Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, the businesswoman who was best known as the founder of the Dusit International hospitality group, died aged 99 on Sunday (May 3).
Chanut founded the iconic Dusit Thani in Bangkok 50 years ago. At 82 metres high, the Dusit was the tallest building in Thailand when it opened in 1970, instantly becoming a Silom landmark and a byword for luxury. Its distinctive golden spire disappeared from the Bangkok skyline last year, when the hotel was demolished.
However, the Dusit Thani will rise again in 2023 as part of a Bt36-billion mixed-use project being constructed on the same site overlooking Lumpini Park.
Chanut served as the chairperson of Dusit International from 1970 to 2014, overseeing an expansion from domestic hotelier to a multinational hospitality company with dozens of luxury properties in 12 countries.
She was conferred with the title “Thanpuying” in recognition of her achievements in the hospitality industry, and was granted honorary degrees by Johnson and Wales University, Sripatum University, and Mahidol University. In 2018, Chanut was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in international hospitality by Hong Kong Polytechnic University.