One of Asia’s leading resort markets, Greater Phuket has become a hot spot for an emerging selection of private hotels that tip the scale in terms of absolute poshness. Over time the island has pioneered a number of ultra upscale travel trends.
At the end of the 1980’s and start of the 1990’s first Adrian Zecha’s Amanpuri and K.P. Ho’s Banyan Tree ushered in a near era of spacious hotel private pool villas that took travelers out of the box and into their own personal version of a fully catered episode of castaway. In came the real estate element at both the Aman and Banyan as suddenly these properties became objects of desire for high net-worth individuals.
As time has run through the hourglass, the latest luxury innovation has become private hotels. Just over the Sarasin Bridge in Phang Nga a few years ago, international finance entrepreneur Mark Weingard opened Iniala Beach House. A series of world-class designers, culinary figures and a vision on what the state of new luxury was about created a new benchmark. Even the Hollywood set has embraced the product with the Kardashian family visiting not long after opening.
While in Phang Nga Bay, a budding group of new private hotels named Ani Villas has stirred up the mix. Again the brainchild of yet another wealthy investor Tim Reynolds, the product has attracted global attention. Other Ani Vilas are located in Anguilla, Sri Lanka and a new property is coming up in the Dominican Republic.
As we roll into the closing months of 2016, maybe the most expensive hotel property ever built in Phuket on a per room basis is the soon to open Villa TreVille in Nai Thon. Billionaire Robert Friedland of Invanhoe Capital Corporation is pairing his iconic Villa Treville in Positano Italy with a new Asian namesake. The attention to detail, quality and intimate oceanfront location all come into play, in what is set to turn heads amongst the jet set.
You can expect the global rise of the private hotel to continue, but it’s good to remember here in Asia, where some of the most posh properties call him, in Greater Phuket.