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Pearl of Naithon should be formally open soon

A Phuket Village: Lasting Pearl With More Wine

Saturday, May 2, 2009
A STRAY cat is curled up on his office sofa, not far off giving birth. But it's just not possible to imagine Bob Berwick ever having kittens.

The sales and marketing director is cool and unfrazzled. And why wouldn't he be?

The Pearl of Naithon resort breaks all the rules, yet it is proving how being different can provide a pathway to success, even in bad times.

Back then, there were probably a few chortles at the concept of attracting top-end buyers to an isolated beach on an island where nightlife and restaurant options are now seen as essentials.

But Bob, and the cat, are the ones smiling now. This particular day, the low season sun is shining. It's summer on Naithon beach.

''I go for a walk along the sand every day,'' says Bob. ''The surf will be rolling in soon, and we'll have people coming to enjoy it. This is our piece of paradise in paradise.''

Surrounded by a green and hilly national park, the drive to Naithon village remains one of the island's most scenic excursions.

Why, one wonders, did this pleasant place, only eight or 10 minutes from the airport but without flight noise, take so long to be discovered?

Bob doesn't have an answer. But he does have a stake with three other investors in a quiet yet accessible corner of the island that retains all the best qualities of a Thai village, and probably always will.

There is no more land of any size to be had in the village, so Pearl of Naithon will probably remain the only one of its kind, and the village will always remain a village.

And that may explain its popularity.

''Home in a quiet apartment by the beach, with easy access to golf, marinas and the prospect of trips further afield for excitement once or twice a week, suits many of the buyers,'' Bob says.

Plenty of people apparently agree with him.

The Pearl is going through its soft opening phase with only 17 of the 77 apartments and penthouses yet to sell. Final details in construction should wind up later this month.

Prices start at 10.5 million baht for the one-bedroom options that have now all gone, up to 33.75 million baht for what's described as a duplex super-penthouse, with a luscious 334 square metres of space.

Many of the owners are long-stay visitors, so the rental pool places no limits on how long or when owners might like to stay.

An underground car park is almost finished. Above ground, the large central swimming pool, two restaurants and clubhouse facilities will soon be in full use.

To be at this point in the midst of a global economic decline indicates some good fortune with timing for Pearl of Naithon.

But Bob makes the point that the intrinsic qualities of a lifestyle in Thailand make sales far from difficult. He has even managed to talk his daughter into buying an apartment.

Quality is evident in the construction, with attention especially to a double internal wall cavity to minimise noise.

Buyers are also free to decorate as they please, another example of the lack of conformity that seems to come with Naithon.

Outside, on the beach, there are no jetskis or power boats. They are banned. And we didn't sight any tuk-tuks, either.

The artificial Sky Dive Reef, made up of obsolete aircraft, is an easy trip from here.

To get to Ko Weak, an atoll a few minutes away with some diving that Bob describes as first-rate, visitors will have to adapt to Naithon, Thai style.

In other words, catch a ride on a longtail boat. Life's simple pleasures can sometimes be so hard to take.

For more information, Telephone +66 (0) 76 324054 or e:

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