Why 8 Conlay May Be the Most Coveted Property in Kuala Lumpur

Posted in Distinguished Developers

With Kuala Lumpur booming on the Southeast Asia property scene, there’s never been a better time to get your foot in the door. And by door, we mean one of the luxury sky-rises shooting up around the city as developers flock to transform the skyline of the bustling Malaysian capital.

Those shopping around will likely already know of 8 Conlay, one of the brand new developments in Kuala Lumpur, an integrated high-res located in the heart of the city. Designed by celebrity designer Kelly Hoppen and Hong Kong-based architect Steve Leung, the luxury accommodation consists of three towers atop a four-storey lifestyle retail podium, and has the distinction of harboring the first and only five-star Kempinski Hotel in Malaysia as well as the world’s tallest twisted twin residential housing branded serviced residences, YOO8 serviced by Kempinski.

What else makes this property a truly unique addition to KL? We chat to Joanne Kua, Chief Executive Officer of KSK Group (the Malaysian lifestyle property developer of 8 Conlay), to dig deeper into the concept and inspiration behind the landmark project.

Tell us a bit about the background of 8 Conlay and the motivation behind this development.

8 Conlay is the inaugural development of KSK Land, a Malaysian lifestyle property developer with the vision to craft bespoke properties that prioritise design, craftsmanship and lifestyle. Scheduled to open by the end of 2020, this integrated development is located on nearly four acres of freehold land in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, consisting of three towers atop a four-storey lifestyle retail podium, featuring the first and only five-star Kempinski Hotel in Malaysia and the world’s tallest twisted twin residential towers devoted exclusively to branded serviced residences called YOO8 serviced by Kempinski. 

Branded residences are a level above typical premium residences, a splice between a high-end condominium and a luxury hotel that caters to every whim, fancy and need of the resident. 8 Conlay is not a traditional building. We are designing for the future, and wanted to create something unique that will not fade over time. We wanted a building that is timeless. We wanted to create a building with architecture that is liveable.

What makes KL’s market primed for this opening? Is there major demand for luxury residences offering this shared experience?

There is an upward trend of high net worth individuals globally forecasted to rise by 22% over the next four years according to a 2019 Wealth Report by Knight Frank. As global wealth creation expands, the demand for luxury branded residences in key market centres such as Kuala Lumpur will undoubtedly rise.

At the YOO8 residences, the concept of building vertical communities will promote community relations amongst the residents through the facilities floors by Trop, liveable architecture that stands in time and the ‘confluential’ experience of 8 Conlay Kempinski connecting local experiences to locals and foreigners alike.

Luxury residences have long term value and are considered safer investments. The global recognition of the brand attached to luxury branded residences provides a sense of security in the investment.

How is 8 Conlay set to elevate the art of living for its residents? 

The idea is that you walk into 8 Conlay and into YOO8 and everything is there, ready for you. It is like entering a Kempinski suite, but the suite belongs to you. Services are at your beck and call. Time is the most important luxury these days. So everything in our project has been thought out to be the most convenient for the buyer, so they can focus on the luxury of time.

The lifestyle at YOO8 Serviced by Kempinski is about the power of placemaking. Placemaking is a way we bring areas forward. It’s about watching people designing their own homes, creating new hubs, a world where people share similar aspirations.

Tell us about some of the main selling points of the development. 

8 Conlay is an ambitious mixed-used development that will be the world’s tallest twisted twin residential towers in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle. Three towers will pierce the skyline when the project is complete – two of which are branded residences – anchored by a base of ‘lifestyle retail quarters’. 

Exclusive design concepts mark the identities of the two branded residences — Hong Kong-based Steve Leung brings his Asian aesthetic to Tower A while British celebrity designer Kelly Hoppen’s creative handprint can be seen in Tower B. This gives potential buyers a wide range of options to choose a home from, a home that really suits them and their individual sensibilities.

For example, as Leung’s style is evocative of a modern urban space as well as a tranquil retreat, YOO8 Tower A exudes a sense of calm, bringing together the best of modern design and refined city living. With interiors designed to reflect Leung’s two exclusive concepts, Wood and Water, YOO8 Tower A’s 564 serviced residences range from 700 sq. ft. to 1,308 sq. ft. across 61 floors, setting a retail benchmark of RM3,283 per sq. ft.

Radiating timeless elegance and Hoppen’s quintessentially English style, YOO8 Tower B appeals to the inner cosmopolitan with its understated glamour and aesthetic vision of leisure and luxury. With interiors designed to reflect the South African-born designer’s linear style in two exclusive concepts, Spring and Urban, YOO8 Tower B’s 498 serviced residences range from 705 sq ft to 1,328 sq ft across 56 floors, setting a retail benchmark of RM3,370 per sq ft.

Kempinski will anchor the experience of living in YOO8. Beloved for its unrelenting dedication to luxury, the German luxury hospitality brand will bring its impeccable level of service to all units – completing the name of the brand: YOO8, serviced by Kempinski. 

The final tower of 8 Conlay will also be a Kempinski – the first Kempinski hotel in Malaysia, itself with its own residences component. All the hallmarks of Kempinski will be present – including its ambassador extraordinaire ‘Lady in Red’, the sybaritic Kempinski spa and the local ethos that colours its service and experience.

What are the most unique factors that makes 8 Conlay different from other luxury residences? 

8 Conlay will be the tallest twisted twin residential towers in Malaysia (when completed), spanning across 3.95 acres of commercial and freehold land. A mixed-use integrated development with a gross development value of RM5.4 billion, 8 Conlay differentiates itself from what is ‘perceived’ to be competition. 

The branded residences at 8 Conlay called YOO8 serviced by Kempinski features not one but two power brands — international design studio YOO founded by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck and Europe’s oldest and most established hotel group, Kempinski. 

The property’s two residential towers feature interior concepts exclusively designed by Steve Leung & YOO and Kelly Hoppen for YOO, as well as landscape architecture by TROP Studio. The branded residences will provide luxury in-house services by the adjoining five-star Kempinski Hotel. While the retail lifestyle quarters will complete the bespoke lifestyle experience.

What other major trends are you seeing in KL’s property market? Are you planning additional developments in the area? 

Kuala Lumpur is now one of the destinations to ‘watch’, being selected as one of ’52 Places to go in 2020’ by the New York Times, while there is a rise in the number of expatriates, with Malaysia ranked as the 9th best destination for expatriates to live and work in, according to The Expat Insider 2019 Survey.

The potential for KL’s property market is limitless, with the rapid on-going infrastructure development over the years focused in Kuala Lumpur city resulting in more connectivity and accessibility inbound to the city and within the city and its surrounding areas. The future high-speed rail project linking Malaysia to Singapore enables a seamless and a shorter travel time (90 minutes from KL to Singapore) and the expansion of the Mass Rapid Transit lines. The improved connectivity will enable businesses to be more productive and access a broader market place, spurring urbanisation.

The next future project will be in a strategic area in Kuala Lumpur and will reveal more details of the development in the future.

What do you think people are looking for as far as property investments in KL?  

Kuala Lumpur has a capital appreciation on average of 5.1%, giving high return on investment (in terms of Luxury Residential Property Capital Gains). Foreigners can buy freehold properties in Malaysia and have the same rights as the locals, governed under national land code which is the same system as Hong Kong are used to, which is the British Torrens. KL offers high quality residential products at lower entry costs compared to some of the other SEA countries.

In the space of “luxury residences”, Kuala Lumpur has one of the most “affordable” price per square feet, in comparison with Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. For example, the 8 Conlay development is priced at USD809 per square feet. While, in Bangkok, the price per square feet is US$2,061 for 98 Wireless, in Singapore US$2,511 per sq. ft. for the Ritz-Carlton Residences and in Hong Kong at US$4,376 per sq. ft. for the YOO Residence.

This makes it an attractive investment especially for foreigners who are looking at high return on investment.

What is your favourite feature of the development? 

To create something memorable and iconic, the twisted design remains a favourite feature of the development, where it is inspired by the curves of 8 Conlay from the Chinese character of the figure 8. 

More than a luxury development, 8 Conlay has been curated to be a place where the next wave of trailblazers can gather and create their own stories – a vision we take to heart in everything that we do. Throughout the hotel and branded residences, as well as the property’s experience-driven retail space, we have worked diligently with our partners to transform public spaces into shared experiences.

It is also the maiden project undertaken by KSK Land.

For more information, visit the website here.

Leslie Yeh

5 Luxury Private Islands You Can Own Around the World

Posted in How the One Percent Live

Everyone always dreams of owning their own private island — a slice of pure, unspoilt, one hundred percent secluded tropical paradise. From the Bahamas to Fiji and even right off the coast of the United States, these private islands can be yours for the taking — at a hefty price, of course.

Bonefish Cay, Bahamas

Located in the stunning archipelago of the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, this exclusive first class island features five buildings totalling 15,000 sq. ft., constructed of fine materials and completely hurricane-proof. The island is littered with white-sand beaches, nature trails that wind the perimeter of the island, and a treasure trove of local flora, fauna and wildlife for bird, turtles and dolphin sightings. Don’t miss one of the best activities: deep sea fishing in the cobalt blue waters.

The Main Lodge features 5,000-sq.-ft. of living space, along with a panoramic 360-degree view of the island and the Atlantic Ocean. Entertain your guests with a professional chef-designed kitchen including a 28-ft. maple bar, indoor dining with seating for 14, and an expansive patio for al fresco dining. Three other bungalows come fully furnished, with the island accommodating 14 guests altogether with two sets of staff. As an added bonus, new owners will be given the island’s motor boats, jet skis, wave runners, scuba gear and more.

Reach Bonefish Cay via seaplane or helicopter landings on the eastern side of the island. There are daily international flights from Floria to the airports in Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay, where you can find supermarkets, banks, hardware stores and more.

Priced at US$7,000,000 (approx. HK$54,409,880). Visit here for more info.

Emerald Coast, Porto Cervo, Italy

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a hideaway more secluded than this luxurious private island located in Porto Cervo, Italy. It’s easy to live la bella vita in this heavenly paradise, spanning a total of four hectares and surrounded by the azure sea, pristine white-sand beaches, hidden coves for swimming, juniper gardens and granite sculptures.

Spend your days lounging around the magnificent property which encompasses a variety of dwellings covering 650 square metres, staring with the 24-sq.-mtr. main abode with three double bedrooms and three en suite bathrooms, living area, dining room, kitchen, and terraces for outdoor entertaining. Set sail on the waters from the neighbouring quay with your own private yacht, then come back to a fantastic home-cooked meal to enjoy on the lengthy pier.

Price upon request. Visit here for more info.

Mai Island, Fiji

Arrive via a short boat ride from Labasa town (accessibly via daily flights from Nadi International Airport) and step onto this exclusive private island escape with fully-furnished residences. Primed for honeymooners, the tropical paradise is surrounded by soft sandy beaches, lush forest, and the aquamarine waters that Fiji is famous for. Days can be spent taking long, leisurely walks through the gardens, lush with coconut and papaya trees, pineapples and exotic flora.

Take a pair of binoculars to view the panoply of wildlife including indigenous island parrots in brilliant shades of blues and greens. Pick the local sweet peppers, then take a dip in the fresh water springs where colourful Koi fish swim. A deep water anchorage on the eastern side of the island is available for docking large yachts, from which you can go boating, snorkelling, diving and jet skiing to explore the archipelago’s wonders.

Price upon request. Visit here for more info.

Potato Island, Thimble Islands, Connecticut

States-side residents looking for their own private retreat close to home should look no further than this beautiful island right off the East Coast. A brief two-minute boat ride from the shores of Stony Creek, Connecticut, this spectacular private island is for those seeking ultimate privacy not too far from home. The island features a 3,781-sq.-ft. residence encompassing four bedrooms (two are suites), three and a half baths, kitchen, living room, and a heated granite pool and Jacuzzi.

Days can be spent sipping drinks on the spacious porch with 360-degree water views, or strolling on the well-manicured grounds including a private deep water dock. Owners can take their boat right to the mainland and back for daily excursions, or spend the afternoon snorkelling in crystal blue waters and jet-skiing. The island is located 85 miles to New York City and 135 miles to Boston, with available parking space arrangements in Stony Creek for easy access.

Priced at US$4,900,000 (approx. HK$38,085,250). Visit here for more info.

Bird Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas

With an 8,000-sq.-ft. residence encompassing four bedrooms and three bathrooms, this private island is a picture of beauty and tranquillity, ideal for a secluded tropical escape in the heart of the Berry Islands, Bahamas. A picture of unspoilt beauty, the 250-acre tropical island is accessible via a 30-minute flight from Nassau. The island is surrounded by sand banks, with proximity to the Great Bahama Bank and the Tongue of the Ocean for fishing, sailing and scuba-diving options.

For a quick escape, Chub Cay lies just west of Bird Cay; from there, you can visit the picturesque marina, private resort club, world-class restaurants and more. Back on your base in Bird Cay, while away the days walking the sandy beaches with the crystalline waters lapping at your feet, exploring the numerous trails through fragrant citrus and coconut groves, and reading under the swaying tropical palms. New owners can also choose to build a golf course in their own tailor-made paradise.

Priced at US$26,000,000 (approx. HK$202,093,793). Visit here for more info.

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Leslie Yeh

10 Ultra-luxe Homes in Asia to Buy This February

Posted in What to Buy

Looking to ramp up your property portfolio in 2020? Now’s the time to invest in these stunning houses that double as both fail-safe investments and vacation homes. From Hong Kong to Bangkok, here are 10 ultra-luxe properties across Asia currently on the market.

Soi Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok, Thailand

This gorgeous residence (HK$25,053,517) measures 177 meters in height, boasting a birds-eye view of the Bangkok city skyline within a state-of-the-art building designed by acclaimed architecture firm Quintrix. The building comprises 45 floors, with floor-to-ceiling triple glazed glass windows and posh materials heightening the natural sunlight that floods through the residence. Interiors have been crafted with the finest materials sourced from around the world, from rich mahogany woods to exotic patterned carpets. The property includes 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and 1 partial bath.

Dazhi Deluxe, Taipei, Taiwan

Located in central Taipei within close proximity to the river, this luxurious residence in the capital of Taiwan is notable for its modern architectural design by the talented duo Hsuyuan Kuo and Hueimei Huang. In addition to its prime location and beautiful design, the unit offers plenty of space, with ample light flooding into the property, and balcony overlooking the boulevard below. The building is currently configured as nine units, but is also available to convert into a stand-alone mansion. On the ground floor, the property invites guests to relax in an oasis away from the hectic pace of the city with an art-gallery lobby and secluded garden. The estate is also located in a well-regarded school district for families.

Galleria Costa, Japan

Located about an hour and a half from Tokyo in Kanagawa, this secluded hideaway covers 8.5 acres in a spacious ocean-facing residence complete with guesthouse. Look out on the stunning Manazuru Peninsula from the comforts of your palatial abode that effortlessly blends into the natural scenery. Inspired by the world’s ultra-luxe resorts, the residence features an outdoor pool and bathhouse featuring the ocean, a spacious deck to accommodate dinner parties, mist sauna, stona sauna, fitness room, jacuzzi, library and tennis court. The open-ceiling living and dining room is one of the best features of the home, looking out on the spectacular Sagami Bay.

477 Yongjia Road, Shanghai, China

This completely renovated 4th-floor apartment is located in Shanghai’s stylish French Concession neighbourhood, within close proximity to myriad restaurants, bars, shopping malls and entertainment centres. The chic apartment blends French architecture and Parisian charm with a bit of New York-style flair, and comes pre-furnished with plush furnishings and artwork. Highlights of the renovation include smooth dark herringbone floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a cosy balcony that looks onto a quaint Japanese garden flourishing on the ground level. For those looking for a pied-a-terre in Shanghai, this charming unit should do the trick.

The River, Bangkok, Thailand

Complete in 2012, this luxury riverfront resort (HK$38,839,132) takes after ultra-luxe hotel residences, with unrivalled sumptuous furnishings and views. Spacious and sophisticated, the 4-bedroom unit covers 546 square metres, complete with a high-ceilinged double volume living room and kitchen. Bathrooms and kitchen are outfitted with state-of-the-art fittings and appliances, while plenty of sunlights floods through the tall windows overlooking Bangkok’s skyline and meandering river below.

Jade Residence, Taipei, Taiwan

With views of Elephant Mountain and a 15-minute walk to Taipei 101, this glitzy residence (HK$50,479,382) combines the best of convenience to the bustling city centre and relaxation amongst breathtaking nature. Built with wood and bamboo, the beautiful exterior blends seamlessly into the hillside surrounds, complete with a sparkling infinity pool with sun loungers. A spacious living room accommodates guest parties, while the bedroom makes use of sumptuous materials and stylish design. The perfect residence for nature-lovers looking for a relaxing oasis to fuel creativity and energy.

Lady Hill Bungalow, Singapore

This architectural beauty is an elevated bungalow above lush greenery, with spacious living well-suited for families. A total of five bedrooms are all en-suite, while the residence is fitted with basement garage parks to fit up to 10 cars, a swimming pool, fully decked out theatre room and kitchen. The bungalow is situated within a few minutes’ walk to The Shangri La Hotel and a host of shopping and dining on Singapore’s main Orchard Road.

Pong Yang, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Head up to the hills at this sprawling mountainside property (HK$10,872,482) set in the lush jungle of Pong Yang in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The secluded enclave features a total of three bedrooms and four bathrooms covering 265 square metres, while sitting atop 1,328 square metres of land. The distinctly modern abode features stylish furnishings and an elevated outdoor patio for outdoor entertaining. Double vanities and glass-walled bathtub can be found in the master bedroom, while the latter looks our directly on the verdant countryside.

Siam Royal View, Pattaya, Thailand

Completed just last year, this sparkling new property spares no expense in terms of offering the discerning homeowner anything they might possibly need in a luxe 21st-century home. Priced at HK$24,647,910, the property features the latest in entertainment, technology and security systems. A kitchen and dining area are outfitted in appliances from Smeg, while a wine storage cellar is ideal for avid wine collectors. Other highlights of the property include a cinema and relaxation area, living area with imported tile floors, pool table and tennis table, and automatic glass sliding doors to all floor levels. The master bedroom features sea views with a walk-in closet, double shower, wash basins, and extra high ceilings.

Four Seasons Hotel Residences, Kyoto, Japan

A picture of tranquility in the beautiful Kyoto, the local Four Seasons Hotel Residences Kyoto is a slice of heaven available for purchase. The unique collection of 57 stylishly outfitted residences blend old-world charm with all the modern creature comforts you could desire. In keeping with the local tradition, the design has been conceived to embrace ‘Kutsurgoi’, or the art of Japanese relaxation, with panoramic views looking out on a meditative Shakusuien pond garden and the beautiful Kiyomizu Temple. Potential homebuyers can also opt for a traditional tatami room, while all residences include access to the hotel’s dining outlets, facilities and 24-hour in-room dining services.

Leslie Yeh

7 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly in 2020

Posted in Interior Design

Let’s face it: the hot topic of environmentalism is going nowhere, with people around the world becoming increasingly conscious of their footprint and negative impact on the planet. Whether it’s in the food we eat, the way we get from point A to point B, or the way we set up our living spaces, there’s no time like the present to think about the positive strides we can take in protecting our planet.

If you’re wondering where to begin, making small changes at home is one of the best ways you can start to contribute to a greener planet, and should be on your list of New Year’s goals right up there with diet and exercise resolutions. While not everyone will be installing solar panels or re-doing their flooring, there are simple tweaks you can make to start saving energy and cutting down on emissions. Follow our guide below for a list of ways to go green at home in 2020.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Turning down the thermostat just a couple of degrees can save a huge amount of emissions, and many of us end up leaving on the heating for much longer than we need to, even during the colder winter months (or alternatively, turning up the A/C unnecessarily during summer). A Smart Thermostat allows you to automate settings and adjust your home temperature remotely, as well as have a constant monitor on your electricity consumption.

Create better insulation

Insulating your home properly can go a long ways in helping to trap in heat, thus cutting down on energy and heating costs. For those with large homes to keep warm in the winter, consider inserting foam boards in the walls and using sealant to cover small cracks and gaps between the floors and walls. Other ways to keep heat from escaping include double glazing any windows and covering hardwood floors with rugs to help air from slipping through the cracks in floors.

Become more water-wise

Water consumption is one of the number one ways we waste environmental resources at home. Tighten up your water usage by implementing low-faucet aerators and tankless water heaters, and try switching to a smaller or more efficient dish washer. Of course, some of the best ways to save can be implemented in your day-to-day: take shorter showers, capture excess running water in your kitchen sink to be reused in watering your garden, and get into the habit of turning off faucets while brushing your teeth.

Switch to LED lighting

In addition to being toxin-free, LED lights are proven to be up to 80% more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent and incandescent lights. Emitting very little heat, LED lights last up to 10 times longer than conventional lighting, minimising the number of times you need to change your lightbulbs. While enjoying the same beautiful bright lighting, you’ll see immediate cost savings on your electricity bill.

Rely on sustainable materials

If you’re renovating or even building a new home in 2020, you’ll want to pay extra close attention to the materials you’re using, from flooring to walls and rooftops. Renewable materials such as bamboo and linoleum flooring are much more environmentally friendly, in addition to sustainably harvested and reclaimed wood. When possible, materials are best sourced locally to cut down on the impact of transportation.

Turn your roof into a garden

Given you have the space — or a roof, at that — installing a rooftop garden is a great way to make a sustainable impact, and perhaps pick up a new hobby while you’re at it. Green roofs help to improve air quality and reduce pollution, and are becoming increasingly popular in urban destinations around the world. Growing your own plants and vegetables helps cut down on your monthly groceries cost plus gives you a green space to relax and hang out — making this home sustainability solution a win on all fronts. Don’t have a rooftop? Considering building an indoor vertical garden as another unique way to go green indoors.

Add solar panels to your home

The future of solar energy is looking bright, with solar panel systems for homes taking off at an exponential rate. The benefits are vast: from reducing energy bills to even earning back tax credits and rebates, depending on where you live. Generating renewable energy through solar panels not only helps the environment — it can also help prolong the life of your roof against weather damage and up the resale value of your home.

Leslie Yeh