4-bedroom Villas in Kamala, Phuket, Thailand

A former fishing village, now home to a collection of Phuket's most luxurious properties, Kamala is a case study in transformation. Set along a curving, white sand bay on Phuket's west coast, it has emerged as something of an expat enclave and a sought-after destination for the exclusive set. A holiday in Kamala is great for families and groups with young children with its shallow sea waters and less chaotic vibe, and fishermen-turned-tour guides now offer trips to nearby beaches on their traditional long-tail boats, still seen bobbing in the bay's south end.

Things to do in Kamala include visits to local eateries and bars, which retain a casual atmosphere unlike the hectic debauchery of Patong or the swankiness of Surin. Shopping is done at local open-air markets or the small shops that line the village's streets selling tourist fare, beachwear and convenience items. Those seeking more upscale choices head north to Surin Beach (4km), to the Laguna Phuket Canal Village shopping centre in Bang Tao Beach (10km), or south to the Jungceylon shopping centre in Patong (15km).

A few minutes south of Kamala town, lies the headland known as Millionaires' Mile, a luxury enclave where Phuket's most stylish and pricey resorts and private villas can be found along its stunning coastal road. Besides many elite havens, here you will also find the smart Andara Resort, owned by Hong Kong's famed entrepreneur Allan Zeman, with its popular Silk restaurant, the Hyatt Regency Phuket and the five-star Cape Sienna resort, whose rooftop bar, Vanilla Sky, is a hot spot for sunset cocktails. Kamala is 28km south of Phuket’s International Airport.

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Villa Amanzi Kamala

Villa Amanzi Kamala

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

We just had so much fun staying at Villa Amanzi. We were blown away by how beautifully its unusual modern design fits with the tropical setting. On seeing the villa for the first time, we could just imagine this scenario: A man meets his architect at a bar to discuss plans for a new villa. The man orders a drink: "I'd like it on the rocks, please!" The architect dutifully executes this request, et voila! Amanzi is born.

But this was no accident, of course. Amanzi's design takes full advantage of the property's unusual natural features and does not impose less imaginative people might have simply blasted the rock out to make way for the villa.

We enjoyed trying out all the high-tech bells and whistles such as the touch-screen control panel and were constantly surprised by all the fun little design details such as the two 'windows' on the swimming pool's bottom that formed funky blue 'skylights' to the floor below one in the family room, the other above the balcony.

Another plus was that all the electronic controls and buttons were clearly labelled and easy to use even for techno-phobes such as ourselves. In the end, however, nature won out as we delighted in listening to the crashing waves and birdsong, and watching in awe as the sunset skies turned the infinity pool into a luminous blaze of gold, pink and red.
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From $1,150 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.2

Real-time Availability

Villa Chada

Villa Chada

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

We have stayed in luxury accommodation plenty of times before, but we have to say that Villa Chada is amongst our absolute favourites. The landscaped gardens are fantastic, the lawns are neat, the lotus ponds swarm with colourful fish as gargoyles stare fiercely, and frangipani and bougainvillea trees give colour and scent. It really is a tropical garden oasis.

We spent most of our time in the infinity pool, it’s big enough to exercise and overlooks the ocean, and is surrounded by tall tropical trees. If we weren’t in the pool, we could be found lounging on the sunbeds, soaking up the rays. Early evenings were spent on the daybed gazing out at the ocean and not doing a lot apart from listening to nature’s sounds that one misses in hectic city life. We saw colourful longtail fishing boats pass by, and one day, to our delight, a monitor lizard hurrying for cover on the cliffs below.

We did have a small tussle over who would stay in the master suite as it has the best views and a great wraparound terrace, but it really didn’t matter as all the suites have fantastic views and with three bathtubs to choose from to bubble up, we were more than happy.

The villa staff is friendly and discreet. The food was amazing, Thai cuisine with suggestions from our very own private chef. They even ran out to the local store to buy us some wine on request. Apart from the TV, there isn’t much in the way of entertainment so bring a book or two and enjoy well-earned tranquility. There’s plenty to do outside the villa, we spent one afternoon at the luxury Andara Resort, enjoying the fine dining experience and watching children take part in cookery classes.

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From $1,090 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.4

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One Waterfall Bay

One Waterfall Bay

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

We found One Waterfall Bay to be a standout villa on many fronts.  The sheer size and decadence of its rooms – especially its upper-floor master suite, featuring not one but two home theatres and even two WCs in its huge private bathroom – is one of the most lavish we’ve come across.  With a mini-fridge and private balcony to boot, we wouldn’t expect couples lucky enough to claim this suite to see much of their fellow guests during their stay!  Every room is furnished and finished to the highest quality, from the polished wood floors to the sparkling stainless-steel kitchen to the marble bathrooms.

Service is also outstanding.  Though the on-site staff may not be very fluent in English, they’re very keen to assist and each meal we enjoyed during our stay was delicious and presented with panache.  If there’s any trouble communicating, an English-speaking guest relations manager is just a phone call away.  Though we didn’t avail ourselves of the driver and his minivan on our visit, this is a terrific perk since very few private villas in Phuket include this service.

We loved that this is a real all-weather villa, with plenty to keep guests happy come rain or shine.  Though it lacks a garden, the villa’s large pool and jacuzzi, set on a wide terrace, offer plenty of space and comfy furniture for enjoying the tropical setting.  Sipping a morning coffee on the terrace and watching dozens of birds darting amongst the trees of  the lush headland jungle; occasionally swooping in for a quick fly-by splash in the pool, is a sight we won’t soon forget!  Nestling into the sofas in the home cinema was another treat. All in all, we felt very spoiled throughout our visit at One Waterfall Bay.  Our only regret was running out of time to try a massage treatment in the spa room.
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From $1,150 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.7
Guest Rating 9.1

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Villa Samira

Villa Samira

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

At Villa Samira we really felt connected to the sea and sky. The villa is blessed with all-encompassing views and fabulous sunsets, and with its sleek style and cool blue, turquoise and white accents, it emanated a luxury yacht-like ambiance that had us dreaming of long sea voyages as we floated blissfully in the pool.  

We think this villa would have extra appeal for groups of holidaying couples, with its three top-floor bedroom suites each offering lavish places to relax in privacy.  Battles might be waged, however, over the master suite, with its coveted private jacuzzi set on the terrace and extra-large dressing room and bathroom.  The three lower-floor guest rooms, though slightly smaller, still offer plenty of comfort and luxury. 

The staff here are friendly and helpful and, though unobtrusive, are available throughout the day whenever needed.  The villa manager was keen to know exactly how we liked our meals prepared, and when we mentioned that we liked spicy food she added an extra side dish of chopped chilli at dinner time.  (We’d forgotten that when you say “spicy” in Thailand it means a white-hot fire! So it was thoughtful of her to give us control over the heat level.)   

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From $1,300 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.7

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Kamala Hills Naka 12 (James Bond Villa)

Kamala Hills Naka 12 (James Bond Villa)

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

With this villa's hidden hillside location and secret pool trapdoor, James Bond himself couldn't have come up with a more clever design for enjoying a tropical retreat. It made for an exhilarating start to the day to drop straight into the water from the bedside and emerge into the pool for a morning swim. Why does the master suite have a trapdoor to the pool? Well, why not? It's a fun feature that makes this villa truly one of a kind.

We really enjoyed our prime view of the jungle from all rooms, and especially from the terrace and pool where we spent most of our day. Floating on our back, looking up at the canopy overhead was truly a dream. By night, the jungle's drama continued with floodlights pointed towards it. On our first evening at the villa there was a brief rain shower, so when the lights came on we were treated to the wonderful sight of thick foliage glistening in the darkness, almost like a natural Christmas light show (we did stay here just after Christmas so it was a nice, festive touch). By day, we sat back and watched a squirrel jump out onto a papaya tree to snack on its bulbous green fruit while its avian friends flitted in and around the trees. A Chinese pond heron (we think) sometimes flew down to pose at the pool's edge – perhaps a bit of a show-off.

The bedrooms, with queen- or king-sized beds, offer a nice balance for kids and adults, though their sparse furnishings and lack of entertainment equipment make them suited for sleeping only. Which is fine, since this villa is more about enjoying time together in the pool and comfortable living-dining areas.

Having no staff in the villa meant we were left to our own devices for dining, but a list of places – some of which deliver – in a very useful villa guide led us to some good choices. The villa management company is helpful in getting you settled in and making recommendations for dining and getting around – it also provides an airport pick-up service (for an extra charge) though we had our own transport.

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Paresa Grand Villa 5

Paresa Grand Villa 5

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

Water, water everywhere! From the expansive sea views to the three swimming pools to the fabulous baths, there's no escaping from aquatic delights at Paresa Grand Villa 5. Soothed by its cool earthy tones, gorgeous Southern Thai design and seamless outdoor and indoor spaces, our worries simply floated away in a sea of serenity. We loved the openness of all the rooms -- there's nothing quite as refreshing as peeling aside an entire wall to greet the morning's tropical breezes. Equally as nice, as evening arrived, was the ease in which the bedrooms could be made cosy by drawing the curtains and switching on the romantic lighting, while the air conditioning cooled down hot bodies after a day in the sun. Paresa's picturesque location and impressive facilities are ideal for a wedding or other celebration, with a full contingent of resort services and staff on hand to help. As a resort-style villa, Paresa does not have the live-in staff that regular villa guests may anticipate but a butler is easily reached by phone. We felt that the subtlety of the interior design made the villa a bit generic looking; some splashes of colour would have added flavour. However, what the villa lacks in character, is made up for by the Paresa Resort staff's smooth professionalism and the good range of activities on offer such as cooking classes, yacht trips, spa sessions or market excursions (additional charges apply). Paresa's many staircases will make it difficult for those with limited mobility and a watchful eye on young children will be needed with the open pools and lack of barriers on some steep areas.
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Samsara Estate - Villa Hale Malia

Samsara Estate - Villa Hale Malia

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

For privacy, location and facilities Villa Hale Malia takes a lot of beating and we loved the modern architecture which is very different to other villas we’ve experienced in Thailand. However the real stand out is the view – you will be hard pressed to find anything like it.

Service is very good, discreet yet attentive and the home-cooked meals are excellent. The bathrooms are modern and clean, bedrooms comfortable with pleasant patios and views but it is the common areas which shine with cathedral style ceilings and extensive use of glass and that stunning panorama.

It’s not easy for a villa to be adaptable all types of clientele but we felt that Villa Hale Malia comes very close. For those travelling with young children, it’s perhaps not the perfect choice – there are steep drop-offs in the sloping garden and from the edge of the pool – and it’s a little too secluded for multiple trips into town. We’d recommend it more for those looking to stay in and enjoy the villa, the views and the polished service. That said, many of the owners of these villas have young families and we know they have a wonderful time. The villa is a great place for hosting a party and the excellent sound system (with speakers in all living areas, including the outside sala and brbecue pit) can be cranked up quite high without having to worry too much about disturbing the neighbours.
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Samsara Estate - Villa Leelavadee

Samsara Estate - Villa Leelavadee

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

Groups of friends and couples will adore the privacy of Leelavadee’s location and its potential for entertaining, however we felt the villa to be particularly suited to families (one or two) since it has two twin rooms which share a balcony and two larger bedroom suites. Since the bedrooms are on the lower level we felt they were given more privacy and allowed the upstairs living/dining areas to be used exclusively for relaxing and entertaining. A garden surrounds the villa, but it is steep and was used more as an alternative route to different parts of the villa than for relaxing in. The swimming pool has an infinity edge and looks towards the sea through branches that – although providing Leelavadee with lots of privacy – do somewhat disturb the views. The gym and pool table offer diversion away from the living areas so that others can relax in peace and quiet, however speakers are wired throughout the villa if a background beat is desired. The home cinema really enhances the villa’s appeal for families and movie buffs, especially as the bookshelves of the media room are filled with a large selection of DVDs as well as CDs and board games. Since the large sofas in this room can be made into an extra bed, this room can also be used as a fifth bedroom if necessary (it has its own ensuite bathroom too).
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Samsara Estate - Villa Lomchoy

Samsara Estate - Villa Lomchoy

Thailand » Phuket » Kamala

Villa Lomchoy has great potential for those looking for a secluded but stylish retreat. It’s a fair distance from town but its cliff-top location is unbeatable in terms of privacy and stunning vista. We loved the living spaces, particularly outdoors around the amazing pool terrace – this has to be one of the best sunset views on the island.

The villa’s interior design is minimalist but shows both good taste and a sense of humour – we liked the oversized wooden teapot set on a bed of white pebbles on the downstairs landing and the old photo of the Shanghai Bund in the study. Other design pieces, whether the over-sized gourds or the antique bow and arrow add both a sense of fun and a refinement to the property.

Bedrooms are comfortable and full of natural light and we enjoyed the unique artwork on the walls and the individual colour schemes.  The owners have young children but the villa isn’t particularly ideal for families with straying toddlers, due to the steepness of the garden and the drop from the infinity pool – with due care however it shouldn’t pose a problem. Service from the house-keeper was friendly and helpful although her limited English made communication slightly complicated.
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