Nishaville – Beach Front Villa Resort Aiming at Swedes

Aleenta Resort & Spa is a Thai resort company and developer, so far with two boutique resorts on prime beach locations in Pran Buri and Phang Nga (north of Phuket). Recently they launched their second mixed-use development incorporating and upscale residential development and a hotel, this time targeting the Swedish market.
This luxury villa community, Nishaville, and five-star resort Gwynnburi will be situated in an area by now known for its Swedish community.
Managing Director Supakorn Kijkanakorn had no idea that another Swedish developer existed in the same area (Thailandfastigheter) when he bought a large beachfront land plot in the south of the province Prachuap Kirikhan back in 2003.
The incipient Scandinavian part of the holiday/long-stay property boom in Thailand was also news to Supakorn.
However he began investigating and joined the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce and learned about this by now booming sector.
“I just found a new market that hadn’t really caught my attention before. I didn’t know it existed. Once I get to know it more, and did research, it turned out to be very much undiscovered,” explains Supakorn on site in Huay Yang, a 3,5 – 4 hours drive south from Bangkok.
Based on these findings they are now aiming at Sweden as the main target market for Nishaville and in doing so probably raising the bar a step or two by introducing a luxurious level of housing in combination with five star services.
Aleenta’s very first establishment is in fact an exclusive boutique resort, consisting in only 12 rooms, in Pran Buri south of Hua Hin, which couldn’t possibly have the most discerning buyer looking any further when it comes to personalized level of service, and in splendid surroundings (unless you are a TV freak as the resort’s rooms are lack television).
“During the search for our next property, thinking about the next hotel, I got this land before the Phang Nga plot. This part was still considered very remote when we bought it. Personally I fell in love with this piece of land, and will spend more of my days here in the future,” says developer Supakorn who studied in the U.S and has a Masters in construction management.
His family has been in construction business and real estate for centuries, having built housing estates and factory buildings. They have their own construction company but also a furniture factory and design company.
More recently also the boutique resort brand Aleenta was started when Supakorn and his sister were pondering what to do with a small property in Pran Buri belonging to their family, where they had had a family holiday house for 20 years. Then they came up with the boutique idea and hence the first Aleenta resort was born in 2002, which has been given numerous awards and votes among prestigious travel magazines
“In the area there was nothing between the five-star resort Evason and some locally run resorts at that time. So we found we could fill a gap with this idea which has turned out very successful.”
The core idea behind ‘boutique’ resorts is personalised service says Supakorn.
“It’s impossible for a two-hundred or even one-hundred-room hotel to get such a personalised touch to the service. For example, could the resort manager visit 200 guests? It’s more like a home away from home, a small private place for you to come to.”
Aleenta reflects the philosophy of seclusion, retreat, rest and relaxation with a concept the owners intend to follow.
“Definitely, if the solution works, why change it? I see a growing demand. But then it’s quite hard to keep up with the growing standard of expectations from our guests, but we are trying. This kind of quality tourist is what we want here for our project and for our country who respect our idea and the culture.”
“The reason behind that this has become a new trend is because there is a group of people who crave for this more personalised kind of product; a small resort, nicely designed and not too public. We all grew up in resort hotels in 8-storey buildings, large lobbies, and probably a ten-minute walk to the beach and a large pool by the sea. Aleenta is not for everyone. We’ve got complains: no television. But those who love us return.”
Since they started boutique resorts have mushroomed specifically in the Prachuap Kirikhan province, and the price of land has been sky-rocketing.
“We started in Pran Buri when the land was 4 million baht per rai. It has gone up to 25 million baht in less than two years. There is not much land left on the beach, all beach front land go quickly.
“The price is now so high that it’s preventing owners from proceeding with projects, since after the tsunami the law changed and became stricter. So they’re sitting on 25 million baht land per rai and cannot build anything else than a one-storey house.”
Instead Aleenta turned to the Phang Nga province, where land is in fact cheaper. There they developed their concept further by combining hotel units, beach-front villas as well as 10 low-rise condo residences, where the owners are offered to add their units to a hotel letting pool as part of the resort.
The idea behind this type of increasingly popular mixed-used development is that those buying into the residence can benefit from having access to the hotel/resort’s services and facilities and its management to guarantee the upkeep of the property, as well as better investment yields. Vice Versa the hotel component can get extra rooms and the developer can have the home buyers as investors.
Thereby Aleenta represents a new generation of high-quality lifestyle-conscious developments, aiming at exclusive locations and being potentially excellent investments for property investors. 
“The mixed-use concept is an upcoming trend and it has proven to be successful in our previous project in Phang Nga. We closed our sales quite quickly and the resort is popular even though it’s so new.”
“A lot of developers are doing this, but you really need to have the product to mix. For example our strength comes from that I am from construction business and we’re in real estate and the fact that we operate our own resorts. We really can bring out the best in both.”
For the project in Prachuap Kirikhan the whole estate will become bigger than their previous ones, but the resort Gwynnburi will still be a boutique-sized hotel.
“I aim to build a small community that will enable our residents to enjoy the beach, the Thai hospitality and make a good return of their investment. Also, this community consisting in the resort and the villas will efficiently use the benefits of the mixed-use concept,” is Supakorn’s main vision for Nishaville which is named after his daughter.
Entering the Scandinavian market, what are their view and expectations?
“There is plenty of demand for the limited supply we have at the moment, where we can differentiate ourselves. I think we still have a lot of opportunity to explore within this niche market. There’s plenty of room to play and I’ve received good response from my Scandinavian friends,” says the developer.
About the pristine location, often tourism comes first and then the interest for housing afterwards, but in this case those will arrive united. Tourists are buying homes in a non-touristy area.
Supakorn’s only concern is its relative distance from Bangkok. Still he expects people’s interest to grow for the area.
Hua Hin is turning over-crowded. People will start searching further south.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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