Tag Archives: palace

Prime Waterfront Real Estate: 3 Exquisitely Designed River Homes

Living by water epitomises the essence of stylish, luxury living. In fact, the reality is that most prime real estate developments happen to be waterfront properties. There’s good reason for this – any city with a fair amount of history and heritage will begin near or directly around the strongest water source. And though there’s much to be said about the luxury of waking up next to the tranquility of waterfront living, and it’s not necessarily about “the view”, more likely the premium of waterfront real estate like river homes are due more to geographical fact that there’s a limited amount of land directly beside a body of water. Even though water isn’t scarce, waterfront land to build upon is. The basic principles of supply and demand dictate that prices go up for any desirable item for which there is a limited supply.

Furthermore, waterfront real estate is generally is more expensive to develop. Builders might need to engage in special reinforcement to prevent erosion of the land – or risk having your luxury property slide right into the water. According to seaport based Zillow, a Seattle headquartered listings company, a typical waterfront or river in Seattle costs $1,710,400 while an average non-waterfront home runs for $489,000. That’s a 250% premium.

Prime Waterfront Real Estate: 3 Exquisitely Designed River Homes

Over in the United Kingdom, Knight Frank too has said that the “Riverside postcode” is experiencing some of the best growth rates in London, and Savills’ research shows that a property within 100m of the riverbank costs approximately 21.4% more than those situated a few streets away. Combined with exquisite design, these 3 River Homes make epic “quality of life” investments.

Swanwick Canyon River House

Consisting of 67 acres on the oceanfront, the Canyon River House at the Swanwick address has 1,400 linear feet running directly along the shoreline. This contemporary Pacific West Coast home with clean lines and modernist aesthetic plays up the contrast with its neighbouring Garry Oak grove and the many natural wonders which surround the Canyon River House. Chiefly the dramatic Olympic Mountain in the distance and the private beach.

Designed by Marco Simcic, the Canyon House is so named for the man-made “Canyon River” running central to the cantilevered walls on both sides of the “outdoor leading in” water feature which bequeaths the house with geothermal heating and cooling by way of circulating seawater.

Walls of white oak adorn the exterior while travertine walls dominate inside. Strategically located windows bring the outdoors in, including foot windows reflecting dappled moving light on the floor and walls from the ocean and river. In one 350’ span the guest accommodation is linked by a covered outdoor swimming pool. Also contained in the dwelling is a fully automated boat house with ramp launch. Included on the property is a caretakers cottage, garage with hydraulic lift and tennis court. [Swanwick Canyon River House for sale for USD10 million at Sotheby’s]

In 2006 it received the Canadian National Architects Award and in 2008 the B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Architectural and Environmental Design. An exceptional masterpiece!Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Strait of Georgia and the Inside Passage, Vancouver Island is known as “the Hawaii of the North”.

Seattle Elliott Bay House

Elliott Bay House located in Seattle faces Puget Sound. The architectural massing of the house has been wrapped around a south-facing courtyard containing a large reflecting pool with two “floating” basalt boulders. The reflecting pool gathers all the roof drainage from the house, with the downspout from the living room roof providing a 10-ft waterfall. The main living space has sweeping westerly views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. The east side of the living space is the courtyard with reflecting pool, providing a sense of intimacy and quiet in contrast to the dramatic views on the west side. The exposed wood beams in the living space change pitch along the length of the room, providing a sense of drama as the roof unfolds toward the view of Puget Sound.

Upstairs, the master bedroom cantilevers out dramatically toward the Puget Sound view. Tall glass walls wrap the bedroom on three sides, providing a stunning panorama of water and mountains.

Similar to other FINNE architecture projects, a strong sense of “crafted modernism” is present in the house. A water jet-cut steel fence and gate lead to the house entry. Stainless steel stands elevate the basalt boulders in the reflecting pool so they hover slightly above the water’s surface. Exterior siding is custom stained red cedar with two different patterns and colors. The striking steel and wood stairs have water jet-cut steel railings with a pattern based on hand-drawn ink brush strokes. The beech interior cabinets have a custom topographic CNC-milled pattern called “imaginary landscape.” Freeform steel lighting bars in the ceiling tie together the kitchen and dining spaces.

Columbia River House

Designed by McClellan Architects, the Columbia River House takes its name from its premier location along the Columbia River in eastern Washington. Serving as a weekend retreat, the River House takes full advantage of the views to the Columbia river and the brush covered mountains.

Columbia River House takes advantage of nature’s majesty by inviting the outside in with massive floor to ceiling windows showcasing the backdrop of the river and mountains allowing mother nature herself to become the art itself.

Secluded, the River house is the perfect place to unwind amidst fresh water and green tranquility, complemented by all natural materials within the house with maximum warmth provided by the sun’s rays penetrating the interiors of Columbia River House during the daylight hours.

Focus: Oceanfront Condominium, Sentosa Cove

Located on the island of Sentosa, Sentosa Cove is an exclusive residential community popular among the rich and famous. Poised at the very top of the award­ wining Oceanfront condominium, this magnificent penthouse is framed by stunning natural beauty, with the glittering marina on one side and the coastline, Southern islands and the sea on the other.#15-11-The-Oceanfront-Master-Bedroom

Set on the tip of Sentosa North Cove, this Oceanfront penthouse is the area’s ultimate private sanctuary, offering uninterrupted views across the South China Sea. Designed by award­-winning architectural firm Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo Inc. and luxuriously fitted with Miele appliances as well as Hansgrohe Axor Citterio premium bathroom collection, the 5,984 sq ft duplex offers a rare quality befitting an exclusive seafront home.#15-11-The-Oceanfront-Outdoor-Space

Living on the island of Sentosa promises a splendid lifestyle with plenty of entertainment set against an exquisite backdrop of sun, sea and sky. The Oceanfront is just minutes away from Resorts World Sentosa, the Sentosa Golf Club and a short walk to the hip restaurants of Quayside Isle. The residence is also within ready and quick access to the Central Business District.#15-11-The-Oceanfront-Lvl-2

There is a feeling of luxury from the moment the lift opens onto the private lift lobby. Large bay windows and generous ceiling heights open the living areas, affording glorious views of the horizon. Wide and spacious, the first level houses a roomy living room, three en­suite bedrooms, a study room, maid’s room and the dry kitchen. With floor-­to­-ceiling windows and a large balcony that faces the sea, the master bedroom suite offers residents a lovely sight to wake up to every morning.#15-11-The-Oceanfront-Poolside-Panorama-2

Full­ length windows with sweeping views of the marina line the flight of stairs leading up to the rooftop, filling the apartment with light. There, an infinity­ edged lap pool, surrounded by lush landscape, is a haven of serenity away from the bustle of the city. The vast al fresco deck by the pool offers a sublime environment for cocktail parties and formal functions. There is ample space for family BBQs as well as everyday relaxation in sun or shade – giving you an enviable lifestyle at sky level. Price on Application.

For more information on the Oceanfront, visit Alta Collection.

This article was first published in Palace Magazine.


Park Hyatt Vendôme Offers Best Value Luxury

While the term ‘affordable luxury’ may seem an oxymoron, a recent study conducted by the research firm Consultourisme has discovered which luxury hotel offers the best value out there. The 5-star Park Hyatt Vendôme was discovered to be the least expensive option out of all the ‘Palace’ hotels located in Paris.

The vaunted ‘Palace’ status is only awarded to the most prestigious hotels in the country. The city of Paris itself happens contain eight of these ‘Palaces’ – out of a total of 16. Consultourisme (which did the study for Tourmag.com) did a first comparison of rates in February for a two-night stay in a double room from April 1 to 3. A second comparison was carried out mid-May for a weeknight booking for the following day for a one-night stay in a double room with breakfast. From this, the researchers managed to check out which of the Paris ‘Palaces’ offered the best in terms of price.

In both cases, the Park Hyatt Vendôme proved the least expensive option at a rate of €1,394 for two nights booked in advance or €868.80 for a single night booked last minute. On the other hand, none of the hotels really stood out as the most expensive. The priciest two-night stay booked in advance came in at €3,167.50 at the Plaza Athénée, whereas the Royal Monceau topped the list for last-minute one-night bookings at €1,316. Of course, all this is dependent on the season and events being held in Paris, such as the popular fashion weeks. Prices are also dependent on whether it’s on a weekends or weeknights.

One of the great things about all the Paris ‘Palace’ hotels are their locations – they’re all found somewhere in the 8th and 16th arrondissements. This puts them in close proximity with the city’s major tourist sights, like the Louvre or the trendy shops set along the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. For those of you interested in visiting the City of Lights with a bit extra to splurge, you might want to consider the Park Hyatt Vendôme as the spot to check out.

Focus: Villa Clairefontaine, France

This magnificent villa is located in the Mougins village, close to all daily amenities and only 25 minutes from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, France. Situated near a prestigious golf course and international school, this Provencal style villa of approximately 600 sqm is set in a landscaped garden of more than five hectares with a large rectangular swimming pool and pool house. The villa has its interior designed and dressed by an Italian designer with modern fittings and designer furniture; it comprises two living rooms, an office, a large kitchen with dining room plus seven en suite bedrooms.Villa-Clairefontaine-interior


One Fullerton

1 Fullerton Road, #02-01, Singapore 049213

Tel: +65 9168 6888

[email protected]



Story Credits

This story was first published in Palace.

Focus: Napoleon III House, La Muette, Paris

A house with a garden near rue de Passy, this 3,230sf family house is in pristine condition and arranged over three floors. Greff International lists the former owner as Napoleon III so the pedigree is assured! There is an elegant central staircase, hallway, living room and a rotunda dining room with direct access to a 1,507sf garden. On the top two floors, there are four bedrooms, two bathrooms and walk-in wardrobe. In the basement, there is also a 538sf bedroom with shower. This generously proportioned property is south-facing and has ample space for parking. La-Muette-Paris-Palace-2

Price: €3.6 million ($4.07 million)


Greff International
Esplanade des Invalides
36, rue Fabert
F-75007 PARIS

Story Credits

This story was first published in Palace.


Review: McLaren P1

Professional racing driver Jonathan Summerton shares his experience on track with one of our cream cars, the McLaren P1.

You know that time when you think you are dreaming and you never want to wake up…… Yeah that was me today. The only thing though, I wasn’t dreaming. It was a reality! I was having the opportunity to take a McLaren P1 around the world renowned Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Not going to lie, being a professional racing driver has its perks. This is one of the few cars I haven’t had the chance to drive, until today, and what a blast it was.Jonathan Summerton test drives the McLaren P1 for PALACE Magazine.

This car has over 900 horses pumping to the wheels and you can definitely feel it! I jumped in and felt right at home with all the instrument panels similar to a race car. The owner told me to put it in race mode and turn off all the aides. Naturally, I did. I took her for a couple of slow laps to get comfortable with the $2 million car, before thrashing it around the track. When I came around for my first real fast lap, the car was at home, engine roaring, wing moving with every input from my foot, and DRS kicking in on the straights.

I have driven lots of supercars and when I came to the straight and went full throttle, the car pushed me back in the seat and never stopped pulling, even through 180mph. The one thing you have to remember is this is a road car, so there were a couple of things I’d slightly change. Such as, a little more push from the front of the car, but overall the car was a thrill and really blew my mind in so many ways. If you have the money, find a way to get your hands on one as you will not be disappointed.Jonathan Summerton test drives the McLaren P1 for PALACE Magazine.

The car was so comfortable to drive, both on the track and on the road. I could see myself using it as a daily driver. The fit and finish of everything was beautiful, from the carbon fiber to the leather. I have to say, getting out of the car was a struggle as I knew I had just finished waking up from a dream.
Jonathan Summerton is a top racing driver from the U.S. Having competed on an international level in open wheel, rally, and GT cars.


• Fara GT1 4-hour endurance class Lamborghini GT3 – Won

• Sebring 12hr Race in ALMS GT BMW M3 GT 2 – Won

• Atlantic Championship with Genoa Racing and Newman Wachs Racing – Series Runner Up

• US A1GP Shanghai Grand Prix – Won • Formula 3 Euro Series Hockenheim – Won

Car Specification

Engine: 3.8 litre twin turbo v8 hybrid
BHP: 903
Torque: 722 lb. ft.
0-100 km/h: Less than 3 seconds
0-200 km/h: Less than 7 seconds
0-300 km/h: Less than 17 seconds
Top Speed: 350 km/h
Price: $1,068,452 before taxes

Story Credits

Text by Jonathan Summerton

Images provided by McLaren and Jonathan Summerton

This story first appeared in PALACE Magazine.

Focus: Oman Property Market

Foreign investors are increasingly lured to buy into the Omani property market due to factors such as a stable government, good relations with the West and Iran, and a series of Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITC)—gated luxury communities.

“The opening of Oman’s real estate market to foreigners began in 2002, as part of the “Vision 2020” plan, which aims to diversify Oman’s economic base and reduce its dependence on oil revenues. In December 2002, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals gained the right to own real estate for residential or investment purposes. In February 2006, other nationalities were also given the right to own real estate, but only in ITCs,” as stated in Global Property Guide. ITC developments such as Almouj—previously known as The Wave—and Barr Al Jissah offer buyers freehold villas, town houses or apartments. Almouj lies along the sandy coast of the Arabian Sea and is near an 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman, while Barr Al Jissah offers villas and town houses eat of Muscat along Oman’s Mountainous coast. It went through a branding relaunch in April 2015 and the refurbished development returns in late 2015. Buyers can obtain two-year renewable residence visas for themselves and their immediate families.Barr Al Jissah in Oman as seen in PALACE 14

Cluttons real estate agency highlighted that “after several challenging years following the impacts of the global financial crisis, there is evidence of growing strength and confidence in the ITC residential sector which is translating into a significant increase in developments.”

Omani nationals and expatriates have significantly been attracted to invest in the country. According to data from the Ministry of Housing and Land Registry, real estate transactions reached over OR2 billion (US$5.2billion) in 2013, representing growth of more than 34 percent over the previous year. Muhammed Yasir Qidwai, head of professional studies with Coldwell Banker in the Omani capital, Muscat stated that “there is a controlled release of units coming onto the market, meaning that there is great stability.”Barr Al Jissah in Oman as seen in PALACE 14

Signs of increasing confidence in the property market are also evident as developers are seizing opportunities and venturing into the region. “The Al Raid Group of Oman and British luxury property developer Consero London have embarked on a venture to develop luxury residences worth £300 million (US$454 million) in gross development value across Oman and the wider Middle East over the next five years,” reports Arabian Knight, a quarterly magazine for the Arab world’s elite. Sheikh Fahad Abdullah Al Araimi, CEO of the Al Raid Group, highlighted that “there is a sustained demand for luxury apartments and large villas in Oman from both domestic, wider GCC and international expatriate buyers.”Cliff Top Villas in Oman as seen in PALACE 14

Buyers are increasingly attracted to Omani cities such as Muscat for its excellent air and road links to Dubai, amongst other factors. Cluttons’ Spring 2015 Muscat Residential Market Outlook Report shows that there is steady growth of Oman’s sales market, with Muscat’s ITC developments attracting a mix of end-users and investors seeking to take advantage of rental yields, which stand out at around six to seven percent. The steady influx of expat families to the Omani capital has also resulted in rising levels of tenant requirements and the demand for gated communities, particularly for three-bedroom villas.Cliff Top Villas in Oman as seen in PALACE 14

Savills Property Market Review 2014 also mentioned that “there is a growing disparity between freehold values between Oman’s ITCs and its neighbouring countries, with Dubai now recording average values double those of Muscat. Whilst the two markets should not be directly compared, this is likely to enhance the appeal of investment into these projects for GCC nationals and this “second offering” of ITCs has the potential to cement Oman as an attractive foreign investment destination.”

Story Credits

Text by Domenica Tan

This story first appeared in PALACE Magazine.

Review: Point Yamu by COMO

Tourism arrivals to Phuket continue to grow, alongside its strong reputation of being a popular property investment destination. Property investment, especially in Phuket, has generally given higher returns than gold or government bonds, according to Srinarin Paopongpaiboon, a Senior Analyst at Siam Commercial Bank’s Economics and Business Research Centre.52729580-H1-Verandah_Room_with_Balcony_view

Located on a peninsula on the east coast of Phuket on the tip of Cape Yamu, Point Yamu by COMO gives guests the chance to experience the lesser known side of the island. The newest resort and villa development by COMO Hotels and Resorts is a 25-minute drive from Phuket International Airport. The development features 79 hotel guest rooms, suites and 26 private pool villas. All rooms, suites and villas offer floor-to-ceiling windows and are ocean-facing with views towards Phang Nga Bay and its distinctive limestone outcroppings.52729507-H1-Bay_Suite_Bathroom

The interior aesthetic is by renowned Italian designer Paola Navone. The collaboration sees COMO’s signature clean lines and pared-back, contemporary style united with Navone’s eclectic, colourful approach and the use of local materials. The result is a dazzling palette of bright aquamarines and burnt oranges, with Thai artisanal techniques such as traditional wood tiling and woven rattan adding texture reflecting the presence of the sea, Thailand’s Buddhist culture and the colourful influence of Phuket’s Peranakan culture. Intricacy of design is seen throughout the development—for example, the pillars in the lobby are decorated with broken ceramic tiles which are hand-cut and pieced carefully to liken that of a mosaic pattern. Thai handicraft is also an important element incorporated into the design, with extensive use of weave patterns in furnishing used around the resort.57890042-H1-_MG_2504FRDLGR_POINT-YAMU

Villas for sale include seven two-bedroom pool villas and 13 three-bedroom pool villas. Two-bedroom pool villas are approximately 2,433sf in size and have large private pools. The units are likened to a private residence more than a resort villa. It can accommodate up to six people and includes indoor and outdoor dining, pantry, laundry and storage room. The three-bedroom pool villas are approximately 3,638sf large and also feature its own private pool. There is an indoor and outdoor dining area for up to eight people, a kitchen, small laundry and maid’s room.63800007-H1-point_yamu_1bd_villa-4191

Rental of the two-bedroom pool villas range from THB65,000 ($1,923) per day during the low season and THB80,000 ($2,367) per day, while the three-bedroom pool villas range from THB90,000 ($2,662) to THB125,000 ($3,700) per day respectively, and is therefore able to offer significant rental yield.63799975-H1-point_yamu_1bd_villa-3982

Villa owners can enjoy access to the main resort’s facilities which include a 100-meter infinity pool, a fully-equipped gym and activity centre, with diving, water sports and boat excursions which offer private boat trips from Marina Pier to nearby beaches and islands. There are also various dining options—Nahmyaa which offers Thai cuisine; Italian restaurant La Sirena; and COMO Shambhala cuisine—and exclusive COMO Shambala Retreat which offers holistic, Asian-inspired therapies and treatments in eight treatment rooms.63799991-H1-point_yamu_1bd_villa-3220

Cultural activities such as Thai cooking classes and island tours of Phuket and its old town are also available to Point Yamu guests. An exclusive beach club which is scheduled for completion in July 2015 will be located on Naka Island which is a 20-minute private boat ride away. Hotel guests and villa owners can enjoy a large saltwater pool, water sports, and activities for children, spa retreats and COMO quality food.

Point Yamu by COMO has been awarded ‘Best Hotel Design and Best Villa Development’ at Thailand Property Awards 2014, amongst several other accolades.

Buyer Information

Property: Point Yamu by COMO

Location: 225 Moo 7, Paklok, Talang, Phuket 83110, Thailand

Architect: Jean-Michel Gathy

Interior Designer: Paola Navone


—25-minute drive from Phuket International Airport

—Floor-to-ceiling windows and are ocean-facing with views towards Phang Nga Bay and its distinctive limestone outcroppings

—Intricacy of design in the interior with COMO’s signature clean lines and pared-back, contemporary style alongside eclectic, colourful approach and use of local materials

—In-villa facilities include private pool, indoor and outdoor dining, pantry, laundry and storage room

—Main resort’s facilities include a 100-meter infinity pool, a fully-equipped gym and activity centre, with diving, water sports and boat excursions which offer private boat trips from Marina Pier to nearby beaches and islands

—Exclusive beach club located on Naka Island has a large saltwater pool, water sports, and activities for children, spa retreats and COMO quality food

Prices: Approximately $1.9 million (two-bedroom pool villas) and $3-5 million (three-bedroom pool villas)

Contact: comohotels.com/pointyamu or [email protected]

Story Credits

Text by Domenica Tan

This story first appeared in PALACE.

Guide: Caribbean Property 2015

Demand for Caribbean real estate has doubled during the first six months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014 according to Caribbean luxury property specialist 7th Heaven Properties. Following the interest in the region by a flurry of celebrities, not to mention the first licensed casino in Jamaica, the growth outlook for the region is not only strong but appealing to new buyers. Our friends at Palace magazine brought us the story.

The 7th Heaven Properties group analyzed the flood of worldwide inquires including from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada, finding a significant increase in interest across all price brackets for residential real estate in St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Antigua and the Dominican Republic. Inquiries for properties priced from $1 to $2 million more than doubled, and a proportion of inquiries for properties below $1 million increased from 39 to 44 percent.

Platinum Bay, Barbados

Platinum Bay, Barbados

The Caribbean region covers various islands bordering the Caribbean Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean and surrounding coasts. Some islands in the region such as Antigua, Barbados, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin, while islands such as Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Saint Lucia possess rugged towering mountain ranges.

“Inquiries for Caribbean real estate have increased dramatically during the first half of this year as economic growth in the US, Canada and the UK has stimulated buyer confidence,” said 7th Heaven Properties managing director Walter Zephirin. “Growth in demand for Caribbean property has been underpinned by the impressive performance of the region’s tourism sector, particularly in locations such as the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the continued success of highly attractive citizenship by investment programs in St Kitts and Nevis and Antigua.”

Grand Isle Resort and Spa, Bahamas

Grand Isle Resort and Spa, Bahamas

“The outlook for the second half of 2015 is extremely promising with a strong sales pipeline. A succession of announcements on increasing airlift to the region and major resort developments linked to Robert de Niro in Antigua and Barbuda and Leonardo DiCaprio in Belize, as well as the first licensed casino in Jamaica have boosted the Caribbean’s profile and enhanced its accessibility and appeal to buyers.”


David Friedman, president of Wealth-X, says Barbados is in a prime position to take advantage of the global demand for real estate in the region. Wealth-X provides prospecting data for financial institutions, luxury brands and non-government organisations and have recently released the Wealth-X Caribbean Wealth & Investment Report 2015.

In Barbados, said Friedman, the government “introduced a special entry and residence permit in 2014 that allows foreign nationals who invest $2 million into Barbados real estate to establish residency.”

One Sandy Lane

One Sandy Lane

Locally in Barbados, the trend for more investment and property portfolios is also being felt. Kieran Kelly, director of property agency Chestertons Barbados, has 18 years experience in the financial services and luxury real estate sectors and agrees that 2015 “has been extremely good in terms of sales.” Richard Young, director of the local office of Sotheby’s International, says he is currently listing Platinum Bay, a new and prime development on the island’s sought-after west coast, with villas from $25 million, while private units in One Sandy Lane on the Platinum Coast, start at $19 million.

Puerto Rico

Having experienced a 105 percent luxury sales growth over the course of 2013 and 2014, Puerto Rico has been identified as one of the world’s top emerging luxury real estate markets. A study by Christie’s International Real Estate found the growth in the country, spurred by the establishment of its status as a tax haven in 2012, resulted in Puerto Rico’s luxury real estate market rapidly expanding. “Investors have also been revitalizing resort property and developing luxury residences, signaling that the Puerto Rican real estate market is ripe with opportunity,” said Leticia Brunet Gonzalez, president of Trillion Realty Group, Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in Puerto Rico.

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

The Bahamas

Last year, Bermuda claimed the number one spot in a new list of the world’s top 20 islands for (UHNWI) real estate investment. And the growth continues. Real estate and business news website, World Property Channel, reported resort investments in the Bahamas had been highlighted by wealth management research firm, Savills, as being some of the hottest property investments in the world. Example of such properties include the Atlantis Resort and One&Only Ocean Club.

Little Whale Cay, Bahamas

Little Whale Cay, Bahamas

Philip Button, managing director of property investment specialists Brookes & Co said investors are also looking for strong returns when it comes to the Bahamas. He said there was a “…marked upsurge in interest (in the Caribbean luxury property market), with clients taking advantage of being able to pick up five-star properties at reduced prices, in anticipation of prices increasing once more in the months and years ahead.”

Another feature luring investors into the region is the Bahamas’ tax incentives where property owners can take advantage of the residence scheme, which offers no taxes on income, sales, estates, inheritance and real estate capital gains.

The Dominican Republic

A popular resort destination, the Dominican Republic is also one of the top Caribbean choices for property investors. Based on World Bank statistics, the Dominican Republic has been attracting the most tourists in the Caribbean. Rising house prices are expected as foreigners including expatriates and retirees have been attracted to these prospects. According to Global Property Guide research, prices have steadily increased each year. Several other locations in the Caribbean such as Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama have also seen an increase in the number of luxury residential developments such as Lomas del Valle in Alto Palomas, Santa Ana, a project aimed at attracting expatriates and locals who enjoy a safe and pampered lifestyle. There is also increased accessibility with more direct flights to these destinations, ensuring convenience for tourists and property buyers alike.

Caparra Hills

Caparra Hills

Story Credits

Text by Domenica Tan

The story first appeared in Issue No.14 of Palace.

Focus: Star Residences Two, KL

Thanks to our friends at Palace magazine, we bring you this very steep climb into Star Residences Two in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The development comprises three 58-storey residential towers and five blocks of six-storey Signature Retail hub. It is a joint venture between two reputable developers—Symphony Life Bhd and United Malayan Land Bhd—also known as Alpine Return Sdn Bhd. Expected completion is estimated to be in 2019.SR_AerialView_Highres

Residential Tower 1 launched during the first phase in November 2013, offered 557 units and has sold out with buyers comprising both international and local investors. The second phase will see the launch of Residential Tower 2 with 482 units and an average built-up size of 750sqf. Residential Tower 3 will be launched towards end 2016.SR_Facade-Close-Up_Highres_withppl

The site planning takes the opportunity to place retail activities on the street edge with a grand Star Walk of Fame along the main road of the site to boost the public urban landscape experience and environment. Pockets of landscaped urban courtyards are introduced within the retail frontage to enhance commercial activities and to create new urban nodes and landmarks that link to various components of the development.SR_Type-F2-Dining_Highres

In response to the dense surrounding development, the tower blocks are well-arranged to maximize the best and unobstructed vistas from the units, whilst optimizing distance between the towers for privacy and a sense of openness for the occupants. The tower blocks are designed to be as efficient as possible and correspond to the unique triangular shape of the site. Layouts of Residential Tower 2 and 3 are angled to maximize the allowable setback and to optimize views of KLCC. The angular geometry creates a sleeker outlook and reduces the apparent massing of the tower blocks. With this strategy, there is ample air circulation through the development between the towers.bedroom-KL

The ‘Star Kinetic’ façade is a unique glittering external feature assembled together with thousands of aluminum Star logos. The result is an artistic podium façade which moves in a cloud-like wavering manner with the wind. The Star kinetic façade is an abstract and artistic representation of the star symbol—a fashionable and modern design of celebrity status to represent the project’s contemporary and trendy persona. The development borrows inspiration from the W Hotel’s DNA, with an emphasis on the interplay of color, flamboyance and youthful energy, which extends from the grand entrance to the five-star ‘hotel’ lobby. Unit sizes in Residential Tower 2 range from 707sf to 2,292sf and are fitted with a full kitchen, branded appliances and wardrobe.Palace-image

Star Residences offers 100,000sqf (approximately the size of two football fields) of facilities at H2O @ level 6 and O3 @ level 69, 88 and 99. Three sky parks open up to panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur City where residents can enjoy a range of activities, from hosting private parties to relaxing in their hydro massage pool. The three sky parks offer a five-star gourmet kitchen, sky bar, party lawn, spa pool, water therapy, steam bath, and a heated hydro massage pool.

The podium at level six houses many facilities including a 50-meter swimming pool, floating gymnasium, sports lounge, banquet room, gourmet kitchen, cabanas, and five KTV lounges. Major shopping malls nearby like the Suria KLCC, Avenue K and Ampang Park provide convenience to residents of Star Residences. Other amenities such as Royal Selangor Golf Club, KLCC Park and Titiwangsa Park are also nearby. Medical institutions such as Prince Court Medical Centre, Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre and the National Heart Institute are also within short driving distance. Star Residences is just two stops away from the KL Sentral transportation hub, which provides connectivity to KL international airport. Convenient transportation infrastructure with Light Rail Transit (LRT) and planned Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) are also nearby.

Buyer Information

Property Star Residences  Two

Location Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Developer Alpine Return Sdn Bhd (Collaboration between Symphony Life Bhd and UM Land Berhad)

Highlights Walking distance to KLCC; Grade A offices and banks; Interior design inspired by concept in W hotel; 100,000 sqf of common facilities

Facilities include Convenience Store, Laundry, Meeting Room, Management Office, Private Dining, Private Gourmet Kitchen, Changing Room, Hydrotherapy Shower, Barbecue Area, Hammock Garden, Outdoor Pavilion, Banquet Room, Karaoke Room, Sports Lounge, Outdoor Garden, Koi Pond, Pool Deck, Floating Cabana, jacuzzi, 50-meter Pool, Floating Gym, Yoga and Dance Room, Playground and Reading Room amongst others

Sky Park on each residential tower

Type of apartments include one bedroom, one-plus-one-bedroom, two-bedroom, dual-key, three-plus-one-bedroom and four-plus-two-bedroom

Price From RM1,369,000 (approximately US$322,500)

Contact +603 7490 2266 or [email protected]


Story Credits

Text by Domenica Tan

This article first appeared in Palace Magazine.




Palazzo Grande

A Palm Beach Palace to List for $30 Million

Palazzo Grande

A Palm Beach Gardens mansion has been listed for sale at $30 million, a price tag that makes it the most expensive listing in the city.

Palazzo Grande

Called “Palazzo Grande,” the 16,000-square-foot stone mansion has six bedrooms, six bathrooms and two half baths on about 1 acre in the Steeplechase gated community, according to the WSJ.

Palazzo Grande living room

The sale will include several custom fixtures, including 40 chandeliers and a large stone fireplace that contains a statuette of Jesus and an icon of the Virgin Mary.

Palazzo Grande Kitchen

The home also has a 34-foot-tall great room with a coffered ceiling and a grand staircase framed by two cherubs. An upstairs ballroom with a mirrored ceiling can comfortably fit 75 people. Wood floors bear the same pattern as those found in the Palace of Versailles.

Palazzo Grande Miami Beach

The property includes a 1,120-square-foot pool which features blue Polaris marble and four carved stone lion fountains, in addition to a spa and Parthenon-style pool house. There’s also a clay tennis court.

Palazzo Grande pool

Source: PropGOluxury – The property is listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate’s Miami Beach.


Shangri-La hotel in Paris awarded palace status

The Shangri-La Paris

Less than four years after its opening, Shangri-La Hotel, Paris has been granted an official ‘Palace Distinction’.

The best hotels in France are awarded ‘palace’ status in recognition of exceptional service excellence from Atout France, the French Agency for Tourism Development.


Established in 2010, the accolade is provided to properties that fulfil a number of criteria and “embody French standards of excellence and contribute to enhancing the image of France throughout the world.”

Shangri-La Paris joins a handful of other venues that have been awarded the palace distinction, such as Le Royal Monceau and Four Seasons George V.

Le Royal Monceau spa

Shangri-La Hotel, Paris is located just a few steps from the Eiffel Tower. The majority of the 101 rooms and suites offer views of famous Paris sights.

Shangri La hotel Paris

Peninsula Hotel Paris

The Peninsula Paris to open August 1

Located just steps away from Paris’s Arc de Triomphe monument, a palace which served as a backdrop to the signing of the Paris Peace Accords that put an end to the Vietnam War has been restored to its former glory.

Peninsula Hotel Paris

After six years of planning, design, and construction, the centuries-old palace in the 16th arrondissement has been reworked to become The Peninsula Paris, an opulent 200-room hotel that features the expert handiwork of 900 French artists and craftsmen who painted frescoes by hand, installed marble walls and mosaic tiles and restored aging wood work.

To call the hotel gold-gilded is no exaggeration: In total, 20,000 pieces of gold leaf were used to cover the property.

The Peninsula Paris lobby

Originally opened as a grand hotel in 1908, the building was occupied then sold during WWII, only to later became a government building managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 2009.

peninsula paris history

In what’s now Le Bar Kléber, American diplomat Henry Kissinger helped negotiate the Paris Peace Accords which would bring the Vietnam War to a close.

Other claims to fame: In 1928, hotel guest George Gershwin would write his musical piece “An American in Paris,” and the hotel would also become the headquarters of UNESCO in 1946.

The Peninsula Paris hotel lobby

While the hotel pays homage to its heritage with painstaking restoration efforts that went so far as to research original paint colors, rooms are equipped with the conveniences of modern technology, including in-room tablets for controlling everything from lighting to room temperature.

Marble floors, high ceilings and elegant drapery set the tone in the lobby, which is furnished in a modern style. Guests can walk into the hotel through this entrance on the Avenue Kléber in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

The Peninsula Paris entrance

Those arriving by car will enter the hotel directly through the other entrance on the Avenue des Portugais, where they will find an enormous chandelier that was custom-made by the prestigious Lasvit workshop.

The hand-blown work of art is adorned with several leaf-shaped crystal pendants. A stone installation from Bhutan completes the ensemble.

The Peninsula Paris deluxe room

Elegance will be the byword for the decoration of the hotel’s 200 rooms. Grey and beige tones, high ceilings, marble-lined bathrooms and sophisticated lighting will contribute to an ambiance of refinement. Works of contemporary art by international artists will adorn the walls.

Renovations at the Peninsula Paris

Five of the 34 suites will have private rooftop terraces with fantastic views over the city.

The Peninsula Paris suite

Foodies will have access to gourmet dishes at all hours thanks to the hotel’s six restaurants, most of which will serve French cuisine and one of which, the Lili, will feature Chinese dishes.

The Peninsula Paris restaurant

At L’Oiseau Blanc, diners seated on the terrace will enjoy a 360° view of Paris during their meals.

Peninsula Paris terrace

Guests at the Peninsula Paris can take advantage of a spa with treatments from the luxury brand ESPA, as well as a gym and indoor pool.

The Peninsula Paris spa

Among other high-end services, the hotel will also give guests the opportunity to rent a green Rolls-Royce Phantom II limousine dating from 1934 or two MINI Clubman cars.

Peninsula Edition MINI Cooper Clubman

Average nightly rates start at €1,095. Slated to open on August 1, the Peninsula Paris will be the hotel group’s first property in Europe.

The facade of the Peninsula Paris

A new hotel is slated to open in London at a later date.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

The Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul was named the leading hotel in Europe in Antalya, Turkey at the World Travel Awards Europe last week.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul East Entrance

A former Imperial Ottoman palace, the hotel sits along the Bosphorus coast and harkens the grandeur of the era with ornate, Arabic and Middle Eastern decor, columns, arches, and lush tropical palm trees.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul exterior view

New this year, the hotel also added a poolside Moet & Chandon champagne bar over the summer for guests lounging by the heated infinity pool.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul Room

Rich dark wood paneled suites come with writing desks, a ‘pillow menu,’ and balconies in every room.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul gardens

Meanwhile, other winners in the World Travel Awards Europe hotel category this year include:

– Europe’s Leading City Hotel: Hotel Fouquet Barriere Paris, France
– Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel: Grandes Alpes Private Hotel, France
– Europe’s Leading Hotel & Spa: Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, Ukraine
– Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort: Conrad Algarve, Portugal
– Europe’s Leading New Hotel: Waldorf Astoria Berlin, Germany
– Europe’s Most Romantic Resort: Royal Adam & Eve Hotel, Turkey

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul gate  Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul living room   Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul suiteCiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul Hamam

Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris receives Palace rating

Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris

Le Royal Monceau is the latest top-end Paris hotel to receive the prestigious Palace rating — one step higher than five stars — from Atout France, the French Agency for Tourism Development.

Le Royal Monceau La Cuisine

Located on Avenue Hoche, it has 149 rooms and suites. Its two restaurants, La Cuisine and Il Carpaccio, received Michelin stars earlier this year. It re-opened in 2010 after a two year transformation by Philippe Starck, revealing brilliant, witty contemporary interiors infused with artistic flair.

Le Royal Monceau Carpaccio

The vibrancy of les Années Folles of the late 1920s, when the hotel first opened, peopled by a cast of artists, intellectuals and adventurers, had been successfully recreated.

Le Royal Monceau Presidentielle Suite

Le Royal Monceau is the sixth Paris hotel to receive the rating, the others being the Four Seasons George V, the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, the Plaza Athénée, Le Meurice and Le Bristol.

Le Royal Monceau spaLe Royal Monceau Terrace

copacabana palace hotel

Rio’s Copacabana Palace gets a makeover

Copacabana Palace

The Orient-Express group, owner of the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, has spent 20 million dollars on a massive renovation of this luxury Brazilian hotel.

The establishment’s 145 suites and rooms have been remodeled with new furniture and fabrics, giving these intimate spaces a new lease of life.

Most of the bathrooms have undergone an expansion as well as been treated to a new design. They have been fitted with porcelain enamel bathtubs and double countertop wash basins trimmed with marble.

The hotel now also boasts two luxury boutiques — called 1923 and Vila Copa — in which guests can buy clothes, accessories, swimsuits and one-off pieces designed by local and international designers.

Meanwhile, the reception has been enlarged by 80 percent, creating the impression of elegant spaciousness upon guests’ arrival. The stairs, made of Carrara marble, have also been widened.

The restaurant of the Copacabana Palace, The Cipriani, was given a facelift in 2011. Entirely renovated with innovative design elements, the gastronomic establishment reopened in September 2011.

The conclusion of the renovations marks the kick-off of a year of festivities on the occasion of the luxurious Brazilian hotel’s 90th birthday. Prices start at R$1250.00 (US$610) per night.

Copacabana Palace lobby

Facade Ritz Hotel Place Vendome

Ritz Paris to close doors for two years

Facade Ritz Hotel Place Vendome

At the end of this month, the Ritz Hotel is to close for an unprecedented renovation program due to last two years.

The refurbishment, to be unveiled in 2014 and estimated to cost around 200 million euros, follows the five-star hotel’s missing out on the rank of “palace” in 2011.

Anyone who wants to experience the legendary hotel in its current incarnation has until July 31 to spend the night in one of the rooms (priced at 850 euros per night)!
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Palazzo Orsini Rome

Colosseum palace up for sale in Rome

Palazzo Orsini Rome

A Renaissance palace grafted onto the top of an ancient Roman theatre is up for sale in Rome for €32 million ($42 million).

Its asking price is thought to make it the most expensive property currently on sale in the Italian capital, and one of the most expensive in Europe.

The 11,000 sq ft property has frescoed staterooms, a ballroom, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a library, a dining room, a terrace, a separate penthouse and cellars.
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st james palace london

Queen to rent out palace during London Olympics

st james palace london

Queen Elizabeth II has given her approval to rent out state apartments at St. James’s Palace as party venues during the 2012 London Olympics.

Companies with long-standing ties to the royal family that hold royal warrants can now have a chance to throw a bash in the royal palace.

The palace is in a prime spot for a number of the Olympic events which will take place in London next year, including beach volleyball, which will be held in nearby Horse Guards Parade, and the marathon, which will start and finish in The Mall.
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