HOLIDAY hideaway

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 March, 2012, 12:00am


Global austerity measures might be tightening belts in many countries, but it seems there's no sign of the sun setting on our favourite tropical resorts. Thailand, in particular, remains hot for Hong Kong buyers who fancy their lap of luxury being just a few hours' flight time away.

Knight Frank Thailand reports that the gentrification of Pattaya is fuelling a condominium boom, with a 120 per cent increase on units sold last year, compared with 2010. All four beachfront homes at The Residences at W Retreat, Koh Samui, were sold less than two months of their launch.

Minor International is upping its focus on The Estates, Samui, in response to growing buyer interest. 'The Residences at St Regis Bangkok [another Minor group project] has been extremely successful and this has led to an increased interest in other developments within our property portfolio,' says James Knowles, vice-president, sales and marketing, residential property, Minor International. Nestled on the secluded hillside of Laem Yai Bay, The Estates, Samui, is a collection of 14 spacious villas in tropical beachfront gardens next to the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui. The Bill Bensley-designed residences are crafted from tropical hardwoods blending traditional southern Thai with modern luxury style (priced from US$4.3 million).

'Capital values continue to climb as the island has a finite commodity of prime ocean front and ocean-view property. This creates a steady value increase as it does in other sought-after locations around the world, such as Monaco, Palma, Marbella and St Tropez,' says Claire Brown, of Claire Brown Realty.

Brown is marketing Panu, a chic penthouse development at Bophut Beach. The two duplexes at Panu, a multi award-winning Kalara Group development, featuring master bedrooms with balcony hot tubs and a rooftop pool, were quickly snapped up.