Of the 148 condos, around 70 are now complete, with 31 per cent of them sold. These are the smaller, one-bedroom units, ranging in size from 44 sqm, and in price from B7.1 million.
About 90 per cent of these villas, says CEO Yuthachai Charanchitta, have been sold to Thai buyers.
The next phase, further up the hill on the site at the southern end of Patong Bay, will be next, followed eventually by 12 pool villas starting at B60 million each.
Mr Yuthachai admits that sales have been disappointingly slow, something he puts down to a mixture of Thailand’s riotous politics and the rain, which has made it hard for potential buyers to envisage the glories of the development when it’s still a muddy construction site.
“It’s been difficult to bring in walk-in guests,” he admits.
But he is not unduly worried. “At the hotel, for a turnover of B300 million I make a net profit of B100 million. This is the hotel to invest in. You will not lose money. I guarantee it.”
The deal for buyers of the condos is that they have the right to use the unit for 60 days a year. Outside that period, the units are part of the hotel’s stock of accommodation. In return for agreeing to the deal, owners get a 90-year lease and are guaranteed 6 per cent a year return on investment for the first three years.
The condos are fully furnished to the company’s specs and colour scheme, so that they reflect the overall décor of the hotel.
So far the condos are for sale only; they will not be used by the hotel till the first quarter of 2015. “If we can’t sell them immediately, I still have demand for these units [as part of the hotel] so it’s lower-risk [than other developments].
“I have a track record of running hotels,” says Mr Yuthachai. He has one in Hua Hin that has already received similar treatment to the Phuket property, and two more, in Pattaya and on Koh Samui, are slated for revamps.
“I have a track record of running hotels. I’m not building to make a short-term profit. [Amari Residences Phuket] will make money. I won’t put it into a property fund and take the proceeds off to the Maldives. I believe in Thailand. I want to make money in Thailand.”