As Asian residential real estate leads the global property boom at a time when international housing markets are mimicking their pre-2008 crisis levels, residential resort properties are becoming an obvious choice for investors who are willing to diversify their assets
“The recovery in real estate values is now beginning to extend beyond the prime markets in world cities and towards retreats and resorts,” said Yolande Barnes in the latest Prime Residential Retreat report by global consultancy firm Savills.
Buoyed by the ever-growing international tourist arrivals annually, Asian holiday homes are in the best position to perform well in the residential retreats market, especially Southeast Asia, which was the best-performing sub-region in the world last year in terms of tourist arrivals.
“An improving global tourist sector bodes well for the long term success of these prime residential retreats,” according to the Savills’ Paul Tostevin. “Where tourists lead, real estate buyers will often follow—as long as the price is right.”
This year, the editorial team at Property Report chose 14 of the region’s most luxurious residential resort properties in premier locations, all featuring stunning designs, full-service amenities and resort facilities and fantastic investment potential—the essential blueprint for Asia’s Best Resort Residences 2014.
Andara Resort & Villas, Phuket, Thailand
Location: Andara Resort & Villas is located on the western coast of Phuket facing Kamala Bay, which offers a stunning background for holidays and special occasions such as weddings and family outings.
Residences: Phase I has 26 resort villas, while Phase II comprises 37 apartment suites, and Phase III consists of eight of Andara’s signature resort and ‘ultra luxury’ villas.
Facilities: Homeowners and guests can expect a first-class experience through Andara’s Phuket’s world-class amenities, including a 35-metre superyacht with five cabins, a 400-metre pool with double inset cabanas, an eight-room spa, beauty salon, private sauna, gym, yoga room, tennis courts, an exclusive beach club, several international bars and restaurants, and full concierge, valet and maid services.
Price: The three-phase, five-star development was first launched in 2005, and all units have been sold except for one ‘ultra luxury’ villa in Phase III, which was launched in 2011. Interested buyers must contact the developer Paradise Group for the selling price.
AquaSamui, Koh Samui, Thailand
Location: The property faces Koh Matlang beach and overlooks the Gulf of Siam.
Residences: Launched in March 2013 by Samui-based boutique developer Luxury Living, the project is designed by Gary Fell of Gfab architects. It offers 46 luxurious two- and three-bedroom beachfront villas set above Chewang Hill, with a 180-degree view of one of Thailand’s premiere beach destinations. The interiors of the villas also evoke the lush outdoors, as each unit features waterfall showers and a landscaped terrace.
Facilities: The resort features a large gymnasium, health club, lounge and bar areas, tennis court and a tropical reception foyer.
Price: Prices range from THB10.9 million (USD338,00) to THB17.9 million (USD556,000) for the remaining units.
AYANA Residences, Bali, Indonesia
Location: Ayana Residences in Bali is located on a 6.5-hectare land in one of the world’s most popular tropical resort destinations, where culture and leisure provide a great balance. Owners and guests can enjoy Kubu Beach, tour the Jimabaran Fish Market and learn about Balinese cuisine, or go on a bicycle tour across the peninsula.
Residences: Launched in April 2012, the 115-unit private residential villas that overlook Jimbaran Bay and adjacent to the 77-hectare Ayana Resort & Spa Bali, are equipped with 24-hour security and butler service, whilst each unit has its own designated concierge and car park. The project is now entering the second phase of development.
Facilities: Amenities include a clubhouse with a cinema and library, 15 restaurants, cafes and bars, a massive spa complex with fitness centre, several swimming pools including the world’s largest Aquatonic Seawater Therapy pool, a yoga area and botanical gardens.
Price: Prices start at USD546,000 for a one-bedroom unit. Phase I is almost sold out.
The Ocean Villas, Danang, Vietnam
Location: VinaCapital’s The Ocean Villas are located on a 21-hectare prime property in the Vietnamese port city of Danang and one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.
Residences: Featuring contemporary tropical architecture and design, Danang’s Ocean Villas comprises 110 first-class retreats ranging from two- to five-bedroom units. The residences are adjacent to the exclusive Danang Golf Club.
Facilities: Homeowners have access to the five-star facilities of the Danang Beach Resort, which include The Beach Club, recreational park, children’s play and picnic areas, fitness centre, a tennis court and the golf course.
Price: The remaining beachfront villas are being sold in the range of USD1.7 million to USD2.5 million, while all of the non-beachfront villas of Phases 1, II and III have been sold out.
Cassia Bintan, Indonesia
Location: Less than one-hour’s ferry ride from Singapore, the exclusive Cassia Bintan (formerly Laguna Shores Bintan) resort in Indonesia is a tropical getaway in the midst of Southeast Asia.
Residences: The integrated resort residences, launched in March 2014, are among the newest holiday destinations. Investors can choose from nature-inspired one-bedroom or one-bedroom with mezzanine to two- bedroom or two-bedroom with mezzanine units.
Facilities: Adjoined by the 18-hole Cassia Bintan Golf Course designed by award-wining Australian professional golfer Greg Norman, the resort has its own private beachfront and features six international restaurants, a kids’ club, two retail galleries, two spas, sun deck, multiple pool areas and marine activities such as canoeing, water skiing, windsurfing and catamaran sailing.
Price: Units range from SGD210,000 (USD168,000) to SGD405,000 (USD326,000).
Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand
Location: Situated on a 32-acre prime property that faces Phang Nga Bay, a UNESCO Heritage Site, Point Yamu by COMO is the perfect holiday home for the nature and adventure lover. The luxury resort’s location is a favourite destination for kayaking, sailing, fishing and rock climbing.
Residences: Designed by Italian designer Paola Navone, who helped popularise the ‘shabby chic’ concept in the 1990s, the villas are the first luxury development by COMO Hotels and Resorts in Phuket. A soft opening is scheduled for September 2014.
Facilities: Once completed, villa owners will have access to Point Yamu hotel facilities, including a 100-metre pool, international restaurants La Sirena and Nahmyaa, a fitness centre with spa and a yoga studio, among others.
Price: The two-bedroom units start at THB53 million (USD1.66 million), while the three-bedroom villas start at THB93 million (USD2.89 million).
Andaman at Quayside, Penang, Malaysia
Location: Located at the northernmost cape of Malaysia’s Penang Island, Andaman at Quayside is sited on the final plot on Seri Tanjung Pinang, Penang’s largest seafront development. It also neighbours Straits Quay, the island’s first seafront retail marina.
Residences: The first two towers of Andaman at Quayside (Tower 1F and 1H) launched in 2012 respectively, and the final and most exclusive tower – the Andaman Edition 18 East (Tower 1G) – launched in the first half of 2014. The towers offer one- to three-bedroom apartments along with penthouse suites. Seventy-five percent of suites at Andaman Edition 18 East are meticulously aligned to command 270-degree views of the sea and the famous Gurney Drive, and this tower also has a private lobby concept with concierge services exclusively for Andaman Edition 18 East Residents.
Facilities: Sixty percent of the resort area is devoted to recreational facilities, including a 4.5 acre waterpark consisting of a formal signature pool, a spa pool with massage pavilions, an adventure pool with water slides & islands, and a beach pool with cabanas. Fitness buffs can find satisfaction on the tennis courts—a multi-purpose court—the gymnasium and the 1.4km of jogging and cycling tracks dedicated for residents-only use around the waterpark. For those who prefer to take it easy, the 1,300 sqm Quayside clubhouse is equipped with lounge, outdoor dining terrace, a gold class theatrette, function rooms, a fully functional kitchen, study corner and changing room with lockers.
Price: Condos at Andaman Edition 18 East have average prices starting from of MYR1,100 (USD343) per sq ft. Units in Towers 1F and 1H have sold 80 percent and nearly 50 percent, respectively.
Aqua Boracay by yoo, Boracay, Philippines
Location: Aqua Boracay by yoo sits on the island’s Bulabog Beach, Asia’s most famous kite surfing beach, and is within walking distance from White Beach.
Residences: Designed in collaboration with celebrated designer Philippe Starck, Aqua Boracay by yoo is the first branded residence on the island. The sensational views take centre stage in the 144 apartments, which include studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments and luxury penthouses, with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and wrap around terraces creating a subtle transition between indoors and outdoors.
Facilities: A swimming pool area is a centrepiece of the resort, with a separate lap pool, adult pool, children’s pool and pool spa with therapy jets. The Clubhouse and lounge offer a central location for guests dine, relax and get to know each other, and opens onto the beach and tropical gardens. A restaurant, day spa, yoga studio, health club and 24-hour reception ensure that guests don’t have to venture far to get all their needs met.
Price: More than 90 percent of Phases I and II are sold out, and Phase III launched in early 2014 with prices from USD199,000.
Samujana, Koh Samui, Thailand
Location: Located on a hillside in Koh Samui that overlooks a coral cove, Samujana is minutes from Koh Samui International airport and the beaches of Choent Mon and Chaweng.
Residences: With just 27 units ranging from three to eight bedrooms, Samujana is an intimate escape. Designed by Gary Fell of Gfab Architects, each individual villa includes private gyms and oversized infinity pools, and Phase II villas come equipped with their own cinemas. A large back-of-house area allows plenty of space for cooking, laundry, storage and maids’ rooms, making the villas ideal for weddings and special events.
Facilities: While beautiful views and an idyllic setting make Samujana a perfect place to relax, its facilities make it easy to stay active. In addition to direct access to a private beach, the resort has a floodlit tennis court, basketball court, championship boxing ring and a commercial- grade gymnasium. Guests also have access to a fleet of four sailing and motorboats, including The ‘Kindred Spirit’, a 13-metre catamaran that offers opportunities for overnight exploration of nearby islands and bespoke events.
Price: Phase II villas were completed in late 2013 and range in price from USD1.35 million to USD5 million. Monthly maintenance fees are USD2,000.
Beach Republic The Residences, Koh Samui, Thailand
Location: Overlooking Lamai Beach on Thailand’s Koh Samui, Beach Republic offers residents impressive views of the surrounding hills and coastal area.
Residences: The resort comprises 39 pool villas, penthouses and suites, ranging from the 45 sqm Club Suites to the exclusive 418 sqm four- bedroom Presidential Pool Villa.
Facilities: One of the factors that sets Beach Republic apart from its competitors is the adjoined Ocean Club and restaurant, in addition to the Asian Fusion Spa. The property—a regular fixture on the Best Resort Residences list—has bagged a handful of awards since its inception, including TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, Best Shared Ownership Development at the Thailand Property Awards 2011 and a silver medal at the OPP Awards for Excellence 2011.
Price: Since its launch in 2009, the Mediterranean-inspired resort has attracted interest from both local and foreign investors, due to its fractional ownership (from USD25,000 for two weeks usage per annum) and sole ownership (from USD195,000 for a Club Suite unit) schemes.
The View, Phuket, Thailand
Location: Set atop a serene hillside commanding views of Phuket’s Kata Beach, the aptly named The View is an exclusive residential enclave comprising just 53 units.
Residences: The apartments, which range from 116-sqm one-bedroom condominiums to six-bedroom 674-sqm penthouses, in addition to impressive sea views, boast an abundance of natural light, private pools and spacious balconies.
Facilities: Launched in 2011, the development features nine residential blocks encircling a clubhouse that comprises a restaurant, fitness centre, sauna and swimming pools, although The View’s most unique feature is undoubtedly the helipad. Residents will be a stone’s throw from some of the Thai island’s best beaches, the bustling nightlife spot Patong and Chalong Bay, which is home to an array of restaurants, shops and bars, as well as the marina. Phuket International Airport is also within easy reach.
Price: The properties are available with both freehold and leasehold purchasing options and start from THB13 million (USD402,545).
The Residences at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, Singapore
Location: Situated on Singapore’s popular island resort, Sentosa, The Residences at W Singapore launched in 2010 and has since become one of the city-state most enviable addresses.
Residences: Set along the waterway and adjacent to the eponymous hotel, the project comprises 228 luxury residences, ranging from two- to four-bedrooms as well as 34 penthouses, all of which are set over seven, six-storey blocks.
Facilities: Dubbed “an affluent marina residential community”, the project features 34 private berths for residents only, a private outdoor lounge with yacht-shaped BBQ pits, state-of-the-art gym and an infinity lap pool and whirlpool. It is also supported by W Hotel’s Whatever/ Whenever® concierge service.
Price: Units range from SGD3.4 million (USD2.7 million) to SGD15.8 million (USD12.6 million).
Bugatti Retreat, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Location: Only a 45-minute trip from the Thai island of Phuket, the project is located on a private beach on the shores of Koh Phi Phi.
Residences: The resort features 42 Bugatti-branded residential properties ranging from one-bedroom condominium units to luxury apartments to expansive homes with rooftop pools and unobstructed sea views.
Facilities: Landscaped by award-winning architect and interior designer Bill Bensley, Bugatti Retreat Phi Phi seamlessly syncs with the natural surroundings, while providing residents with five-star facilities including a helipad, private pier, hydrofoil boat service, restaurant and whiskey and cigar club. It is the first branded hotel and luxury residence on Koh Phi Phi.
Price: Fully-furnished units, to be leased by Skyline Projects and managed by the Bugatti brand, start from THB12.5 million.
The Orchards Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
Location: Launched last December, The Orchards Niseko is a collection of luxury chalets situated to the east of popular Japanese ski destination Hirafu-Niseko, near to Mount Niseko-Annupuri and Mount Yotei.
Residences: The Alpine-inspired houses range in size and style from the three-bedroom ‘Akagashi’ property to the 500-sqm, six-bedroom ‘WinterHaven’ house. Each unit features second-floor living with double vaulted ceilings as well as parking spaces.
Facilities: The Orchards Niseko is located on 7 hectare plot which features dedicated green zones, a 3,000 sqm pond, and pine and cherry trees growing in and around the development. The clubhouse, completed last December, sits at the heart of the development and comprises the private members lounge, gym, kids club and concierge desk.
Price: Available units range from JPY55 million (USD536,580) to JPY300 million (USD2.9 million).