W Koh Samui Retreat & Residences attracts buyers

15 Oct 2008

A new exclusive boutique villa complex due to open in 2010 on Koh Samui, Thailand, is seeing strong buyer interest despite the recent global financial turmoil.

Five of the 17 available residential properties at the W Koh Samui Retreat & Residences have been snapped up, two during the height of the stock-market losses in early October.

The project, developed by Bangkok-based Amburaya Hotels & Resorts in association with Dubai’s Nakheel corporation, will be managed under Starwood’s W brand. The 75-villa complex will be the first W hotel resort to sell residences rather than condominiums within the hotel.

The remaining 12 residences, which each include a private pool and have from three to five bedrooms, are expected to sell at between US$3-6 million each. The residences offer between 1,000 to 2,800 sqm of space, all with sea views and some located on the Koh Samui shoreline itself.

The hotel complex is under construction on 27 acres of headland on the island’s north coast, 15 minutes’ drive from Koh Samui airport.

Amburaya Hotels & Resorts managing director Ashwani Bajaj said: “We think we have hit the right market and chosen the right place. Koh Samui is not a mass-market tourism destination like Phuket. Visitors are either at the budget end or the upscale end of the market.

“The W brand is very refreshing, it breathes new life into the sector. Residents will also be able to make full use of the W brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever service.”

The initiative is Amburaya’s second tie-up with Starwood, having already worked on the Sheraton Pattaya on Thailand’s eastern seaboard. Amburaya also owns the Bel-Aire Princess in Bangkok, operated by Dusit, and is behind the forthcoming Holiday Inn Express in Bangkok.

Koh Samui has seen an increase in boutique properties in recent years, with openings from Four Seasons and Anantara.

Kenny Coyle

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