Pure Luxury for Scandinavians

A new, grandiose holiday resort is about to reach the sky at Jomtien Beach in Thailand. The extraordinary project is called “The Beach” and will consist of two twin towers with 50 and 60 floors each. The towers will be connected by a sky bridge from the 50th floor.
The main target for the luxurious project of 605 vacation units for sale is Scandinavians. And so far the sale is going great with more than 130 apartments sold already, even though the first brick still has to be laid and the project is scheduled to be finished in the summer of 2011. All buyers are so far Norwegians who have invested in one of the vacation units.
The brain and investor behind the extravagant “The Beach” is the 40 year-old Norwegian billionaire, Arne Hvidsten. With his long, dark hair in a ponytail, casual black shirt and gold jewellery on his fingers and arms he doesn’t look like your typical, Norwegian business man. And he knows it himself.
“I like to do it my way. I could easily have short hair, glasses and sit behind my office desk every day. But I want to do things different,” he tells.  
And different is also a keyword when it comes to his new project “The Beach”. Arne Hvidsten is not modest when it comes to describing it. 
“The Beach is going to be one of the most extraordinary buildings in Thailand. No less than a five star hotel, no less than pure luxury facing the beach front. I promise Grade A all the way through. And I know it obliges in every little detail, from thick, soundproof walls to the speed of the lifts in the high buildings and private jacuzzi or swimming pool on the outdoor terrace,” says Arne Hvidsten. 
He also envisions Jomtien to be Thailand’s future Riviera. The area has attracted developments from large hotel chains such as Sheraton, The Marriott, Le Meridien and Movenpick hotels and offers great opportunities for a good lifestyle with close proximity to restaurants, beaches, national parks, golf courses and shopping.
The resort is also located only one hour away from the international airport which gives the residents easy access for travelling to many other places in the region. And if someone ought to know what Scandinavians want, it’s got to be Arne Hvidsten. He’s currently one of Norway’s biggest real estate tycoons and according to a Norwegian business magazine he’s worth one billion NOK – a fortune he refuses to comment on himself.

No sleepless nights
However, he doesn’t hide the fact that “The Beach” is expected to build and sell for an estimated 3 billion NOK. This includes 2 towers, one for residential use, the other a hotel/serviced apartment luxury establishment and the commercial area which will include restaurants, shops, spas, travel agents, bank, supermarket etc. It’s a fortune that could give any investor sleepless nights – but not Arne Hvidsten who bought the 40.000 m2 beachfront land on Jomtien Beach three years ago.
“I believe that the quality in my product makes the whole difference. Scandinavians know what they want and know that I can provide it,” he says confidently and adds:
“And it’s all about location too. Many people can buy an idyllic house on a nice, sandy beach but after some weeks they get tired of beaches and drive to the nearest village with only one little restaurant. Here you have Jomtien, Pattaya, an airport and 20 golf lanes nearby with all the life you want,” he points out. 
His apartments come in different sizes, from 28 m2 studios up to 460 m2 duplex units over two floors. The price starts from 75.000 bath (around 12.500 NOK) per m2 and increases the higher the floor, which means that the price for a studio starts at around 350.000 NOK. Most of the 118 m2 units are already gone and the big Norwegian expects to have sold 25 per cent of all units within the summer.
The customers who have all put down a 20 per cent deposit upfront, are mainly between 35-55 years, including some handball stars from Norway, like Kristian Kjelling.
“Even though it might be more expensive than some other property in Thailand you get the luxury here you don’t get anywhere else. In other places, like Spain, you have to have royal blood to afford to pay for the same standard,” Arne says. 
Ever since he first travelled to Thailand 15 years ago Arne has been fascinated by the country.
“I like that everything is different compared to back home. The Buddhist culture is interesting, the climate in this part of Thailand is nice all year around and Thais are so friendly and very service minded. And I like good value for my money. Here you get almost 5 times more for your money compared to back home. I’m always a sucker for a good deal,” he says with a smile.  

Sold turkeys
Ever since he was a kid, Arne Hvidsten has had a remarkable sense for a good business. When he was just nine he started making his own money by selling turkeys.
“My dad’s colleague owned a turkey farm and I noticed how cheap he sold the turkeys to wholesale dealers who sold it to restaurants for double the price. I decided to do the same so I bought a lot of turkeys from the farmer and went knocking on people’s doors to sell them. It was a success,” he recalls.
“The turkeys were so heavy for a nine year old boy so my dad got really frustrated when he discovered I’ve ordered hundreds of them to our home,” he says laughing.
Later Arne graduated as an economist and started his company “Hvidsten Eiendom” from scratch in 1991 when he borrowed money from the bank and two of his friends to buy an old property at auction to rebuild. Four years later he sold it again with a profit of five million NOK. His company has been growing ever since making him one of the biggest tycoons in Norway.
“I’m an active investor which means I have to be involved in everything, like “The Beach”-project. I couldn’t dream of spending a dime on the Stock Exchange. Every time I haven’t been personally involved I’ve lost money,” he tells.  It has been his dream for many years to build “The Beach” so he has watched the real estate market in Thailand very closely. And now is the perfect moment to make the dream come true.
“Every quarter the market prices in the area are rising. It’s also booming with Scandinavians who travel to Thailand and from an investor’s point Thailand is the best country in Asia to invest in,” Arne Hvidsten explains. 
The Norwegian also has his properties in Norway to take care of and therefore he spends half his time in Norway and the other in Thailand. But despite the fact that he’s constantly working and even though he’s having some problems with the delaying of the building licence for “The Beach”, he still enjoys every minute of making the enormous project come true.
“I love a good challenge and I love to make things difficult for myself. This project will be extraordinary and I’m personally going to own some floors myself,” he tells with excitement and adds:
“But this project is only the beginning. I have more plans in Thailand,” the Norwegian tycoon reveals with a secret smile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *