We thought Baan Paradise would be a great villa for groups and couples looking to stay close to lively Patong. Families, especially those with older children keen to indulge in the action of Patong, will also appreciate its private location and its facilities (pool table, massive TV with DVD player, Playstation II etc). However, since there is no garden, the villa might be a constraint for younger children with plenty of energy and, whilst the shallow end of the pool is fine for a paddle, the infinity edge might call for some parental supervision. The entertainment room downstairs is ideally placed beside the twin/triple room. Since the second (more Asian-style) kitchen and staff quarters open onto the entertainment room the villa staff tend to congregate here; whilst an advantage of this is that they can keep an eye on the kids, the downside is that we often felt like we were intruding on the staff if we wanted to come down and watch the TV. The ground floor bedrooms could do with a low table or luggage rack for suitcases but, in compensation, all come with a delicious selection of toiletries! The larger bedrooms on the top floor were the most private, but the ground floor bedrooms open right onto the swimming pool and might suit some people better. Groups of adults might want to consider using only the four ground and first floor bedrooms since the twin in the basement is better suited for children, and not so private. The cook prepares simple meals according to a menu (predominantly Thai food except for a couple of sandwich options) and can also prepare international meals and BBQs on request. We thought that the complimentary case of Heineken (and soft drinks) given to us on arrival was a nice touch. While the villa staff only speak basic English, the manager is happy to assist with everything from travel arrangements (complimentary airport transfers) to restaurant reservations.
5-bedroom Villas in Patong, Phuket, Thailand
Phuket's main tourist centre, Patong, sits half way down the island's famous west coast with its fabulous sandy beaches and picture postcard sunsets. Patong is busy, exciting and alive with a resort atmosphere by day and night. Patong presents international cuisines and icy cold drinks beside the beach; chic cafes next to beer bars; exquisite galleries next to Muay Thai rings; branded goods shops next to ‘knock-off' markets. Like all great Thai spots, Patong is a kaleidoscope of contradictions. International shopping centres, such as the Jungceylon mall with a Big C supermarket, are available in Patong as well as a whole host of mini-marts. Tesco, Central Festival and a larger Big C – the three main malls/supermarkets – are a 20km drive across the hills backing Patong.
Kamala, a small bay area known for its sandy beach, relaxed feel and slower pace, is 15km north of Patong. Ten minutes' drive north of Kamala is Surin, a surprisingly quiet ‘village' that exudes an air of luxury. Phuket Town is 23.5km away by car. Patong is a 53km drive from Phuket's international airport. The area is easily accessible by taxi and car hire is inexpensive.
We’ve visited nearly every villa in the L’Orchidée estate and found Villa Vanda P1 to be the most distinctive. Everything is fresh, bright and new here, with Vanda having come into the rental market only recently after a major upgrade (the villa has been converted into one large holiday home from two connected villas). Vanda will certainly appeal to those looking for a holiday home with a bit more flash and colour than the more conservative designs of most L’Orchidée Residence villas.
With its gorgeous sea-view setting in Patong's hills, Vanda’s the perfect place to enjoy opulent surrounds and some good old-fashioned pampering, yet not be completely withdrawn from the real world. 'Carefree' best describes the experience here, with a great range of facilities, services and attractions easily available and close at hand. Every day was different. One day we retreated completely and lounged by the pool, ordering our meals in and catching up on some reading while stretched out on the sun beds, the next we wandered downhill into central Patong and plunged into its busy hawker-lined streets and shopping arcades, and when the heat and crowds got to be too much, we beat a hasty retreat to the villa.
Overall, there's something to satisfy everyone at Villa Vanda: space, calm and a family-friendly environment; a terrific range of services and facilities for entertaining in style, and easy access to a wealth of attractions for those seeking more adventure – be it a challenging round of golf or a night out on the town. Kids especially will delight in having a choice to play in the villa's private pool or hang out with other children in the large communal pool and shallow children's pool at the clubhouse nearby.
In our several journeys up and down Phuket’s busy west coast, we’ve whizzed past the entrance to the narrow, lush lane of Patong Hill Estate many times and always wondered what it looked like inside. The estate is a property pioneer of sorts, being what we understand is the first luxury villa estate in Phuket, built in the early 1990s at the dawn of the island’s tourism boom. This five-bedroom Patong Hill Villa and its sister four-bedroom villa next door were built more recently (2004) at the top of the estate about eight years ago. Though it lacks the flashiness of some of the newer Phuket villas, it’s a lovely, welcoming place with an easy charm that we felt at home in immediately. Patong Hill delivers the full Phuket Island experience: impressive sea views, a jungle setting with whirring cicadas and birdsong, subtle touches of luxury and loads of comfort. Patong Hill Villa is a great choice for those who like to spice up their holiday with some nights out on the town. Though the villa offers a tranquil setting, we think it’s also an ideal launching point for a more action-packed holiday with the bright lights of Patong so close by. Patong is teeming with restaurants to explore, too, though you’d be hard-pressed to find a Thai meal as good as those prepared by the villa cook. Dining in-villa also offers better value since, typically for any tourist-oriented place, there can be some hair-raising prices at some of the better-known eateries in Patong. The service here is friendly and casual, and there’s a lack of formality that can be a welcome thing if you just want things taken care of with little fuss. If you’re seeking turn-down service and a line of crisply-dressed staff greeting you with garlands on arrival you’ll need to go elsewhere.
With its spectacular views and spacious though intimate atmosphere we found Pra-Nang to be a very relaxing villa, ideal for families, groups of friends and couples who wish to be close to the action of Patong Bay but not right in the thick of it. The lack of garden however (the villa has only a stepped concrete terrace brimming with colourful potted plants) makes it less suitable for energetic younger children or toddlers who would need a lot of supervision. The bedrooms are all similar in décor, comfort and size which will save any squabbling about who sleeps where. Benefitting from the villa’s broad position on the headland, each room has been built on the same level to take advantage of the panoramic views. We felt that this also makes the villa more sociable as all rooms opens onto the wide pool terrace. The swimming pool is not so big, however there is a separate elevated jacuzzi pool that makes up for it. The lounge offers a comfortable place to appreciate the views, or a cosy atmosphere for watching a movie. We appreciated the gym’s private location on the ground floor, especially as kids noisily playing pool or table tennis are less likely to be a disturbance. The villa has WiFi internet access and a computer with printer/scanner/fax.
The cook prepares simple meals according to a menu (predominantly Thai food except for a couple of sandwich options) however BBQs, western meals and other preferences (special diets) can be catered for on request. We thought that the complimentary case of Singha Beer (and soft drinks) on arrival was a nice touch. While the villa staff speak only basic English, the manager is happy to assist with everything from travel arrangements (complimentary airport transfers) to restaurant reservations.