So what exactly is an Aquaminium?
According to Gulu Lalvani, the Royal Phuket Marina chief executive and developer who says he created the term, it’s an apartment complex on the water with one added feature — an indoor parking garage for a boat.
At the Royal Phuket Marina, these garages are available in just two penthouse units; the other apartments have outdoor docking stations. But according to Mr. Lalvani, who founded with his brother the U.K. consumer-electronics company Binatone, the latest must-have in luxury living is a dock just steps from your front door.
The idea came from James Bond, says Mr. Lalvani. In the movies, the British secret agent often needs to make a quick getaway by boat, and of course, one was always close at hand. (The nearby island of Khoah Phing Kan is nicknamed “James Bond Island” because it appeared in “The Man with the Golden Gun” in 1974.)
Of the 15 apartments, two penthouses, and five villas in the Aquaminium complex, which was completed in 2009, 14 units are occupied. A second complex is in the works.
The marina won’t reveal the list of residents, except to say that 10 are chief executives from Hong Kong and Singapore in various industries. And there are other clues. Among the well-to-do, according to the marina, are two Taiwanese tycoons — one in the semiconductor industry and the other in children’s garments — and an Englishman who made his fortune replicating antique-furniture designs in Asia. Also joining the neighborhood is a long-term Phuket resident and famed restaurateur.
Hobnobbing with such power folk will no doubt be a bonus — according to the marina. One British businessman who now lives there said, the Aquaminium community will be a “place where you can meet up with like-minded people.”
Eight units remain — prices range from $734,375 for a 169-square-meter two-bedroom apartment to $10.5 million for a 2,869-square-meter “Grand Villa” — and Mr. Lalvani is looking for buyers from mainland China. Thus far, there have been none.
reprinted from wsj.com