Page 1

“We deliver the finest product in every detail”

Aquarius CEO,

Yongyutt

Chaipromprasith

Discover Thailand’s

emerging island hotspots

Unwind with Six Senses at Koh Yao Noi

Hot Interview :

Bruce Oldfield, celebrity fashion designer

Aviva Décor

tackles designer copying ISSN 1686 - 073X

9 771686 073008

THAILAND HONG KONG SINGAPORE

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Special Island Issue


december 2009

contents special features

Exclusive Interview

12

Living News

24

Advertorial

31

Event Calendar

36

Tropical Life

38

Market Watch

42

The Gallery

123

Business Directory

131

Keep fit and focused with Yongyutt Chaipromprasith, Aquarius CEO

Essential reading for the latest developer news, interior and leisure updates

All you need to know about the Malasia My Second Home programme.

Follow Tropical Living to the latest property and lifestyle events around the world.

Enjoy this special island photo gallery from remowned photographer John Marmon

Discover the benefits of buying property on the emerging islands of Koh Lanta, Koh Phangan and Koh Mak. Featuring stunning homes for sale throughout the kingdom.

Your guide for property and leisure related services.


december 2009

contents living departments

Living Homes

Baan Nub Kluen,

Hua Hin

Six Senses, Private Residences,

Koh Yao Noi

Laemsingh Villa,

Phuket

56 66 76

Heaven’s Gate

Slow Life in the Fast Lane

Villa with a View

Living Style Living Furniture

Living Essentials

90 96

Sophisticated and savvy Connie Charuvastr, opens up Aviva Décor to discuss her stylish brands. Sleep well with a selection of the latest designer bedrooms from Bangkok and beyond.

Living Leisure Living Fashion

Living Travel

Living Taste

102 107 118

He designed for Diana Princess of Wales, Joan Collins, Catherine Zeta Jones to name a few, meet Bruce Oldfield. Take a whirlwind tour of the world’s wonderous private island retreats. Indulge with our top recommendations for a meal to remember on Christmas Day.


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW STORY : Natasha Buccianti IMAGES : Courtesy of Aquarious Co., Ltd. PHOTOGRAPHY : Chavalit Kamolthammanon

The Age of

Aquarius Aquarius is a young and exciting company which is trailblazing a path in the Thai development world. With a charismatic CEO in the form of Yongyutt Chaipromprasith, it is independently proving to clients that it can deliver the goods and work with an increasingly sophisticated and demanding market base. Focusing on the two primary business models of project development and project development management they are Images are simulated by computer graphics offering something completely new in Thailand.

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13


T

he company was formed by Yongyutt four years ago and was established with a vision ‘to be a tasteful developer in the property business by offering a full range of property

advisory services, building long-term relationships with clients and synergies with business companions.’ Yongyutt sees it as his personal mission to create this belief in his teams and clients. As he says: “This can be difficult I admit, but it is what it takes to build our Aquarius culture and create the future.”

Yongyutt graduated from university in the US with an MBA and an ambition to succeed in business. He worked for a finance company in that first year before joining Sansiri where he stayed for the next 15 years. At the age of 40 he established Aquarius and focussed on providing unconventional and innovative developments which are tasteful and backed by his years of experience.

Running a Successful Business His attitude to work is reflected in his attitude to life: “A healthy body creates a healthy mind. I love exercise as it makes me proactive and positive. I choose to run because there are no limitations and no specific point and I can apply this principle to my work.” In fact Yongyutt is well known for taking his running shoes wherever he goes. “In this way I can be disciplined.” He says.

“Team sports can be cancelled if other players don’t show up and you can’t swim if there isn’t a large enough pool, but I can run anywhere.” In Bangkok he belongs to four different fitness centres so he is never far from a treadmill. He also provides free gym membership for all his 100 staffs and gives them the freedom to go to the gym every day between 11:30am and 1pm. “They can even get up and walk right out of a meeting to go to the gym,” he laughs.

Yongyutt’s policy on finding the right staff mirrors his vision for the company: “They must be unconventional thinkers and innovative of mind,” he says. “I am constructing a team. Building a condominium is not too difficult to do, but building an organizational culture is the challenge and what you build endures. This is what will make my company a true success.”

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“We want to prove to future clients that we know the market�

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Proving a Point In the past three years, Aquarius has produced over 15 projects worth THB 17 billion and has shown positive growth and profit every year since its inception. Shasa Hotel is the company’s first completed project and as such is very close to Yongyutt’s heart. This five-star boutique accommodation is located in Koh Samui and features 32 chic suites and a private beach front villa. The target market includes families and friends due to the spacious nature of the suites, and investors generally come from Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Australia. However, Europe and the US are also an emerging markets for the development. In 2008, Shasa Hotel won the prestigious ‘Best Condominium Development of Thailand Property Awards in Koh Samui,’ cementing it on the island as an example of quality design.

Shasa falls into the development part of the Aquarius portfolio with all the finance coming from the company itself. “We wanted to prove to future clients that we know the market, and we feel that choosing unconventional and striking ways of working in the Thai market will pay dividends for investors. For example, the private grand verandahs featured in all the rooms are much larger than other developers normally want to include. They don’t want to pay for so much space. But we know that people coming to Samui will appreciate the outdoor area overlooking the sweeping views. With the success of this project we can now convince our clients that with our experience and ideas we can do things which will be successful and will return their investment.”

Community Care Yongyutt chose Samui for the Shasa project due to its exclusive location and local attractions. “Also the infrastructure.” he says. “You need to develop where there is an international airport, hospitals, world-class restaurants and all the facilities and amenities which draw our target market.” Attention to detail also helps, with a Thai tantalizing restaurant, an exciting Kid’s Club, helpfully designed

17


Shasa Hotel Samui


by his young daughter, and contemporary, elegant furnishings all combining to showcase the resort as a truly modern escape.

Aquarius has a social mission as well as defined business goals. “Of course you need to make a profit in order to survive,” explains Yongyutt, but the company is also taking its corporate responsibility seriously by going back to their core values and providing money where it is most needed. Last year, Aquarius built an ‘AQIQ’ creative library, comprising of books, craft materials and hi-tech tools such as computers which value more than THB 200,000. In addition, this year, they are continuing to support the children by developing a ‘Canteen of Happiness’ with the concept of providing sufficient nourishment today, for a brighter future tomorrow. And this charity project is worth around THB 800,000.

Living a Modern Lifestyle Another project currently under construction is an Aequa Condominium in Bangkok. The concept behind this development is ‘to live the finest life’ which as Yongyutt says: “Means we are all about delivering the finest product in every detail including design, layout, specifications and facilities.” The condominium is due to be completed in 18 months and will feature one to three bedroom apartments. The rooftop will boast the only Onsen hot-tubs in a condominium in Thailand, primarily aimed at the Japanese market that make up the majority of tenants in the Sukhumvit area.

So far the project has already sold more than 80% of its units, which is an excellent indicator of the strength of this company in these economic times. The company has once again relied upon innovation and creativity to lure potential investors. “The entire eighth floor for example will be an ‘active floor’ with a fitness room, sauna and a fully-equipped function room for meetings and parties.” The property will also provide extra services, such as those usually available in five-star hotels, as well as an incredibly advanced security system. Yongyutt seems to have his finger directly on the pulse of what buyers actually want from an investment property and a place to live.

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Aequa Condominium

www.aequacondo.com


All images are simulated by computer graphics

“The property market holds great potential for the future, and so does our project development management, which is a very new service concept for Thailand” Yongyutt declares. “I see this as similar to running a great restaurant. We have to prove to customers that we can serve better quality and tastier food than they can cook at home. It is not too difficult to build a home or a condo, and many people think they can do it. But being unconventional and innovative is more difficult, as is delivering a product of the highest quality. This is what Aquarius can do. We are the master-chefs.”

With Yongyutt at the helm, and totting up Aquarius’s achievements to date, it is a fair assumption to imagine his restaurant will be full of patrons for a long, long time to come.

For more information visit www.aquariusestate.com


Worldwide

Tropical Living magazine promotes Thai property around the world through these select events and trade shows, putting thousands of magazines in the hands of qualified investors, home buyers and industry professionals with an interest in Thailand. Make yourself visible on the property radar, promote your business worldwide through Tropical Living magazine.

January 2010 January 7-10 January 8-10 January 23-31

PIMEX Royal Phuket Marina, Phuket The Royal Trophy Golf Tournament Amata Spring Country Club, Bangkok Dusseldorf Boat Show Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre, Germany

February February 2-4 International Property Show Dubai International Exhibition Centre February 22-23 Malaysian Land & Property Law Conference Organised by ABF

March March 16-19 March TBC March 27-28

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MIPIM Cannes Palais de Festivals, Cannes, France Architect Thaksin Central Festival, Phuket SMART Investment & International Property Expo SUNTEC, Singapore


Shasa Hotel Samui

event calendar April A Place in the Sun Earls Court, London, UK China International Boat Show Shanghai Exhibition Centre, China Boat Asia Marina @ Keppel Bay, Singapore Interhome Expo Crocus Expo, Moscow, Russia Architect 2010 Impact Arena, Bangkok

May May 18-24 Cityscape Asia SUNTEC, Singapore

June June 5-6 SMART Investment & International Property Expo Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Shasa Hotel Samui

April TBC April 8-10 April 15-18 April 15-18 April TBC

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TROPICAL LIFE

Island Living By J

n o m r a ohn M

John Marmon, as a photographer, has gained the greatest pleasure from his travels. Over many years his favourite images have been of ordinary people going about their everyday lives in such places as Cyprus, where he lived for many years, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, India, France, and of course, Southeast Asia. He enjoys the experience of interacting with people and by shooting digitally this is made far easier. Showing a subject his/her image immediately usually “breaks the ice” and John can continue further to gain the images he wants. John has very recently created a series of 7” x 5” postcard images titled ‘Real Thailand’. In the processing, John used software to produce an effect somewhat similar to impressionist paintings. Sample images can be viewed at: www.lightstalkers. org/galleries/contact_sheet/22763 where it’s possible to see them as a slide show. If you require any further information on John’s photography, he can be contacted at johnmarmon@gmail.com

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One member of the beach team plays out his role expertly as yet another tourist is ‘launched’ into the air for an exciting and enjoyable parasailing ride.


From left to right: Mangrove swamps are of course a characteristic and striking attribute to certain coastal locations in the tropics. A well-earned rest for the boatmen between trips around their idyllic ‘work-place’. Food and drink vendors can be found everywhere moving around with their mobile stalls. The magical landscape of this bay forms a backdrop to the everyday lives of those who work on boats. Fresh fish such as these ‘beauties’ can be found daily in the markets that the local people shop at on a regular basis. Raindrops rest precariously on the leaves of a tropical plant. The bright red colour of these local fishing boats is clearly reflected in the clear water below their hulls. These coconut husks after the flesh has been carefully extracted, are unlikely to be abandoned but used to create gifts of one kind or another. A tropical skyscape complete with the typical and many hues created and of course, the shimmering palm trees. Fresh fruit such as this magnificent Durian also take prime positions in the local markets. Local women are seen here using the simplest of fishing gear to land their ‘catch’. What must a cat think as it’s privacy is disturbed by yet another photographer? The almost everyday pleasure of playing in the sea is a normal part of life for these boys growing up on tropical islands. Monday is the traditional ‘wash-day’ but in this case the washing on the lines is Latex extracted as liquid from the rubber trees in the many plantations. Similar to the process of washing clothes the material is put through the wringer and left to dry. Never far away, traditional street food attracts it’s hungry customers with both its appetising appearance and sizzling smells, created, in this case, by being cooked over charcoal.

41


MARKET WATCH Images : Courtesy of Skydance Helicopters

Emerging

42


Islands of Thailand For this month’s island theme issue, we explore some of the less developed islands of Thailand, to reveal some fantastic opportunities to own property at a fraction of the price offered at more developed resort locations. Highlighting three unique hideaways, Koh Lanta, Koh Phangan and Koh Mak, we discover dream destinations for all budgets and tastes.

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MARKET WATCH Contributing Writer : Iain Tiltman Images : Courtesy of Lanta Island Property

Koh Lanta

Property Survey

Tropical Living last took a visit to Koh Lanta for the May 2008 issue when we reported of fast sales in the property market. Since then our contact on the ground, Iain Tiltman of Lanta Island Property, has been busy conducting a full survey of the island’s property sales activities to date and assessing the current market situation. Iain shares with us his findings regarding the type of property developments that are proving popular in Koh Lanta: “The extensive study was totally inclusive of every available and foreign owned property on the island going back to the start. The main research findings are:

44

 “Up to August this year, there have been 269 total property sales, which consist of a majority villas at 194 and just 75 apartments.  “The average property sold has two bedrooms, a sea view with an average

internal area of 121 sq m and was priced at THB 8.68 million.  “Moving forward, we see a shift as there are many more apartments than villas for sale, almost at a ratio of 2.5 – 1, the average internal area has decreased and the average asking price has increased, both by around 8%.  “There are over 300 properties available for purchase on Koh Lanta, with over

70 of these already constructed, I believe the market is starting to mature.


KRABI

Phang Nga

Phuket Koh Yao Yai

PP Island

Koh Lanta Andaman Sea

“This pre-sale construction has given integrity to the market, and allays most fear in buyers that the developer is underfunded or a fly by night operation. Combine this with the growing choice of resale property, including beach front and sea view villas – Koh Lanta has a property to suit nearly all buyer’s tastes.”

What kind of proper t y buyers are attracted to Koh Lanta? “Typically, over the last few years we have seen repeat visitors to the island finally make the plunge in to real estate here. Koh Lanta is seen as a ‘cult’ destination by some, where people really are in love with the island and its people, and would dearly like to relocate here. This buyer profile is now being joined by a different type of buyer, one looking at Thailand as a whole. These are now seeing Koh Lanta as a viable alternative to the more perceived popular areas in the Kingdom. This is, I believe, due to the value that property here represents, the natural surroundings and the scope for investment growth.”

Can you provide some examples of land prices around the island? “I still believe that buying land on Koh Lanta will prove to be a very strong investment. Land sales throughout the global recession did slow slightly, though not as much as expected. Prices have held, although a few ‘fire sales’ were reported. Obviously, beach front land is prime real estate and west coast lots are available from between THB 5 – 15 million per rai, whilst great west coast sunset sea view land can be obtained from THB 2.5 million per rai. On the quieter east coast we would expect the prices to be around 50% of something similar on the west. We still get

45


offered from time to time land circa THB 600,000 per rai. Even at these prices the quality of land available here is easily as good as anything available elsewhere in Thailand.”

Last time we repor ted about Koh Lanta prices for west coast beach front villas were selling for THB 5.5 million – how does this compare to today?

Total Sales Activity Pre-August 2009: Total villa sales: 269 villas: 194 / apartments: 75 Average price: THB 8.68 million Average price per sq m (built up space): THB 52,216 Average built up sq m: 166 Average internal space sq m: 121

“At the time of writing there is actually one of these villas remaining, although the price is now at THB 5.8 million, I am confident that this will soon be sold. Currently, the only two other options to enjoy absolute west coast beach front living on Koh Lanta is the resale route or a choice from two property types within a single development project. Resale wise, there are two available properties with asking prices of THB 22 – 25 million. Otherwise, a prospective client can choose between an apartment (from THB 9.7 million), or a villa (from THB 24.7 milion), construction is underway now. The value of property of this nature has increased significantly, although much less than other resort areas.”

Property breakdown

earlier that there are over 300

good position to negotiate. This

Beachfront: 26 Sea view: 139 Mountain view: 104 Private swimming pool: 102 Shared swimming pool: 21 No pool: 146 One bedroom: 34 Two bedroom: 129 Three bedroom: 72 Four bedroom: 32 Five bedroom: 1 Six bedroom: 1

can manifest in a variety of ways,

Property Currently on the Market:

properties available for purchase on Koh Lanta. Clearly, only a percentage of this would suit each individual buyer, however after a slow 12 months I believe the prospective buyer is in a

free furniture, and price reduction etc, all giving the buyer more ‘bang for their buck’.”

How would you describe the lifest yle on Koh Lanta? “Life on Koh Lanta really is how you would imagine a tropical island hideaway, except with a growing list of creature comforts a few minutes away. You can still

Total properties for sale: 323 (already built: 70) villas: 96 / apartments: 227 Average selling price: THB 9.42 million Average price per sq m: THB 53,500 Average built up sq m: 176 Average internal space sq m: 111 Property Breakdown: Beachfront: 115 Sea view: 120 Mountain view: 88 Private swimming pool: 54 Shared swimming: 221 No pool: 48 One bedroom: 69 Two bedroom: 173 Three bedroom: 62 Four bedroom: 19

find soft sandy west coast beaches to enjoy on your own, even at peak season. There is a mixture of

What advice do you have for buyers?

easy going friendly people from around the world, enjoying the natural charm that the island offers.

“Of course, firstly I am going to say use a reputable

Relaxed is the key word here, as

local agent! There is a reason for this, Koh Lanta is a

people often forget actually what

reasonably small community, and local knowledge

day it is. I love living here and

is a key factor with any investment. We have seen

wouldn’t change Koh Lanta for

property developments launch with the aid of a single

the world.”

billboard, and disappear within six months, after the extensive marketing campaign failed to bring buyers. Secondly, and on the more positive side I mentioned

46

Iain Tiltman, Lanta Island Property, www.lantaislandproperty.com

Key Prices: Beachfront land: THB 5 – 15 million per rai Seaview land from: THB 2.5 million per rai East coast land from: THB 600,000 per rai New west coast beachfront villa: THB 5.8 million Beachfront resale villa: THB 22 – 25 million Beachfront under construction: apartment from THB 9.7 million; villa from THB 24.7 milion


MARKET WATCH

Writer : Natasha Buccianti Images : Courtesy of Koh Phangan Holiday Homes and Sage Land and House

The Changing Face of

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is a small island, only 168 sq km, 55 km from the mainland and 15 km from Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. Despite the world-wide economic recession it still has a thriving property market largely due to Westerners hoping to live a simpler life where their money goes further.

Eco Tourism vs Par t y People

parties so that it can be marketed as a more family-friendly destination.

With a laid-back lifestyle, increasing infrastructure with banks and a Western

Currently approximately 10,000 people

Union office in the main town of Thong

live permanently on Koh Phangan, the

Sala, as well as a local accident and

majority based in Thong Sala. Most of the

emergency facility, it is becoming a

local population lives in small farming and

popular choice for those who aren’t

fishing villages dotted around the island.

attracted to the rampant commercial-

As a designated eco-tourist destination,

ism of some of the larger islands in the

over 60% of Koh Phangan is a protected

region. The infamous Full Moon Party

national park making it ideal for hiking

takes place every month and draws

and trekking. The array of white sandy

crowds of up to 30,000 but recently

beaches, many protected by beautiful

measures have been put into place

coral reefs, provide excellent snorkeling

to stop the reported excesses at these

and diving opportunities.

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Gulf of Thailand

Koh Phangan

Koh Samui

Suratthani

Favourite Hideaways There are many property hot spots

lovely sea views, easy access,

The main buyers at the moment are

excellent infrastructure and it is

European. They are investing not only in

close to all the amenities on Koh

commercial businesses, but in a number

on the island. On the east coast of the

Phangan.” Nik Parker from Koh

of different types of developments. Nik

island Thong Nai Pan, which consists

Phangan Holiday Homes agrees:

says that two to four-bedroom villas

of two bays linked together, caters for

“The west coast beaches are

are the most popular, whereas Charlie

high-end real estate and also boasts

tranquil and have great views of

favours a wider range: “There are large

many of the top resorts in Koh Phan-

the Ang Tong Marine Park, along

and small housing developments

gan. The west coast is also popular. Ac-

with Koh Phangan’s legendary

appealing to families, older couples

cording to Charlie Solares, managing

sunset.” Commercial businesses

and investors alike. Thong Nai Pan is

director of Sage Land and House, the

tend to base themselves in

attracting families and investors

west coast has some exciting new de-

Haad Rin, the home of the Full

wanting a high-quality villa to live in

velopments underway. He adds, “It has

Moon Party.

part-time and to rent as well.”

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Invest ment Oppor tunities

location on the island. For example,

region. With the island boasting

rocky coastal land starts at THB 2.5

less traffic, fewer commercial

million per rai or beachfront land for

buildings and a smaller population

Phangan compared to similar locations

THB 5.5 million per rai.” Making sure that

than many surrounding islands,

in the region. Liam Bailey, chief market

underground drainage and water and

it is a magnetic draw for those

analyst from Property Abroad believes

electricity supplies are in place is an

searching for a new start or a

there are some great bargains to be

integral part of the buying process. Many

simpler life, with developments

snapped up. “Just as Koh Samui has

property buyers purchase land assuming

and properties available to suit

been affected by the global situation,

it is ready to be built on, only to find they

every lifestyle and most pockets.

so Koh Phangan growth potential has

have a lengthy and expensive process

been stunted, but this just makes it an

ahead in order to put in the necessary

even hotter investment destination.

infrastructure. Both Nik and Charlie

Prices are very competitive in Koh

www.sagelandandhouse.com www.kohphanganholidayhomes.com

recommend talking to a real estate “You can now buy 10 rai of tropical

agent that is not only reputable but who

beachfront land, already divided into

knows the island. Charlie also suggests:

eight plots for £114,000 (approx THB 6.2

“be patient and do your research.

million). This will easily sell for three, four

Include due diligence and get a lawyer

or even five times that (depending on

to review the property before you buy.”

how patient the owner is) during Asia’s economic recovery.” Nik Parker offers a broader range

The Simple Life So although the property market has

of THB 1 million for coconut land with

hit a slump overall, those with cash and

no views to THB 25 million for beach

patience are snapping up villas and

side property. As Charlie Solares says:

homes in Koh Phangan where the price

“Factors to be considered in the price

of property is, in most cases, less than

include infrastructure, access and

30% of the price elsewhere in the

Key Prices: Coconut land with no views: THB 1 million per rai Rocky coastal land: from THB 2.5 million per rai Beachfront land: from THB 5.5 million per rai Beach side property: up to THB 25 million Investor opportunities: 10 rai beachfront land THB 6.2 million (predicted up to 5 times return on investment over time)

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MARKET WATCH Contributing Writer : Ian McNamara Photo by Christian G

Koh Mak Thailand’s Family Island

Photo by Christian G

Koh Mak is located in the Gulf of Thailand approximately 20 km south of Koh Chang and is the third largest island in this area, after Koh Chang and Koh Kood. Viewed from the air the island is the shape of a cross, roughly 5 km from north to south and 8 km from east to west with the main beaches running the length of the northwest and southwest shores of the island.

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For many visitors, Koh Mak looks

Natural Charms

how they imagine a tropical Thai island should look. Long swathes of beachfront

Unlike virtually all other islands in

with very little development, no ugly

Thailand the current landowners are

high rise buildings, no traffic as the

all descendants of two wealthy

only vehicles on the island belong

businessmen who settled on the island.

to the resorts, plus family friendly

This handful of extended families still own

accommodation and no crime.

virtually all the land on the island and

Bicycle and scooter are the preferred

as such control the way the island

means of transport for most visitors.

develops. Members of these families

Whilst the island isn’t accessible by car

were educated well in Bangkok and

ferry, there are regular speedboat and

overseas and so as time passed the

slowboat services from the mainland

landowners saw how progress was

throughout the year and from

affecting other once pristine areas of

Koh Chang from October to June.

Thailand and made a conscious decision


TRAD

Goodtime Resort

Trad

Koh Chang

Koh Mak

Koh Kood Gulf of Thailand

Photo by Christian G

not to allow that to happen to their

Island Hot Spots

island. Thus the idea of ‘Thailand’s Family Island’ was born. Many beach

great views across the island and across the sea to outlying islands. As the island

There are two beaches that are

is relatively small, you are never more

resorts and islands in Thailand are well

popular with tourists visiting Koh

than a few minutes walk or bicycle ride

known for their bars, nightlife, huge

Mak. On the northwest there is a

from the beach wherever you live.

resorts and shopping malls. You wont

long swathe of sand that is home

get any of that on Koh Mak. What

to Koh Mak Resort and a couple of

you will get is an environment which

smaller bungalow establishments.

ment is still in it’s early stages. The first

is safe, where you wont be disturbed

But the busiest beach is on the

development, marketed under the

by karaoke at 3 am and where you

southwest of the island. This beach

name ‘Goodtime Resort’, only began

can walk along a beach without

is lined with a dozen small and mid

construction in mid-2006. This unique

tripping over a gap year student

size bungalow resorts. However,

development of brick and teak wood

crashed out after a party. Move to

developers have not built on the

homes proved to be very popular and

the island and within a week or two

beach, where land prices are high,

within a couple of years 30 homes had

you will probably have met most of

but a few minutes walk inland in

been built for mainly European buyers.

the inhabitants.

areas that provide privacy but also

The success of Goodtime led to two

At the moment property develop-

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Koh Mak Property Co., Ltd.

vision for the island as the

additional developments springing up in

Moving up in size and budget THB

2008, Koh Mak Residence and Sea View

6.9 million will get you a 175 sq m, Italian

locals and developers is key

Villas, both focusing on buyers looking for

designed, two bedroom villa on over 700

to ensuring the island’s future.

family homes but in a more modern

sq m of land. The Sea View Villas have

There again, I don’t expect

Thai style.

great sunset sea views and one minute

anyone to be marketing

walk to the beach. Koh Mak Residence,

million dollar homes on the

a small development of luxury pool villas

island anytime soon, homes

all with panoramic views south to Koh

will tend to be in the THB

Rayang and Koh Kood, can offer fully

5-15 million range for the

been immune to the global economic

furnished two bedroom pool villas ready

foreseeable future as the

crisis and prices for land and houses have

to move into for THB 13 million. And, if

infrastructure required to

fallen in the past year. In comparison to

you are looking for a business to run on

attract the super rich isn’t

property on Koh Chang, buyers will, on the

the island, there can’t be many islands in

yet in place.

whole, get more for their money on Koh

Thailand where THB 21 million will get you

Mak. Another result of the downturn that I

a well known bungalow resort on three rai

have noticed is that potential buyers are

of prime Chanote titled land with over 100

now looking far less at buying off plan and

metres of beachfront.

Proper t y Price Guide Despite it’s charms Koh Mak hasn’t

more at buying pre-built homes. With that in mind, these are some examples of completed homes, ready to move into now. Anyone with a lower

Future Developments

KohChangRealEstate.com & KohMakProperty.com are online property agencies established to showcase the emergence of Koh Chang and Koh Mak for homebuyers seeking alternatives to Thailand’s better known beach locations. The websites are run by English/Thai partners, Ian and Mam, who have lived on Koh Chang since 2003.

Developers are keen to attract

budget who is looking for a good rental

professional couples and families

Key Prices:

return may want to check out the

looking for spacious homes in small, well

teakwood bungalows at the Goodtime

managed developments rather than

Goodtime Resort Teak Bungalows: THB 2.5 to 2.8 million

Resort development, which can be

providing cookie cutter housing estates for

bought for THB 2.5 to 2.8 million. These

the mass market. Anyone who loves the

bungalows can be rented out through

lifestyle that Koh Samui or Phuket provide,

the popular Goodtime Resort and rental

probably won’t consider buying on

income shared between the owner

Koh Mak, and that’s a good thing as

and developer.

attracting buyers who share the same

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Seaview two bedroom villa: THB 6.9 million Furnished two bedroom pool villa: THB 13 million Business opportunities: Beachfront bungalow resort THB 21 million


LIVING NEWS Complied by Rachel Williams

Veranda High Residence Special Offer

B&B Italia Interiors

at Sathorn Gardens Pacific Star Thailand, a real estate investment firm, recently unveiled its collaboration with Italian high end furniture brand, B&B Italia, to provide exquisite design furnishing for one of its managed properties, Sathorn Gardens. The luxurious condominium on Sathorn Road, announces its latest direction to place more emphasis on lifestyle and design.

The five-star, award winning Veranda High Resort has launched a new range of properties available to purchase. Veranda High Residence, a new luxury residence project at Hangdong, Chiang Mai offers 30 exclusive units, housed in three low rise buildings with three private pool villas. Facilities include spa, fitness, business centre, kids club, two restaurants, bars, library and two swimming pools. The owners of Veranda High Residence can benefit from a 20% discount on all food and beverage and spa treatments at the resort. Sales agent CB Richard Ellis introduce the following special offer: The first three buyers of the condominium receive a 20% discount from the original price OR a 10% discount from the original selling price and receive a 5% guaranteed return for two years. CBRE can also reimburse the airline ticket price and hotel accommodation if a sales and purchase agreement is signed with the deposit and stay at Veranda High Resort by February 28, 2010.

The Falls

Launch

Show House

“We chose B&B Italia to communicate our modern and contemporary character to buyers,” said Urasate Navanugraha, assistant vice president asset development, Pacific Star Thailand. Sathorn Gardens is located in the heart of the CBD, but unbelievably its environment is very nature-oriented, surrounded by not only privileged but also environmental discerned neighbours of the Australian and the Malaysian Embassies. “In terms of all the tangible attractions, Sathorn Gardens does not only have a nature friendly quality but also possesses spacious living units, complete facilities and services. Now we want to emphasise and focus more on the emotional level of buyers by providing the sense of lifestyle that one can experience here at Sathorn Gardens, and B&B Italia is whom we have chosen to accomplish this mission together with us,” Urasate states. Bodipol Chutrakul general manager Leafy Co., Ltd, local distributor of B&B Italia, states that “Every piece I have chosen for Sathorn Gardens is very special; each of them have their own story which have been told, not only in Italy or Thailand but all around the world. Each furniture piece can be the centrepiece of your room that communicates your character and style. We have made use of all space in each room carefully, giving it a minimalist yet trendy character.” Sathorn Gardens and B&B Italia are offering a special promotion to make it easy for everyone to take home a personal piece of world renown furniture. Cash voucher up to THB 900,000 and gift voucher for purchasing of B&B Italia furniture up to THB 400,000 (conditions apply).

Vital Residence, developer of The Falls, Hua Hin, recently launched their new show house. Currently selling off plan, with the first phase completion date expected in July 2010, The Falls has sold 30% of phase one with buyers from around the globe. The project is focused on the “Young at Heart” generation that intends to retire in the near future or is already retired. The development concept is a high-end but affordable, 24 hour serviced residential resort. Each home owner will receive full access to services such as, a medical care centre with a fully trained physician and nursing staff, a spa, homoeopathic treatments, laundry, library, gardening, pre-arrival home preparation, an in house chef and much more. The maintenance package is designed to offer home owners peace of mind whether they are full time or part time residents. All maintenance will be managed by a professional company solely for The Falls, Hua Hin, and will be committed to maintaining a five-star standard of all public areas and facilities.


PROPERTY PROFILE STORY: James Barnes IMAGES: Courtesy of Six Senses Resorts & Spa

S

ix enses

Private Residences Yao Noi

All images are simulated by computer graphics

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KOH YAO

A Slow Life in the Fast Lane You don’t need extra sensory perception to know that the latest partnership between Germing Frey Hotels and Resorts of Switzerland and the Thai family business headed by Dr Chinavais Sarasas and his son Nat, will be a winner. They have already established a pre-eminent reputation for unrivalled excellence with the Six Senses Resorts & Spas, Soneva, Six Senses Hideaway, Six Senses Latitude and Evason brands. Germing Frey is also a partner in the newest and most extravagant resort in Asia, Soneva Kiri by Six Senses.

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All images are simulated by computer graphics

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T

he nine magnificent hilltop villas that are the Six Senses

Private Residences will sit in the lush tropical splendour

of Koh Yao Noi (Little Long Island) in Phang Nga Bay

which is peppered by incredible limestone monoliths

that seem to have dropped from the sky.

This extraordinary seascape with its characteristic karst topography has an unworldly and hauntingly beautiful air. Each villa will command an uninterrupted panorama of this glorious vista.

Environmental Pioneers Company MD and project supremo, Jean-Michel Germing says: “We are probably the leading global pioneers in cutting-edge eco-concept luxury resorts. No one has successfully gone this far in environmental sustainability at the top end of the market.” The renowned, Swiss precision leaves no room for doubt. “Six Senses has proven that sumptuous comfort and incomparable service is environmentally friendly.”

Inspired by the traditional architecture of the region and its sea gypsies, the design by acclaimed Thai architects Habita allows for natural cross ventilation and by using traditional materials, heat is not stored in the buildings, reducing the need for air conditioning. Land plots are unusually large, averaging more than two rai or 3200 sq m and living space ranges from the three bedroom Retreat of 540 sq m to over 900 sq m for the Reserve with a separate pool villa. This generous spaciousness guarantees privacy. Options include additional bedrooms, multipurpose buildings for your office or private gym and a slide for the children. The Six Senses signature crescent infinite edge swimming pools are an unusually massive 25 and 37 metres respectively. Each expertly crafted villa includes a master bedroom suite, guest room suites, dining, seating and relaxation areas, a steam room, swimming pool (some with water slide), fully fitted kitchen, and spacious bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers. Top quality Bose entertainment systems are installed throughout and state of the art technology provides residents with excellent communications, access to satellite TV and the essential broad band internet connection. One of the villas, the Hilltop Reserve, has eight bedrooms, boasts a 55 metre pool and even a magical underground party cave.

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Uber Luxury Buyers beware: prepare to be pampered and you must expect total luxury. On arrival at Phuket International Airport you will be met by the villa team and escorted to the luxurious, custom fitted, Eurocopter for the 15 minute flight to the private helipad on the island or if you prefer, enjoy a scenic 40-minute cruise to your dream destination in the custom-fitted 36-foot Gulf Craft motor boat. This is a universe away from mass tourism. The fabulous nine units are on offer to an international, well travelled clientele, in search of a true lifestyle investment. People who have seen the usual glitz of the many interchangeable hotel brands, the lack of

identity and bland, homogenous uniformity will be excited by this unique project. “In comparison to most other branded residences, we offer the owners a completely unrestricted use of their home- how long and when is up to you,” says Jean-Michel, adding, “buyers can enjoy the ultimate luxury and freedom of not having to occupy themselves with the management of their private homes. They can relax in the knowledge that an experienced, world-class, company is taking care of their investment while generating a rental income during their absence. We do not want to engage in creating secondary homes that are not lived in. That is why we love to create hotels and residences, providing essential employment to the local community and being enjoyed all of the time and not just part of the time.”

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The Best View in Asia The philosophy of Jean-Michel is as broad as it is deep. “Taking the macro view, Thailand is an ideal tourism country. It offers a rich culture and Buddhism is a peaceful and spiritual element in business but most importantly in daily life. There is excellent food, personal safety and superb investment potential.� Geographical concerns are also important,

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“We are right in the centre of Phuket - Krabi, and Phi Phi - Phang Nga; it is Asia’s year round Cote D’Azur! The location of the Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi and its residences are in the best spot on the island – simply the best view in Asia! The resort and its residences merely allow you to enjoy it.”

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Rejuvenating Resort The general manager of the Six Senses Hideaway Resort Yao Noi is Susan Noonan, a woman who clearly relishes her job, providing the epitome of service. “Guests experience a refreshing sense of calm at the Six Senses Hideaway as soon as they enter over the arrival pool.” The corporate ethic of ‘Creating innovative and enlightening experiences that rejuvenate our guests’ love of slow life’ is instantly apparent. The expansive resort covers 24 acres of verdant tropical forest and has every luxury imaginable and more besides, including sensual and healing spa services. “Residential owners can avail themselves of all the resort facilities and dining options,” enthuses Susan, “There are several restaurants and bars and a very well-stocked wine cellar. The dining room offers fine dining with Italian cuisine and features a spectacular glass floor with a creek meandering below. The living room presents a marriage of world cuisine, with an emphasis on Thai, plus tandoori and pizza ovens, and an open grill, while the chef’s table offers a very personal dining experience for just eight guests.” Private in-villa or terrace dining adds to the secluded peaceful atmosphere for those seeking a more intimate ambience. For the true romantic, the villa butler will arrange for a champagne breakfast, a private picnic or an evening barbecue beneath the stars, with a personal chef and waiter at the ready. Clearly, Six Senses is a seven star sensation. To find out more about the perks of owning a Six Senses Private Residence at Koh Yao Noi, visit www.sixsensesyaonoiresidences.com

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LIVING FURNITURE STORY : Stephanie Roy IMAGES : Courtesy of Aviva Décor Limited PHOTOGRAPHY : Chavalit Kamolthammanon

Living at its Best For nearly two decades, Aviva Décor Limited has provided elegant and exclusive furnishings for homes and living spaces throughout the region. Located on the second floor of Bangkok’s All Seasons Place CRC Tower, the showroom greets visitors with the latest designs and trends from Europe including Italy, Germany and Denmark. Connie Charuvastr is the sophisticated and stylish managing director of Aviva. She sits down with Tropical Living to discuss how her love for welcoming the new, and her appreciation for individuality, keeps the company a step above the rest.

Olufsen, one of Denmark’s leading audio, home theatre and electronics specialists. After a two-year business courtship, Aviva became the master dealer for B&O in 1999. A few years later, in 2003, Lutron’s advanced light and shade control systems, that have graced luxury residences, leading hotels and conference centres across the globe, also joined the company. Lutron’s partnership with Bang and Olufsen not only compliments the brand, but also made its addition to Aviva’s portfolio, a very natural fit.

The Brands of Aviva When Aviva Décor opened for business in 1993, it began as

The intricate wall panel systems, bookcases and shelving designs of Milan-based MDF Italia caught

a kitchen specialist, with Leicht, one of the oldest kitchen

Connie’s eye while attending the

manufactures in Germany. Leicht’s minimalist designs and sleek

city’s annual Salone Internazionale

surfaces offered functional technology at its best. After three

del Mobile furniture fair. As customers

successful years of operation, it was time to venture into other

tastes were increasingly drawn to

areas of the home. Fellow German brand Rolf Benz specialise in

Italian design, Giorgetti’s traditional

designer furniture and in 1996 Connie added the brand’s highly

and classic armchairs, lamps and

engineered and creative sofas and recliners to the showroom.

home office furniture gave an

The art of fusing stainless steel and glass to create gorgeous dining

additional touch of Italy to the

and coffee tables came from the designs of Ronald Schmitt the

showroom. To follow in 2007, Danish

same year.

brand Republic of Fritz Hansen, who designed state of the art chairs for

With an impressive selection of kitchen, living space and dining

90

more than a century joined, as well

room furnishings in place, the next step was to explore the world

as the innovative and contemporary

of home entertainment. Who better to pursue than Bang and

lighting designs of Louis Poulsen.


Special Selection With a broad portfolio now in place, Aviva are content with their selection of high quality furnishings and kitchens. However, Connie, will always keep a look out for something extra special. With more and more furniture fairs introduced around the world and increasing media coverage, the job of spotting the leading brands has become a lot easier. When making a new addition, “We select it because it is going to offer something unique to our collection”, Connie explains. “When we chose Royal Botania, we loved the style and didn’t have any other outdoor furniture at the time”. Aviva prefers brands that are unique in design, concept and target group. Expressing her enthusiasm for the current collection, Connie states, “Working with my existing brands is very exciting as every year there are new designs and products to look forward to.”

Exemplary Service Along with being one of the oldest designer furniture distributors in the city, Aviva’s after sales care and customer service sets them apart from many other players within the industry. The company database system allows the staff to provide customers with top-notch services for any situation. Connie explains, “if our first customer from 16 years ago were to call in with a problem, my staff could retrieve all of the necessary information within minutes.” In addition, Aviva offers a range of services such as cleaning, repairs and maintenance. It is the company’s long and healthy relationship with its manufactures that further benefits it’s clients. “If we receive an enquiry about an appliance over 10 years old, it’s quite easy for our staff to email the manufacturer and receive fast and efficient help,” she explains.

Connie Charuvastr

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Connie emphasises the importance of a services centre and proper technical training for staff, “Customers have expressed a high level of comfort to know that a master dealer exists in the region, to take care of any technical needs that should arrive. This strong appreciation for servicing is a clear indication that after sales care is just as important as any other aspect of the shopping experience.”

New Challenges The growing demand for luxury designer furniture in Thailand does have its downside, as increasingly local manufacturers copy the top international designs despite copyright laws being in place. With 14 brands under Aviva’s umbrella, this is an issue that Connie confronts more and more each year. “Copyright is not the right to copy”. Words uttered as she describes the current duplication issues circling the furniture industry.

Rin

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Grand Prix


Arne Jacobsen originally designed the Republic

discovered, “A common theme is that the actual

of Fritz Hansen’s ‘Swan’ chair in 1959. Today, the

companies are unaware that they house replicated

Danish brand’s creation has become the

furniture throughout their lobbies and waiting rooms.”

company’s most highly copied pieces of furniture. The Swan chair has been spotted

Aviva believes that the copying issue presents an

throughout Southeast Asia in public facilities

opportunity to educate the interior designers of the

ranging from hospital waiting rooms and lounges,

region, because these are the professionals

to fast food and airport restaurants. It is estimated

actually ordering the products and who should have

that there are three different manufactures within

full knowledge of copyright laws. The Fritz Hansen

the region that contribute to this duplication

chairs sold exclusively by Aviva are now affixed with

problem. After making her own enquiries, Connie

red labels that guarantee their originality.

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For authentic, quality products, excellent service and superb designs, visit the furniture showroom of Aviva DÊcor at 2/F All Seasons Place Retail Center and discover how to add a sparkle to your home interior. Contact telephone: +66(0)2 685 3661–3 or visit www.aviva.co.th

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What’s New? Brand: Tepandine German manufacturer Tepandine is Aviva’s latest brand that is sure to change the way we view dining with the family. Tepandine’s patented stainless steel Teppanyaki Grills encourages everyone to participate in cooking. Whether working with the portable, table or built-in units, the technology allows for the grill’s centre surface to heat and cave in taking the slightest shape of a wok. Vegetables, broths, sauces and meats around the table may cook in the centre without the fear of splattering or wasting. While the clean-up process after a meal is usually a source of dispute within many homes, just a few wipes from the grills special soap pad and the most dreaded part of the evening is quickly over.

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LIVING FASHION STORY : Rachel Williams IMAGES : Courtesy of Niche PR

King of Couture

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B

ritish born fashion designer, Bruce Oldfield OBE, has designed couture for the rich and famous to grace red carpet events and weddings around the world. His list of esteemed clientele include Diana Princess of Wales, Queen Rania of Jordan, Jemmima Khan, Barbara Streisand, Diana Ross, Joan Collins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sienna Millar and more. Born in London and raised in the north east of England by children’s charity Barnado’s, Bruce Oldfield began his successful career designing his own label ready-to-wear collections for UK and American stores in 1975. Three years later he began making couture clothes for individuals and soon after added Diana, Princess of Wales to his list of clients. Naturally, demand grew for his collections and his first boutique opened in 1984 to cater for international clientele. Not phased by the global crisis, Bruce Oldfield has recently opened a new atelier and boutique at No.34 Beachamp Place in London, right opposite his original boutique at No.27. Catering more exclusively for weddings, the new store will dress the bride, bridesmaids and the mother of the bride, ensuring all are beautfully co-ordinating from head to toe.

“Bruce is more than a designer. There’s something about his clothes that brings out the best in you. He’s never let me down. I get the same pleasure from his clothes as I get from my jewels – they last.”

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Describe your current autumn/winter collection – what are your influences?

Tropical Living were fortunate to catch up with the king of couture to find out more about the man behind the label. Your couture has been worn by some huge name Hollywood actresses, British and international royalty and European aristocracy, why do you believe they chose your designs? “I think it’s because I know how to flatter the figure, I understand what dressing up for an occasion is all about and also because I’m good at listening.”

When designing a collection, do you have a certain type of woman in mind for each garment? “No, when I design I just do what pleases me. I do however, have an idea where the dress would be worn and perhaps would make a mental note that I should make a point of showing it to one particular client. For years my muse was the actress Charlotte Rampling, we’re still friends after 35 years.” 104

“This autumn has a lot more colour than i’ve used for ages. Vivid pinks, rich purples, teal and the 80’s staple of royal blue. Fabrics are quite shiny too with velvets, duchess satins and shot taffetas and chiffons. I still follow a feminine silhouette with tonal embellishments rather than a lot of glitter. It seems to me that the colour is quite a statement already! Influences? I just begin each new collection where I left the last one, developing ideas about cut and shape …I like continuity and never throw out a good idea simply as a fashion whim!”

Would you design an evening gown differently for an Asian woman compared to a Western woman? “I think that the grand gesture might be lost on the small frame of Asian women. I think you can have a great time with colour and texture, but I would keep it sleek.”

It must be every womans dream to be dressed by a top designer such as yourself. If a client from Thailand desired your services, what steps should they take to get that perfect Bruce Oldfield outfit? “They need to come to London, make an appointment to see me and we can sit down and discuss what it is the client requires…easy... I have been to Chiva Som, a fantastic spa in Hua Hin, we could always meet there for a consultation!”


Tell me about your new boutique store in London. “The important thing about the new store is that it’s directly opposite my existing couture premises at 27 Beauchamp Place in London’s Knightsbridge, very close to Harrods. It’s three floors of bridal wear, couture and custom made gowns and accessories. The bridesmaids and mothers are catered for in the store on the other side of the road. The great advantage is the geographical closeness of the two sites and my availability in both.”

You have experience working with home interiors and designing furniture. Do you still work in this field? “Of course I get involved completely in my own homes and showrooms but am currently not involved in other interiors projects. However the expansion of the bridal business will include designing and sourcing for the Bruce Oldfield wedding list of China, glassware, cutlery and linen, so this will be, if you like, a reintroduction of my style in the interiors market. I love making and being surrounded by beautiful things so after dresses, ones actual surroundings are an obvious extension.”

How does fashion on the catwalk, influence interior design? “There is a direct correlation between the two, most obviously in fabric and embellishment techniques.”

describe yourself... “I’m a bit of a workaholic, interested mainly in producing beautiful clothes, looking after my dogs and staying healthy.” what is your favourite country and why?... “the UK because it has fantastic heritage and lots of cultural diversity.” describe your best-loved piece of funiture at home... “my 1930’s upright piano, a stunning piece of art deco design, beautiful to look at and a beautiful tone too.” what is your preferred drink and who makes it? “Fresh mint tea---I make it.” what do you do to relax? “Play the piano.”

www.bruceoldfield.com 105


LIVING NEWS Complied by Rachel Williams

Gaggenau at World Gourmet Festival Since its inception 10 years ago, the World Gourmet Festival has grown in prominence to feature an extraordinary line-up of some of the best chefs from around the world. This year, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok is the only hotel to bring award winning master chefs under one roof for a week long celebration of outstanding food, superb wines and to share tips and information on how to create award-winning cuisine. Gaggenau were the official kitchen sponsor of the top notch cooking classes where they showcased their latest kitchen innovations including the 400 Series cooking appliances: induction hob VI411; teppan yaki VP411; oven BO271; combi-steam oven BS254; warmer drawer WS261; Vario Fridge RC472 and Vario Wine Cabinet RW464.

Ritz-Carlton Opens in Krabi The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., recognised as the global leader in luxury hotels, service and lifestyle, is proud to announce the opening of Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve on December 22, 2009, in Krabi, Southern Thailand. The world’s first Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Phulay Bay will embody the attributes, philosophy and unique style and design of the Reserve brand extension. Appealing to affluent and discerning travellers seeking more from their leisure time, RitzCarlton Reserve will offer exquisite resorts in secluded and naturally beautiful locations around the world. Set on the shores of the Andaman Sea, Phulay Bay is a hideaway 54-villa and pavilion boutique hotel with unspoilt views of the towering limestone karsts which make up the beautiful landscape of this part of Southern Thailand. Coupled with sandy beaches, a coastline flecked with more than 200 islands, surrounded by a national forest with rugged rock formations and hidden waterfalls, Phulay Bay is a natural wonder. “Ritz-Carlton Reserve will feature signature, one-of-a-kind boutique resorts positioned in unique settings, each with a distinctive personality and sense of place reflecting its history and culture,” said Simon F. Cooper, president. “A refuge from the expected, Reserve is for travellers seeking to discover a singular location and peerless resort that will offer guests’ exotic, hand-selected ‘hideaway’ destinations in a relaxed, casually elegant atmosphere. Phulay Bay in Thailand is a natural choice for the first Reserve,” said Simon.

The Sunreef in-house design team has developed a new sailing superyacht - the Sunreef 92 Double Deck with sleek hulls and a streamlined deckhouse topped by a giant 40 sq m flybridge inspired by large superyachts. The everlasting stylish look of the hull line is the result of Sunreef’s advanced design technologies and constant research into new solutions and inspirations. The Sunreef 92 DD has been designed with integrated stepped hull chins which increase interior space without giving up performance. The yacht can accommodate from six to ten guests in three to five double luxury suites attended by four crew. It will also feature the canoe type boom and carbon mast, Sunreef’s in-house speciality. The impressive 70 sq m cockpit comprising large dining table, sunbathing mattresses, diving equipment with spacious flybridge, are fitted with many fun features such as jacuzzi, two wet bars, two dining tables, coffee area, barbecue, ice makers, sun mattresses, two jet skis and a tender hidden in a purpose-built locker under the main sun pad in the cockpit.

Sunreef Unveils Superyacht


LIVING TRAVEL

STORY : Rachel Williams

Private Island World Tour If money was no object, what would be on your top three list of things to buy? A private jet perhaps.. maybe a luxury residence by the sea. Well...why not use the jet to fly to the dream home on your very own private island retreat? A-list celebrities such as Mel Gibson, Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando and Diana Ross have caught the island bug, and purchased their own private island getaway. Why not join them and go on the ultimate shopping spree for your own piece of paradise? There are thousands of uninhabited islands around the globe for sale or rent that can be developed into a home away from home or commercial resort. However, if you are not quite ready to buy an island outright, you may like to sample a few well developed examples that we picked out for this month’s travel article. With many retreats to chose from, we made a selection of five, that each offers something unique.


Caye Chapel Island, Belize

Golfers Retreat

1

W

e start the tour with the most unique private island community in the Western

Caribbean. Caye Chapel has been developed as a pristine oasis, with the eastern shores enhanced by the Caribbean Sea and a spectacular 18 hole, par 72 championship golf course along its western edge. The island is located just 12 miles off the coast of Belize and a two hour flight from the US mainland. It has been privately owned by one individual for 30 years, but now certain plots and

eleven marina-view casitas, a fabulous golf course and majestic clubhouse used

properties are available to buy.

for dining, spa and fitness and conferences. Enjoy the spectacular food and service, two miles of sandy beaches, heated swimming pool and activities centre.

The 265 acre island is also available to rent outright for a party of up to 40 people. It is the

The island also boasts a deep-water marina welcoming yachts up to 140 feet as

largest island in the Caribbean to cater for private

well as a private airstrip. The beachfront villas that line the east coast are sleek and

parties which guarantees exclusive rights to the

stylish, ranging up to 3,000 sq ft in size. If you are tempted to hire the whole is-

entire property; closing the island, marina and golf

land, a daily rate of USD 31,250 is required, with a minimum of three nights stay.

course to all but your invited guests. Guests will have absolute reign of six ocean front villas and

www.cayechapel.com / images: Private Island Inc.


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Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Exotic Luxury

M

oving east, we visit to the stunning Necker Island owned by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. Situated in the British

Virgin Islands, this private hideaway allows guests to forget all the stresses of daily life. Escape into another world with an array of luxury pampering, entertainment and delicious fine dining. At Necker Island you can do as much or as little as you want, with daily activities and spas, and beautiful pools and floating bars to relax. The island has a communal feel with the ‘great house’ being the centre of many activities, so even if you are not looking to rent the whole island, it is fun to book when there are celebration weeks or family weeks and get involved in the house party style entertainment. The 74 acre island accommodates a total of 28 people with rooms in the charming great house and six beautiful Balinese style villas. The highlight of any stay at Necker Island has to be the lavish food and drink arrangement which is all inclusive - even the champagne! The guests can chose if they want lobster and caviar or a Sunday roast, the chefs will prepare the delicious food the island has become famous for. Exclusive use of Necker Island will set you back USD 53,000 per night. For couples wishing to stay during a celebration week, a Bali house can be hired for a weekly rate of USD 27,300.

www.neckerisland.virgin.com Images: Virgin Limited Edition


Palm Jumeriah, Dubai

Shoppers Paradise

A

luxury break at Palm Jumeriah, the purpose built island in the shape of a palm tree in Dubai’s Arabian Gulf, is not for those looking for a back to nature holiday experience. Quite the opposite, Palm Jumeirah is a man made world

of glitzy hotels, amazing attractions and luxury fashion shopping malls. Visitors can enjoy the magnificent sunsets, unwind in the spas, pools and gardens and eat out at the fine selection of restaurants. There’s a wide range of daytime activities, including water sports, aquariums, theme parks and miles of beautiful beaches. And at night there’s plenty of entertainment at the variety of bars, clubs and shows. With a whole range of shops already open, the shopping adventure on Palm Jumeirah is just beginning. Soon the Golden Mile and luxury shopping mall will be filling with fashion stores. This will be like no other retail experience. Fashions will be fresh, intriguing, exciting - featuring innovative new designers you may not have seen anywhere else. Palm Jumeirah will be a retail heaven on the grandest scale. There are still options for buying property on Palm Jumeirah including the Marina Residences, which are contained within six high rise complexes with panoramic views overlooking Dubai’s largest marina. Alternatively there are residential land plots available from 14,000 – 19,000 sq ft, where you can create a bespoke home to suit your requirements. Land plots are priced from AED 7.1 million (approx USD 1.9 million). www.palmjumeirah.ae Images: Nakheel Developments

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M

aking our way southeast from Dubai we come across Soneva Gili, located in one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives, just a 20 minute boat ride from the capital Male. It’s a tiny coral island with jetties threading across the crystal clear water out to spacious

over-sized villas. The accommodation consists of 45 villas including seven Crusoe Residences that are only accessible by private boat. They are built and decorated with sustainable woods, natural materials and traditional fabrics, whilst still offering all the amenities and modern day comforts you’d expect from a luxury resort. The mesmerizing clear waters and five-star service make Soneva Gili a dream holiday destination. The resort offers a number of exciting dining options ranging from personal in-villa service to eating on a tree top platform. Activities are also abound with water sports, diving, fishing, dolphin cruises, tennis, volleyball, board games, a library, garden and of course the essential trip to the spa. The award winning Six Senses Spa offers everything expected, and some things unexpected, with glass floor-panels beneath massage tables to heighten the sensual experience. A number of villas even have their own private spa suite including massage area, blitz shower, steam room and gymnasium, so you never need to leave the villa to be in spa heaven. The spa’s a la carte menu provides a holistic experience with traditional pampering and signature therapies in addition to doctor-assisted Ayurvedic programmes and yoga. A special seven day Asian Fusion spa package includes treatments such as Kurumba Kashi, Foot Acupressure, Tai Chi, Thai Massage, Jongrang Royal Milk Bath. This wonderful rejuvenating holiday with the spa package costs USD 9,947 for two people. www.sixsenses.com Images: Six Senses Resorts & Spas

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Soneva Gili, Maldives

Spa Heaven


Nikoi Island, Indonesia

Children’s Fun Adventure

N

ikoi Island on the east coast of Bintan, is about 50 miles from Singapore. It is not marketed as a five-star luxury resort, but

offers a more affordable luxury for families to enjoy. The private island is owned by a small group of expatriates who have lived in Asia for most of their working lives and share a passion for the outdoors, nature, food and wine. The group became disenchanted with the standard of holiday accommodation on offer in the region which was either budget shacks or opulently garish high-end hotels. Inspired by their own childhood beach holidays, where they were left to explore the natural environment and entertain themselves, they developed a Robinson Crusoe-inspired island with driftwood beach houses, all with direct access to perfect white sandy beaches. The simply cooked meals focus on fresh ingredients, authentic local dishes and service that is friendly and genuine from committed staff. There are no golf buggies in sight. The owners have developed a natural and safe environment for children’s imaginations to run free. The entertainment area can be transformed after dark into an open air cinema, with Pirates of the Caribbean a popular choice! Children can delve into the Nikoi dress-up box and become a mermaid or pirate and join the chief pirate Yogi on a treasure hunt around the island. Another favourite is to following the paths through the jungle or explore the diverse coral reef at low tide. Nikoi provides endless opportunities for youngsters to discover unspoilt nature. The whole island can be hired for corporate group gatherings or large family parties catering to a maximum of 42 people for S$ 6270 (approx USD 4,480) a night. www.nikoi.com Images: Nikoi Island

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Thai Island Dream

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fter a whirlwind tour around of some of the world’s most impressive island destinations, we now travel back home to Thailand, where the private island concept is catching on. Here, there are several options if you want to live on a private island, buy a private island or develop a private island resort.

by the Thai government as suitable for eco-resort development, according to their Provincial Development Plan. The owner of Koh Cheuak is currently looking to lease the land for a joint venture in eco-tourism.

The most publicised project with residences for sale, has to be the ultra luxury Jumeirah Private Island Phuket, which is currently under construction. This will house 49 villas, a 105 key resort and spa, and superyacht marina with 115 berths ranging from 12m to 70m. This private members only island is hailed as six star standard with properties selling from THB 96 million.

For the more ambitious, there are a number of opportunities advertised on www.privateislandsonline.com, to purchase a private island for development in Thailand. They range in size from approximately 20 to 280 rai, with price tags from just over USD 1 million up to USD 160 million. Each island has varying levels of development, from ready to move in, to islands in need of basic water and electricity supply.

On the other side of the mainland, near Koh Samui, the last remaining private island in the Gulf of Thailand has recently been advertised for development. Koh Cheuak has been designated

If money really was no object, the opportunities to live on a Thai private island are there, it just depends how much work you want to put in!


The Gallery If you have a property for sale or rent which you would like featured in our gallery then please contact gallery@kinnareemedia.com


THE GALLERY

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Deva Yama Phuket

Deva Yama is an exclusive development of truly luxurious villas located atop a hillside in Phuket’s millionaires mile. From your lofty perch you will enjoy billion dollar views of pristine Nakalay Bay. Meaning ‘divine sanctuary’ in sanskrit, Deva Yama offers a perfect retreat from the pressures of the world. Deceptively simple design soothes the soul, drawing the eye to fabulous sea views. Deva Yama comprises of six superlative villas. Set within 6,000 sq m. (almost two acres) of wooded hillside, the elevation of the site drops by 25 metres (approx. 82’), meaning that each exquisite property enjoys superior privacy and unique vistas. Find your own piece of paradise on the last prime cut of land on Phuket’s west coast. Phase A villas are ready to move in by December 2009.

www.deva-living.com | +66 (0) 76 271 333 124


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Stylishly Thai Phuket

With an elevated Surin beach hillside location, this substantial, modern Thai influenced pool villa affords picturesque west coast ocean views. This quality villa is presented over three stories and features five bedrooms with en suite bathrooms designed to a spacious professional standard, fully fitted kitchen that adjoins the formal dining room on the upper floor. The middle floor includes two well designed bedrooms. The upper floor houses features two master bedrooms overlooking the ocean with an oversized living room. All rooms here have vaulted ceilings and shiny wooden floors. On the same floor is also the 16 metre pool with two covered salas.

Tel: +66 (0) 81 892 9495

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Coastal Living Phuket

Style and Convenience in a Prestigious Location As part of the Ayara Surin residential development, this villa for sale offers privacy, modern style and convenience in a prestigious location. Nestled against the steep slopes of Surin Hill featuring wonderful views of Surin beach, the Amanpuri headland and the Andaman Sea. This villa has been painstakingly maintained and is ready to move in for those buyers looking to buy a prestigious Thai style residence at an attractive price.

Tel: +66 (0) 81 892 9495 125


THE GALLERY

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Land for sale Phuket

Everyone wants to sell you plans for “The House of Your Dreams” or “The Land Plot of your Fantasy”, well - put them together and you have this! That is…as long as you don’t want a sea view, which can become somewhat black and boring once night falls, or a

residence “close to where the action is”. If you want either of these, don’t read on. However, if you want a magnificent and unblemished view of nature at its very best and the occasional passing golfer to ridicule; or if you want tranquility both during the day and night and free life membership to one of the best golf clubs on the island so you too can be cheerfully ridiculed; oh… and if you’d like to have complete drawings of a splendid house ready to give to a builder to get on with the job

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on this unique plot (it really is unique!), then this may be yours, but it isn’t a give away. So, put your hand in your pocket and come up with THB 12 million and we’ll seriously think about passing all the above bounty to you. We’re not really interested in offers, but if it makes you feel better we’ll let you have it for 11,999,999 ! We’ll reduce it by a further million if you can show us a better plot on any golf course on Phuket island! Contact Tel. 081 892 9495 (Eng/Thai)

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Thai Royal Residence

Modern Lanna

Khanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat

Chiang Rai

An investment opportunity in a stunning ‘yet to be discovered’ beachfront paradise on the Gulf of Thailand. 34 villas - three, four and five bedrooms lie on 25 rai of land along a 200 metre stretch of Nai Phlao Beach. Living space ranges from 155-300 sq. m with prices from THB 15.5-25 million. All villas are sold turn-key, designed with superb quality, featuring five-star luxury furnishings for those seeking only the best. 50% of the villas are currently under construction with completion expected in December 2009.

This villa was designed by a national artist and award-winning Thai architect. The simple and modern Lanna Punya style home consists of 200 sq m of living space with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living areas, a dining zone and modern kitchen with an entrance opening to the car park. The pyramid roof is covered with traditional terra-cotta tiles and the house is painted in white with high contrast black aluminium frames for all doors and windows of tinted glass. All floors are covered with teak wood parquet.

Additional amenities and services include a private reception area, daily housekeeping, a 300 sq. m infinity pool, full service restaurant, pool bar, beach service, fitness centre and five-star spa. Easily accessible from two airports and within close proximity to Koh Samui.

The house is filled with art and photography collections. The design focus on simplicity and functionality. The interior is bright with lots of daylight and features upper and lower terraces for relaxation. The house commands a view of distant hills, overlooking the army golf course and is totally surrounded by lush greenery.

www.thairoyalresidence.com | +66 (0) 2 660 3720

www.lannarealty.com | +66 (0)89 661 5840

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Tropical-Living December issue 2009  

Properties, interiors & lifestyle in Thailand

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