is 1994 and 1996 respectively; the ‘2nd Rural Study Art Exhibition: Close Relationship Between the Culture of Thai-Laos’ fostering close regional ties in 2009; ‘An Exhibition of Works by 21 Thai Women Artists’ championing local female artisans in 1992; a combination fashion show, concert and painting exhibition featuring the cultural and culinary prowess of Morocco in 2005 entitled ‘Mystical Morocco, Magical Thailand’; a rare exhibition of exquisite sanghaloke (indigenous Thai artefacts) ceramic art in 1991; and ‘Journey of Paintbrush’s Trail’, an exhibition of watercolours by the acclaimed Thai artist Pishnu Supanimit in 2010.
The hotel’s artistic offerings are not limited to guest performers but include the owner herself. Beginning in 1982, the Siam Group’s formidable and determined leader, Khun Kamala Sukosol, fondly referred to as Thailand’s reigning ‘Lady of Swing’, has used her unmistakable talent and resources to hold an annual charity concert, a ‘must’ attend event on the local social scene. To date the yearly event has generated over 30 million Thai baht, contributing to a variety of needy charities, such as the Oncological (Cancer) Society, The Chai Pattana Foundation, the Rajaprachanukroh Foundation for Tsunami Victims, Unicef and numerous Thai Red Cross projects, like organ donation awareness, children’s welfare, breast cancer prevention and craniofacial treatments. Beyond concerts, Khun Kamala has a line of CDs and even a song, ‘Pattaya’, that help promote Thailand as a tourism destination and raise money for charity.
With the Sukosols, entertainment and business are inextricably intertwined. Be it concerts, exhibitions or fund-raising events, the Siam City Hotel is Bangkok’s premier destination for all things cultural and entertaining. In the years to come the hotel and its owners hope to welcome more top international artists and performers to share with an eager and appreciate local audience.