Holiday Hideout: 5 Outstanding Holiday Homes for a Secluded Retreat

Posted in Holiday Homes

Whether you’re looking for a holiday home where you can visit anytime to unplug, wind down and reconnect with nature, or you just want a place to host your family and friends for your seasonal getaways, here are five holiday homes that promise privacy, tranquility and unmistakable luxury.

Idyllic four-home compound in Ibiza, Spain

Can there be a more popular holiday destination than Ibiza? While the epicentre of the Balearic Islands is known for its nightlife, for those on the search for absolute privacy and a one-of-a-kind countryside living experience on the paradise island will want to look to this exceptional property.

Located between Ibiza and Santa Eulalia, and less than 15 minutes’ drive from the airport, the town centre and a golf course, this secluded holiday home comprises a main house and three guest houses — totalling to nine bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms, all with an exquisite interior design that’s been featured in magazines. There are also three swimming pools with a large outdoor kitchen next to the main pool, a tennis court, a plunge pool, and a beautiful garden filled with varying styles with fruit trees, instantly transporting you to a world of peace and tranquility with a unique dose of Ibizan charm.

Enchanted forest estate in Mississauga, Canada

Surrounded by over ten acres of land featuring a golf course and the Credit River where you can fish, canoe, kayak and, in the winter months, ski, this enchanting gated estate in Canada’s Mississauga area is perfect for families who enjoy being in the great outdoors.

With an asking price of HK$163,459,671, the house spans an impressive 18,000 sq.ft. that includes three stories and a walk-up basement. All floors come with concrete heated floors, and to provide sound reduction between different levels.

While there are seven bedrooms (and eight bathrooms), the master suite is a major treat. Not only does it have its own fireplace, it also has his and hers walk-in closets, a six-piece bath plus a separate powder room, and, not to mention, a walkout to the terrace overlooking the pool, ravine, golf course and river.

The second floor features a gym with an expansive space and ceiling high enough for golf swing practices, while the third floor provides additional bedroom space for guests. There’s also a recreation area and a walkout to the massive terrace and outdoor fireplace, where you can enjoy the unparalleled view.

Don’t worry if every family member has a car or two, as the estate comes with a heated two-car garage and other garages, offering five additional spaces for your car collection. You can also scoot down the private path in your golf cart, and enjoy the serenity that nature brings as you make your way to the private golf club.

A historic dream ski ranch, Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is, of course, a dream destination for any keen skiers, so having your own retreat in one of these mountains would be a real treat not only for you, but your family and friends too. The largest, most private lot currently listed on Aspen’s Red Mountain, Erickson Ranch has been with the family for 70 years and is now on the market for HK$139,119,436. Built in 2002, the 6,800 sq.ft. home is nestled within 12 acres of land at the base of the mountain, facing South and Southwest boasting unrivalled vistas from Independence Pass to Mount Sopris.

The residence has seven bedrooms, five full baths and a partial bath, with contemporary design and an elongated construction designed to blend nature and living into one.

Your own fairytale castle in Normandy, France

This charming 19th century castle is nestled within 40 hectares of lush greenery including the remarkable landscaped park designed by Belgian landscape architect René Pechère. With such enchanting surrounds, it’s no wonder the Château de Bouelles has been a popular destination for weddings, and it can be yours at the right price.

Located two hours from Paris and easily reachable through the A28 highway, the castle has nine bedrooms and five bathrooms, and is accompanied by numerous outbuildings from a hunting lodge to a guest house and a caretaker’s house. There is also a tennis court, a swimming pool with pool house and a gym, ensuring occupants get to enjoy a high quality of living.

An exclusive address on Denarau Island, Fiji

An ocean lover’s paradise just 30 minutes to the world-class surf breaks of Tavarua and Cloudbreak, this 41,742 sq.ft. oceanfront compound is located within a private gated community on Denarau peninsula — adjacent to a championship golf course.

Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the South Pacific, the pavilion-style private retreat has a central open plan featuring a living pavilion with chef’s island kitchen, and six bedrooms — each with their own private decks — including two master suites, as well as a separate media room and study. Everything is beautifully finished with natural materials, along with a heated pool, fire pit and skate ramp for occupants to enjoy.

Cindie Chan

Airbnb Launches US$1 Million Fund to Build World’s Most Unconventional Home

Posted in Holiday Homes

As the world’s largest marketplace for homes, Airbnb has helped millions of hospitality entrepreneurs monetise their spaces. But aside from just building this guest community, the group has other home ideas up their sleeve. Right now, they are on the hunt for the world’s wildest home ideas by dreaming these unusual living spaces into a reality with a US$1 million fund. 

From now until April 16, design enthusiasts can submit their proposals for a chance to turn blueprints into their very own live property. Each submission will be scored against criteria based on creativity, feasibility, sustainability and social good. The purpose of this competition is to enable anyone with an extraordinary idea to design it, build it and ultimately share it with travelers from all across the globe. 

Ten winners of the Unique Airbnb Fund will be selected by an expert panel of judges including Emmy, Tony and Grammy award-winning actor Billy Porter, Airbnb superhost Kristie Wolfe of Big Idaho Potato Hotel and global architecture firm MVRDV. The winners of the award and grant will be announced by Airbnb on May 15.

For some quirky and whimsical inspiration, here are some unconventional Airbnb homes on the market. 

To enter the Unique Airbnb Fund competition, apply here

Dara Chau

4 Beachside Resorts Ideal For Timeshare Travels

Posted in Holiday Homes

Gone are the days of timeshare vacations where you are bound with the commitment of staying at the same location every year. The new point-based arrangement offers owners more flexibility to choose from an extended list of holiday options the club owns around the world and more, so you never have to stay at the same location twice — unless you want to, that is.

Sun-drenched, beachside vacations are, of course, a universal favourite, so we’ve looked around and sorted out four options for those who are looking to invest in a timeshare vacation. Scroll down to see what they are.

Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club

Those who travel in big family groups spanning across different ages might want to stay close to the region, and Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club has just about everything you need.

Located next to the renowned Mai Khao Beach, this vacation ownership resort is like a sanctuary of tropical luxury with well-nurtured natural landscapes from lily-laden ponds to palm trees and wetlands, while the spacious apartment rentals are packed with your everyday needs from complimentary Wi-Fi to master suites with soaking tubs, full kitchens, washer/dryers and furnished balcony.

Children and teenagers can enjoy themselves at the designated playrooms for entertainment, while you spend your day at the spectacular swimming pools or take advantage of your privileged access to amenities at the JW Marriott® Phuket Resort & Spa.

230 Moo 3, Mai Khao Beach , 83110 Phuket, Thailand, +66-76-338000


About Marriott Vacation Club: One of the strongest players in the timeshare market, Marriott Vacation Club’s Asia-Pacific edition offers its members access to eight Marriott Vacation Club, Asia-Pacific Club Resort Properties in Phuket, Bangkok, Bali, Hawaii and Las Vegas. If you wish to travel further, you can also make use of the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations™ Exchange Program, which will grant you access to 55 Marriott Vacation Club resorts, along with thousands of other holiday options and affiliated resorts, such as The Ritz Carlton, worldwide.


Marriott Vacation Club® at Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia

For those who enjoy hitting the waves or just prefer to be away from cold winter days, Marriott Vacation Club at Surfers Paradise is the perfect choice for you. This luxury resort offers guest rooms and suites, along with impeccable amenities such as white sandy beaches and saltwater lagoons where you can enjoy some unique aquatic experiences. You can also head to the nearby theme parks and wildlife sanctuaries for some quality family time, or explore the endless options for shopping and entertainment along the Gold Coast.

158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, +61-7-5592-9800

The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Who doesn’t want to vacay in Hawaii? Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and West Maui Mountains, The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas offers spacious studio, one and two-bedroom villa, equipped with private lanais, full-sized kitchenettes for cooking, washers and dryers and, of course, free wi-fi.

Here, you can participate in a wide range of exciting water activities from whale-watching, snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing and scuba-diving, all at the convenience of a few footsteps, or take in the beautiful sunset as you enjoy a fabulous barbecue at one of the outdoor gas grills.

6 Kai Ala Drive, Lahaina, Hawaii 96761, USA, +1 808-667-3200


About Westin Vacation Club: Westin Vacation Ownership is owned and run by Vistana Signature Experiences, who also own and operate the Sheraton Vacation Club. Owners may redeem the ‘options’ (concept equivalent to points) at the 23 resorts currently in the portfolio, with locations in Hawaii, Mexico, California, Colorado, South Carolina, Arizona, Florida and the Caribbean. There is flexibility in terms of who redeems the options, allowing members to send family and friends over for a stay without the owner. Like Marriott, you can rollover unused options or borrow from the next year.


Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Beach House

For those looking for somewhere away from it all, try Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Florida — a location that is known for its relaxed atmosphere. It is located just far enough from the downtown area so you can unwind and take in the lush landscapes set against the panoramic sunset views over the Gulf of Mexico, right from your oversized private balconies.

5051 Overseas Hwy, Key West, Florida 33040, USA, +1 305-294-0059


About Hyatt Residence Club: Hyatt Residence Club currently has over 16 resorts in its portfolio, all of them in the U.S. including Florida, Texas, Colorado, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Arizona. You can use your club points to redeem for a stay at the above resorts, or get access to 400 Hyatt hotels around the world. Thanks to a partnership with Interval International, members of the Hyatt Residence Club are also given the ability to select from nearly 3000 resorts in over 75 countries. Furthermore, members of the club are also immediately members of the frequent guest program, the Hyatt Gold Passport.


Cindie Chan

Go Big in Bali: The Most Incredible Villas on the Market Right Now

Posted in Holiday Homes

Infinity pools, cliffside sunsets, and the mecca of modern wellness just at your doorstep: Who wouldn’t want a home away from home amongst the palm trees in Bali? Check out some of the most stunning villa properties that are currently on the market.

Seven-bedroom forest villa in Ubud

Take to Ubud’s lush jungles for this HK$32.9 million 7-bedroom oasis: Built by a furniture designer who has worked with numerous famed resorts, hotels and private properties around the world, this villa exudes chic and modern Scandinanvian influences mixed in with rustic influences from Indonesian tradition. Three bedrooms boast king-sized beds with their own en-suite, open air baths, with one bedroom particularly featuring an impossibly tall five-metre ceiling and a handsome, centuries-old bed frame. With your own gym, a long deck fitted for barbecues and the 25-metre infinity pool, this estate is perfect for entertaining and relaxing. More information here.

10-bedroom cliffside condo in Ungasan

For HK$31.3 million, this cliff-front, 8,847-square-foot, five-bed villa with not one but two pools is yours. Seamless floor to ceiling windows allow in plenty of light, while large communal areas, spacious bedrooms and private balconies are all ideal vantage points to catch the sunset. Just a few steps away is access to a private beach owned by the resort, while Sundays Beach Club is nearby if you’re looking for a more convivial brunch experience. More information here.

Four-bedroom party pad in Ungasan

Located in Karang Saujana Estate in tranquil Buki Uluwatu, this four-bedroom villa is located at the tip of millionaire’s mile in Southern Bali. Tastefully appointed with Batik touches and sleek modern finishings, this HK$13.3 million property features an swoon-worthy infinity pool overlooking the ocean, while a manicured lawn, spacious dining and living areas and a state-of-the-art kitchen makes it the ideal pad for entertaining. More information here.

Eight-bedroom hideaway in Seminyak

If you’re always waiting for a quick and easy getaway, this HK$14.2 million eight bedroom villa is right up your alley — it’s centrally located in Seminyak, just 200 metres away from Petitenget beach and just 20 minutes’ drive from the airport. At the heart of this three storey property is a deep blue swimming pool and ample deck space for sunning yourself — whether poolside or up on the terrace, accessible from the upstairs bedrooms. The efficient layout, featuring a high tech kitchen, lounge bar and entertainment area, feels a lot more spacious than its 8,180 square feet. More information here.

Six-bedroom minimalist abode in Uluwatu

Ideal for culture-minded holidaymakers, this contemporary six-bed villa features minimalist interiors practically made for maximalist art collections — there’s ample space the display your beloved pieces. The clean, white on white aesthetic is enhanced with frameless glass doors, which helps you take advantage of the sea views and infinity pool that truly seems to go on forever. At HK$19.4 million, this stunning villa has six ensuite bedrooms, a full gym, two staff quarters, and plenty of entertaining space, including a spare room ideal for setting up your own home theatre. More information here.

Three-bedroom mansion in Uluwatu

For a cool HK$46.6 million, this lot spanning over 12,000 square feet seems almost like a steal. With priceless privacy and 180-degree unobstructed ocean views, this cliffside private property is the ultimate millionaire’s pad. With just three bedrooms, it’s ideal for small families or couples without children. There’s plenty of space indoors and out, with a larger pool at the corner of the property and a smaller dipping pool for days you’re just looking to cool off. In between the hours of sun, indulge in a private steam and sauna, a massage in the dedicated spa room, or grab some popcorn for your own movie screening in the home cinema. A separate butler’s residence and staff quarters are also located off the main building. More information here.

Six-bedroom jungle sanctuary in Canggu

Tucked in the heart of Canggu’s lush green belt, this stylish sanctuary features a 700-square-foot infinity pool overlooking the Pancaran riverbank and waterfalls. Surrounded by trees, the villa ensures plenty of privacy, while offering various gorgeously designed spaces for relaxing and reflecting under the sun-dappled shade. This property has operated as the best rental villa in Canggu on TripAdvisor for three years, and is now available on the market. More information here.

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.

Evelyn Lok
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. She covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Luxury Sicilian Villa Can Be Yours for US$7.3 Million

Posted in Holiday Homes

Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana are selling more than fashion these days. The duo’s Sicilian seafront villa is now up for sale for the eye-popping price of US$7.3 million. The electric and bold glamour of the iconic Italian brand is seen throughout this luxurious property; located on the island of Stromboli, it sits spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the blue expanse of the Mediterranean Sea and a 3,000-foot-high, oft-erupting volcano.

The villa, which has been owned by the partners since the mid-1990s, was once the setting for lavish parties hosting several A-list celebrities, including Madonna and Naomi Campbell. Surprisingly, it’s deceptively modest with a rustic vibe from its whitewashed façade and straight lines.

Surrounded by expansive terraces and lush gardens and trees, the property invites you to bask in the tropical beauty of its environs. The interior, however, is where the creative aesthetics of Dolce & Gabbana make a dazzling statement. According to Lionel Luxury Real Estate, who is responsible for this listing, the villa “has been renovated according to the style and taste of the two designers, who have furnished it with the same love and passion that they put into designing their clothes.”

Comprising three traditional Aeolian cottages that have been merged into a single entity, the 5,383-square-foot house has seven suites and nine bathrooms. Each suite boasts a colour theme, from sunshine yellow and turquoise blue to candy pink and neon green. Adding to the mesmerising impact of these shades are furnishings that include “unique pieces and fabrics from the fashion house combined with local handmade pieces, colourful hand-painted majolica tiles and lace curtains creating a unique aesthetic,” as described by the agency.

The living and dining areas are equally imaginative, featuring ornate chandeliers that form the central piece of wildly colourful rooms with walls that are adorned with an eclectic selection of art and numerous gold-painted antique cherubs.

Perhaps appropriately, this highly evocative space was used as the setting for a 2015 Dolce & Gabbana commercial starring Colin Farrell, for one of their fragrances.

And while there’s been much speculation behind the duo’s decision to sell this amazing property, nothing has come to the fore. One can only wonder if their losses as a result of the controversy surrounding their misguided China-based campaigns last year have anything to do with it.

In the meantime, interested buyers can look forward to sitting on the villa’s vast terrace, sipping on a fruity beverage, as the soft sea breeze of weaves through the swaying trees.

Staff Writer

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.

8 Amazing Holiday Homes to Buy in Asia Right Now

Posted in Holiday Homes

If you close your eyes and imagine your ideal holiday destination, there’s a remarkably high chance you’re picturing palm trees, unspoilt stretches of sand, divine tropical weather and sea breezes. Even more ideal would be owning a home in one of these dreamy locales, so that you always have a fabulous retreat to escape to with friends and family. Purchasing a holiday home is also a smart way to diversify a city-centric real-estate portfolio, and it can easily become a new income source if you’re interested in renting the property out for weddings and other special events. No matter what your motivation may be, here’s a survey of some of the best holiday homes on the market in Southeast Asia right now.

Koh Samui

Thailand’s second-largest island has something to offer everyone, from palm-fringed beaches to mountainous rainforest, humble roadside eateries to posh restaurants at five-star resorts. Fortunately, it’s easy to escape the masses and hide away in the luxury villa of your dreams.

Tucked away in southwestern Samui, Villa Sila Varee (59.4 million baht; about HK$15.25 million) is a tranquil haven for both nature lovers and privacy seekers. At more than 23,000 square feet, the fully furnished property encompasses a two-storey central building and two standalone guest villas for a total of five bedrooms, all of which boast serene views of the sea, neighbouring islands and surrounding nature. Additional amenities include the requisite pool, a back garden with waterfall and outdoor cooking and dining facilities. The property is located inside Santikhiri Estate, an exclusive community comprising 19 homes that has roumnd-the-clock staff and security, so you never have to worry about your home while you’re away.

Koh Samui

For a similar sense of serenity, only with easy access to livelier areas, consider buying a home on laid-back Lamai Beach. Completed in 2012, Baan Hinta (US$3.2 million) is a five-bedroom beachfront villa with ceilings that soar as high as 10 metres and contemporary decor inflected with Thai and Balinese influences. Well suited to groups of friends or families with older children, the property features a multi-storey layout and a structure that’s largely open to the elements, making the most of the sea views and breezes. Naturally, there’s the requisite infinity pool overlooking the water, but this is primarily a holiday home for beach lovers, as the villa is equipped with watersports equipment such as kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.

Sister property Baan Hinyai (US$2.8 million) features the same look and feel, including five lavishly furnished suites equipped with king-size beds, entertainment systems and free-standing bathtubs in dramatic en-suite bathrooms, which are built into the beach’s natural rock formations. The open-plan gourmet kitchen sits next to a 20-seat dining table, though outdoor dining is also an option at the poolside pavilion. Should you desire a serious beachfront compound, you’d be wise to get your hands on both Hinta and Hanyai, for a combined 10 bedrooms and all the space you could ever want, right on the white sand.

Bali

It’s not difficult to understand Bali’s enduring appeal, but given the island’s sheer size, it can be difficult to know where to begin looking if you want to buy property. While the beach clubs, restaurants and bars of Seminyak may be a draw, it’s best to look elsewhere — after all, this is meant to be a holiday home, not a party pad.

Standing near the southern edge of the Bukit Peninsula, just minutes from Pandawa Beach, Villa Dewi Lanjar (HK$13.327 million) is one of just six homes comprising Karang Saujana Estate. Perched on a towering limestone cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, this four-bedroom, five-bathroom villa spans more than 5,000 square feet in Ungasan near the so-called “millionaire’s mile”, one of Bali’s most highly sought-after residential areas. The spacious interiors are furnished in Balinese style with a contemporary spin, and the villa offers several fabulous living and dining areas, both inside the house and outdoors as well.

If that’s not enough, perhaps a 10,700-square-foot compound in Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre and spiritual heart, will suffice? Listed at around HK$32.9 million, the seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom property includes three separate buildings and more than 0.4 of a hectare of land surrounded by lush jungle greenery, making this a peaceful retreat for up to 15 people. The passion project of a furniture designer, the estate’s decor reflects a blend of Indonesian touches and Scandinavian furnishings, with each of the three buildings possessing a unique ambience. There’s ample room for yoga and exercise in the spacious fitness room in the main villa residence, while outside, the 25-metre-long infinity pool is set against the edge of a steep gorge, offering a dramatic viewpoint of the surrounding scenery.

Phuket

Home to some of Thailand’s most popular beaches and one of the country’s most-visited destinations, Phuket needs no introduction. For some, the large number of travellers to this island in the Andaman Sea will bolster interest in buying property here, while others will choose to seek serenity elsewhere.

It’s easy to escape the crowds in the southern part of the island, where Tree Villa (41.8 million baht; about HK$10.6 million) stands beneath the hills near one of the most desirable beaches in this part of the island: Nai Harn. At almost 20,000 square feet, this three-bedroom, three-bathroom home features Thai-Balinese design and handmade furniture, while the location and greenery give residents a great deal of privacy, even within the property, as the three bedrooms are housed in separate buildings.

If you’d prefer to live off the island but still nearby — and you’re in the market for something big  look north to Phang Nga province. Spanning an acre and a half of land on a prime stretch of beachfront, the impressive Villa Shanti (236 million baht; about HK$60.5 million) is made up of five contemporary Thai-style pavilions which collectively house six en-suite bathrooms. At the centre of the property is a 25-metre-long, black-tiled infinity pool surrounded by an expansive, coconut-palm-studded garden that sits next to the beach. Corridors and walkways connecting the pavilions lend the property a resort vibe, while the immense “great room” and kitchen make this the perfect place for hosting large events such as family reunions and weddings.

Bang Saray

You’ve likely never heard of this area on Thailand’s eastern seaboard, but Bang Saray has recently developed into a hot zone for new property developments inside the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor. A 90-minute drive from Suvarnabhumi Airport, this emerging district features the unspoilt beauty of the Gulf of Thailand without any of the drawbacks found elsewhere on the east coast, such as seedy Pattaya. 

If, rather than buying something fully furnished and being forced to make changes, you’d prefer a holiday home designed to your specifications, look no further than Sunplay Bangsaray, where you can acquire one of a handful of expansive bespoke villas (66 million baht; about HK$16.9 million). Spread across nearly 30,000 feet including outdoors space, each four-bedroom, five-bathroom property in The Villa Collection will be designed to the exacting specifications of the owner, while the layout of each resembles a series of elegant pavilions with open walls that blur the boundary between inside and outside. At the heart of the development is the Sunplay Club, akin to an on-site country club with dining, fitness and recreational facilities; meanwhile, a 24/7 concierge team is there to handle all your requests. 

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.

Michael Alan Connelly
A Chicagoan by birth and a New Yorker by habit, Michael has more than a decade of experience in digital publishing at leading titles in the U.S. and Asia. When he's not checking out Hong Kong's newest restaurants and bars or jet setting around the globe, you'll find him hanging out with his dog Buster and enjoying an Aperol Spritz.

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.

Top 5 Niseko Properties for Ski Lovers

Posted in Holiday Homes

Avid skiers who make their yearly powder pilgrimage in Niseko are no stranger to staying at the abundance of new hotels and chalets popping up around the slopes, but nothing beats having your own home base with all the creature comforts of home. If you’re in the market for your dream winter home, look to these exceptional new properties in Niseko.

Skye Niseko

Located above the popular area of Hirafu village within the Hokkaido National Park in Niseko, Skye Niseko is a privately owned luxury condominium-hotel ski resort that allows for ski-in ski-out access. Designed by global design firm Wilson Associates, the modern, minimalist property features two L-shaped interlocking buildings so that all living rooms and bedrooms have external views of the mountains. Skye Niseko is ideal for those looking for serviced luxuries during their stay but want a private home base. One- to three-bedroom apartments are currently available for investment, each fitted with state-of-the-art kitchens, heated outdoor balconies, open fireplaces and Rotenburo onsens. After a day out on the slopes, unwind at Ryoko Spa, or check out soothing Hokkaido fare at several onsite dining options.

Skye Niseko, 204-7 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan

The Pavilions Ginto Residences Niseko

Located just a hop and a skip away from Hirafu, Ginto is a brand new developed area just 800 metres from the most sought after ski lifts in the area. Part of The Pavilions Hotels and Resorts portfolio, The Ginto Residences gives you the chance to design your own luxury ski home or invest in one of the existing well-appointed villas, while expecting plush furnishings and picturesque views of Mount Yotei, private onsen baths, and all the spoils of a five-star resort in your own home. Owners also get preferential rates at The Pavilions Niseko Hotel & Resort, slated to complete by autumn 2020. Currently, Phase II of The Ginto Residences is releasing this November, with five new villas set to complete while four more villas are set to break ground next summer. 

Visit pavilionsginto.com for more information.

Hana Ridge Niseko

For a long time visiting the popular Hirafu slopes meant well over two hours’ travel from the nearest Chitose international airport. A newly developed airport expressway is currently being built, shrinking driving time to an hour and 45 minutes, while a brand new bullet train station in Kutchan is also in the works. At the epicentre of this development is Hana Ridge, Niseko’s first luxury chalet and land development with ski-in access from Hanazono ski resort and just around the corner from the Park Hyatt. All 12 plots have natural hot spring connections, uninterrupted views of Mount Yotei, and privacy in the midst of a lush silver birch forest.

Hana Ridge Niseko, 267-4 Aza Iwaobetu, Kutchan-Cho, Abutagun, Hokkaido 044-0084, Japan

Intuition Niseko

Part of the Zekkei Properties portfolio, Intuition Niseko is an estate located just several minutes’ walk from some of Hirafu’s most popular restaurants, bars, shops and supermarkets. Conveniently close to ski lifts yet quietly nestled in a forest setting, Intuition was developed with Tokyo-based ALA Inc., which was founded by Ryuya Umezawa — a veteran project manager who has worked with renowned studio Kengo Kuma & Associates for over a decade.

Visit intuitionniseko.com for more information.

HakuVillas

If you’re looking for the ultimate alpine home, HakuVillas’ ultra-luxe Upper Hirafu penthouses are on the market. Just 200 metres from the Hirafu gondolas, HakuVillas boasts itself as the first luxury condominium development featuring in-house staff, including a personal butler, chauffeur and chef. Managed under the HakuLife brand, the development’s sister property Hakuchozan features holiday rentals for US$15,000 a night and a 7-night minimum during the wintertime — now you can invest in your very own for a VVIP experience every time.

Visit HakuVillas for more information.

Evelyn Lok
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. She covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.