22 Dec

Ascott expands beyond Bangkok and enters Pattaya with management contract for Thailand’s largest serviced residence - Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya

630 residence units to cater to long-stay expatriates from burgeoning industrial and manufacturing zone in Eastern Seaboard and high-yield MICE segment in Pattaya

The Ascott Group (Ascott) has secured a management contract for a 630-unit serviced residence from The Nusasiri Group, a leading real estate developer in Thailand. The largest serviced residence in Thailand, Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya will be located along Jomtien Beach in Chonburi province.

The management contract for Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya marks Ascott’s entry into Pattaya; the property will be Ascott’s first serviced residence outside of Bangkok. It brings Ascott’s portfolio in Thailand to over 2,000 units in eight properties.

Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya is targeted for launch in the second half of 2006. Upon completion, Ascott will manage the property for a period of five years with an option to renew for another five years.

With a total land area of 16,000 square metres, Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya will feature studio and one to three bedroom units, a swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, and a range of retail establishments including food and beverage outlets to cater to the growing expatriate community from the burgeoning industrial and manufacturing zone in Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard which comprises Chonburi and its neighbouring provinces.

According to the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) , the value of investment applications approved by the BOI for the country has grown from THB 266.2 billion (US$6.7 billion) in 2001 to THB 486.3 billion (US$12.2 billion) in the first ten months of 2005. Of the total investments approved by the BOI, a significant amount of the investments has been in the Eastern Seaboard from the petrochemical, electronics and automobile sectors.

Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya will also be equipped with 500 square metres of meeting facilities to cater to the growing high-yield MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) segment in Pattaya.

Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya has good accessibility through the major highways (Highway No. 3 and Sukhumvit highway) which connect to Bangkok, and the provinces of Samutprakan and Rayong. The new Suvarnabhumi Airport which is scheduled to be opened by the end of 2006 is one and a half hours’ drive from Pattaya. According to Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Pattaya is not only one of Asia’s premier beach destinations, it is gaining international recognition as a venue for corporate meetings and conventions. The opening of the new airport is expected to further boost Pattaya’s appeal as a MICE destination.

Mr Liew Mun Leong, Ascott’s Deputy Chairman, and President and CEO of its parent company CapitaLand Limited said: “With the addition of Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya, Ascott will have a total of over 2,000 units in eight properties in Thailand, making it one of the key countries for the Group’s aggressive expansion. Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya will be Ascott’s first serviced residence outside of Bangkok. It dovetails with Ascott’s strategic plans not only to expand outside of Bangkok but also to build up its three brands, The Ascott, Somerset and Citadines in Thailand.”

“The development of Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya will enable Ascott to capitalise on the strong potential demand for serviced residences from the growing expatriate community from the burgeoning industrial and manufacturing zone in Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, and to tap on Pattaya’s growing high-yield MICE segment. With Ascott’s international experience and leading presence in Thailand, we will be able to leverage on our economies of scale and be better placed to serve the needs of corporations with expatriate staff in Bangkok, Pattaya and Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard,” added Mr Liew.

Ascott’s Managing Director and CEO, Mr Cameron Ong said: “The rapid growth of Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard area comprising Chonburi and its neighbouring provinces, as an industrial and manufacturing zone has attracted significant foreign investments in recent years. This growth has in turn contributed to Pattaya’s attractiveness as a popular business destination with a steady rise in corporate meetings and business travel. Apart from its beautiful beaches, Pattaya has city-living conveniences which are comparable to Bangkok’s in many ways. Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya will offer all the conveniences that a business traveller looks for, as well as a beautiful beach resort living environment.”

Located in the middle of Jomtien beach towards the south of Pattaya, Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya will offer residents beautiful views of exotic beaches, as well as proximity to various dining, shopping, night entertainment as well as sports and recreational facilities.

Ascott’s current portfolio of properties in Bangkok includes The Ascott Sathorn, Somerset Lake Point, Somerset Park Suanplu, Somerset Suwan Park View, Somerset Grand Sukhumvit, Citadines Sukhumvit 16 and Omni Tower. Ascott’s latest properties in Bangkok, Citadines Sukhumvit 16 is expected to be opened in the second half of 2006 while Somerset Grand Sukhumvit is targeted for launch in the first quarter of 2008.

The management contract for Somerset Nusasiri Pattaya is not expected to have any material impact on Ascott’s financial results for the current financial year.

About The Nusasiri Group

The Nusasiri Group, a subsidiary of Krissana Group, is a prominent privately-owned property developer in Thailand and is highly recognized for its residential developments in Bangkok, Phuket and Udon Thani. The owners are the Thepcharoen family, Thais with Indian origin. In 1995 they moved to Bangkok to develop housing estates after their success in Udon Thani province. To-date, they have launched 22 housing projects under “Krissana” and “Nusasiri” brands. For more information on the company please visit website: www.nusasiri.com .

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with over 15,000 serviced residence units in the key cities of Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Gulf region.

Ascott's global presence spans over 40 cities in 17 countries. These include London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Pattaya, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing in Asia; as well as Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia/New Zealand.

Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts a 21-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The Group operates three brands – The Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its achievements have been recognised internationally; it has clinched numerous prestigious awards including ‘Best Accommodation’ by The Ascott Metropolis Auckland in the 2005 World Travel Awards, TTG Asia Media’s Best Serviced Residence Operator award and the Business Traveller’s 2005 Best Serviced Residence Brand and Best Serviced Residence in Asia Pacific awards. For a full list of these awards, please visit : https://www.the-ascott.com/aboutus/awards_and_accolades.html?year=2007

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, Ascott is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest listed property companies. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in property, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans more than 70 cities in 17 countries.

For reservations on Ascott properties, call Central Reservations on (65) 6272-7272 or visit www.the-ascott.com