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The Mangosteen set the pace on Phuket and is now on the market

Rawai's Mangosteen Goes to Market

Friday, March 20, 2009
PHUKET resort owner Hajo Von Keller of the 41-room Mangosteen Resort and Spa in Rawai has confirmed that he is seeking a buyer.

A long time Phuket resident, Mr Von Keller is looking to develop another property on land in Koh Yao, and is making a renewed effort to sell the Mangosteen.

The sales tag is 300 million baht.

After opening the boutique resort in 2003, Mr Von Keller acquired another 13 rai of surrounding land, giving the property a total land area of 33 rai. The resort occupies about 12 rai, he said.

Plans for further development were thwarted by a series of events that hurt tourism since the opening, including the 2004 tsunami, the military coup of 2006 and, more recently, the political and economic troubles facing the country.

As a result, said Mr Von Keller, ''we are sitting on a lot of land with good potential and are looking for solutions on how to develop it.''

He told Phuketwan that he is open for discussion for partnership agreements, but would prefer to sell outright.

He came close to a sale last year with a Bangkok-based company, but after eight months of discussion the deal fell through when the buyer failed to secure a loan, he said.

During the takeover talks, the Mangosteen's marketing efforts were placed on hold. Even so, Mr Von Keller said, they managed to keep occupancy rates at about 50 percent on average over the past year.

In recent years, several Phuket resorts have been snapped up by large international hoteliers and converted into branded properties, such as the Marriott Courtyards in Kamala, Surin and Patong and the Panwaburi, which will reopen as a Regent resort next year.

Mr Von Keller says that he has talked with some branded buyers, but they tend to want larger properties, so no serious offers have yet been made.

News on the sale first appeared on Phuket property consultant Bill Barnett's blog, thephuketinsider.com.

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