Bangkok has been a favourite vacation destination for Hongkongers for decades. Close, inexpensive, friendly … it ticks off most holiday boxes. But the city has grown up fast in recent years and it’s quickly emerged as a major property player worthy of attention from hospitality and development heavy hitters. Which is why the next branded residence to grace the skyline will be The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.
All Eyes on BKK
Located next door to the 70-storey Magnolia Waterfront Residences, the project is being realised by Magnolia International Corporation (and its ICONSIAM Superlux Residence Corporation) in partnership with Charoen Pokphand Group and Siam Paragon’s Siam Piwat, which will manage the retail component adjacent to the residential one. The shopping centre is set to be finished in 2017 and will incorporate Thailand’s first Takashimaya store.
The freehold Residences at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is riding the city’s rising international profile. Where Thai property has, until now, been focused on its resort locations, the tide is turning. According to Magnolia’s Managing Director Thanawan Chaiwatana, improving infrastructure (like Bangkok’s Skytrain) and better projects built to international standards that rival anything in Southeast Asia are enticing savvy buyers. “The market has changed over the past five years. You’re right — previously when foreign buyers talked about properties in Thailand it was Phuket and other resort destinations,” says Thanawan. “But the condominium market has really expanded in the past five years and [developers] are starting to do more marketing abroad.”
Bangkok’s shifting position has a number of drivers, among them historically strong yields (sometimes 5 percent) and capital gains, and appealing price points — particularly when compared to exorbitant Hong Kong. “Compared to other emerging markets — Cambodia, Vietnam — the cost of living is cheap and there are plenty of opportunities,” states Thanawan. “But the quality of the infrastructure, the quality of the building and the service level at those properties is still not that strong.” Bangkok happily bridges that gap, giving buyers the most bang for
Though only half the building’s flats are available for sale under Thai law, Thanawan expects solid response in Hong Kong. Not only is the Mandarin a familiar and respected brand, the relatively strength of the US/HK dollar is pushing buyers already seriously considering an overseas purchase into action. In addition, Bangkok has hit the radar for potential retirement and second homes. “Hong Kong buyers are quite knowledgeable; they understand the market and the property and what we’re doing. I think in the years to come Bangkok, and Thailand, will not only be a resort destination but also a second home destination for people across the region, including Hong Kong,” notes Thanawan.
But The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok are not alone. In the last few years the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons have added their own super-luxury branded homes to the city’s landscape. And while Thanawan isn’t taking anything away from those properties, he feels the MO is something else altogether. “We have the best service you will ever find in the Mandarin Oriental. Given that combination [of location and design] we’re one of a kind,” he says with a laugh. “We truly believe what we’ve done is remarkable.”
Sitting on the water across the Chao Phraya River from the Mandarin Oriental and within striking distance of the Peninsula, Sheraton, Hilton and Shangri-La hotels, The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok are perched on a historically significant bend in the river, also across from the country’s first ever embassy. “When you look at a luxury property, it’s comprised of various elements and we’ve tried to address all these. We start with the location, the most important factor in any property. A key characteristic of any iconic project, in any city, is its location on the river, on the ocean, next to a park and so on. To us the Chao Phraya riverfront is the most luxurious location in the country. It’s not just a local destination it’s international.”
A lively complex will surround the development, including the shopping centre, and will offer leisure and parkland facilities to go with 300 metres of open river frontage. The sustainably built 146 suites, with interiors by Joyce Wang, span 52 storeys, “And one of the key features is that every single unit will have a river view. There is no back side to the building,” adds Thanawan. The tower’s two- and three-bedroom suites range in size from approximately 1,365 to 2,450 square feet, with penthouses ranging from around 4,000 to 7,600 square feet.
A few of the services and amenities at the Residences will include two lounges on the lobby level, the River Clubhouse that includes a terrace, outdoor infinity pool, game room, barbeque pit, children’s play areas and garden loft, the 36th floor Sky Pavilion with library, salon, business suite and formal lounge, and comprehensive Mandarin Oriental concierge service through its Residences Elite programme. Prices begin at THB350,000 per square metre (HK$8,000 per square foot), with completion scheduled for late-2018.
The Residences at Mandarin Oriental will launch in Hong Kong at an event hosted by the Mandarin Oriental on December 5 and 6, from 11am to 7pm. For details contact Rebecca Shum at CBRE on +852 2820 2980 or by forwarding email to firstname.lastname@example.org.