The Memory at On On Hotel in Phuket Town - From Historic Gem to Hollywood Fame, still going strong in 2023

The On On Hotel is a legendary landmark in the heart of Phuket’s Old Town, with a long and fascinating history.

Built in 1929, the hotel played a crucial role in developing Phuket’s tourism industry and has even made a memorable appearance on the big screen. The hotel’s location, architecture, and interior design testify to its rich history. 

Its Sino-Portuguese façade and traditional brick archways evoke the golden age of Thai colonial architecture. Inside, an eclectic mix of antique furniture and modern amenities offers guests a comfortable and unique stay.

The hotel was initially built to accommodate the growing number of tin miners and traders coming to Phuket in the early 20th century. However, the hotel quickly became known for its warm hospitality and comfortable rooms, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists.

During the 1930s and 1940s, The On On Hotel cemented its place in Phuket’s social scene with the addition of its grand ballroom. The largest of its kind in Phuket then, the ballroom was the go-to venue for high-society even

Many of Phuket’s wealthy families held their weddings, banquets, and other celebrations there, and it was even used for important government meetings and conferences.

In 1929, the hotel hosted a famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, performance during his Southeast Asian tour. The event was a resounding success, and the ballroom was filled with guests eager to hear the legendary tenor sing.

A Bump in the Road – The Decline of the Mining Industry and Memory at On On Hotel

The hotel’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in the 1950s, with the decline of the tin mining industry and the rise of newer, more modern hotels.

The On On Hotel struggled to keep up, eventually falling into disrepair and closing for many years. It became a forgotten relic of Phuket’s past.

However, in 1990, a local businessman saw the potential in the historic building. So he decided to restore it to its former glory. The restoration work took three years and was completed in 1993.

The On On Hotel stars as “Khao San Road Guest House.” in the movie “The Beach”

The On On Hotel’s appearance in the 2000 movie “The Beach” was significant for the hotel and the city of Phuket.

The film, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was based on the novel of the same name by Alex Garland and followed the story of a young backpacker seeking a hidden beach paradise in Thailand.

In the film, The On On Hotel, Phuket plays a prominent role as the location where the main character, Richard (played by DiCaprio), stays upon arriving in Bangkok.

The hotel’s historical charm and traditional architecture are prominently featured in the movie, with scenes shot in the hotel’s courtyard, lobby, and guest rooms. 

To prepare for the filming, the hotel changed its interior design to match the film’s 1990s setting better. 

The hotel’s antique furnishings and décor were replaced with more contemporary items, and the hotel’s staff and management worked closely with the film crew to ensure that everything was ready for filming.

During filming, The Hotel served as the base for the film crew and cast, who stayed in the hotel’s guest rooms during the shoot. 

According to reports, the hotel’s courtyard was transformed into a makeshift production area, with equipment and props scattered around as the film crew worked to create the movie’s scenes.

The On On Hotels’ appearance in “The Beach” brought significant attention to the hotel and the city of Phuket, as viewers worldwide were captivated by the film’s stunning visuals and compelling story. 

In the years following the film’s release, the hotel became a popular destination for movie fans who wanted to experience its charm and unique atmosphere.

Today, The On On Hotel Phuket remains an iconic landmark in Phuket’s Old Town and a testament to the city’s rich history and culture. The hotel’s appearance in “The Beach” has helped to cement its place in popular culture. 

It continues to draw in visitors worldwide, eager to experience the hotel’s unique blend of tradition and modernity. Since then, The On On Hotel has been a popular destination for tourists looking to experience Phuket’s rich history and culture.

The On On Hotel Phuket is a true gem of the city and remains an important cultural landmark, a reminder of Phuket’s early days of tourism.

The On On Hotel Phuket, is a must, even if you don’t plan to stay there. The hotel is more like a living museum, a testament to a bygone era worth experiencing.

Conclusion and why you have to visit The On On Hotel in Phuket’s old town; it is a unique experience, you will not regret

The On On Hotel, located at the heart of Phuket Old Town, is an outstanding destination that shouldn’t be missed, even if you don’t plan on booking a room. This oldest hotel in Phuket is a place to rest your head and a living monument to a past era that is well worth experiencing firsthand.

Stepping into The On On Hotel is like embarking on a journey through time. Its preserved architecture and artifacts provide a tangible link to Phuket’s rich cultural heritage.

 It’s an excellent location for travelers who want to delve deeper into the history of old Phuket town, providing a unique and immersive experience that transcends the typical hotel stay.

But the On On Hotel is not merely a historical site. It’s also a great hotel in its own right, offering modern amenities and comforts in a truly unique setting.

The rooms are beautifully appointed, with period details that bring the past to life while still providing all the conveniences of the present day.

Staying at The On On Hotel is not just a night’s rest—it’s a chance to “stay at the memory” of Phuket’s past. Whether you’re a movie buff, a history enthusiast, or a traveler seeking a unique cultural experience,

The On On Hotel in Phuket town is an absolute must-visit. History and hospitality intertwine here, offering you an enjoyable and educational stay.

How to find the Legendary Memory at On On Hotel on a map