In Conversation: Isabella Naef

Isabella Naef is the founder and CEO of Isabella Yachts. She brought her Swiss roots and passion for yachting to the perfect turquoise waters of Phuket. We had a chat with our friend Isabella to discuss yachting, business and the luxury market here in Phuket.

1. From Europe to Asia

The Story So Far…

Isabella Naef, originally from Lugano, Switzerland, embarked on a remarkable journey when she moved to Phuket in 2012. Her vision was clear: to create extraordinary experiences for discerning clients through luxury yacht charters.

Thus, Isabella Yachts was born—a company that would redefine opulence on the Andaman Sea. Since its inception, Isabella and her team have navigated the azure waters, curating bespoke adventures for their clientele. Their commitment to excellence has propelled them to the forefront of the Phuket yachting market, where they are celebrated as a top name.

Beyond her entrepreneurial prowess, Isabella is a certified captain, holding an international boat license — a testament to her passion for the sea and her dedication to delivering a service that creates everlasting memories for her clients.

Isabella has also been a PADI certified rescue scuba diver since 1999, aswell as a certified advanced freediver. She has been underwater as much as overwater around all the islands here.

2. Creating Memories

The Desire for Perfect Moments

We asked Isabella about the desires of her prestigious clients, and it’s clear that privacy is the priority.
The focus of a luxury service is on crafting personalised journeys that align seamlessly with individual preferences. Whilst high-value clients may appreciate the occasional visit to well-known tourist attractions to capture a moment, their true desire is to delve deeper.

Their definition of true luxury is rooted in exploration of remote, secluded havens and discovering hidden treasures off the beaten path. These secret retreats become the backdrop for cherished memories—the excitement of a private cove, the tranquility of an untouched beach, and the shared laughter beneath a cloudless blue sky.

Clients perceive value beyond material opulence, the true value is in the everlasting memory of their personal experience.

3. The Yachting Clientele

Back To Normality

Have client desires have evolved after the COVID-19 pandemic? According to Isabella, theres no change. “During COVID, it was another story, as I’m sure everyone can imagine,” she explained, highlighting the unique challenges and altered behaviours during the height of the pandemic. “But now, it’s back to the level it was before the pandemic.”

Catering to many clients from Europe, who are often visiting Phuket for the first time, this demographic is eager to make their visit truly special. They want to charter a luxury yacht to visit unique and mesmerising locations around Phuket that only a handful of people are aware of. These clients seek to explore hidden gems and enjoy the luxury and privacy that a chartered yacht provides.

This ever-growing interest in bespoke experiences highlights the huge appeal of high-end, personalised services. “The allure of discovering secret spots and enjoying a luxurious, tailored experience is as strong as ever,” Isabella noted. Despite the temporary disruptions caused by the pandemic, the demand for memorable, exclusive adventures in Phuket remains robust.

4. Why Phuket?

A Tropical Paradise

Discussing the attractions of Phuket, Isabella highlighted several key factors. “Phuket offers excellent flight connections and is easy to navigate by air, with the private jet terminal being a significant advantage,” she noted.

She praised the island’s amazing hotels and resorts, emphasizing their super luxury standards and the fantastic weather. “The presence of the Aman brand, especially the Amanpuri resort, validates Phuket as a true luxury destination,” Isabella explained, adding that it provides scenic, secluded, and private locations that attract A-listers and celebrities.

Regarding yachting in Phuket, she remarked on the impressive selection of yachts and the comprehensive yacht services available, including catering and maintenance. “Special food and drink, such as truffles, caviar, and great champagnes, can be sourced very easily here,” she added.

5. The Future of Phuket

From strength to strength

When asked if luxury is the future of Phuket, Isabella expressed unwavering confidence. “Absolutely, yes. The old backpacker scene faded away when COVID hit, and since then, we’ve witnessed a significant transformation. New developments are springing up everywhere—villas, condos, and luxury resorts are expanding rapidly.”

Global brands have established a lasting presence, ensuring that super-luxury is on the rise. Every five-star facility and amenity imaginable is now available, from world-class spas and gourmet dining to exclusive beachfront properties.

The focus is undeniably on luxury, but Phuket still retains its unique charm and continues to offer something for everyone, from serene retreats to vibrant nightlife.
The island is evolving, and its reputation as a premier luxury destination is only set to grow stronger in the coming years.


As we conclude our conversation with Isabella, we are grateful for the valuable insights she shared about the luxury yachting market in Phuket. It’s intriguing to observe a consistent pattern when discussing Phuket’s future; everyone agrees that the island is on the rise and poised to become a global luxury destination. To learn more about Isabella or to charter your own yacht in Phuket, visit our website.

Source: https://elitegroup.cc/the-language-of-luxury/f/in-conversation-isabella-naef

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