Prapavadee “Nok” Sophonpanich, the founder of Ideas 1606 Co Ltd, has a precise vision for her real estate brand, Veyla Residences. Veyla means “time” in Thai, and “home by the beach” in Sanskrit, so the underlying message and intention is to create a space that embodies time well spent, relaxing in beautiful surroundings and reconnecting with oneself. The result is streamlined, modernist beachfront retreats – curated spaces that encourage you to be who you are, and where family and friends can come together comfortably.
Veyla Residences has the concept of “low- density” wired into its DNA. The goal is to combine tasteful design and quality construction with the serenity of nature in a peaceful location, yet in proximity to convenience. It’s a tall order, as one would imagine, but Nok’s first foray into real estate proved the brand’s ability to deliver on its promises. The hugely successful Veyla Khao Tao Residences, Hua Hin, was quickly followed by Veyla Cha-Am Residences. Now her vision and search for the ideal location has taken Veyla Residences to the pristine Natai Beach in Phang-Nga, located just a short 30-minute drive from Phuket International Airport.
Veyla Natai Residences, with its 120-metre beachfront is – like its predecessors – a low-density development, set on a 5.8-rai plot of land with 15 villas, all with direct sea views. And that’s just the beginning. This contemporary retreat, inspired by the colours of the sand, presents a subtle yet dramatic geometric interplay between its modernist lines and the light and shadows created by the natural light and open spaces. In a nutshell, it’s an elegant art piece of a home where one is comfortable walking around barefoot, perhaps even tracking in a bit of sand.
Nok’s background in the art world – she’s also the General Manager of Christie’s Thailand – saw her initially visualising the space as a work of art; an installation to be lived in and, at the same time, imbued with the owner’s personality. As the person who brought the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store to Bangkok, and later helped the National Museum Thailand create a jewellery collection based on Thai design and history, Nok’s passion for art runs deep.
“When I was doing The Met Store, I started thinking about designing spaces,” she explains. “At that time – call it chance, or by design, or pure luck – I was looking for beachfront land in Hua Hin, just for my own personal use. I came across this perfect plot, and deposited the money right away, but I realised it was too big for a single residence.” She wisely decided to design something that could be shared exclusively with a select few, and thus Veyla Residences was born.
The importance of real estate as a solid investment cannot be stressed enough, which is why putting money into an asset such as vacation home makes such good fiscal sense. Alternatively, those wishing to make a beachfront property their primary residence have the unique advantage of thoroughly enjoying their investment on a daily basis.
To implement her vision for the first Veyla Residences, Nok engaged the services of the multiple award-winning Architects 49 House Design (A49HD). Working as a team, they spent a long time carefully planning this project together. “They did my residence in Bangkok and though they didn’t do commercial spaces, I persuaded them otherwise. I told them, ‘You know how I like things to be done’. They are specialised in creating beautiful villas by the beach, and I explained that I wanted to create a small community, not a commercial space, which would be well designed, well-conceived, and of good quality.”
The successful execution of the project revealed just how in sync the brand and its architects/ designers are. The focus is firmly on the people who choose to spend their time at Veyla Residences, and those in the community surrounding it. “The bottom line is that we want to give the residents all the comforts of technology and connectivity, but in a setting that embraces nature. A place where they can make time to switch off,” she adds.
As for Veyla Residences Natai, it perfectly embodies the brand with its pristine location, tasteful design, quality of construction, and all the modern conveniences of a connected home. This perfect blend of casual luxury and chic practicality is why this stunning luxury residence was a winner at the International Architecture Awards (IAA) in 2020.
To celebrate Phang-Nga province, Veyla Natai has hired local artisans and harnessed local traditions for its statement furniture pieces, artefacts, and accessories. By connecting this luxury residential development to its location, it gives back to the community that hosts it.
The very personification of Nok’s philosophy can be seen in a glorious teakwood tub, handcrafted locally and finished to perfection. With the warmth of the wood anchoring the elements, it connects that most private of spaces to the vast outdoors. At the same time, convenience exists comfortably alongside the natural experience as the villas are all wired with cutting-edge technology for temperature, lighting, humidity, and ventilation control.
Visually, the outdoor morphs into the indoor with a colour palate dominated by sand in all its shades, from warm to cool. Evident in the walls, the upholstery and the furniture – wood or otherwise – this deceptively simple monochromatic design approach lets calm reign supreme.
The layout of Veyla Natai sees it split into three zones. The residences are found in Veyla Beach, with its seven three-bedroom villas, and Veyla Sea with a total of eight, three-storey, three-bedroom villas set further back but with expansive ocean views and infinity pools on the second floor. Separating these two zones is Veyla Sand, the common area, with its 25-metre saltwater pool (with Jacuzzi), an outdoor screening space, lounge, sun deck, fitness centre, chef’s table dining area, and manicured gardens. The landscaping, incidentally, is the work of the award-winning Sanitas Studio.
Nok’s focus now is to personalise Veyla Sea even more. “We are very lifestyle-focused. We want to ensure that young executives and entrepreneurs get what they want. So, we tailor the solution to the client’s own needs. For example, if you don’t need three bedrooms because you are a young couple, don’t have children, or are single, you may want something different from your space.”
The solution offered takes personalisation to a whole other level with options to redesign the extra bedroom spaces to make room for any of these four concepts: Veyla Taste, Veyla Work, Veyla Life, and Veyla Play. And while the master bedroom on the third floor remains – as Nok puts it, “the superstar” – this novel personalisation aspect adds yet one more star to each interior. It’s an innovative idea which came in answer to the simple question she often asked herself: what are the client’s needs?
“They, the buyers, may not want or need three bedrooms for guests because we have a hotel next door [Baba Beach Club], or they can simply rent another villa. So, if you are single, you may want a lounge area, or a party area to watch movies or hang out with friends for karaoke evenings,” she points out. This line of reasoning led to Veyla Play, a private lounge and entertainment space fully equipped and personalised.
Veyla Work, on the other hand, reflects the new reality: the work-from-home paradigm. Despite economies opening up and people going back to their offices, the home office is here to stay and many actually like the convenience of a dedicated workspace in the home.
“People started working from home because of Covid-19,” the developer remarks, “but for sure they will continue to do at least some amount of work at home. So, we are offering the option to convert a bedroom into a workstation, complete with a five-metre monitor for Zoom calls. You can be by the beach relaxing, but you are also on hand when it comes to working. We’ve seen the convenience of home offices, and it is revolutionising the way we think about how we live our lives.”
The third option, Veyla Life, makes room for wellness, for when you are “in a retreat mode wanting a massage, wanting to meditate. We can convert the space into a spa, complete with a meditation area,” Nok says.
The final option appeals to the taste buds, with Veyla Taste. “This is for families who want to keep the bedrooms, but who want outdoor space to entertain guests. For them, we convert the Secret Garden on the second floor into a fully-equipped, outdoor barbecuing space. You barbecue outside, and open up to the indoors to extend the space. You can do your own cooking, or even hire a chef who cooks outside while you entertain family and friends inside.”
For Nok, the Veyla experience is “simple, understated, and elegant. An easy to be in environment”. In short, it’s her idea of luxury.
With such stellar credentials, Veyla offers more than an outstanding investment opportunity, but also an unmatched lifestyle that celebrates the very finest things in life.
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