Bangkok’s Branded Condominiums
For anyone considering to buy a condo in Bangkok, one option may be to buy a “branded condo”. That is, a condominium in a block which has the name and services of a well-known hotel, or even a serviced apartment, brand associated to it.
Well, just how does this work, and which brands are already in Bangkok?
There are a number of permutations which may involve branded condos. Either there may be a mixed-use development with, say, 3 towers. One tower is offices, one a hotel and the other a residential tower. Often these towers may be built over or adjacent to a retail component. The condos are part of the complex but with their separate branded identity.
Or the development may comprise a single tower in which some floors are designated for hotel use and other floors for condo units. An example is MahaNakhon at Chongnonsee in central Bangkok which was originally planned with an “Edition by Marriot” Hotel and a Ritz Carlton Residence.
Having a brand name hotel associated with your condo block can mean several things:
▪ Fundamentally, prospective purchasers believe that the hotel or serviced apartment brand name underwrites the quality of the project. The brand will only agree to licence their name and operate the property if they were confident that the quality matches their brand image;
▪ Purchasers also expect that the brand will provide a superior level of property management services with emphasis on service. This may include certain hotel-like soft services such as a 24-hour concierge (as compared to just a receptionist), maid service to the condo units (at extra cost) and possibly in-room dining, taking advantage of the dining facilities available in the hotel. “Rental pools” are also relatively common for branded condos and this will be explained and discussed in the next article;
▪ In any event, condos with hotel or serviced apartment branding usually achieve higher initial sales prices than unbranded properties with similar amenities and in a similar location. They also achieve higher resale prices even for leasehold properties such as the Residences at the St. Regis Bangkok.
▪ As you might expect, it is usually the higher rated 5-star++ brands such as Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, Banyan Tree or Sukhothai which developers prefer to add that extra cache and prestige to their condo block. Plus, of course, enhance their sales prices!
Not every brand is equally attractive or can generate the same sales interest, so a discerning purchaser needs to do his/her own research and understand the nuances and the full terms of the offer before buying a branded condominium in Bangkok.