What $8 Million Gets You in Luxury Real Estate in Phuket, Thailand
- I got a glimpse inside two villas on the Thai island of Phuket.
- Although they were listed at similar price points, they offered very different approaches to island life.
- The $7.9 million villa had a shiny, ultra-modern feel, while the $8.6 million villa was timeless and sanctuary-like.
Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, is teeming with villas: over the past decade, the Southeast Asian island’s villa stock has more than quadrupled to a total of 4,000 luxury homes.
On a recent reporting trip to Phuket, I followed real estate agent Norbert Witthinrich for a morning to get a feel for the island’s luxury real estate offerings. Phuket is only 13 miles wide and 30 miles long, and although the island is famous for its sandy beaches, the highways that cross the island are often congested with traffic.
I met Withhinrich on a weekday. He is originally from Germany, has lived in Thailand for 25 years and founded and runs the real estate agency Sea Property Group.
Witthinrich, I found, is punctual and exciting: we ran east across the island to the first villa, across it, then across the island again to and through a second villa and back to his office, all in the perfectly timed time of two hours.
Here’s a look at what around $8 million can buy you on the Thai island of Phuket. Sea Property Group has both listings.
First up: a modern five-bedroom villa on the east coast of the island
price point: 268 million Thai baht ($7.9 million)
The specifications : 5 Beds, 6 Baths, Infinity Pool, Indoor Entertainment Area, Private Beach Access
Phuket’s east coast is less developed than the west, Witthinrich told me. We jumped into his car at Cherngtalay and headed to the east coast development of Cape Yamu. The freeway was a hectic scene, but as we approached the cape I saw what it said: the freeway gave way to ocean views, smaller roads and a less developed feeling . Fishing boats were moored near the beach, and small shacks stood on prime waterfront land.
The villa is part of a gated development, and after passing the guardhouse we parked down a very steep driveway.
“Come inside,” Witthinrich said as he walked quickly past me and opened the front door, “and let’s talk luxury.” »
The decor in the house was modern and maximum — think huge driftwood-inspired fixtures and matte black chandeliers. The house knows its greatest asset – its ocean view – and every room has been designed to take advantage of it.
On the left side of the photo above you can see the stairs leading downstairs to the entertainment area, a few more bedrooms and the swimming pool.
Here is a photo of the kitchen, which opens onto a patio:
Here is a final photo of the main dining room, this time taken with its back to the ocean, which shows the design of the room:
Parting Thoughts: It’s full of glossy surfaces and modern finishes and boasts stunning ocean views. One of the bedrooms is in a separate house. The kitchen is more of a cafe kitchen than a chef’s kitchen.
Next stop: a Japanese-inspired villa on the west coast
price point: 292 million THB ($8.64 million)
The specifications: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, swimming pool, cinema, spa
Unlike the glossy surfaces of the first villa, the second had a timeless, wood and concrete theme. Like the first house, this villa was also designed to wow people with its greatest asset.
Here is the view you are greeted with once you enter the door of the house:
Each of the small buildings on either side of the staircase has a bedroom, a bar, a bathroom and a dressing room. The wood finish was beautiful and each suite was completely private.
The villa is built into the mountainside, so the entrance is on the upper level of the house. Take the central staircase downstairs and you will walk down to the pool area. To the left is the kitchen and dining room; to the right is another living area and several bedrooms.
Parting Thoughts: This villa looked like a sanctuary. The finishes were timeless and minimal. Each of the bedrooms was essentially its own mini-house. Also, I hadn’t realized until now that a bar is exactly what I need in my room.
An island takes luxury
The two units I visited with Witthinrich are in gated communities. The second villa is part of Anantara, a hospitality brand that operates hotels, villas and spas. So, in addition to the villa, you also have access to the hotel facilities. The villa I visited is one of 30 Anantara villas in the same development.
What struck me about both houses was that although they were impeccably maintained, the wild and undeveloped feeling of the Thai jungle was just beyond the communities’ borders.
When it comes to the Phuket market right now, the middle and upper end of the market is booming. After the pandemic crisis, foreign buyers began buying property on the island in late 2021 as Thailand eased border restrictions.
Withhinrich said homes between $100,000 and $500,000 were in high demand before the pandemic. Now, demand has shifted to a higher price range, with those – like the ones we visited – in the $2-10 million earning the most interest.
“I would say 80% of our clients are looking for the dream,” Witthinrich said. “You want the house in Phuket, you want the pool in Phuket.”