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There is little doubt that 2020 was a savage marketplace for Thailand’s real estate. Yet, despite the volatility some property developers have been able to move properties in the downturn.

One good example is Phuket’s Utopia Corporation’s Japanese-themed villa development in Thalang.  With 129 units in the project, the group was able to move 100 units over the year in mostly the Chinese market.

What resonated with buyers was the Japanese concept, which in the process was modified to also include a themed interior fit-out package.

We have seen other projects such as Mono Koh Kaew with Japanese-inspired lofts have good success in the Thai market with a themed-offering.

Learnings from this are that developers presently need to be bold, innovate and present key differences in products not just follow the broad marketplace, which as we know is extremely challenging.

Watch a video short interview insight with Utopia’s CEO Hachi Yin at the link below

Watch video

Despite the enormous downturn in Thailand’s hospitality sector, one accommodation segment that has seen evolving green shoots is serviced apartments.

Last week I attended the SEAHIS 2020 hospitality event in Bangkok and one of the leading sessions was on serviced apartments and led by Douglas Martell who is President & CEO of Onyx (SA brands include Shama and Shama Hub) and Brian Tan who is General Manager  – Thailand of The Ascott Limited (SA brands include ASCOTT, Somerset, Citadines, QUEST, and LYF).

A number of other hotel group representatives were also in the discussion including ACCOR and others.

Some of the key points from the session were:

Unit preferences are strongly shifting to smaller units such as studios and one-bedrooms. Larger units such as two and three-bedrooms are shrinking in demand given the geographical shift of guests and budgetary concerns with fewer guests with families.

Kitchens and laundry appliances remain popular, though less equipment in smaller units are needed.

In Bangkok, Sathorn, Thonglor, and Langsuan areas are popular, with mid-Sukhumvit struggling given lack of leisure business.

Discounting is at lower levels than hotels, and while many hotels now offer long-stay rates, the space and amenities of SA’s are driving demand.

Staffing ratios mostly in the range of .30 per key, considerably lower than hotels.

Gross operating profit range in fifty percent range with some isolated top performers above sixty percent.

Typically, CAPEX is lower than hotels given guests feel units are more like homes so damage less.

As for urban profile remains intact, but the operators were split on resort appeal. Some said there is strong potential and others said they keep not competitive.

As for Airbnb impact, generally, the sentiment was it did not detract from the segment, and in fact, gentrified customers who in turn later became SA guests.

While the sector has been impacted by Thailand’s reopening for tourism, the main takeaway is that the segment was probably the most stable of all hotel classes currently and that given COVID-19’s importance on less-trafficked accommodation and space, that prospects were positive going forward.

It’s interesting to see a revitalization of the SA segment, given during the mass tourism surge the past few years the sector had to increasingly tap the leisure sector, but the pandemic has taken it back to its roots.

Phuket’s multi-million-dollar villa sector has a new entry with the launch of The Headland Cape Yamu.

A total of seven ultra-villas are in the development with prices that range from USD10-15 million.

Two properties have been sold in presales. Lot sizes range from 4,200 up to 5,800 square meters.

The developers are Bangkok’s PPS Group and the founder of Yamu Estates.

Original Vision is the project architect.

Join C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications in an event featuring enterprising conversations on Coliving, Coworking & Startups.

The live virtual one-hour session will be held on Wednesday 30 September, 3:00 pm Bangkok Time | 4:00 pm Singapore/Bali/

You can register for free at the following link-

Register

All buzzed up and nowhere to go? If you are desperately looking for green shoots in a world turned grey by the global pandemic, this one-hour virtual entrepreneur-toned gig is the right place to start.  Hear a series of smart, fresh thoughts on the coliving and coworking space from a thought-provoking set of speakers including ‘founders’ who walk the walk. How is Covid-19 changing the business models and what are the leading altered opportunities in the days and months ahead.

The new nomads are about the brave new world we are facing and a look down the rabbit hole of the evolving kaleidoscope of an emerging lifestyle in a local and global community. Our storyline will help prospective startups, or those looking to shift careers and take a step into the new normal where work, play, learning, and travel are an exploration of creativity and craft. Don’t miss this event. It just may change your life.

This is part of a series of virtual hospitality events from Delivering Asia Communications and C9 Hotelworks that are intended to create forward-looking conversations, ideas, and learnings for hotels and where the industry goes next.

 Panelists

  • David Abraham – Co-Founder, Outpost
  • Sukanya Sangsrisak – Ambassador of Buzz, lyf Bangkok
  • Yvonne Yeo – Co-Founder, Relogo
  • Vikram Bharati – Founder (International), Draper Startup House
  • Charlie Rosier – Chief Executive Officer, Cuckooz Nest
  • Luca Dotti, Co-Founder, HOMA
  • Bill Barnett, Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks

Moderator

David Johnson – CEO, Delivering Asia Communications

Register

Two luxury lifestyle projects in Thailand’s Koh Chang are set to lead Aquarius International Development’s (AQI) USD250 million Southeast Asia investment strategy.

These are headed by the recently launched Aquarius Residences & Resort in Koh Chang which includes a luxury 99-unit condominium and 23 pool villas.

A second development is the AQ Privilege Beach Club & Residences in nearby Koh Man Nai.

AQI is also unveiling AQ Ventures, a luxury yacht business based in Koh Chang and Phuket, covering charters, management and sales.

Longer term plans for AQI which is owned by Norcal Venture Capital Group calls for further development in resorts, residences and travel and membership services.

Thailand’s Minor group has invested and will operate the hospitality element of a new integrated wellness and medical retreat on the outskirts of Bangkok named RAKxa.

Located in Bang Krachao in Samut Prakan, the project is adjacent to the Chao Praya River on 200 rai of land.  The development is a partnership with Bumrungrad’s VitalLife subsidiary and  Thai-listed property development group M. K. Real Estate.

Set to open by this end of this year, Minor will operate 27 villas that will tap guests in the wellness programs. In total, sixty villas will be the eventual accommodation component.

RAKxa will offer Functional Medicine and Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) together using a holistic approach. Functional medicine consists of VitalLife Medical Wellness center and Medical Gym.

CAM consists of Thai Traditional Medicine (TTM). Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, Energy Healing, and Therapeutic Spa.

 

A joint venture between Asia Capital Real Estate and Noon Capital is developing two coliving projects in Phuket with plans for four more across Thailand.

In Phuket, the 505-unit HOMA Phuket Town is under construction and will open in Q3 2021. The location is near to Bangkok Phuket Hospital and Rajabhat University.

While the HOME Chergtalay will be 422 units near to Boat Avenue and Porto de Phuket. A late 2022 debut is expected.

HOMA’s focus is on recurring rental yield and not selling real estate. Properties have studio, one, two, and three-bedroom configurations with extensive co-living facilities targeting both domestic and foreign clients with flexible lease terms.

The two principals of HOMA are Luca Dotti and ex-Lehman’s Blake Olafson.

Want to know more about Niseko’s tourism, hotel and real estate market?

C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications will host a live one-our virtual event on Wednesday 2 September, 2:00 pm Bangkok Time | 3:00 pm Singapore | HK 4:00 pm Tokyo/Niseko.

Free registration

Niseko, Japan has established itself as a world-class winter sports destination. Its luxury resort real estate market recorded close USD2 billion in primary market property sales last year. With the opening of the Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono early this year and an Aman branded ultra- luxury hotel and residence in the pipeline, its year-round hospitality appeal is in the cusp of a new cycle of growth. Expect to learn more about Niseko’s tourism, hotel, real estate and destination tourism sectors.

This special one-hour virtual event features one of Niseko’s most experienced developers Nisade, insight from leading hotel data intelligence group STR, a read on the property rental market with Elite Havens, the experiences of an international hospitality group Pavilions on how to enter the market and a how to develop a Niseko project with design group ALT-254. MnK will speak candidly about establishing a leading summer season offering and ProperyGuru will preview the upcoming Greater Niseko Asia Property Awards.

Speakers

  • Jonathan Martin, Chairman and Founder – Niseko Alpine Developments Co Ltd.
  • Gordon Oldham, Founder – Pavilions Hotels & Resorts
  • Shiori Sakurai, Business Development Manager – STR Japan
  • Andrew Craig, Country Director Japan – Elite Havens
  • Eddie Guillemette, Founding Partner – Niseko Resorts Group
  • Vincent McIlduff, Partner – ALT-254
  • Jules Kay, Managing Director – PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards
  • Bill Barnett, Managing Director – C9 Hotelworks

Moderator

  • David Johnson, CEO – Delivering Asia Communications

Register

Phuket born Pavions Hotels and Resorts has inked a deal for a 96-villa luxury resort in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines.

The mixed use property will offer one and two bedroom villas and a twenty over-water villas with private pools.

A series of hotel branded properties are being sold from USD250-500,000.

An opening is expected in early 2022.

Pavilions also has a mixed use resort under development in Niseko Japan.