Connect with us


Property Watch: So near and yet so far

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Asia’s resort property scene is not unlike any other industry, in that it’s always on the lookout for the next big thing. What do they say about the key to success – location location location. Is that one or three? Perhaps there is just an echo in the room or the snoring of an elephant next door.

Of course there remain other options than following the pack, you can always be a pioneer. In the old west, the perils of heading off alone into new territory often resulted in a barrage of deadly arrows aimed in your direction. Fatal? You bet. What real estate investors need to mimic is no different than following in the heels of the Microsoft/Bill Gates strategy and draft your way to prosperity in the wake of the more daring and often times less successful.

Whether you are in Phuket, Bali or elsewhere, tracking down the smart real estate market is no easy feat. One great example of speculation which backfired in the short term is the Natai area of southern Phang Nga, just over the bridge. In what was hailed to be the next Phuket, with high profile projects such as Richard Li’s redevelopment of the 1,000 rai Thai Muang golf course into a mixed use world-class destination resort. Nearby were planned hotels branded to global brands such as Ritz-Carlton and the term “the Hamptons of Asia” came into vogue.

All of this quickly changed when government planning legislation effectively killed the deal with onerous restrictions on commercial areas from Thai Muang to the very southern tip of Phang Nga. Developers hit the snooze switch and things turned very quiet.

Track down to Bali and southern Lombok which for more years than I can remember has been touted to be the next big thing with the mega-development Mandalika Resort Development. This was to have become the next Nusa Dua and is managed by BTDC which has successfully driven the former in south Bali to great success. Today, the progress is just starting to gain momentum but the whispers remain as to how long will it take to get into the ground.

But like the stories of the pioneers, we are now entering a stage where both Bali and Phuket have firmly moved into the category of urban resort destinations and there is a defined number of new projects going beyond the boundaries of the big two.

A good case in point is that many industry types are facing the introduction of new, more liberal development guidelines in southern Phang Nga, which are currently in draft form but could be implemented in the first half of 2014. We have already seen Thai listed developer Charn Issara announce a new project in the area, after their successful Sri Panwa estate has fared well in terms of both property and hospitality success.

Over in Phi Phi, the Beach project, which will be branded by Bugatti, is on the radar. While further afield Centara has recently done a large deal in Krabi at the Pelican development. With a bridge under construction in nearby Koh Lanta that spans at least one island, the island is seeing a new rise of activity as well.

Down south, the deep deep south of Bali over the equator a similar transformation is taking place – pushing out of the urbanizing posh southern area. There is an outer island vibe pushing property transactions higher and higher in Nusa Lembongan, the three main Gili’s and into Lombok itself.

One good example of the trend is the Latitude 8.1 Property Group with their hotel branded project just near Sengiggi. Noted green architect Charlie Hearn has designed well thought out modern pool villas with some excellent ideas on sustainability. As we have seen in Phuket, investment type buyers are the key movers in the resort grade space and in this case Latitude has enlisted the archipelago chain’s Royal Kamuela brand to spur sales.

I spoke to Dan Miller who heads up Jones Lang LaSalle in Bali and his comment is that the project has been selling with great success on the back of a trio of divers – it’s priced right from US$400,000 up, has a dynamic ocean view and a known hotel operator.

As for those who are looking to get off the beaten path, the best advice is to always take a forward looking view of the importance of infrastructure, you can only stay there if you can get there. While it’s great to be a pioneer, perhaps just a move out of arm’s reach is a great first step.

Bill Barnett is the Managing director of C9Hotelworks he can be contacted through

— Bill Barnett


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Northern Thailand4 hours ago

Meteor causes explosion, green glow above Northern Thailand

Hua Hin6 hours ago

Elephant that broke into Hua Hin kitchen now in memes and ads

Tourism7 hours ago

Phuket governer reviews rules, new details for July 1 arrivals

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Shipment of 2 million Sinovac vaccines arrive from China

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Autopsy requested for young policeman with vaccine

Thailand10 hours ago

Despite corruption allegations, street lamp project continues in Samut Prakan

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox is GO, vaccine cocktails, US warning on Thai travel | June 23

Best of11 hours ago

Top 5 Provinces to visit near Bangkok

Tourism11 hours ago

CCSA gives details on “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” travel schemes

Best of11 hours ago

Top 5 Cities to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Gap between AstraZeneca vaccines cut from 16 to 12 to 8 weeks

Best of11 hours ago

Top 5 Steakhouses in Bangkok

Best of12 hours ago

Top 5 Pubs in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Daily death count hits record high; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

US is “unable” to provide Covid-19 vaccines to Americans who live overseas

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8