PROUD REAL ESTATE yesterday announced the completion of the second-phase development of its mixed-use project in Hua Hin involving an additional investment of Bt1.8 billion.
The 300-room Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin will have its soft opening this month as a unique 140m-high property, making it the tallest building in Hua Hin. The hotel has three main target segments comprising families, couples, and MICEs, with families being the most natural clientele based on the popularity of the waterpark. The hotel will also feature one of the largest MICE facilities in Hua Hin with over 1,500-square metre meeting spaces, along with a wide range of facilities that includes a 24-hour 300-square-metre fitness centre, infinity pools on 26th floor, as well as a lobby bar, spa, well-equipped Kids Club and dedicated Kids Suites.
Proudputh Liptapanlop, executive director of Proud Real Estate, said that the launch of Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin is the second phase of the Vana Nava Hua Hin mixed-use project at an investment of Bt1.8 billion.
This will be followed by a final residential phase late next year completing a total investment for the three phases of Bt4 billion. “This will also complete a fully integrated entertainment experience for Hua Hin comprising these three phases as well as our other developments in the destination – InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, True Arena Hua Hin and Bluport Hua HIn Resort Mall,” Proudputh said.
The first phase of the mixed-use development is the Bt1.2-billion Vana Nava Water Jungle in Hua Hin, one of Thailand's top waterparks which has been in operation for three years.
The third and final phase will be Vana Nava Residence high-rise condominium, which is expected to launch within 2018. The premium residential project requires an estimated investment of about Bt2 billion.
“Our next project is Phuket. We are currently developing the Bt2-billion InterContinental Phuket Resort in Kamala and we have recently purchased a 50-rai site on the island where we will develop a water park at least twice the size of our one in Hua Hin and a hotel. This will take us three years to complete,” said Proudputh.
“In terms of new businesses, we have partnered with Canadian water park specialists White Water Industries to do a joint venture, WhiteWater Southeast Asia, that will be providing turn-key solutions to developers looking to do a water park in the region; offering services as master planning, feasibility and even operations management. This gives us the potential to replicate the model we are piloting in Thailand in destinations such as Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia,” she said.
Proudputh said the company would focus on Thailand for the next three to five years.
“The strategic focus currently is definitely Thailand. Since ours are tourism-oriented developments, we will continue to focus on key cities and tourism destinations. We will also focus on entertainment-led leisure developments where possible. These are niche and are a key competitive advantage for us. They also appeal strongly to the increasingly dominant tourism demographic to Thailand which is from Asia – where entertainment and fun activities are a crucial part of holidays and where the importance of being on the beach is less important. This is the cornerstone of our unique “Playcation” concept”, she said.
Proudputh said that as a company, Proud Real Estate is becoming more and more known in the entertainment segment of the business for developing and managing high-quality projects.
“In terms of business objectives, we are less driven by the numbers. Rather we want to develop award-winning projects to garner worldwide recognition for Thailand and the destinations we operate in. It is also important for us as a company to diversify into the service industry and not rely so heavily on the asset industry. This is a key part of our strategy,” said Proudputh.
She added that the key challenge for today’s property developers is that in Bangkok and Phuket it is increasingly difficulty to find the right piece of land.
“We need to be in a good location. The market also is becoming very competitive so you need to find a strong point of differentiation. This is where the entertainment part comes in for us, which we integrate into a full and seamless guest experience by including an internationally branded hospitality component.
“With this combination, there is also no need to be on the beach any longer. We feel this is a game-changing combination. It appeals to the new rising demographic of tourists coming to Thailand and we do not need to seek beachfront land,” said Proudputh.