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A room with a view

July 19th, 2017

The word “view” immediately brings several random thoughts to mind and first among them is the well-worn adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, writes Dave Buckley.

In essence what one person considers a delight, others may not.

Sea view or city view? Which would you prefer? For me much depends on which stretch or water and what city we are talking about.

Just because you can see water it does not necessarily mean that the view is good (though in the case of Thailand it usually is good, make that very good). Some city views can leave much to be desired but others are just excellent.

I looked up the FlightNetwork website’s list of the Top 10 Beautiful Cities in the World. Top of the list is Bruges in Belgium. Never been, so can’t comment. Completing the top five are Budapest, Rome, Florence and Amsterdam. It should be noted that water – two rivers, a canal and a fountain – are featured on the site’s pictures illustrating these cities.

So let’s agree on something. For a view to be considered good or relaxing or inspiring there is usually water featured somewhere in the mix.

I mentioned Florence. The Italian city was one of the settings for the film that gave me the title for this piece. A Room with a View is a 1985 movie based on an E M Forster novel written early in the last century. Part of the plot is that the main characters ask for a room with a view of Florence’s River Po. Instead they can see a courtyard. Mind you, given some of the places I have stayed, a courtyard sounds a positive delight.

My experience of views has ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. Currently I occupy a studio with no direct sunlight to it. I can see part of a car park. That’s the ridiculous.  I also once had a room close to the harbour in Hong Kong. The front of the building faced the Yacht Club, but I was at the back and the view would have put you off your breakfast.

My version of the sublime was a two-bed condo facing the 11th hole of the local golf course where I was a member. It was a par three and you could see the hole from tee to green. Perfect, if you like golf. When I sold it the first person who came to check it out took one look out of the living room window and said he would buy it. There are houses close to golf courses and Pattaya has many in its immediate area.  They are nice, often next to feature water holes on the courses, but they do not measure up in popularity to those with sea views.

If you are a person who would put proximity to – and views of – water high of your list of property “must haves” you have an enhanced chance of achieving your wishes in Thailand. The kingdom, with all its islands, has 3,219km (about 2,000 miles) of coastline. Stretch it all out and you would be one-third of the way from Bangkok to London.

One of the great truisms of property is that they aren’t building any more shoreline (except if you live in Hong Kong where they like to reclaim land from the sea). There is still a multitude of sea views to be found in and around Pattaya. Between the city and Bang Saray there are still true beachfront property locations to be found with no roads separating you from the sea.

Of course, there are sea views and there are sea views. In some instances it requires a stretch, both mentally and physically to gain those views. I recall visiting a development not far from the waters of Lake Mabprachan where it was pointed out to me that you could see the sea. The developers were not lying but there was a heck of a lot of city in between to distract you.

The episode reminded me of a scene from the popular TV comedy series Fawlty Towers (sold to 45 stations in 17 countries). In it a very difficult character, Mrs Richards, complains about the lack of a sea view from her room. Fawlty counters: “You can see the sea. It's over there, between the land and the sky.”

Her reply was to say that you would need a telescope to see it.

If your ideal residence includes having a sea view – and you don’t want to need a telescope to see it – contact RE/MAX Town & Country’s office in Jomtien complex. The property experts there will help you find great “rooms with real views”.

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