Retirement in Phuket
The famous resort island of Phuket is often seen as the Thai version of Cannes – a destination that meets the exacting demands of jetsetters while still delivering stunning natural beauty and enchanting traditional culture.
Fortune Magazine picked Phuket as one of the world’s top five retirement destinations in a survey in 2005. It remains a favourite location for expats to spend their golden years, with its appeal greatly enhanced by the growing number of low-cost carriers now flying into the airport.
One of the island’s interesting real estate trends is the development of the east coast, which opens up attractive retirement options in a tranquil, unspoiled corner of Phuket. A home facing the spectacular Phang Nga Bay will appeal to the many retirees who recoil from the hectic pace and commercialism of many west-coast destinations such as Phuket.
On the Yamu Peninsula, for instance, the recently completed Baan Yamu residences offer a selection of duplex houses, penthouses, pool-villas and executive villas with a stunning location amid lush landscapes and the breathtaking islands of the surrounding bay.
Baan Yamu is an example of what could appeal to many retirees in Phuket’s property market. As a serviced residence – run by Twinpalms, a well-known hotel management company – Baan Yamu assures a relaxed luxurious lifestyle as well as the opportunity of a rental revenue stream for expats who intend to share their time between Thailand and their home countries.
Living at a development like Baan Yamu also puts retirees right by valued lifestyle amenities – a choice of golf courses, shops, malls, restaurants and marinas. Excellent healthcare facilities are just down the road at Phuket City’s Bangkok Hospital Phuket.
A different pace of retirement can be found at west-coast resort areas.
While Phuket is generally considered one of Thailand’s pricier retirement destinations, the island still has many affordable yet well located condominiums.
The Ocean Palms residences open up an active retirement for those who enjoy the buzz of a resort town. Residents are close to several four- and five-star hotels, many with facilities open to non-guests, and a five-minute ride in the project’s courtesy bus to one of Phuket’s finest beaches.
In weighing up Phuket against Thailand’s other retirement options, the deciding factor could well be the quality of its facilities and the stability of its real estate market and local government.
In recent years, Phuket has established autonomy in how it markets itself internationally, which gave the island substantial immunity from the downturn shaking other Thai destinations. The authorities in Phuket have also taken a tough line on environmental protection, which bodes well for long-term residents and the value of their property.
Phuket is also the place for those who relish ‘the best’. Catering for an annual influx of plutocrats and celebrities, the island’s golf courses, marinas, restaurants, hospitals and malls are all among the finest that Thailand can offer – certainly outside Bangkok.
Why pick Phuket?
Phuket is Thailand’s top resort, and one of the most popular destinations in the world. Its combination of attractions includes white sandy beaches, green hills and a host of paradise islands. Phuket is consistently ranked among the world’s best place to retire. The large expat community enjoys an extensive quality and range of offer in restaurants, spas and department stores. The international airport offers access to the entire world, including daily direct flights to Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Vietnam.
“My vision of retirement has always been sun and pristine beaches. In Phuket, I have both – along with service, hospitality and a full range of leisure activities – for a third the price of Manchester.”
Piers - UK