Chillin' out on the Kudat Riviera

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2007, 12:00am

If your ideal home is a Balinese-style deluxe villa along an idyllic beach, the Kudat Riviera in Malaysian Borneo is where your dream can come true.

Kudat Riviera is situated on an 11km stretch of tropical coastline in Sabah, on the northern tip of Borneo, and is accessible from Kota Kinabalu. There are more than 10 non-stop flights a week from Hong Kong directly to Kota Kinabalu, which take 21/4 hours. You can then choose to take a 40-minute scheduled airline flight, a helicopter, a 21/2-hour yacht transfer or a scenic drive to Kudat Riviera.

Mystical Borneo's exotic traditions blend with its unspoilt beaches, letting residents relax in tranquil surroundings.

The villas are the creation of Phil Dobson, managing director of Exquisite Borneo Villas and Touchdown World Travel Group. He has used his 20 years of experience in the travel industry to realise his dream: the creation of an innovative, environmentally friendly, yet luxurious villa destination in the heart of Asia.

'Sabah is known as the 'Land Below the Wind' and is outside the typhoon belt, hence the weather conditions suit this type of villa,' says Mr Dobson.

Kudat is about 30 degrees year round and enjoys mostly sunshine with the rainy season from mid-December to the end of January.

Handcrafted in Bali, the opulent villas are constructed almost entirely of natural materials: coconut wood and merbau timbers, with natural stone and ylang-ylang thatched roofs.

'Of course, natural materials don't last as long as concrete and metal, but generally if well maintained, as we do this for buyers, they will last many decades,' says Mr Dobson.

Most purchasers are overseas residents who contract the group to look after their properties when they are away.

'It's very flexible,' says Mr Dobson. 'We can rent out their property to guest tourists and share the profits.'

Of the 38 villas on sale, more than 20 have already been sold.

Villa sizes vary from 1,200 to 6,000 square feet, featuring three to four bedrooms, dining, entertainment and living rooms.

Prices range from US$200,000 to US$5million.