Koh Phangan: Designing for Thailand’s new digital nomad hotspot

Chapman Taylor has been working on luxury residential and hospitality villas on Koh Phangan for several years, so we are well acquainted with the island’s charm, beauty and wonderful range of offers.

Koh Phangan has some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, numerous great hotels, vibrant cafés and diverse activities such as jet-skiing, snorkelling, diving, hiking to the waterfalls, yoga, Thai cooking lessons and night markets. It is famous for its full moon parties, spectacular beach festivals, music, art, dancing, dining, fire shows and colours.

The Cove

The island’s stunning natural beauty and relaxed culture has led, in recent years, to an increasing number of “digital nomads” settling there. Digital nomads are professionals who are not permanently tied to a traditional office space and can therefore choose to live and work anywhere in the world. There are several reasons why these people choose Koh Phangan as their home office, whether temporarily or permanently, including:

  • High-speed internet availability.
  • Affordable cost of living.
  • Beautiful scenery.
  • Relaxed and vibrant culture.
  • Safety.
  • Sunny but breezy weather, making it comfortably warm, not oppressively hot.
  • A wide range of accommodation, from small, character-filled hostels to luxurious villas.

Heidelberg Residence

The island, and its two “sisters” of Koh Samui to the south and Koh Tao to the north, traditionally focused on foreign tourism but, since the Covid-19 pandemic prevented Thais from travelling abroad, the islands are increasingly regarded as an idyllic escape for people from Bangkok. Koh Phangan is only a one-hour flight from Bangkok and, once there, it is easy to get around the island on its red trucks and boat taxis.

Chapman Taylor’s portfolio of designs for apartments, houses and villas on the island are specifically designed to cater for the needs of people who want to escape the stresses and noise of the city and recharge their batteries in tranquil and stunning surroundings. Our residences are designed to blend sensitively with, and reflect, the context, offering beautiful views and a sense of bringing the outside in, while offering the highest standards of servicing and digital connectivity.

Bay Villas

For instance, Bay Villas is a residential development set on a lush hillside among coconut groves on the north-western coast of the island. Carefully masterplanned to give each villa unobstructed sunset sea views, the development blends harmoniously with its tropical surroundings. Each residence offers either 233m² and 433m² GBA of combined indoor and outdoor space. The design is centered on the breathtaking views, with a private infinity edge swimming pool and a sunken outdoor lounge maximising the experience.

Meanwhile, the related Bay Apartments development contains spacious open-plan kitchens and lounges along with generous bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. Communal facilities include an infinity edge swimming pool, an outdoor lounge area and a fitness suite. The whole scheme blends in sympathetically with the context, using consistent natural colour tones and integrated planting in a low-density layout.

Bay Apartments

Another ongoing project by Chapman Taylor’s Bangkok Studio is The Cove, a luxury villa residential development located near Haad Mae Haad. Taking advantage of the uninterrupted views over the sea, the design concept centres on creating a minimalist and calm lifestyle, reflecting the island’s way of life and making full use of the panoramic sea views. Five luxury residences with views over the Gulf of Thailand are provided within landscaped grounds, with each property reflecting a relaxed approach to life. The architecture and interior design incorporate subtle details which pay homage to the local culture and the surrounding environment. The project is expected to be completed and ready to welcome guests by the end of 2021.

A longer-established and successful Chapman Taylor residential design is Heidelberg Residence, a private luxury villa designed to capture the client’s passion for the site and the natural surroundings on the island's north coast. This 500m² development comprises two key elements: a main two-storey building with generous living areas and a grand, sea-facing master bedroom with a private terrace, and two guest bedroom pavilions that have been orientated to achieve the best views and to draw the landscape into the design. The architectural and interior design concept was developed with a sympathetic approach to its surroundings and highlights this with the use of strong solid planes, simple geometry and a neutral material palette.

Each of these residences offers the perfect environment for digital nomads, as well as for anyone else seeking to immerse themselves in what Koh Phangan has to offer. They offer a choice of when to engage with the wider world and when to switch off, with excellent connectivity when needed and everything needed when disconnected and relaxing.

For more information about Chapman Taylor’s residential and hospitality work on the beautiful island of Koh Phangan, as well as elsewhere in Thailand and South East Asia, please contact:

Davide De Visdomini

Associate Director, Bangkok

Davide has over 14 years of experience working in architecture and interior design in Italy, Finland, China and Thailand. He has led many key projects in Europe and Asia, including large-scale residential, hospitality, mixed-use and luxury resorts for international clients. His strength lies in a deep understanding of local cultures and user experiences, using these to integrate the needs of clients with each local context.

Davide oversees the design of our projects in South East Asia, including both architectural and interior design, and he manages delivery for our clients alongside our different specialist teams.

Areas of expertise:

Hospitality / Residential / Mixed-Use / Office

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