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A villa goes up on the 500-metre stretch of beach

The West,Tame and Pleasant

Monday, November 5, 2007
THE WEST SANDS project on the coast at Mai Khao seems likely to become the centre of community development for the far north of the island within a few years.

Such is the scale of the resort and housing project amid a lagoon setting that comparisons with Laguna Phuket spring to mind. West Sands includes 511 villas and condos, a 400-room hotel, and a 150 milion baht waterpark.

Sadly, the waterpark will be strictly for guests and residents but a pitch-and-putt golf course planned for leased land adjoining West Sands will be open to the public, we are told.

Fresh, environmentally-friendly aspects to the project include the large lagoon-reservoir that will supply about 50 percent of the development's water needs, solar-driven power to supplement regular supplies, and electric carts as the prime means of transport around the facility.

Carts can also be used to drive a few kilometres along a secluded pathway to Blue Canyon Golf Course.

The road to the site meaners through small villages and pretty rubber and coconut plots.

Comparisons with Laguna come into play not just because of the environmental aspects, but also the quality of the construction.

While glass has been used at every opportunity to open up the vistas across the sand to the sea, it's thick and designed to minimise the need for air-conditioning.

The air-conditioning itself will be silent and as environmentally-senssitive as any machine can be.

And the exterior double-brick construction not only provides good insulation, but also should prevent the sound of the big jetliners of the future taking off and landing at Phuket International Airport from ever intruding.

Proximity to the airport is just one advantage of West Sands, although it's nowhere near too close for comfort.

An even greater advantage is the competitiveness of the price structure, with the range stepping up from 6.475 million baht for a 92 square metre pool view condo to 65.8 million baht for a 1223 square metre beach villa.

In line with modern low-impact thinking and to keep the view back from the beach as sublime as posible, the development rises from beach villas in stages so that the owners of upper-level condos and penthouses back from the beach can also enjoy the panoramic sweep.

West Sands is being promoted as ''A Natural Escape'' primarily in Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore and the 500-metre beach frontage to unspoiled Mai Khao does it no harm.

Preserving the natural environment is the intention, with talk already of ''ecodiving'' and perhaps sailing from a yet-to-be approved pier. About half the 40 acres will be ladscaped or covered by water.

One clever touch is provision for a communal organic veggie garden, where residents will be able to grow their own produce.

For the sporting-minded, there's a club house with a fitness centre, tennis and squash courts, and a 1500-metre jogging track if the immense stretch of Mai Khao beach is too daunting and soft underfoot.

Private pools seem to be everywhere, including penthouse rooftops.

The project is being rolled out in three phases. Phase One is due for completion in 2008, with the showhouse now being completed and due to open before August 2007.

Workers swarm everywhere at the site. Hemets are presented at the gate. The materials being used appear to be good-quality and standards seem high.

Half the waterpark is included in the first phase, with the hotel part of Phase Two. There's a clever third phase, an On Demand Phase, for villas that will be rolled out as customers roll up.

The hotel has yet to be branded but no doubt it will go to an existing five-star chain or a a new player looking for a good place to start.

Talks are also underway with celebrity chefs in the hunt for the right name and style to provide impetus for the signature restaurant, one of several dining options through the complex.

West Sands is a mix of condo freehold and long-term leases for the villas, with a property investment and management plan in place.

Much is made of the fact that the project has as its figurehead Sir Tery Leahy, the CEO of Tesco, who speaks enthusiastically in the brochures about the attractions of Phuket and his project. He is due to visit in December 2007.

In the same way that Laguna Phuket has led the development of the real estate industry and the coastal community behind Bang Tao beach, it's possible to envision the local villages around Mai Khao expanding rapidly in support of West Sands.

To contact West Sands, call 076-318119-121 or go to


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