7 Luxury Candles, Essential Oils and Incense to Try at Home

Posted in Interior Design

We all have our favourite scents. Perhaps yours is freshly cut grass; a burst of zesty citrus; a field full of lavender; or bread baking in the oven? Whatever your scent, it’s likely to be your favourite because it relaxes you. For centuries, ancient cultures have used fragrances and scented oils as a form of aromatherapy to soothe and relax stressed souls. Today, we use scents in the form of candles, essential oils and incense to create a calm and relaxed ambiance at home. Ahead, we’ve gathered seven of our favourite to light up and try at home today.

Aesop Anouk Oil Burner Blend

Anouk oil burner blend HK$250 / Brass oil burner HK$1,250

All you need is three to five drops of this calming Anouk oil to relax. In fact, Aesop claims that it is the “perfect antidote to stress and hurriedness”. And that it is, with a mood enhancing mix of ylang ylang with lemon and bergamot rind to alleviate stress. We recommend to drop the citrus and floral oil into Aesop’s Brass Oil Burner which is a little Objet d’art in itself. It’s crafted in solid brass and designed by Studio Henry Wilson.

Available at Aesop

Byredo Bibliothéque Candle

HK$620

For me, the woody bibliothéque scent by Byredo smells like sweetness mingling with the seductive. Top notes of fruity peach and plum dance with floral uplifts of patchouli while leather and vanilla ground the fragrance. At its heart, violet and peony add to its distinctive romantic character. It’s a great candle which burns for up to 60 hours in its black wax and mouth blown glass holder.

Available at Lane Crawford

Oribe Cote d’Azur Incense

HK$620

Crafted by the Koh-Shi aroma masters on Awaji island in Japan, Oribe have created incense sticks infused with their signature Côte d’Azur scent. The sticks burn for 20 minutes at a time and emanate notes of Calabrian bergamot, fresh lemon, plum, blackcurrant and Sicilian orange over white butterfly jasmine, sandalwood and crisp amber. The set comes with the incense holder and is the perfect mood-setting ensemble to use at home.

Available at Net-a-Porter

Diptyque Fleur D’Oranger Hourglass Diffuser 2.0

HK$1,630

Diptyque turns any home into a sensory experience with its luxurious hourglass which fills a room, up to 215 sq. ft., with its deliciously fruity aroma in just an hour. The double glass ends and centre wick design allows the fragrance to drip from one end to the other, releasing honey orange blossom bursting with citrus and sprinkled with spices to brighten up your home with the sweet smell of spring.
Available at Lane Crawford

Cire Trudon Joséphine Candle

HK$700

Inspired by Napoleon’s wife, Joséphine, this scented candle by French candlemaker Cire Trudon is a wonderfully fresh floral scent filled with Turkish rose, Egyptian jasmine and Chinese camellia. It’s lifted with notes of bright bergamot, kaffir lime and spices, before more earthen scents of sandalwood, white musks and iris ground the fragrance.

Available at Harvey Nichols

Gucci Esotericum Bamboo Incense Sticks and Cat Incense Burner

Esotericum incense sticks HK$630 / Cat incense burner HK$1,850

As the luxury Italian brand delves into more home décor, it has resulted in these fantastically fun fuchsia incense sticks that are crafted from bamboo. Infused with the scent Esotericum, the sticks emit an aroma of zesty Seville oranges with sweet, delicate jasmine, blended with warm notes of leather and salt. There are 25 sticks included in each set and are best used with the equally exuberant pink porcelain cat incense burner.
Available at Gucci

Fornasetti La Chiave Nero Diffusing Sphere

HK$4,045

The Italian decorative arts company is the epitome of whimsical craftsmanship, but you best believe that the scents are just as splendid. The Fornasetti La Chiave Nero diffusing sphere is a ceramic piece of art to put in pride of place at home. It also will perfume the air with their Otto scent, which brings together an infusion of thyme and lavender with sweet floral orris, incense and clean birch. The diffuser set comes with 5 reed sticks and 500ml of oil.
Available at Net-a-Porter

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

Live the Suite Life: The Hotel-Operated Residences in Hong Kong Worth Staying in

Posted in Where to Live

Hotel residences are a popular and rapidly growing type of mixed-use development which, thanks to a hotel’s branding, luxury amenities, and high-quality services, are now seen popping up all around the world. So whether you’re looking for a new, second or third space to settle, or even just keeping an eye on the residence properties on the market, here are the ones to watch (and stay in) when you’re in Hong Kong.

Rosewood Residences

Located at the epicentre of Kowloon’s harbour front district, Rosewood Hong Kong offers exclusive residences in the form of 186 luxury accommodations for extended stays. The residences include a range of units including studios, apartments and duplexes, some of which come with its own outdoor terrace. The design mirrors the ultra-luxe aesthetics of the hotel with of course, the incredible harbour views too. What’s more, residents can also take advantage of the five-star facilities which include a dedicated club on the 53rd floor, an indoor swimming pool and private fitness centre, amongst others. Rosewood Residences also accommodate pets with trusted care options. From HK$57,000 per month.
Rosewood Residences, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3891 8610

East Residences

The residential counterpart to East Hong Kong, East Residences is located in prime real estate at commercial building complex Taikoo Place in the heart of the city’s eastern business district. The residences include 106 units from well designed studios, to one-bedroom or two-bedroom suites, and penthouses. Residents that stay for a minimum of one month can make use of the 24-hour gym, stylish lounge, reading area with refreshment corner and landscaped terrace overlooking the neighbourhood of local eateries, bars and the event space Artis Tree. From HK$30,000 per month.
East Residences, 23 Tong Chong Street, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2901 3628

Waterfront Suites

Perched on the shore of the Eastern waterfront, these bright and airy residences offer some really rather stunning harbour views. Opened by the Lanson Place Hospitality group, Waterfront Suites have 75 fully-furnished sea view apartments that range from studios, one or two-bedroom duplexes, and penthouse spaces with jacuzzi or pool. Other facilities include an outdoor wellness pool, BBQ and function area, gym, yoga garden, and a self-service launderette; other services such as housekeeping, security and concierge are also included. From HK$28,800 per month.
Waterfront Suites, 1 Oi Tak Street, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2178 2288

K11 Artus Residences

Another residence within Victoria Dockside is the K11 Artus Residences. Having dubbed themselves Asia’s first “Artisanal Home”, this luxury, design-lead residence comes with comprehensive hotel services in an environment made for cultural creatives and worldly travellers. The units range from studio spaces, one-bedrooms (with or without a study), two-bedrooms, three-bedrooms and the Penthouses, with 80% of them offering wrap-around balconies too. What’s more, K11 Artus are also donating 1% of room revenue to conserve and rejuvenate Chinese craftsmanship through the K11 Craft & Guild Foundation. From HK$57,000 per month.
K11 Artus, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 2107 770

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

The Fashion Houses Rolling Out Designer Wallpaper for Luxury Interiors

Posted in Interior Design

It’s official: wallpaper is well and truly back in 2020. And since taste in design, much like fashion, can vastly range from the modest to the maximalist, fashion houses are doing their bit to offer different forms of expression for your interiors. Whether it’s geometric shapes or lines that tick your box, or the injection of life with colourful flora and fauna that tickles your fancy, here are seven fashion houses that have taken their designs from the runway to your walls.

Hermès


In a collaboration with architect and illustrator Nigel Peake, this Hermès wallpaper depicts the area surrounding their flagship store in Paris. The landscape wallpaper in a muted flanelle shade, which illustrates his walk on the Promenade au Faubourg, is meant to conjure a dream-like world where a groom searches for his horse and carriage in a maze of architectural perspectives.
HK$5,000 (for 68.5 cm x 10 m roll); www.hermes.com

Versace

Versace exotica: think balmy evenings in a leafy tropical paradise and you’ll end up with this lush wallpaper. Boasting their distinctive Jungle Print, which celebrates its 20th anniversary thanks to their iconic Jungle Dress from the spring/summer 2000 collection, this wallpaper will dress up any interior in the most verdant and vibrant rainforest green.
HK$785 (per 70 cm x 10.5 m roll); www.versace.com

Ralph Lauren

Inspired by the Art Deco architecture and design of 1930s New York, this geometric design will add the glitz and glamour of that era with ease. The design features diamond shapes fashioned from lines of little light-reflecting beads atop a finely stippled charcoal background. The result is classy, cool and snazzy, all at once.
HK$1,450 (for 52 cm x 10 m roll); www.ralphlaurenhome.com

Gucci

Straight off the runway from Gucci’s ready-to-wear collection, this bright and vivid heron print is illustrated with the birds and dragonflies throughout. The painterly pattern is set against a soft blushing pink which will add a fun, yet graceful, element to any interior.
HK$3,500 (for two panels 70 cm x 3.5 m each); www.gucci.com

Etro

Bringing the garden into the home, this Etro wallpaper is full of bright colours and striking contrasts to reflect a secret garden in lilac. The foliage design on this wallpaper feels somewhat traditional, but reflects nature’s bounty in a playful manner. An easy way to add style to a home with clean lines and shapes.
HK$1,080 (for 70 cm x 10 m roll); www.etro.rasch.de

Armani

This Nabucco wallpaper by Armani’s interior design arm, Armani/Casa, is for those looking for a more understated vibe. Made in Italy, the name is take from Nabucodonosor, one of the greatest operas by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1842. The earthen wallpaper is also one of Giorgio Armani’s favourite patterns and features the streaked texture of onyx slabs.
HK$1,360 (for 87 cm x 10 m roll); www.armani.com/casa

Christian Lacroix

A dramatic scene of technicoloured florals and botanicals make up this Christian Lacroix wallpaper. Featuring his signature flamboyancy with overlapping bold black lines, the digitally printed wallpaper is designed to make the whole wall pop. And that it certainly does.
HK$1,950 (for 52 cm x 10 m roll); www.christian-lacroix.com

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

Neighbourhood Look: The Best Areas to Buy in Barcelona

Posted in Where to Live

Sunshine, seafood, siesta and the Sagrada Família, are just a few of many reasons to visit Barcelona and consequently fall in love with it. So much so, you may be thinking about investing in property or perhaps even settling down in the Catalan capital. But with widely different neighbourhoods in the city, which area do you choose to live in? From the labyrinth of cobble-stoned streets and beautifully restored buildings of the old town, to the cool and happening areas that are home to some of the best bars and restaurants, here are our top five areas to buy (and maybe live) in Barcelona.

Eixample

Just north of the old city is the modern district of Eixample, a safe and residential part of the city which is also known for its vibrant nightlife. Eixample is filled with art galleries, museums, cafés, high-end boutiques, and fantastic architecture. The area is very central in the city and characterised by the organised blocks and tree-lined streets. It’s also home to some of Barcelona’s best modernist architecture, including the likes of Casa Batlló and La Casa Milà.

El Born

This area of Barcelona is where the old meets the new; the result of which is a charming blend and juxtaposition of historic buildings fitted out with contemporary interiors. Situated in between the Gothic Quarter and the Ciutadella Park, El Born is in the middle of all the action. It’s also where designers, luxury boutiques, restaurants and cocktail bars are located, making it a fashionable neighbourhood to reside in.

Gràcia

Barcelona’s bohemian neighbourhood of Gracia exudes local charm like no other. There are many little squares to discover in this area, all with different atmospheres, and connected by mesmerising streets. It almost feels like a small city on its own, hidden within the cosmopolitan capital. Residents here comprise of the young and older Catalan residents, and together they enjoy the plazas, local shops, indie boutiques, arthouse cinemas, restaurants and cafés.

Poblenou

Located to the east of the city centre, Poblenou is the old industrial estate turned modern neighbourhood that is often underrated. It’s the quieter, calmer side of town and one of few Barcelona neighbourhoods that has managed to escape gentrification. Parts of Poblenou are also described as Barcelona’s creative heart, where you’ll find converted factories housing design agencies, tech offices and showrooms, along with great coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. It’s also in close proximity to the beaches.

Sarrià-Sant Gervasi

As one of the biggest districts in Barcelona, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is also the most residential. It is another of the city’s unique neighbourhoods that has managed to remain relax and open, with few urban sections, while being located just ten minutes from the city’s more bustling centre. This peaceful area is for those that enjoy a slower paced lifestyle in Barcelona. The mix of urban tapas bars, designer boutiques, and nearby nature walks also make it a popular neighbourhood to live in.

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before You Buy

Posted in Ask An Estate Agent

The relationship you have with your real estate agent is one of significance. Especially since they are the advisors, the experts, and the business partners, that will help you through important transaction(s). It is therefore critical, not only to have done careful planning and research, but also to ask the right questions. To ensure we get to these questions right, we’ve enlisted Chris Liem, the Owner and Principal of luxury real estate Engel & Volkers Hong Kong to help us with the best fact-finding questions you need to ask your real estate agent before you commit to buying.

1. Recent transactions

Make sure to ask your real estate agent if there have been any recent transactions in the building. This will give you a reference to relative pricing in the building and last sale. Remember that floors will differ in value too, as do different unit shapes; for instance A units versus B units, one will be the most popular in the building.

2. Building age and management fees

The age of the building, along with the management fees, will affect how much capital will be required for your purchase. So it’s best to ask these questions beforehand so you don’t get any surprises.

3. Comparable buildings

Most good agents will be able to list comparable buildings for you. So you should ask to get that point of reference which will make your decision to buy or sell much easier.

4. Summary

Ask your agent to summarise your request. It seems so simple, but I promise this will save you a lot of time later.

5. Where would you buy?

Putting the agent in your shoes will usually reveal whether they think the property is worth the investment. After all, they will usually have the best idea of value. For example, you can ask them: “If you had the money, where would you buy right now?” or “Where is the best location for living?” and “Where is the best property price wise?”.

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

10 Ultra-luxe Homes in Asia to Buy This January

Posted in What to Buy

As the new year begins, so do our endeavours to find the ultimate dream home. The target? Only the most luxurious, biggest, or stunning homes across Asia will do. From Taiwanese mansions to penthouses in Singapore and townhouses on The Peak in Hong Kong, here are the properties that made it onto our top ten ultra luxe list.

37 Island Road in Deep Water Bay, Hong Kong

For an easy HK$1,800,000,000, this stunning detached house in Hong Kong’s prestigious address in Deep Water Bay could be your new home. The townhouse has a phenomenal view of the sea and holds four sumptuous bedrooms and five bathrooms across an expansive 5,276 sq. ft. area. A spacious private garden, balcony and covered car park also add to the privacy of this property. Its close proximity to country parks, golf course, yacht club and international schools doesn’t hurt either.

The Harbour View House in Sentosa, Singapore

As 12,500-sq.-ft. harbour view houses go, this extraordinary property in Singapore is really quite spectacular. Selling for HK$449,548,024, this two-floor modern-style seaside house is located on the northern side of Sentosa Cove, which lends a great view across the sea. Two wings are connected by an entry pavilion and centres around a lush courtyard. The east wing offers two floors of living space with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, while the one-floor west wing holds the home office and has been designed to entertain. Other highlights include an outdoor pool, garden space and a jacuzzi.

98 Wireless Road in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok’s thriving property market has meant a wide array of prime real estate on offer. One such investment includes a luxury duplex in Sansiri’s flagship condominium, 98 Wireless. It’s been dubbed the Fifth Avenue of Bangkok and features an elegant space with three bedrooms and bathrooms. The stylish 2,691 sq. ft. space is worth HK$47,451,35 and is what luxury homes are made of. The property is also furnished with a salon, fitness, playroom, spa room and swimming pool. 

Mountain Peak Mansion in Taipei, Taiwan

Perched on the peak of Yangming Mountain, this mansion is conveniently located near downtown Taipei and yet still benefits from endless greenery. It really is the best of both worlds. The property itself is designed with minimal Japanese style in mind and features floor to ceiling windows to fully show off the natural surroundings. It also has expansive space for a garden, along with a terrace and farm land which welcomes horses too. Price is available upon request.

Galleria Costa in Kanagawa, Japan

This estate is not only uniquely designed so that all rooms face the coast of Manazuru peninsula, but it’s also huge. It holds over 13,000 sq. ft. of space which includes one master bedroom, three guest rooms, an outdoor pool, two outdoor baths, mist sauna, stone sauna, treatment room, fitness room, jacuzzi, tennis court, golf simulator, home theatre with karaoke system, library, wine cellar, massage room, and much, much more. Price is available upon request.

17 Bluff Path at The Peak, Hong Kong

Sitting above the rest of Hong Kong, this luxury townhouse features five bedrooms and six bathrooms. Inside, modern design elements blend seamlessly with a classic style to ensure timelessness. The sophisticated 4,559 sq. ft. home is a cool HK$1,200,000,000 investment that offers both mountain and sea views, while a garden and terrace provide more private space within to enjoy. The partially furnished property also includes a fully equipped kitchen as well as six covered car park spots to protect your cars from natural elements.

Penthouse in Reflections at Keppel Bay, Singapore

Luxury waterfront property Reflections at Keppel Bay was designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind and features the iconic and impressive double curvature towers with alternating heights. At the very top, this 13,309 sq. ft. penthouse showcases some of Singapore’s most jaw-dropping vistas from above. It also spans three floors and features six bedrooms, a spacious living and dining area, and a contemporary party zone on the top floor for elegant entertaining.

Veyla Natai Beach House in Phuket, Thailand

For those seeking sun, sand and sea in privacy, this secluded beach house on Natai beach in Phang Nga is just the place. There are only thirty units available on the property, and only seven facing the unobstructed views of the pristine Andaman sea, making beach vacationing ultra exclusive. The 7,792 sq. ft. villa comes fully furnished with custom furniture and state-of-the-art technology. It’s also equipped with three beds, three baths, a private beach front, fitness centre and private swimming pool. This holiday home will set you back approximately HK$25,500,000.

Cemagi Villa in Bali, Indonesia

This seaside villa is situated on the coast of Batu Bolong Beach in Cemagi village and is, for want of a more elaborate word — paradise. It’s one part contemporary, one part luxury and just a stone’s throw away from the beach, lush tropical gardens and ocean views. The12,900 sq. ft. five bedroom villa asks for HK$25,260,000 and inside the Balinese oasis, you’ll find floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that flood the space with light. Upstairs, there are dual master suites with open air bathrooms and sea-view balconies, private guest suites, and terraces. The most spectacular feature however is the sunken 98 ft. pool with an alfresco dining lounge against enchanted tropical landscaping.

Taiwan Villa in New Taipei City, Taiwan

A rare gem (one of five to be exact) by Seattle architect Jim Olson is a masterpiece property embodying art, architecture and nature. Located in the gated community in Great Taipei New Town for the highest levels of privacy and security, the 7,484 sq. ft. three-floor home holds a perfect balance of indoor and outdoor spaces, spacious interiors, private gardens and outside terraces. The three bed and bath is within close proximity to prestigious schools, special amenities and the famous Wulai Hot Springs. It also has its own private pool overlooking the rolling hills of Taipei City. Price is available upon request.

As of the publishing date of this article, any aforementioned properties were available for sale. We cannot guarantee that these properties will be available for sale indefinitely, so please check the respective listings for the most up-to-date information.

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

London Rising: 6 Notable New Developments in the British Capital

Posted in What to Buy

Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, it it apparent that investment in the UK’s residential property is still on a high and was seen to go up 150% in 2018 (as reported by broker JLL London), thanks to the lures and luxury of London. But with so many new developments in all stretches of the capital, where does one even begin to scout property? From brand new buildings to historical transformations, these are the most intriguing developments in London to follow, visit and perhaps invest in right now.

Chelsea Barracks, Belgravia

Formerly the British Army barracks, which was out of public reach for over 150 years, the Chelsea Barracks has been something of a controversial talking point since real estate investment company Qatari Diar paid a record breaking record amount for British land, GBP 959 million (approx. HK$9.2 million), in 2007. But now, over 12 years on and the first residents have finally moved in, while new penthouses and townhouses go on sale and more phases are in construction for eventual completion. Other elements to open up include landscaped public green spaces that have a distinct theme. Today, Chelsea Barracks continue to offer luxury British living at its finest, making it evident that they will still be one of London’s newest and most esteemed enclaves. 

The Mansion, Mayfair

Boasting 23 luxury residences, The Mansion is Clivedale London’s boutique development of unique apartments. By enlisting German-based firm NBK Terracotta, a bespoke terracotta façade warms the building’s exterior while also paying homage to other Edwardian-style homes in the area. Officially complete, the residences range from studio apartments to penthouses, all of which feature a modern yet timeless elegance. Residents of The Mansion will of course, also benefit from amenities and services including a private residents’ lounge, spa, fitness centre, and Marylebone’s longest private indoor swimming pool. Bonus services such as the chauffeur-driven Bentley house car doesn’t hurt either. 

10 Park Drive, Canary Wharf

Down in the Docklands is the first of Canary Wharf Group’s residential developments: Ten Park Drive. Overlooking the South Dock, the development is just opposite of the Herzog and de Meuron development — One Park Drive — and encompasses two towers. The 42-storey and 13-storey buildings offers 345 one, two and three-bedroom apartments in the centre of Canary Wharf’s residential area Wood Wharf. Residents will benefit from the building’s concierge team, sky terrace, private club, and state-of-the-art health club. Inside, the interiors boast the design marks of celebrated interior designers Stanton Williams, and is fitted with a colour palette that complements the building’s surrounding, with natural woods and clean lines to further enhance natural light into the space. Set to complete in the first quarter of 2020, this property is worth keeping your eye on.

1 Ashley Road, Tottenham Hale

Tottenham Hale, said to be one of London’s next great neighbourhoods, is getting something of a facelift with 1 Ashley Road as its first development in the centre of it all. Sitting in a bustling hub for international transport, the area is easy to get to and from. It’s also designed by the team behind the regeneration of King’s Cross, Alison Brooks Architects, and they have created what could be a landmark building with a warm brick façade, street-level shops and garden terraces. Anticipated for completion in 2022, the offering ranges from studios to three-bedroom apartments, all of which have been given interiors of mixed textures and finishings in bright but warm neutrals materials.

The Atlas Building, Old Street

The Atlas Building, London

Standing 152 metres tall over the rest of the Old Street area in London’s Tech City is mixed-use scheme The Atlas Building, which saw its first residents move in this month. With just a handful of the 302 apartments remaining, this new development is hot property and one to keep a watchful eye on. Designed by MAKE Architects, which was funded by Foster + Partners architect alum Ken Shuttleworth, the building is said to embody the area’s creativity, culture, energy and entrepreneurship. This can also be seen in the office spaces, urban farming and a restaurant that occupy some of the other floors. Meanwhile The Atlas residences can also benefit from lifestyle amenities such as a gym, swimming pool, spa, cinema room and private lounge. 

Principal Tower, Hackney

When Foster + Partners, who also transformed The Murray hotel in Hong Kong, designed their first London residential tower, it was obvious that both architecture and design would be exceptional. This rings true for Principal Tower, which combines residential, office, and retail space alongside a half-acre public piazza. Rising 175 meters above the city of London and Shoreditch, the building is Central London’s tallest and has views looking towards Canary Wharf in the East and the Houses of Parliament in the West. 

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

5 Hot Properties to Buy in Phuket Right Now

Posted in Holiday Homes

Bangkok may be the world’s most-visited city, but it’s Phuket that has one of the fastest-growing property markets in Thailand. Thanks to the island’s natural environment and beauty, many a luxury resort can be seen investing in the area, which helps to attract a wealth of tourism and development projects. So whether you’re looking for a new base, holiday home, or real estate to investment in, here are the top five hottest properties to keep your eye on.

Villa Sawarin

As part of an exclusive collaboration between acclaimed architects Jean-Michel Gathy and Phillipe Stark, it goes without saying that Villa Sawarin (approx. HK$169,451,700) is exceptionally designed. At this private Cape Yamu development in Phuket’s east coast, traditional Thai elements weave effortlessly and flawlessly into the contemporary aesthetics of this expansive 8-bedroom, 10-bathroom villa. It sprawls over 43,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space, with highlights that include its own golf practice green and a stunning infinity pool within three acres of beautifully manicured garden. Inside, a spa room, home theatre, fully-equipped gym and yoga studio provide more reasons to never have to leave this magnificent property.  

Avadina Hills by Anantara

Perched on a forested slope overlooking the western shore of Phuket, Avadina Hills by Anantara (HK$87,157,695) is a collection of 16 villas in a prestigious and secluded neighbourhood. Each villa is set against some of Thailand’s best natural views — from the green hillsides just above Layan Beach, to the azure waters of Andaman Sea. The design has been left minimalist, with clean lines and natural materials, which mean the 28,427-sq.-ft. site is completely customisable, from a four-bedroom property to include additional bedrooms, a study, or even a private gym or cinema.

Villa Shanti, Jivana Beach Residences

Along the quiet, peaceful stretch of Natai Beach on the west coast of Phang Nga are several beachfront retreats. But none are quite as eye-catching as Villa Shanti (approx. HK$60,477,360). As one of three villas in the Jivana Villas estate, this six-ensuite-bedroom property is housed in five connected Thai-style pavilions that intersperse the palm tree-lined garden. Across the huge, 68,000-sq.-ft. Space is simple but contemporary style living spaces that allow the sweeping views of the Andaman sea to take centre stage, while a 82 ft. infinity pool and breezy open pavilions (or salas as they’re known in Thai) enable relaxing alfresco moments that are ideal for dining and entertaining guests.

Villa Isa, Trisara Residences

This three-floored, six-bedroomed, and two-pooled villa embodies luxury without a doubt, but it also boasts two other precious commodities that many seek — nature and privacy. Framed by lush tropical forests and exotic gardens, the Villa Isa (approx. HK$58,777,200) is a secluded retreat set over a private bay on Phuket’s west coast, where residents have access to their own private beach. Other features of the 21,528-sq.-ft. property include a spa, gym, and tennis courts that are ideal for those who like to keep active, while a billiard room, private cinema and even a unique petanque field for boules sports is sure to keep everyone entertained.

Moon Shadow Villa, The Pavilions Residences

For a little over HK$40 million, you can attain a piece of prime real estate that combines luxury with both comfort and privacy. Located in the peace and quiet of Kamala in Kathu, the Moon Shadow Villa (approx. HK$39,192,750) is one of two parts in The Pavilions Residence and employs ocean views as its main backdrop. Contemporary and spacious design are the key points at this 12,357-sq.-ft. home, with unique features such as double-height ceilings, infinity pool, curved central staircase, wine cellar, and a large terrace for outdoor entertaining making it easy to move in immediately.

As of the publishing date of this article, any aforementioned properties were available for sale. We cannot guarantee that these properties will be available for sale indefinitely, so please check the respective listings for the most up-to-date information.

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

5 Hot Properties to Buy in Koh Samui Right Now

Posted in Holiday Homes

If the pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and overall relaxed atmosphere of Koh Samui doesn’t sell it for you then maybe these stunning, unique and ultra-luxury properties will. A stable economic environment and profitable market is what attracts both well-heeled travellers and investors from afar. So, whether you prefer the more exotic Thai-style retreats or the modern and creative-designed homes, here are our top choice properties on the island that mixes both city and island life.

Villa Playa

Just 15 minutes away from Koh Samui’s airport is a property that offers the utmost privacy. Located in a small gated community with 24-hour reception and security, Villa Playa (approx. HK$19,187,625) is the five ensuite bedroom beachfront property that is ideal for those that want to “get away from it all”. Spanning 19,682 sq. ft. of space, the villa benefits from an infinity pool with jacuzzi, private terrace, electric awning canopies, and eco-friendly solar panels. The contemporary and clean settings of white walls, natural woods, and green or stone decor elements, creates a bright, open-plan and easily modified living space.

Sky Dream Villa

Should award-winning design and architecture pique your interest, then Sky Dream Villa (approx. HK$16,654,300) in Chaweng Noi could be for you. Thoughtfully designed by acclaimed Thai architect and developer, K. Bodin Sritrakul, the unique property’s creative pod-like roofs add interest but still manage to curve harmoniously with its surroundings. Not only does the four bedroom home hold stunning sea views and an infinity pool, but its interior features a modern and sleek design with sliding glass doors, high ceilings and clean lines running throughout.

Villa Sila Varee

Villa Sila Varee

With the exclusive Santikhiri Estate’s surrounding environs protected, you can be sure that the natural landscape, sea views, sand rivers, coconut plantations and greenery are a constant at Villa Sila Varee (approx. HKD 15,201,945). Situated on the Southwestern Samui Island, the area is secluded and remains the insider secret for luxury and privacy. The two-storey, 23,368-sq.-ft. property comprises five bedrooms outfitted in the rustic elegance of teak wood furnishings. Outside, an infinity pool, barbecue area, back garden and more supply ample entertaining and living space.

Villa Frangipani

Overlooking Bang Khao Bay, one of Samui’s more desirable areas that is away from tourist spots, Villa Frangipani is a sophisticated house that plays to the strengths of the undisturbed, panoramic views. Look out from the villa over to the Gulf of Thailand and its outlying islands, or make use of the large open-to-nature verandahs towards its tropical gardens. Fitted with terracotta tile roofs and rattan ceilings, this pastoral property uses traditional Thai materials across the 23,659-sq.-ft space with highlights that include a swimming pool, terrazzo bathrooms, and a modern open-plan kitchen.

Villa Skyfall

Located in Plai Laem, at the top northeastern corner of Koh Samui, this luxury home perches itself on a hill and sits just a stone throw’s away to Choeng Mon beach. Villa Skyfall (price on request) is the type of home that a large multigenerational family would enjoy, with a total of eight bedroom suites to fit everybody’s needs. Ocean views are definitely a highlight here, but if dipping into the outdoor infinity pool is not quite for you, you can enjoy the view inside with floor to ceiling windows that invite natural light and breeze to fill the 11,840-sq.-ft., contemporarily designed space splendidly.

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.