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World's best apartment

The Aussie developer of Sea Sentosa in Bali can't believe his luck. Property editor Stephen Nicholls reports.

PT1M45S http://www.dailylife.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2bmgk 620 349

The title of "World's Best Apartment" at the International Property Awards in London has been won by an Australian project in Bali.

Sea Sentosa, at Echo Beach just north of Seminyak, isn't even complete yet. Yet the concept, display suites, design and the beachfront location, in front of a lagoon pool overlooking the Indian Ocean, were enough to bowl over the judges.

The project will feature vertical gardens by the well-known French botanist Patrick Blank, who's also set to create something similar at Sydney's Central Park project.

Sea Sentosa, at Echo Beach Click for more photos

Sea Sentosa, at Echo Beach

Sea Sentosa, at Echo Beach

The awards, for which Domain is one of the media partners, received entries in a range of categories from 88 countries.

The President of the International Property Awards, Stuart Shield, said that Sea Sentosa beat finalists from Asia, Arabia, Africa, Europe and the Americas to win the international title.

"New developments can take years to be completed, therefore we allow entries, once full planning permission has been granted and the construction of the project has commenced," Mr Shield said.

Sea Sentosa is 65 per cent complete and will open in July next year. There were 104 entries in the apartment category received from around the world, with 57 from the Asia-Pacific region.

Sea Sentosa beat other finalists The Eardley by Roffey Homes Ltd in Britain, yoo berlin inspired by Starck by Peach Property Group for Europe, SOGOUF AlNafl Complex by SOGOUF Real Estate for Arabia, and Artech Residences by Shefaor Development in Florida.

The developer of Sea Sentosa, Saxon Looker, said to win was "beyond his wildest dreams".

The award will no doubt help sales. Mr Looker has so far sold 42 of 68 apartments. Being marketed through Ray White, prices start at $470,000. There are six two-bedders left priced between $1.1 million and $1.7 million, with penthouses from $2.6 million.

Mr Looker said the cheapest rents will be $332 a night for opening specials, with penthouses costing $4743 a night.

A previous Australian winner in the international awards was Leonarder Collins Luxury Homes, which won the title of Best Australian Estate Agency in 2005 and 2006 and Best International Real Estate Agency in 2007.

The business closed at the start of the year, with its principal, Jennine Leonarder-Collins, now working with her husband, the former Liberal Opposition leader turned lobbyist, Peter Collins. But her former colleague, Philip Comans, now the managing director of Grand Pacific Real Estate, said putting the submission together was "a lot of work".

"They're very valuable awards and very hard to get," he said. "The people judging you are all professionals and publishers." He said selling top-end properties during 2012 had been very difficult.

"It's not quite the peaches and cream and caviar life that we had got used to."