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Island views gone wrong

BAD DREAMS: Not every property development, office block or hotel on Phuket ends up being an unqualified success. Some developers end up losing their shirts, or more. The result is large abandoned buildings scattered around the island. In this occasional series, we looks at the stories of some of the ambitious dreams that eventually turned into worst nightmares.

Thursday 19 January 2012, 11:41AM

The Peninsular, Ao Po



The site is a stunner: Around 30 rai on the end of a peninsula with views to the east over Ao Po and the islands of Phang Nga Bay, and to the west over the wide water at the entrance to Klong Bang Rong.

Along the other border of this triangular site is a rubber plantation. It’s quiet and isolated.

But The Peninsular, already 60 per cent built, has been abandoned for the past five years. Construction began at the beginning of 2005 and was suspended at the end of the following year.

The owners, The Peninsular Estate Co, are cagey about the reasons it was not finished.

The main shareholder, who would identify herself only as Ms Panisorn, said there was a lack of interest from foreign buyers, the main target, because of various disasters including the 2004 tsunami and the One-2-Go air crash, and also because the architectural design with its mansard roofs, which did not seem to attract buyers.


Initially the company planned to sell the seven pool villas and 27 apartments, offering the buyers the possibility of putting their units into a pool which would be operated by the company as a hotel.

With little in the way of sales, the company decided simply to sell the whole thing.

The project has all the relevant permits, she says, and even permission to build a marina. Apart from the homes there is also a club house with a large pool. The road in is mostly in good repair, though it will need shoring up in a couple of places where the land under it has slipped.

Next to the sea there is a beach – not the glowing white sand of the west coast, but a beach nonetheless.
Considering it’s been left untended for five years, it seems in pretty good condition.

Apart from a few juvenile chalked scribbles, it’s managed to avoid the attentions of vandals and graffiti artists, and some of the paint looks almost new. There’s even glass still in some of the windows.

The whole thing is for sale for B750 million, negotiable. Interested parties can call Ms Panisorn at 08 1083 8881.


– Alasdair Forbes

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