Krabi, India (PressExposure) March 23, 2011 -- Introducing Ao Thalane, Krabi's up and coming locale for high end villa residences, with Thalane Bay Village leading the way
With some of the most stunning ocean views in Krabi or, as some claim, the whole of Thailand, Ao Thalane is rapidly becoming this area's next big thing. Located in the north of the province, there's a fast road connection to both the tourist centre of Ao Nang and to the provincial capital Krabi Town, plus a whole range of activities on the doorstep, such as island-hopping, kayaking and fishing, to name a few. And did we mention those views?
The first villas were built here in 2003, and one of their owners, Francis Couput, is at the forefront of the recent developments along the waterfront. A French expatriate based in Bangkok, Mr Couput fell in love with the beauty and tranquility of Thalane and bought another plot of land near his first which he is now developing into a prestigious villa resort, Thalane Bay Village.
Six 2 - 4 bedroom villas, each with private swimming pool, are being constructed around a large ornamental pond, overlooking the islands. Shared facilities include a restaurant and club area, with sunset roof terrace, as well as an artificial beach created along the waterfront (currently lined with protected mangrove trees), where the resort's private boat will be moored. Large open areas (the building to green space ratio is a generous 24 : 76) give a feeling of spaciousness and, of course, offer views from every corner.
But it is not only the location that is impressive: the project, designed and constructed by local firm, Ton Company Ltd, is the embodiment of modern Thai architecture. The steeply pitched roofs, reminiscent of the ancient city of Ayutthaya, belie the high tech materials used in construction and finishings. The villas may have a very traditional look, but the structure is far more durable and low maintenance than conventional Thai homes, where heavy reliance on wood can mean problems with termites and weather damage.
In another contemporary touch, the usually dark interiors have been opened up with large picture windows, and bathrooms - at the request of Mr Couput - all have a sea view with one-way reflective glass. High vaulted ceilings follow the steep pitch of the roof and allow the creation of a bedroom at mezzanine level. A rustic, almost Mediterranean, colour palette of terracotta, deep aqua and sandstone and clean, unembellished teak furniture completes the fusion of east and west; modern and traditional.
"This is really a unique project," says Pierre-Yves Loriers (Ton), managing director of Ton Company Ltd. "The client, Mr Couput, was involved in every step of the design process, so it was a true collaboration. He has travelled extensively and had very strong ideas about what he wanted to create and the materials he wanted to use; some of these were new even for us - for example, engineering the curved roof structure made entirely from steel was a challenge - but I think that together we have succeeded in translating his vision of what a luxury private retreat should be."
Thalane Bay Village is Ton Company's second villa resort project - the first, the successful Baan Kantiang See in Koh Lanta, was opened last year.
Once opened - the projected completion date is early summer 2011 - Thalane Bay Village will be run as a resort, using the wide-ranging experience of Mr Couput. With a host of private services, it would make a perfect honeymoon idyll, or could even be used as a base for an active family holiday - the nearest islands are only half an hour by kayak.