11 October 2010, Bangkok â€“ Cambodiaâ€™s first luxury private island resort has released its last remaining over-water villas to potential buyers looking to secure a rare piece of paradise.
Song Saa Private Island will be the first resort to be built in Cambodiaâ€™s pristine Koh Rong Archipelago, and sets a new standard for responsible high-end accommodation in this emerging tourism destination.
Developers Rory and Melita Hunter are now offering the final six villas to like-minded investors following the success of their first phase of villa sales which was launched late last year in Phuket through sole agent, CB Richard Ellis.
â€œOur private island is discreet and we only have a very small number of villas on offer. There is nowhere else a buyer could get this standard of investment at such a low price,â€ said Mr. Rory Hunter, CEO of Brocon, the Australian-owned company behind the development.
The exclusive nature of Song Saa Private Island and the increasing awareness of Cambodia as a tourism market means investors can expect substantial capital growth.
â€œThe launch of Song Saa has put Cambodia on the global map and has proven there is a market of international investors keen to invest in quality projects in an emerging location which offers a significant upside in capital appreciation. Once regular airlift begins at the recently upgraded Sihanoukville International Airport, one can expect exponential growth in Cambodiaâ€™s coastal tourism,â€ said Mr. David Simister, Chairman of CB Richard Ellis Indochina.
Brocon guarantees investors a yield of 8% for 5 years – a superior rate in the region.
When the resort opens in late 2011, it will feature 25 rainforest, beach and over-water villas, all with private pools.
At its heart will be an over-water world-class restaurant and lounge, spectacularly positioned just off the islandâ€™s shoreline and surrounded by ocean. Guests will stroll out a short boardwalk to this breath-taking vantage point where, they can take in dramatic sunsets, seascapes and starry nights.
The resort will span the two islands of Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, connected by a footbridge over a marine reserve established to safeguard the islandsâ€™ reefs and marine life including dugongs, seahorses and exotic species of tropical fish.
The two islands are known locally as Song Saa, which is Khmer for the sweethearts, and the resort will be as romantic and intimate as the name implies.
â€œThink Thailand 30 years ago, before Koh Samui or Phuket became the international hubs they are today. We have the pristine rainforests and white sand beaches but without the over-development or crowds,â€ Rory said.
â€œWe have tried to create something unique, something that reflects our love for Cambodia and for the environment. Central to our vision is respect for the environment and the people, and we believe private operators such as ourselves have an important role to play in the preservation of this rare corner of the world.â€
The Hunters have established a marine reserve that covers one million square meters and extends 200 meters from the outer edge of the reefs around both islands. They are working closely with the regional Environment Committee, a forum of local people with the knowledge and desire to protect their own livelihoods through marine conservation.
â€œWhile protection of the marine environment is central to our vision, we also realise that a healthy environment depends on healthy communities, so we have made a commitment to donate a portion of all revenue to the local community, to donate resources such as schoolbooks and help fund local health initiatives.â€
With construction of the resort well underway, the Hunters have already assembled a highly experienced team to oversee the management of the resort.
The resortâ€™s general manager, Jean-Paul Riby, is a specialist in small, remote luxury resorts, with more than 15 years of experience in Asia. Most recently he was the general manager of Como Resortâ€™s Bhutan property Uma Paro – a 33-room ultra luxury resort high in the Himalayan mountains. Prior to that he was in charge of Vietnamâ€™s Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay, the countryâ€™s most luxurious resort.
Song Saa Private Islandâ€™s project manager, Philippe Riant, has nearly two decades of experience in every phase of a resortâ€™s lifecycle, from conception and design to construction and management.
Like Jean-Paul, Philippe is a specialist in small ultra-luxury island resort development and operations. Most recently, he was Director of Technical Services at Per Aquum Resorts, overseeing their iconic private island developments in the Maldives and Seychelles. He also spent 17 years with the prestigious Starwood group.
â€œIt is important to us that guests receive the exclusive luxury island experience they are promised, and so we have sought a highly experienced management team to ensure that they do,â€ said Rory.
The sole agent representing the sale of the villas is CB Richard Ellis – rated by Euromoney magazine as the top global advisor in their 2010 real estate survey.