Par­adise found (far, far away)

As David Has­sel­hoff buys on Gili Meno in re­mote In­done­sia, Zoe Dare Hall finds other trop­i­cal is­lands with new lux­ury de­vel­op­ments

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

When you are the most watched man on tele­vi­sion, ac­cord­ing to the Guin­ness Book of Records, and al­most as fa­mous for a Ber­lin Wall-bust­ing song en­ti­tled

Look­ing for Free­dom, you’re go­ing to be in need of some­where that of­fers bliss­ful seclu­sion. In­deed, in th­ese trou­bled times, it’s what most of us could do with right now – a peace­ful par­adise that takes us far away from re­al­ity and rou­tine.

It seems that David Has­sel­hoff has found his slice of par­adise on the tiny, car-free In­done­sian is­land of Gili Meno, which sits a short he­li­copter hop away from the is­lands of Lom­bok and Bali. “I can just come here and park. I can breathe, work from here, scuba dive in the warm­est wa­ter I’ve ever known and take a boat over to Gili Trawan­gan for huge lob­sters that cost $6,” en­thuses the 65-year-old for­mer Baywatch star.

He is among the first buy­ers at BASK Gili Meno, a new col­lec­tion of 87 fur­nished, lux­ury vil­las that start at $200,000 (£154,000) for a stu­dio and rise to $1mil­lion for a three-bed­room beach­front villa like the Hoff ’s (baskgili­meno.com). It’s about half the price you would pay in nearby Bali.

The vil­las, de­signed by Bri­tish ar­chi­tect Gary Fell, are mid-cen­tury mod­ern com­bined with con­tem­po­rary Ba­li­nese de­sign, and are sur­rounded on all sides by wa­ter. To the front is the Bali Sea, and be­hind is a nat­u­ral salt lake where villa own­ers can en­joy a spot of spa pam­per­ing.

Has­sel­hoff calls him­self “a Hawaii guy” – though he thinks it is start­ing to feel too busy th­ese days – and he’s also a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to Aus­tralia’s Bondi Beach. But a chance en­counter with prop­erty de­vel­oper Greg Meyer, chief ex­ec­u­tive of BASK, took him to the lit­tle-ex­plored Gili Meno. Smaller than one square mile, it has a per­ma­nent pop­u­la­tion of just 500 and is start­ing to find a fol­low­ing among those who are look­ing for what Bali used to be.

“Greg told me about the re­sort, I said ‘let’s go’, and the mo­ment I set foot on the sand, I said, this is where my condo will be, I’m in,” says the im­pul­sive Has­sel­hoff, who has owned a num­ber of hol­i­day homes “pretty much ev­ery­where”, he says.

“I’ve done it all, but right now I don’t have a sig­nif­i­cant amount of homes. I’m throw­ing balls in the air.”

Own­ers at BASK Gili Meno get a month’s per­sonal us­age of their vil­las and ini­tial guar­an­teed rental re­turns of 7.5 per cent for the rest of the year. “It will be a hide­away for me, my fam­ily and my fi­ancée’s fam­ily,” says Has­sel­hoff, re­fer­ring to Welsh shop as­sis­tant Hay­ley Roberts. “You can walk ev­ery­where and meet the lo­cal peo­ple, who are frickin’ fan­tas­tic. They know me and say hello, but they don’t stop me for self­ies. It’s a piece of heaven.”

The quest for calm and seclu­sion in this busy, con­nected world has led de­vel­op­ers to search out other re­mote lo­ca­tions for a spot of lux­ury.

One such nir­vana can be found in Koh Sa­mui, the Thai is­land that is shrug­ging off its hippy im­age to be­come a lux­u­ri­ous and less­de­vel­oped al­ter­na­tive to Phuket. Koh

‘They come here with a suit­case of clothes and an­other one full of books’ ‘The houses are for peo­ple who want noth­ing around them’

Bay watch: the view from the pool deck at Beach Houses in east Bar­ba­dos, above; a villa at Sa­mu­jana in Koh Sa­mui, main; a suite at In­done­sia’s BASK Gili Meno, cover, and its club­house, be­low

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