What’s Happening Now
Developments on Koh Yao Noi
In the wake of Markus A. Frey’s original dreams for the island
of Koh Yao Noi has come a little flurry of excitement and a generous
sprinkling of new ideas being born. Frey’s partner Jean-Michel Germing
came up with a plan recently for "purpose built" homes
and it is so far proving to be a success. One European man has already
bought land and a home on the island (see related article) and two
more are building at the time of writing. The highly motivated and
worldly wise Germing has created a system where clients are very
instrumental in the design of their new home. This year, Frey and
Germing have also teamed up with a local landowner to open a world
famous Evason Resort on Koh Yao – a move that will, without doubt,
change this region irrevocably for the better.
Thailand Magazine recently met with Jean-Michel to discuss ideas:
How did the KPD project develop from conception?
"A few years ago, my business partner Dr Markus A Frey gave
birth to the concept of Koyao Island Resort and the place is so
beautiful that we, and some of our guests, also wanted to have a
little pied-a-terre here so we created Koyao Property Developers
(KPD) to build on this remote but very accessible island,"
said Germing. "We had a ‘base’ in the resort and wanted to
build around it, whereby clients have access to all the facilities
at the resort plus domestic services provided by the resort and
rental agent possibilities managed by the resort if necessary,"
What made you want to expand?
"We have not yet undertaken any marketing for this project,"
emphasized Germing, "basically guests from the resort, friends
and family have so far filled our order books and the trend is developing
as we speak. This is a different league of real estate," he
"We focus on custom-made housing where the client can bring
in all their ideas and dreams. We are there to provide back up and
legal reassurance and then to design and assemble the home until
complete so that everything fits in aesthetically, environmentally
and also financially!"
How can you reassure you’re clients that their legal needs will
be taken care of?
"We have, in place on the island, our own Koyao Law Offices
and we have ensured that everything the client needs – from land
deed confirmation, contract management, immigration queries, opening
a bank account and installing satellite TV are totally taken care
of," said Germing. "Nothing is too big or too small for
KPD. Clients like the hands on approach so we built our offices
right here on the island."
Is it difficult to work with individual needs when building a house
for clients? What if the client chops and changes his or her ideas?
"On the contrary. It is a pleasurable experience and makes
every project unique," Germing enthused. "It is fun for
the client to design his own home with a team of experts as opposed
to ‘buying off the shelf’ and having the same property as your neighbour.
It might take more time and effort this way but it is worth it when
we see our client’s face on completion."
What are your dreams regarding KPD for the future?
"Making our customers, our employees and the people on the
island happy with what we achieve."
Do you plan to sell real estate in other areas?
"We have already started our expansion on a virgin tropical
island. You will hear from us soon."
How do you see the KPD projects affecting Koh Yao Noi as a community?
"We are helping to develop the island in an environmentally-friendly
way and to encourage quality tourism. We only sell large land portions,
use natural ventilation and use all natural materials such as thatched
roofs and bamboo fittings," explained Germing. "As well
as that we are helping to create long term jobs, something more
than the traditional rubber and coconut tree farming on the island."
Regarding the new Evason Hideaway Resort and Spa,
what made you choose the location?
"You only need to stand on the land and look to know the answer
that question," laughed Germing. "The view is one of the
most spectacular in the world and the best on the island. It is
a true Hideaway!"
Why did you pick Six Senses (Evason) to manage your
We are working very closely with Six Senses on this project. We
like their innovative style and environmentally-friendly ‘rustic
chic’ as seen in their Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili in the Maldives
as well as in the Evason resorts in Phuket, Hua Hin and Samui. We
are embarking on a new Evason concept with Six Senses called ‘Hideaways’
and the results will be apparent in about a year here on Koh Yao
Noi," Germing said.
Do you have any final comments you would like to tell readers of
this article who are interested in buying a property from you?
"If you are looking for a real tropical lifestyle on a quiet
and relatively remote island but still want to be only one and a
half hours from an airport… come and visit us at Koyao Island
Resort and we will show you around a place where you can create
your dream home."
As well as Frey and Germing, others have started to realize the
full potential of Koh Yao Noi as a dream destination. The architect
of Koyao Island Resort, Georges Cortez is soon to open his own,
very unusual designer resort here on the island. A perfect blend
between all inclusive, top class service in a stunning setting and
an almost back-to-nature approach when it comes to layout, Koyao
Bay Pavilions is about to open its doors and once again grace the
island with a little gem of a resort.