Bangkok’s biggest brothel is throwing in the towel to become a hotel after Covid-19 obliterated their business.
The 11-storey ‘Poseidon’ massage parlour boasted an in-house nightclub, restaurant and hundreds of luxury themed rooms filled with king-size beds and jacuzzis.
Girls wore different badges according to their desirability and prices started at 3,2000 baht (around 49 GBP) for a couple of hours in a private room – with membership schemes for loyal customers.
However, despite the luxurious appeal, visitor numbers have collapsed since the March last year when a travel ban was introduced and ‘high risk’ businesses were closed. The venue re-opened but was closed again for a second time at the end of December amid another surge of coronavirus infections in the country.
Dejected owners of the brothel will now rip out the garish furnishing and change the building into a drab three-star hotel. Many guests will be unaware of its seedy past.
A source at the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), which owns the land and overseas the lease, said the Covid-19 pandemic had killed the massage parlour’s income. They now want to change their line of business to adapt to the new economy.
The source said: ‘Poseidon is on a large plot and their lease will expire in February, 2024. They have requested a renewal of the 30-year lease along with a request to modify the 11-story building.
‘Currently, they operate a massage parlour business but the Covid-19 outbreak has caused a downturn in business as there are no tourists. They have a budget of 200 million baht to turn the building into a three-star hotel business.’
Thailand has recorded 12,594 Covid-19 infections and 70 deaths. A second wave started in mid-December when hundreds of Burmese migrant workers at a seafood market tested positive. Cases have since spread to more than 45 provinces and lead to lockdowns and mass closures of businesses in some regions.
The state department owns the land which a number of high profile businesses are built on along the city’s Ratchadapisek Road. It includes SCB bank, The Street shopping mall, Emerald Hotel, and Bangkok Criminal Court.