South-East Asia Property Report (July 2011) named Karma Kandara, Bali (Indonesia), Six Senses Con Dao (Vietnam), W Samui Residences, Koh Samui (Thailand), Malaiwan Phuket (Thailand), The Village Coconut Island (Thailand), Banyan Tree Residences, Bintan (Indonesia), Nexus Residence Karambunai (Malaysia), Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali (Indonesia) and Andara Resort & Villas, Phuket (Thailand) as the top ten luxury villa resorts in South-East Asia. While prices range from US$300,000 to US$6mil, rates during non-peak season typically range from US$300 per night to US$4,000 per night.
Average price difference between high and low season varies about 50%, 30% and 20% in Bali, Samui and Phuket respectively. Karma Kandara in Bali is located at the striking sea-cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. It offers private luxury villas of three, four and five bedrooms with 5-star facilities and services. The 4-bedroom villa is tagged at US$1.25 million while the smallest one-bedroom villa is priced at US$350,000. Rates during peak season starts from US$1,120 per night for a one bedroom luxury pool villa to US8,000 per night for Grand Cliff Front Residence (5 bedrooms). Occupancy rates have been reported as very encouraging for most of these villas, at 70% during non-peak season and 95% during peak season. In Thailand, W Samui Residence in Koh Samui is located in secluded hillside island with 270 degree sea-view over the Gulf of Thailand.
This modern-vernacular architecture luxury villas offer guests rustic yet sophisticated feel that perfectly blends with the natural surroundings. Prices of the villas range from US$2.3mil to US$6.7mil with built up area from 10,700 sq ft to 29,500 sq ft for 3 to 5 bedrooms respectively. Over in Vietnam, Six Senses in Con Dao an archipelago 230km from Ho Chi Minh City has set a new benchmark of luxury villas lifestyle in the South-East-Asia region as illustrated in its overall development theme “Redefining Experience”.
These 50 private villas are the choice of wealthy escapes in need of genuine yet lavish retreat. Being relatively new in the luxury villa market, selling price for Six Senses ranges from a modest US$2mil to US$3mil. Meanwhile, average lead time for villa booking in Phuket is 180 days about 6 months before arrival. Market share of private luxury villas in Thailand and Bali is estimated to be about 10% of the hospitality sector.
These luxury villas are modelled after the sale and leaseback concept where majority of the buyers are Australians and Europeans. In Thailand and Indonesia, for example, because of restrictions on foreign ownership, the villas are sold to private investors on leasehold basis (30 years + 30 years + 30 years). Buyers will then be requested to join a rental programme, which will provide a certain level of net guaranteed return. Karma Kandara’s rental programme offers a 5.0% net guaranteed return for three years, then investors will be eligible to participate in the Rental Pool scheme, where the expected gross return is typically higher.
Most villas offer private usage of between 28 days to 30 days per annum. Luxury villas may range from the highest-end run by internationally recognised luxury hotel brands to small villas of three to six units owned and run by local villa operators. Rates and services offered by small luxury villa resorts offering only six units such as Kei Villas and Cicada in Seminyak, Bali are also comparable to the larger luxury villa resorts. Economy of scale is achieved in running limited number of units as their staff are trained to multi-task they are your concierge, housekeeper, electrician and butler.