Archives for category: Thailand

serviced apartment bangkokDemand for serviced apartments last year remained unchanged in most areas of Bangkok despite the political turmoil, according to CBRE Thailand, an international real-estate adviser.

The average occupancy rate for the whole year stood at 81 per cent, a slight decrease from 2012, as a result of lower occupancy rates in some serviced apartments located close to the areas where there were demonstrations.

Serviced apartments in Bangkok are usually targeted at two types of customers: long-term tenants who are usually single expatriates working in the city, where serviced apartments compete with non-serviced apartments and condominiums for rent; and short-term-rate tenants who are usually tourists or business travellers, where serviced apartments compete with hotels. Most serviced apartments have one-bedroom or studio units.

The number of expatriates with work permits based in Bangkok increased by 12 per cent year-on-year. Japanese nationals working in Bangkok make up the highest percentage of the long-term rental market for serviced apartments.

Serviced-apartment rental rates did not increase because of competition from the many one-bedroom condominium units available for rent in the long-term market. As of the fourth quarter, the average rent of Grade A serviced apartments in Bangkok was just above Bt1,000 per square metre per month, and the Sukhumvit area achieved the highest average rents of almost Bt1,200 per square metre per month.

According to CBRE Research, there are very few serviced apartments under construction. However, there are more than 5,000 hotel rooms begin built in Bangkok, increasing the competition for the short-term-rate market.

There are more than 20,000 condominium units under construction in downtown Bangkok, of which 70 per cent will be one-bedroom and studio units, many of which have been bought by investors looking to rent them out. This will increase competition in the long-term rental market for studio and one-bedroom units.

To date, the political unrest has had limited impact. The short-term-rate market has suffered from a decline in visitor numbers, especially in those properties located close to the protest areas.

There has not been a decline in expatriates working in Bangkok, and so the long-term market remains largely unaffected.

As of the fourth quarter, the average occupancy rate of the overall serviced-apartment market stood at 80 per cent, only a slight decrease from the third quarter.

Demand for serviced apartments is concentrated in a limited number of areas, principally Sukhumvit, Lumpini and Sathorn. These are the areas favoured by expats living in Bangkok and by tourists.

CBRE believes there will be limited potential to develop serviced apartments outside these core locations as rental rates for such properties decline considerably.

Despite competition from hotels and rental condominiums, the limited new supply of serviced apartments means that there is a possibility that owners will be able to raise rental rates.



Outside the waterhouse, Koh Yao Noi, Thailand

The Waterhouse, Koh Yao Noi, Thailand
Good for water babies
Sleeps six
Cost from £284 a week

A soothing soundtrack of bobbing fishing boats, panoramic sea vistas, and sublime sunsets are in store at this over-water holiday house on one of Thailand’s unspoiled islands, Koh Yao Noi or Little Long Island. Located midway between Phuket and Krabi, and accessible by boat from both, the traditional timber stilted house is typical of the architecture of the Muslim south. Low tide reveals mud flats, but it’s a short amble to a fine swimming beach.
• No phone,

Baan Nam beach House Thailand

Baan Nam, Koh Phangan, Thailand

Good for peace seekers
Sleeps 4
Cost from £254 a week

Thailand’s Koh Phangan, near Koh Samui, is best-known for booze-fuelled full-moon parties, but the more serene north-east has isolated sandy beaches such as Tong Nai Pan Noi, with a mellower vibe and good diving. On a hill above the beach, accessible by a walking track, this traditional wooden house in tropical gardens has polished floorboards, rattan walls, a decent kitchen, and a deck with sofa, table and chairs overlooking the sea.
• No phone,

donna beach house, thailand

Donna Beach House, Koh Samui, Thailand

Good for sunset lovers
Sleeps 4
Cost from £553 a week

On the south-western side of the island, Nathon, Koh Samui’s capital, is a real town used by locals rather than a tourist resort. Just north of it is this big timber house set slightly back from the beach. There’s a deck ideal for meals outside, and another table inside by the sleek modern kitchen. The deck is where you’ll want to be for sunset, which the locals claim is the most spectacular on Samui.
• No phone,

The beachfront property is owned by Honor Business Company Limited. The 55 villas include one-bedroom Pool Villas, Pool Villa Suites with a living room, Duplex Pool Villa Suites with a ground-floor living room and bedroom on the first floor, and the Pranburi two-bedroom Pool Villa Suite. Villas offer private swimming pools, sun lounges, garden rain showers, sunken outdoor bathtubs surrounded by lotus ponds, and butler service.

Sheraton Villa Thailand
The property is also home to Dalah Restaurant and Bar, an all-day eatery that offers a seasonal menu with Thai, Asian and western dishes. The restaurant’s bar hosts a wine tasting event three times a week. Additional amenities include a shuttle service to the nearby Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa and in-house spa services. The property plans to open new facilities in 2014, including a new food and beverage venue, main swimming pool, kids’ club, and fitness center.

St Regis serviced apartmentST REGIS
The glamorous St Regis Hotel, which overlooks the Royal golf course at Ratchadamri, has a whole wing of serviced apartments but only one is for rent. Stretching over 800 square metres, the duplex penthouse is the private residence of Bill Heinecke, the self-made Thai billionaire and owner of the hotel. Decorated by the Heineckes, the elegant property is finished in beige, cream and maroon and studded with Thai and Chinese antiques, including the costumes Yul Brynner wore in The King and I. A 20-seat dining table, private pool and patio, wine cellar, full kitchen, three bedrooms and two butlers on call complete the picture.
The penthouse is available from THB 290,160.

This gleaming new tower on the corner of Sukhumvit Road and Soi 57 is well located to indulge in the offerings of Thong Lor, Bangkok’s hot-spot neighbourhood for restaurants and nightlife. The 74 one, two and three-bedroom residences, which start at 55 square metres, have pale hardwood floors with purple furnishings, small but well-equipped kitchens with a full fridge, four-plate burner, coffee maker and washing machine and dryer. The ground floor breakfast room offers an excellent spread to start the day and the top floor al fresco bar, Octave, an even better way to end it. It’s excellent value.
One-room apartments are from THB 4660 ($158).

This soaring skyscraper nestled among the embassies of Wireless Road is owned by the same family that owns Bangkok’s illustrious Mandarin Oriental hotel. The property follows a colonial theme, with oversized ceilings in the lobby offsetting white shuttered windows and potted purple orchids. The guest rooms, neat with dark wood floors, pale blue and beige furnishings and silk curtains, each have a mini kitchen with a half-sized fridge, toaster, two-plate stove and kitchen table but no clothes washing facilities. The small balcony is a bonus; pity there is nothing to sit on. The hotel has a great Chinese interpretation restaurant, Mandopop, but the service needs work. Studio apartments are from THB 4979.

This tower with 79 one and two-bedroom “suites” is well located within walking distance of the shops of Chitlom, Siam Square and restaurants of Soi Lungsuan. Starting at 77 square metres, the guest rooms are not luxurious but are amply furnished with separate sleeping areas, marble bathrooms and small kitchenettes stocked with a microwave, two-plate burner, fridge-freezer and pots and pans. There is no coffee maker, toaster or clothes washing facilities and the hotel breakfast is not worth the extra money. The guest room balcony and views over Lumpini Park and ground-floor swimming pool nestled into a thicket of foliage compensate. Studio rooms are from 4321.

Set off Ratchadamri Road, this 94-room, “eco-chic” high-rise designed by Singaporean architecture firm WOHA is characterised by a soaring 2000-plant vertical garden in the lobby. It’s Hansar’s studios of interest here; each a spacious 59 square metres, with stovetop, fridge-freezer, built-in washing machine, separate workspace and a spacious bathroom with terrazzo tub and rain shower. There are free minibars stocked with soft drinks and beers and a sleek spa, infinity lap pool and fitness centre. Eat at the French Provencal restaurant called Eve, and Cafe Boca for Thai, or at endless choices on Soi Langsuan, just steps away. Studio apartments from THB 5650 including breakfast.

Tucked inside Sukhumvit Soi 8, a quiet lane away from the hedonism of upper Sukhumvit, this hotel is one of several Citadines properties in Bangkok, a budget chain owned and operated by the Ascott Group. The 130 functional but basic all-white residences, which start at 25 square metres for studios, come with fully equipped kitchens including utensils and separate bedrooms with bouncy queen-size beds. There is a small pool and fitness corner, a coin-pay laundrette and a complimentary tuktuk service to zip guests up to Nana BTS and the nightlife of Soi 11. Studio rooms are from THB 1849.

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Thailand Tourism up 19% January to April

Released late last week, the ministry’s research registered 8,841,730 trips to the country during the first four months up from 7,427,772 visits during the same period last year.

In April alone, there were 2,013,012 trips, up 19.38% compared to 1,686,268 visits during the same month in 2012. The Songkran festival in mid-April was identified as the key driver that drew tourists in a month when temperatures soar to almost unbearable levels in the Thai capital.

China delivered a substantial growth of 91.05% supplying 410,173 visits from 214,689

From Asian countries :

East Asia continues to be the top supplier, (ASEAN included), with a growth of 29.39% from 931,286 to 1,204,996 visits. All identified source markets in the region posted growth except for Cambodia (-23.86%), Laos (-14.58%), and Philippines (-0.11%).

Trips from Myanmar grew 42.58%, Taiwan +37.73% followed by Indonesia (+31.31%), Vietnam (+23.13%), Malaysia (+20.86%), Brunei (+20.83%), Japan (+9.65%), South Korea (+9.36%), Hong Kong (+5.44%), and Singapore (+4.13%).

From Europe

Ireland (-2.69%); Spain (-5.24%); Switzerland (-8.26%); and the United Kingdom (-5.42%).

The top five key markets that grew were: Finland (+72.87%); Sweden (+70.85%); Russia (+47.98%); East Europe (+33.16%); and Denmark (+24.55%).

The Americas recorded a slight growth of 0.19% to 91,268 from 91,097 visits. The main markets, USA and Brazil posted an increasing of 4.11% and 1.49% respectively.

However, arrivals from Oceania, South Asia, Africa and Middle East reported a decline of 19.61%, 5.98%, 5.88% and 5.45% correspondingly.

TTR reported the tourism ministry recorded international tourists to Thailand at the country’s gateway: Suvarnabhumi Airport, reached 1,354,673 visits in April increasing 21.81% from 1,112,081 visits during the same month last year.
Written by : Andrew J Wood

oaks bangkokMinor Hotel Group has opened its first Oaks property in Asia and confirmed that another Oaks hotel will open in China next year.

The brand has added a number of properties to its portfolio in 2012, most recently in Thailand – Oaks Bangkok Sathorn – which is the 41st in the brand’s portfolio, and the first of its planned expansion into Asia.

The 115 apartments at the Oaks Bangkok Sathorn are generously proportioned with separate bedrooms, a living area and kitchen in a choice of studio, one, two or three-bedroom configurations, ranging from 39 up to 185 square metres. Balconies open to city and river views offering an urban sanctuary above the bustling city.

Oaks Bangkok Sathorn is located next door to and shares some facilities with Anantara Bangkok Sathorn, another of Minor Hotel Group’s properties in the city, and is just a short stroll to Bangkok’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) where guests can connect with the sky train (BTS) and easily access many of the attractions on offer in this vibrant, sensory city.

Guests can work out in the gym, enjoy a swim in one of Bangkok’s longest hotel pools, indulge in a spa treatment at Senses Spa, or play tennis on the onsite court. Dining includes the innovative 100° East all-day dining restaurant and gourmet pizzeria Crust. For business guests an array of conference and meeting facilities are available.

Oaks Sanya

Oaks Sanya in China will be the next to join the portfolio when it opens in late 2013. The new property is currently under development on Hainan Island, and will feature 122 two and three-bedroom duplex apartments, each with kitchen facilities.

Oaks Sanya will also feature a Chinese restaurant, a bar, a kids club and a gym. The apartments overlook both bays of the Serenity Coast peninsula and are located five minutes’ walk from the beach.

Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group, said, “Since taking ownership of Oaks Hotels & Resorts in 2011, we have been looking forward to expanding the brand into Asia and these two properties are the start of that expansion. Oaks is a great complementary addition to Minor Hotel Group’s portfolio and we plan to continue to grow the brand in Asia and beyond in the year ahead.”


Arcadia Suites BangkokArcadia Suites, Bangkok is located in Nailert, Bangkok and has opened its doors for guests to stay from the 5th of December 2012.

It is just a few minutes’ walk from the BTS Phloen chit sky-train station and is situated strategically within easy reach of the business districts of Nailert, Wireless.

It is also close to shopping centers like Central Chidlom, Gaysorn Plaza, Amarin Plaza, Erawin Shine, Central world and All Seasons Place, with a wealth of dining and entertainment spots nearby, making it the perfect choice for both business and leisure travelers.

Arcadia Suites offers 73 lavish and elegantly designed suites. The suites include all the modern amenities, such as LCD TV’s, wireless internet, en suite bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchenette, making it an ideal place for both short and long stay guests. Additional facilities include a resident lounge, swimming pool and gym.

Serviced apartments are still being built and projects will con?tinue to open until at least 2014, but amid increased competition from condominiums and apart?ments offering a similar level of comfort and amenities in the same areas of the city, but at lower rents, according to Colliers International (Thailand).

An additional challenge is that the Thailand Hotel Association is trying to persuade the Interior Ministry to crack down on serviced apartments offering daily or short-term leases, which are not permitted without a hotel licence. Should the ministry take action, enforcement of this rule will have a significant impact on the sector.

Fewer serviced apartments came on the market in the second quarter than in the first, but a drop in demand of 4.8 per cent has kept rents stable.

Three serviced-apartment projects opened in the first half with about 280 units in three locations in the city. The total supply of serviced apartments as of the end of the first half is about 17,970 units. Because of intense competition, development of serviced apartments in Bangkok has decreased every year since 2009 and will continue to decline.

The number of serviced apart?ments in early Sukhumvit is signif?icantly higher than any other area, by 115-650 per cent. From 1992 until the first half of 2012, the early Sukhumvit area has shown the highest share of the total mar?ket, while the lowest supply of serviced apartments in Bangkok is in the southern fringe, where there are fewer than 1,000 units.

More than 200 units are sched?uled to be completed in the second half, and about 70 are due next year. The total number of serviced apartments in Bangkok by the end of this year, including these 200 units, will be nearly 18,100.


Nearly 80 units, or about 40 per cent of supply for the rest of this year, will be in the late Sukhumvit area. In the past, all serviced apartments focused on foreigners or expatriates in Bangkok, most of whom needed to stay in the city area or close to the mass transit system. Now, because of limited budgets over the past few years and the opening of Skytrain extensions to the east and west, some have decided to stay outside the city area to take advantage of cheaper rents.
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Kasemkij Co, which owns and runs the Cape House, Kantary and Kameo serviced apartments in Thailand, plans to finish two new projects worth a combined 1.4 billion baht in Rayong and Ayutthaya in the fourth quarter this year.

Classic Kameo Rayong will have 200 rooms and open on Oct 15.

Wiwat Tangjitkobboon, the company’s group director, said many factories in Ayutthaya have yet to fully recover from last year’s flood damage.

Expatriates working at the factories, the main customers of Kasemkij’s serviced apartments, have decreased.

Some companies have preferred to cut costs and expenses. For example, many factories that had 20 expats in the past have only one or two today.

“Although the situation in Ayutthaya remains unfavourable, we will move forward to finish our serviced apartments this November,” Mr Wiwat said.

Classic Kameo Ayutthaya, which began construction two years ago, will have 200 rooms while Classic Kameo Rayong will have 200 rooms and open on Oct 15.

Both projects are positioned to offer deluxe rooms, accounting for 70% of total rooms.

The typical room types of Kasemkij’s apartments are studios and one- and two-bedroom suites.

The average price of a studio starts at 2,300 baht a night in a space of 45 square metres.

Deluxe rooms will start at 1,500 baht a night for 35 sq m. The group believes the competitive price will be a key factor boosting business in hard times.

“We expect the average occupancy rate of both serviced apartments to be about 50% in the first year of operation,” Mr Wiwat said.

The company forecasts the break-even point to come in 13 years instead of eight years as in the past.

“Our business concept is slow but sure,” Mr Wiwat said.

“We want to gradually build loyalty among customers. We want the guests to test our products at reasonable prices, and this will result in 60-70% repeat customers.”

The serviced apartment market is facing stiff competition from rental condominiums just as hoteliers ask the Interior Ministry to crack down on their offers of daily and short-term stays.

The Thailand Hotels Association is continuing to pressure the Interior Ministry on issuing controls for serviced apartments without a hotel licence, which are not permitted to serve daily or short-term clients.

Property consultant Colliers International Thailand said this will have a significant impact on the serviced apartment market, even as serviced apartments continue to be built for launches up to 2014.

Colliers’ quarterly report on the Bangkok serviced apartment market showed the number of new developments being built has fallen every year since 2009 and will continue to decline.

Fewer serviced apartments entered the market in the second quarter of 2012 than in the first quarter, but a drop in demand of 4.8% has kept rents stable. An estimated total of 18,100 serviced apartments will be available in Bangkok by the end of 2012, up from 17,970 units at the end of the first half.

The number of serviced apartments in lower Sukhumvit is higher than any other area.

Average occupancy rate in the second quarter dropped 4.8% quarter-on-quarter but was higher than the same period last year.

Some condominium developers have also kept units as monthly rentals and set up a subsidised management company.

At the same time, foreigners are focusing on condos or apartments in the same locations with similar facilities as serviced apartments but lower monthly rates.

There will be a limited supply of serviced apartments in one to three years due to intense competition.

Although the number of expatriates in Bangkok will continue to increase every quarter, they will have a lot of choices so rental rates in the second half should remain stable.

Bangkok is a preferred location for investors looking to penetrate Myanmar and Laos, due to poor supporting facilities in both countries. Most stay in Bangkok and set up regional offices here for operations in Myanmar and Laos.

Mass transit extensions to the suburbs are also attracting attention from serviced apartment developers, as some of these lines are scheduled to be completed by 2015. Areas with international schools and hospitals are especially popular with developers.

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