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  1. #1
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    Building a mini-resort in Thailand: The Traditional Resort

    Time for a new construction thread. It's at least 3 weeks since my last job in Laos and I can't be sitting around doing sweet fanny adam.

    This new mini-resort will target exactly the same customers as the other 2 mini-resorts that have threads running ==> transit passengers that are travelling to/from Phuket International Airport, which is located about 1.5km away from this project location.

    The airport continues to expand, and there is always room for another little hotel. This new project is MY project, meaning it is where I will call home, and it will be designed according to MY tastes.

    As with my other projects, the bottom line is always to try to construct a successful project for the minimum amount of effort and cost.

    The land in question sits immediately adjacent to the Country Resort which is owned by ex #2. This means that I can save some initial funds by tapping into the water and electricity supply and internet connection and satellite TV feeds from that hotel. (I don't intend to rely on those services in the long-term, since #2 might have a funny turn one day and switch everything off - but it's certainly a very fast and low-cost way to get these services provided).

    Why call it the Traditional Resort? Well, if this is going to be my home, (as well as my business), I want to feel happy living there. My ideal type of house to live in in Thailand would be a traditional teak house, with hardwood floor etc.

    Clearly, my budget will stretch to building about 20% of just one teakwood house, so I need to be creative in how I can achieve a nice result within my budget. My plan is therefore to build individual little guest bungalows one-by-one, until I reach 8 guest bungalows (and another for myself).

    This is the way I've built the other mini-resorts ==> Build a few guest-rooms initially, open for business, and then use the business revenues to fund additional room construction.

    This plan should work, but for the City Resort, I did not factor in a greedy wife (#3), who spent the business revenues on a new car, clothes, computer etc. Hence that project has stalled at 3 guest-rooms and #3 is now ex #3.

    My proposed bungalow style is as follows:

    - A rectangular area that's 4 metres wide by 5 metres depth. Remember that customers only stay for 1 night, so they do not need to be able to swing a cat in the room, (even a very small cat).

    - Within this space, I will construct a romantic, 'cubby hole' recess for a decent king-size bed, with drapes to close at night for privacy, and with a flat screen TV and other 'necessities' located in that recess area at the end of the bed. There will be a nice window to overlook the garden

    - The rest of the room area will have a fridge, desk, corner sofa etc.

    - I will not install a ceiling, but will leave the room space open to the pitched roof, with suitable bamboo/plantain(?) covering to hide the roof tiles

    - The floor covering will be tiled, but using some very nice floorboard effect tiles that I found in Phuket ==> 180 baht per square metre.

    - These rooms will not have air-con! There will be a large, central ceiling fan with lighting, and wooden-framed, traditional windows to allow good air-flow. The open roof space area will have ventilated 'sun' pattern styling (a la traditional Thai style house).

    What about the bathroom? In line with my crazy ideas, I'm going to put this outside! The rear of the main room (only room!) will have a secure exit door to the exterior of the bungalow, where an open-style bathroom will run across the 4 metre width of the building, with wc on one side, basin in the middle and shower on the far side. That area will be made private by extending the side walls of the bungalow out for about a metre, and then planting a hedge across the 4 metre width. (The pitched roof will extend out over this bathroom area of course).

    I've visited a number of shops in Phuket that sell used/old building materials at cheap prices, and I reckon that I can create a very attractive little guest room for cheap price.

    That's the plan, no photos yet, but I hope to start this new project in about 1 month from now.

    I forgot to mention! Right in the middle of this plot of land will be a massive antenna tower for my radio hobby. Suggestions how to disguise this ugly monstrosity are appreciated.

    Meanwhile, I'm going to refine my building style/design etc, and I'd much appreciate your comments and advice.

    Simon
    Groping women when you're old is fine - everyone thinks you're senile

  2. #2
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    aging one's Avatar
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    No air conditioning would seem to negate most of your hard work. But that is up to you. Phuket is hot for clients coming from European or Western winters. Hell it hot as hell April and May. It would seem putting in air would be a minimal cost easily made up in the nightly cost. You dont have to be greedy.

  3. #3
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    when you start, make sure you get worker insurance



    Quote Originally Posted by aging one
    No air conditioning would seem to negate most of your hard work.

    agreed; you may be able to get away without aircon next to a beach, but not inland for farang customers

  4. #4
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    Open air bathrooms, pitch style roof, check out some Bali resorts, they go for $200+ per night.

    But AC is a must.

  5. #5
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    Shouting distance of an ex would not be my prime location

  6. #6
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    but AC is a must
    You might think so, but apparently not, based on my experience with the other 2 mini-resorts. Both of those have a mix of air-con and fan rooms, and the fan rooms are charged at only a marginally cheaper rate than the air-con rooms, but always sell out.

    Some customers don't like air-con and some are just tight buggers who don't want to pay 100 baht more....

    The fan rooms in those resorts are quite cool, and I never really planned the room design for natural cooling either. The resort is on top of a small hill and gets cool breezes from the beach at about 2km away.

    If a customer thinks it is too hot with just fan cooling, then they only have to 'suffer' for one night, because my customers only stay for one night (transit passengers etc), and rarely come back for a second stay (the first stay was bad enough ha ha!).

    Did traditional Thai houses have an air-con? No, they had a punka-walla or similar. AC is completely out of keeping for the effect that I'm trying to create.

    Another compelling reason for not installing AC is the lack of strong electricity! The 3-phase supply in this location will not be able to supply ACs unless I pay to install an expensive (500,000 baht) transformer, which I'm not willing to do. #2's adjacent resort has 6 air-con rooms (2 AC per phase), and 3 cooling fan rooms, plus the water heaters.

    I've measured the current drain and voltage drop on full load at her resort and there is no way that I can run additional ACs off her 3-phase supply. (I will probably have to use solar water heating or a combination of solar+2000W instant heaters at my project).

  7. #7
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    Shouting distance of an ex would not be my prime location
    It depends on what your ex is like. I would not want to be within shouting distance of #1 or #3, but I'm used to #2's crazy ways. I can always put up an electric fence.

  8. #8
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    If a customer thinks it is too hot with just fan cooling, then they only have to 'suffer' for one night, because my customers only stay for one night (transit passengers etc), and rarely come back for a second stay (the first stay was bad enough ha ha!).
    So you actually expect to have no customers after a few years?

    I think it's possible to do it without A/C but you will have to design the building well.

  9. #9
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    If a customer thinks it is too hot with just fan cooling, then they only have to 'suffer' for one night, because my customers only stay for one night (transit passengers etc), and rarely come back for a second stay (the first stay was bad enough ha ha!).
    'Interesting' Business Model! I look forward to the tripadvisor.com, etc reviews

  10. #10
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    So you actually expect to have no customers after a few years?
    The monthly passenger traffic through the airport (upon which my businesses rely) was more than 1 million last month (in low season) ==> an average of about 33,000 passengers per day.

    When this new project is finished (and another guest-house which I will build next year!), I need to fill a total of about 36 guest-rooms per night, or about 0.1% of the nightly passenger numbers through the airport.

    Of course, most passengers don't want to stay near to the airport, but the numbers don't worry me re future business.

    As for designing the building well, I will look at the Coolhouse website and get some ideas about natural cooling etc.

  11. #11
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    Great and very interesting thread - well done

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koetjeka View Post

    I think it's possible to do it without A/C but you will have to design the building well.


    No its not possible to do without A/C.

    If its a backpackers Gaff OK but if you want punters paying real money then A/C is a walk up start.

    Fucked if I would stay in a real Gaff without A/C.

    Just telling ya Simon.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil View Post

    'Interesting' Business Model! I look forward to the tripadvisor.com, etc reviews

    Very good point there mate, I use trip adviser all the time for checking out new Gaffs.

    If I read that the place had no A/C I'd travel the extra distance to get a gaff with A/C. For sure.

    Your Foking nuts Simon if you don't put in A/C. Just build the cost of the extra Electricity into your room costs, its piss all in the grand scheme of things.

    I'm sure your customers will love your non A/C rooms in friggin March, April and May

    Cant believe you would go to the expense of Building a gaff in Asia and not putting in A/C.

    Fuk me EH.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  14. #14
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    PS Simon having scene your wondrous avatar does the mini resort turn the dwarves blue?

    I may be able to put a few leprouschauns yer way they were bumped from Elf Beachview when the manager asked

    'Do you fairies take yer teeth out for Goblin parties".

    I can assure they are all genuinely into little people and not run of the mill dwarf tossers
    I used to have a job at a calendar factory.
    I got the sack because
    I took a couple of days off.

  15. #15
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    'Interesting' Business Model! I look forward to the tripadvisor.com, etc reviews
    I've learn over the years of running this business model that very few people believe what is written on TripAdvisor

    Think logically for a minute. How many tourists actually return to Phuket for a second or third holiday? In years gone by that might have been an option. But nowadays, the island has a shit reputation and I doubt whether tourists want to return! That doesn't stop millions and millions of new tourists and those seeking a cheap deal visiting the island for the first time.

    And when they do visit, I doubt whether top of their list is careful scrutiny of a transit hotel to rest for a few hours after their plane arrives at 2am. It's really down to price.

    A extra comment about the lack of AC. Most guests arrive between 7pm - 3am and leave between 3am - 7am. It's not the heat of the day. Guests simply do not stay here during the daytime.

    but if you want punters paying real money then A/C is a walk up start.
    Exactly! Customers pay 900 baht/night low season and 1,500 baht/night in high season. It's not the Hilton! But it's cheap andf that's the main reason why the exsiting mini-resorts are typically full or almoist full every night of the year. I always achieve >90% occupancy rate over the year. for this new resort with 8 rooms, the average monthly income = 8*((900+1500)/2)*30 = 288,000 baht. That is a lot better than working as a Headmaster in Laos...

    Fucked if I would stay in a real Gaff without A/C.
    Right again. You are the last type of person I expect to stay at my mini-resorts. About 72% of them (according to Agoda stats) are Chinese, with only about 8% 'western'. These types of tourists contribute little to the Phuket economy, but they certainly give me a good income

    (Having said that, last night I had 2 upmarket Aussie women choose to stay in a fan room. They were finishing their holiday at the 5-star Outriggers Resort. My room rate for the night was probably less than the tip they gave their cleaning maid...)
    Last edited by Simon43; 15-09-2013 at 08:28 PM.

  16. #16
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    Fuck me, why not build some square concrete rooms then?

  17. #17
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    And can I just point out that there's a slight difference between monthly gross and monthly income!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    This new project is MY project, meaning it is where I will call home, and it will be designed according to MY tastes.
    Really... But, what Thai woman will be owning the land and business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    The land in question sits immediately adjacent to the Country Resort which is owned by ex #2
    OK, answered... Your being #2's bitch again; she will be pleased that you're giving her more revenue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123
    Great and very interesting thread - well done
    Are you new here???

  19. #19
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    Fuck me, why not build some square concrete rooms then?
    that's basically what they are...

    And can I just point out that there's a slight difference between monthly gross and monthly income!
    Of course. Typical monthly bills are:

    Land rent = 18,000 baht
    Electricity = 4,000 baht
    Internet/telephone = 750 baht
    Local tax = 3,500 baht
    Staff (1 Thai) = 10,000 baht
    Car/petrol = 10,000 baht
    Cleaning/maintenance sundries = 10,000 baht

    So average income = 288,000 baht/month. average bills = 56,250 baht/month. Gross average profit = 231,750 baht/month which is MY money, not #1, #2 or #3 (or #4).

    Anything else??

    Remember that I have used this business model three times since 2005 and the only fly in the ointment was always my ex's sticking their fingers into the bank account or how the business operated. Even then, the hotels were (and still are) very profitable.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    Gross average profit = 231,750 baht/month which is MY money, not #1, #2 or #3 (or #4).
    You are superb, Simon; your comedy timing is acute...


  21. #21
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    Really... But, what Thai woman will be owning the land and business?
    Who owns the land is irelevant, (other than it not being owned by an ex). I lease the land in my name only for 20 years, exactly as I have done before. The lease is registered with the government and as long as I pay the monthly rent then I'm fine.

    The ownership of the business will not involve my ex's and I will control the business.

    she will be pleased that you're giving her more revenue
    Actually it tends to operate the other way round. Due to various strokes of fate #2 is considerably richer than me now and quite happy to share her existing business revenues with me (although not 50/50), (primarily because I am the lynchpin in the success of her business (I do all the marketing, find the customers, do the bills, control the bank accounts).

    Now with #3 it is a different matter. She would steal the pennies from a blind begger if given the chance

  22. #22
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    ^you're kidding yourself, buddy. I wish you all the best, but the karma of that Burmese finger is gonna come back and fuk you over - again...

    I see you building a hotel in Cambodia within 3 months...

  23. #23
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    but the karma of that Burmese finger is gonna come back and fuk you over
    His finger is healing nicely. The open wound has closed up and now Dr Simon can apply a rigid plaster of paris cast to assist the bone to re-fuse.

    BTW Bettyboo, I also do gender reassignment surgery in #2's sala. Interested??

    Also, there is an excellent article on passive house cooling here:

    Your Home Technical Manual - 4.6 Passive Cooling

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    BTW Bettyboo, I also do gender reassignment surgery in #2's sala. Interested??
    Live right close to Bangmod, but thanks anyway. I'll check that article, anything I can do passively is potentially interesting.

  25. #25
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    sounds good...

    you dont need aircon...
    americans cant without, but the rest of the world is just fine with fans...

    but this tiles with "floorboard effect"... can you post a pic?
    these shiny tiles destroy every hint of cosy/comfortable feel in a room - guaranted (imo)
    maybe simple terracotta is cheap and more attractive ?

    he isnt talking about an open air bathroom...
    (i found, has been years ago, that the thoughts about them were quite mixed and imo most europeans didnt like them...)

    what imo is MOST appreciated by travellers is something pissing simple and mostly missing - a mosquitonet...
    when you have the fan on the ceiling, then have a 4-poster-bed with some nice mosquito net...
    looks good and has some traditional flair...

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