Samui Wining & Dining
AS SURE AS AZUR
Integrity leads the way with one of Samui’s most impressive new living environments.

Integrity leads the way with one of Samui’s most impressive new living environments.

Yes, I know, it’s another Samui development. There are a great many of them about, it seems. Everywhere you look, there’s another parcel of land up a hill somewhere being sold off as apartments and villas. Some of them are still in the concept stage, and you’re effectively buying from an architect’s drawings. Many are partially built and buyers have to live with construction noise. Quite a few are excellent, but how can you tell? It can be a gamble – just how do you sort out the gilt-edged from the guilty? Buyers need to have confidence and they need assurances. They need to know the bottom line before they get

          

And so here it is. The bottom line at the start of the story. Azur Samui is a development located off Soi 2 in Maenam with (in its current phase) luxury apartments and villas. It’s been conceived and managed by a company who have very successfully done this sort of thing before and won awards for it – the main players live here on the island. The award-winning architect – also having previously proved himself on Samui – is a perfectionist and insists on

the highest quality of build (including soundproofing). The properties are freehold. The management company has eight years of experience here, and the concept is that of a quality professional hospitality management environment. There is a central clubhouse, with a café, fitness centre and a tennis court. There’s an elected residents’ association, and a detailed working charter. And all the homes are available at exceptionally realistic prices, and currently have developer’s finance available at up to 50% interest free.

          

To begin to appreciate the integrity of all this, it really needs to be seen in context. The man behind this is Tim Dean-Smith, who came here to live after a successful background in construction and property development in the UK. In 2008, he opened the well-known beach club, Beach Republic, in Lamai. At the time this raised a few admiring eyebrows,Integrity leads the way with one of Samui’s most impressive new living environments. as the concept and design was strikingly individual – the architect he used was David McCormick. A little while afterwards Tim expanded the beach club to include a spa and 39 very luxurious pool villas and suites. Although Beach Republic was never really a ‘day club’ in the party sense of the word, it very quickly lent itself to a more expansive genre, and one that brought Tim’s hospitality management skills into play.

          

Looking around at the property scene on Samui right now, there really do appear to be some very good buys. But things come into sharp perspective when you start comparing prices. For example, you can buy a furnished studio apartment in a condominium, essentially a hotel room in a non-landscaped apartment block, for around two million baht. This seems quite attractive for a single person or for occasional holiday use. But then you won’t be aware of the quality of the construction until you’ve stayed there for a while. In comparison, the very pleasantly landscaped Azur development has one of the most stunning sea views anywhere. And the starting prices for a well-designed studio apartment are much the same as in the example above, and they are all a lot bigger.

          

“The quality of the construction is of the utmost importance,” Tim told me. “This is why I wanted to use David McCormick again. And the construction was undertaken by Adept Asia. The Chief Operations officer is Mike Ryan – the man is a perfectionist. Not only that, but the way everything is constructed is first-rate, very substantial and solid. The last thing anyone needs is leaky windows or to hear the neighbours all the time. Mike’s done some extensive and ambitious projects in South Africa, and has picked up several awards. The combination of these two paired together is unbeatable.”

          

Integrity leads the way with one of Samui’s most impressive new living environments.At the moment ‘Phase One’ is complete and is being lived in; Phases Two and Three will be essentially an expansion of the existing facilities, with the second phase looking to be finalised in six or seven months’ time. The villas are just stunning: there are currently 4-bedroom options, but as Tim points out, it’s a comparatively simple matter to add one extra room, if an office or work-room is required. But having looked at all this closely, if it wasn’t admirable enough already, what makes it all shine is the residents’ charter.

All shared condo-type or communal freehold accommodation (‘shared freehold’) is required by law to have some kind of agreement between the residents and the management. But in reality this often breaks down, repairs or modifications take forever to happen (if at all) and working relations can become frayed. Here the charter is alive, practical, and very much an active affair, with the members being elected by the residents and decisions being acted on effectively. If there is a contention with the garbage collection or elements of the gardening, if there needs to be improvements or maintenance, then it will happen. This charter and its committee are seen as integral to maintain the ambiance and integrity of the residences.

          

But I’ve saved the best until last. Unlike some developers who try to grab back as much of their investment as they can in the early phases, Phase One is actually being under-priced “. . . to establish the quality, ethos and reputation of the development”. And a giant plus is that the developer is prepared to finance your purchase himself, free from bank loans, hassles and red tape. He’s offering up to 50% of the purchase price at interest-free credit for a limited period. Exceptional. And with everything being locally based, yet another reason why this particular venture is a very sure thing!

          

 Rob De Wet


 


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