Get Into the Olympic Spirit at This New Tokyo Property

Posted in Sponsored Content

At the centre of Tokyo’s Olympics-inspired redevelopment, BRANZ Atago Toranomon offers sophisticated contemporary living in a stellar location.


The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will provide an extraordinary opportunity for the Japanese capital. In particular, the city’s property market is set to get a boost with the launch of the Greater Tokyo Redevelopment, which will transform central Tokyo with a number of new developments and infrastructure — and right at the heart of it is BRANZ Atago Toranomon.

The new development, from List Sotheby’s International Realty and Tokyu Land Corporation, occupies a prime location in Toranomon 3 Chome, part of one of the Japanese government’s six National Strategic Special Zones. It enjoys unparalleled public transport links: Kamiyacho Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya line is just a two-minute walk away and Onarimon station just seven minutes, while the new Toranomon Hills Station will open in 2020. Surrounding districts include the business centres of Ginza, Shinbashi and Akasaka, diplomatic quarter Azabu and cultural melting pot Roppongi.

Standing 17 storeys tall, BRANZ Atago Toranomon offers residences featuring 13 different floor plans. With a backdrop that combines the bustling and urban with the tranquil and bucolic, it has been designed according to a philosophy that blends the best of both, the use of sophisticated tiled surfaces dovetailing with an entrance hall, lobby and courtyard feature a that form an oasis of natural calm.

An unrivalled specialist in luxury residential property, List Sotheby’s International Realty is the equally prestigious property division of the world-famous auction house. It boasts a network of about 1,000 offices in more than 70 countries, including Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. The company represents the very finest in luxury properties around the world — a portfolio into which BRANZ Atago Toranomon fits perfectly.

Staff Writer

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.

7 Places in the World Where You Can Buy a ‘Free’ Home

Posted in What to Buy

Astute property watchers will remember the furore this May when the Sicilian municipality of Sambuca began auctioning abandoned homes at the starting price of €1 — essentially free. The initiative, geared towards resuscitating the town’s economy, resulted in a massive injection of foreign investment (a large number of Sambuca’s ‘free’ homes sold for as little as US$1,200, on the proviso that buyers spend US$17,000 on renovations over a 3-year period).
Given the success of that scheme, an increasing number of sleepy, rural hamlets (mostly in Italy) are trying to get a piece of the ‘free’ home action. But what’s the catch? Read on to find out…

Cumnock, Australia

Once an important stopover in the New South Wales railway network, Cumnock is about a 4-hour drive from Sydney. Over the years, the population has dwindled to fewer than 300 people, so in order to attract new residents the town is offering homes with ‘a typical Australian country feel’ for as little as US$1. Even a 3-bedroom house — complete with fireplaces and a palatial veranda — will only set you back US$100 a week.

Okutama, Japan

By now, rapid population ageing is a well-documented issue affecting multiple aspects of Japanese society — housing included. In order to attract younger residents back to the countryside, rural towns are allegedly giving away unoccupied properties. The most desirable of these ‘free-housing’ schemes is located in Okutama, a remote municipality that is in fact part of the western Tokyo Metropolis. Naturally, eligible properties here aren’t exactly free: families, whose children are under junior high school age, may only claim ownership pursuant to paying off a 22-year mortgage (totalling roughly US$120,621).

Monti Scìaga, Switzerland

Not content to let the Sicilians have all the fun, Monti Scìaga — a mountainous village bordering Italy and Switzerland — is currently selling its empty homes for the princely sum of one Swiss franc (US$1.01). Situated a stone’s throw from Lake Maggiore — the largest lake in southern Switzerland — and about 100 km from Milan, Monti Scìaga is among the most remote villages in the region. Not a bad spot if you’re looking for peace & quiet (in the middle of the Continent no less).

Mussomeli, Sicily

The runaway success of Sambuca’s dollar auctions meant it was only a matter of time before other Sicilian townships launched similar schemes. While all of them benefit from being able to offer housing in a temperate, serene environment, the city of Mussomeli has gone above and beyond with its very own online property listings. This freestanding, 70-sq.-mtr. house is in a style that’s fairly typical of the area — boasting a balcony and sufficient space for multiple bedrooms. Still, it goes without saying that a substantial restoration will be required, in order to account for the property’s lack of internal heating or electricals.

Patrica, Italy

Patrica, an ancient commune on the outskirts of Frosinone, is another of the small Italian towns which have recently joined project Case a 1 euro — one of the biggest nationwide efforts to combat rural depopulation. At 450m above sea level, the town’s biggest drawcard is its breathtaking views of the surrounding Valle Latina. Each of the 38 houses on offer overlooks the Sacco and Liri valleys: reason enough to pay the (approx.) US$28,000 renovation fee.

Sambuca, Sicily

The one that started it all: since mayor Giuseppe Cacioppo launched his pilot ‘free housing’ scheme in May, the quiet Sicilian hamlet of Sambuca has experienced nothing short of a revitalisation. Currently, 66 properties have already been sold to private owners including the Discovery Channel (who intend to document the progress of other foreign investors in the town next year).
New international arrivals aside, Sambuca possesses a host of features that make it a fantastic spot for an idyllic holiday home: Cuisine is influenced by Sicily’s long history of Greek and Arabic migration; the town boasts an enviable location near the coastline; and Mt. Etna looms majestically on the horizon.

Randy Lai

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.