Nearly a year after threatening to demolish Pattaya’s Boutique Hotel for illegally adding six additional floors, the dismantling actually began with plans to level the entire building after years after legal wrangling.
The city Engineering Department joined soldiers from the 14th Military Circle at the South Pattaya hotel April 21, 11 months after a “final” order was issued to demolish the hotel. Since then, the case has followed the usual process of the hotel’s owner ignoring city and provincial dictates and authorities going to court.
The dismantling of the six upper floors of the Soi VC hotel has begun and authorities plan to charge owner Jomtien Holiday Inn Co. for the costs.
The Boutique drama has been playing out since 2012, when Jomtien Holiday Inn Managing Director Alongkorn Saewang started building a seven-story hotel annex directly next door. He never obtained any permits for the building and the city issued two stop-work orders, which were simply ignored. In January 2013, the Engineering Department condemned both buildings of the hotel, ordering Jomtien Holiday Inn to demolish the annex within 60 days. Not only was that order ignored, but construction continued as before.
In July 2013, exasperated Pattaya officials investigating complaints of wastewater releases discovered work was still proceeding on the condemned building. They ordered city workers to demolish the structure, but gave in to Alongkorn’s pleas for time to do the work himself. Ninety days was given, and wasted.
In November that year, the city lost patience and sent workers to demolish the structure. Cheered on by area residents and business owners, Banglamung District workers backed by 50 police officers began dismantling the Boutique annex room by room.
In May 2014, city officials took aim at the illegal floors added to the main building. Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho and Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh led a team of city engineers in an inspection of the hotel, a day after Pattaya Business & Tourism Association President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn complained about the Boutique’s continued defiance of government orders.
In July last year, Chonburi Gov. Khomsan Ekachai joined Pattaya’s then-police chief in arresting Alongkorn for ignoring years of government orders and building without permits.
Perhaps to discourage further use of the building after the media cameras leave, holes were made to the walls of the hotel from the 1st floor to the 13th.