7 of Asia’s best resort residences

With plush new offerings about to come online, the region’s bounty of beautiful boltholes is about to get even more enviable

Investors are spoilt for choice when it comes to purchasing a slice of paradise in Asia. From the coral-rich coasts to snow-peaked heights, the region is home to an ever-growing array of luxury resort residences.

Every year the net widens to accommodate the latest emerging locations and trailblazing hospitality brands—and 2018 is no exception. The titans that have long dominated markets in Thailand, Indonesia and Hokkaido are now increasingly competing with upstart boutique brands, while up-and-coming destinations are welcoming global names for the first time.

Aside from remarkable locations and world-class amenities, many properties now stand out as much for their personalised services and daring designs, as they do for their eco-credentials. The promise of strong yields and a reliable rental programme are an obvious attraction, too.

Although the discoveries of unspoilt Edens are few and far between nowadays, buyers with an intrepid streak can still find relative bargains. For those who want to play it safe, however, there’s the security of opting in with a world-renowned hospitality brand. Indeed, the difficulty is no longer finding a resort property—it is choosing the right one.

1. Dusit Thani Sri Lanka, The Beachfront

Location: Balapitiya, Sri Lanka

Opening: 2019

Total units: 162

Price: From USD244,000

Why buy: Guaranteed annual returns of six percent for five years

The iconic Thai hospitality brand has rapidly expanded beyond its homeland’s borders in recent years, launching a luxury resort in the Maldives, high-end hotel in Cairo, and a residential development in Davao. Possibly Dusit Thani’s most ambitious manoeuvre to date though is located 80 kilometres south of Colombo in Sri Lanka.

The residential component in a sprawling multi-phase integrated development near the famed west coast beaches of Bentota and Hikkaduwa, the fully-furnished luxury one- and two-bedroom apartments are housed in a pair of towers providing residents with enviable views of the Laccadive Sea. If they tire of gazing out at the great blue from the comfort of their balcony, homeowners can instead while the hours away at the beachside or rooftop bars, cool off in one of the many swimming pools, or retreat to Dusit Thani’s world-renowned Devarana Spa.

Phase two of The Beachfront will further cement the resort’s five-star status with a promenade hosting upmarket eateries, high-end retail outlets and landscaped gardens, as well as exclusive champagne and whisky lounges.

2. The Ginto Residences

Location: Niseko, Japan

Opening: 2019

Total units: 31

Price: USD1,200-USD1,800 per sqm

Why buy: Direct high-speed rail link to Tokyo slated for completion in the next few years

While Niseko has been on the minds of savvy second-homers for some time, the Japanese debut of Pavilions Hotels & Resorts is still bound to turn heads. Introducing its unique take on boutique hospitality to the slopes of Hokkaido, The Pavilions Niseko will boast a five-star resort and a collection of private villas, The Ginto Residences, nestled in the picturesque pinewood forests of Ginto Hirafu.

But how does the Bali-born resort brand plan to compete with the raft of five-star hotels and luxury homes already settled around in the snow? The huge 1,000 square-metre (minimum) plots offering customised villa designs, exclusive ski lift access and proximity to fashionable Ginto Village should do the trick.

Après ski naturally influences the facilities at the resort to which residents will have unlimited access. These include indoor and outdoor onsen pools, a state-of-the-art fitness and yoga centre, and a fine-dining restaurant. It is the array of outdoor activities—world-class skiing, hiking, mountain biking and river rafting to name a few—that is however most likely to lure prospective buyers to the powdered paradise.

3. Selong Selo Residences

Location: Lombok, Indonesia

Opening: 2019

Total units: 65

Price: USD225,000-1m

Why buy: It aims to be the first carbon-negative development in Asia

“Did you know [insert up-and-coming island destination] is the next Bali?” The phrase has been bandied about since the Island of the Gods peaked a decade or so ago. Neighbouring Lombok is the latest island to wear the label—and with good reason. Its untarnished beaches, peaceful surfing spots and natural attractions have made it a sanctuary for Indonesia’s crowd-weary tourists and investors alike.

Situated on the increasingly vibrant southern tip of the island, Selong Selo Residences’ appeal is obvious. Poised 200 metres above sea level, the development proffers panoramic views of Selong Belanak Bay and vast green expanses in every direction.

All owner-occupants enjoy access to the exclusive facilities, most notably the 23-metre infinity swimming pool, tennis court, and spa. The Aura Lounge & Bar—a hilltop gathering place is surrounded by a bucolic 1,000-square-metre garden blooming with white foxtails and coconut palms—is the sort of setting that most resorts can only manage in CGI brochures.

Investors can either opt for the ‘Kayu Villa,’ from Selong Selo’s banner collection of model homes, or partner with their preferred architect to create for a bespoke concept.

4. The Ocean Estates

Location: Danang, Vietnam

Total units: 33

Price: From USD760,000

Why buy: Developed and operated by Vietnam’s largest foreign real estate developer

Danang is another of those destinations whose fortunes are frequently compared with Bali and Phuket. Understandably, Vietnam’s premier resort spot is currently one of the most-watched markets in Asia, and The Ocean Estates is at the top-end of the list for those willing to take the risk (the residential market only recently recovered from a long-term slump).

A stylish illustration of what can be achieved with plenty of time, space and investment, as well as early-mover advantage, The Ocean Estates is part of the mammoth 260-hectare Ocean Resort, which also includes The Ocean Apartments, beach club, restaurant and the Greg Norman-designed 18-hole (soon to be 36-hole) Danang Golf Club.

The well-appointed three-, four- and five-bedroom villas, which are laid out to create an intimate, landscaped community, don’t try too hard. The emphasis here is on high-spec simplicity with owners encouraged to personalise their properties. And for owners intending to use their investment as a weekend bolthole, the steady increase in direct international flights to the nearby airport means Danang is much more accessible than it was just 18 months ago.

5. Queens Residences Q1

Location: Penang, Malaysia

Opening: 2021

Total units: 500

Price: MYR787,900-1,893,500 (USD201,000-USD484,000)

Why buy: Ideal family environment with guarded community, three-tier security system and onsite internal school

For investors searching for the perks of a resort lifestyle with the conveniences of city living, Queens Residences Q1 may provide the answer. Rising high above Bayan Bay on Penang’s eastern shoreline, the first phase of the integrated Queens Waterfront project will comprise 500 luxury residential units in a 21-storey nautical-inspired tower.

Owners will have access to a generous array of entertainment amenities and fast-food and fine-dining options within the development, as well as the international-standard sports centre. The popular Queensbay Mall is also only a stone’s throw away. The real x-factor however is direct access to QW Marina and the show stopping top-deck glass infinity pool.

6. Twinpalms Residences MontAzure

Location: Phuket, Thailand

Total units: 75

Price: From THB15.5m (USD490,000)

Why buy: A freehold and secure leasehold ownership structure provides potential for strong capital gains in the future supported by hotel-based rental yields

Kamala Beach’s highly anticipated mixed-use community offers exactly what the name implies: jungle-clad mountains and cerulean seas. Built into one of Phuket’s most dramatic backdrops neighbouring the coveted Millionaires Mile, upon completion the THB2.2 billion (USD70 million) project will feature a roll call of upscale amenities including, a 200-room InterContinental Hotel, an exclusive senior living village and the already-kicking Café del Mar.

The main drawcard of course is the Residences. A series of low-rise clusters managed and operated by legendary Phuket hotel brand Twinpalms, the first phase of the 178-acre development comprises one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 70 to 400 square metres, as well as oversized penthouses with panoramic views of the Andaman Sea.

The natural tones, cascading greenery and intricate detailing that defines the Residences comes courtesy of Martin Palleros and his team at Tierra Design, who were also the creative minds behind the flagship Twinpalms Hotel over on Surin Beach.

7. Six Sense Residences Fiji

Location: Fiji

Total units: 60

Price: On request

Why buy: Rental option with unlimited occupant usage

Okay, Fiji is not technically (or in any way) in Asia, but it’s close enough for the outstanding Six Senses Fiji to receive an honourable mention. It would be an understatement to say that the latest addition to the illustrious hospitality brand’s portfolio has piqued the interest of both bucket-listers and affluent investors.

Located on the volcanic island of Malolo, the property does barefoot luxury by the bucket load. The two- to five-bedroom pool villas all provide occupants with dazzling vistas of either the beach, ocean or marina—where owners can moor their private vessels—all made possible by the indoor-outdoor design philosophy that runs through the resort. Kiwi architect Richard Press, who has fashioned several Six Senses resorts across the globe, opts for pared back approach echoing the aesthetics of Fijian fishing villages—albeit with a touch more elegance.

Owners can expect the usual Six Senses onsite treatment, ranging from The Wellness Village to top-notch restaurants to complimentary nanny services. And for those owners who don’t have their yacht to hand, the resort will arrange a helicopter transfer to and from Nadi International Airport.

This article originally appeared in Issue No. 148 of PropertyGuru Property Report Magazine