The Great Outdoors Villas

Lazing by the pool all day not your idea of fun? Try one of these villas which are perfectly placed for discovering the great outdoors – be it hiking or biking, bird-spotting or white-water-rafting – there will be something nearby to suit those who prefer a more active holiday.

Search Results: 223 Villa(s) in 23 page(s)
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Ban Laem Sor

Ban Laem Sor

Thailand » Koh Samui » Laem Sor

Ban Laem Sor is one of the more modest villas we've seen on Koh Samui, but what it lacks in extravagant amenities it makes up for with privacy and tropical ambiance. After all, not everyone needs a flat-screen TV in their bedroom or a private jacuzzi tub in the ensuite. In fact, removing such distractions meant we spent more time exploring and appreciating the beach and natural surroundings. Walks from this villa are very therapeutic, either along the sand or through the coastal lanes (best undertaken in the cooler parts of the day).

If you choose to self-cater it's a good idea to stock up at one of the island's larger supermarkets (Tesco Lotus or Big C) in Chaweng (20km from the villa) at the beginning of your stay. There's not much available locally in terms of provisioning, but having a handful of local restaurants nearby does mean you can take the easy dining option if you feel like a night off.

Adventurous types can plan their stay around some interesting trips: it's a short drive to waterfalls, elephant rides or a little local village culture. You can even rent a long-tail boat from Tong Krut (3km) to explore the offshore islands. This is not really a base for night owls though: Lamai is a little too far away for late-night driving and once you leave the main ring road there's not much in the way of street lighting. Relaxed, home-based entertainment was our preference, with some soothing music on the stereo (bring your favourite CDs) and a nice bottle of wine selected from the in-villa wine list with dinner.

Laem Sor was being spruced up when we returned for a follow-up visit in June 2013. The villa was looking good, with a new lick of paint and varnish, and more garden lighting being installed.
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Villa Bangkuang

Villa Bangkuang

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

We were impressed by the vast green space that Villa Bangkuang put at our disposal. As we entered through the gates from the driveway, the walls evaporated, offering us an unobstructed view over the rice fields to the ocean several hundred metres away. This is definitely a place to relax, far away from the sounds of the modern world. There is nothing pretentious about Villa Bangkuang, it has elegance, charm, a warm ambience and a gentle energy. It was built as a family home, designed by its owners and furnished with love. Bali is acknowledged throughout the villa with a number of fascinating antique artefacts, and everything blends together beautifully from the rusticity of the rice barn, balé bengong and kitchen to the elegance of the living pavilion and the contemporary stylishness of the guest pavilion. Seseh and Sogsogan are very traditional villages with a close-knit society that warmly welcomes tourists into the fold. All the staff at Villa Bangkuang hail from these villages and are more than willing to place their sweet natures and charm at your service. Check with them to see if there are any special ceremonies taking place during your visit and you may be able to experience true Balinese culture first hand. It was Galungan when we visited (a bit like our Christmas): the streets were lined with giant decorated bamboo penjor poles and we were able to see the men-folk out on the street preparing lawar from freshly-killed pigs, a Balinese delicacy and a traditional male undertaking; much like any Western BBQ!
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Bayad Villa

Bayad Villa

Indonesia » Bali » Ubud

Bayad Villa’s garden is amazing and it felt so tropical. It was like a woodland overflowing with plants which, although carefully landscaped, were growing abundantly as if untamed. The villa felt spacious as such, and is perfectly set up for two families since each pair of suites is connected across the garden but self-contained, having their own entrances, swimming pools, kitchens and dining space. The main pool with its gorgeous curved infinity ledge creeping around the valley was a real focus of the property, however there really were lots of other options for relaxing and dining, including the verandas of each suite. That said, most were not fan-cooled and the main living pavilion, especially, got a little hot during the day.

The staff were efficient and because the property is so large we hardly saw them apart from at mealtimes when they tended to gather around the main kitchen to chat, which was a little off-putting. We were informed by the management company, however, that they have plans to change the kitchen design which would resolve this problem. As if to compensate for any disturbance, the house manager really went out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed at all times.

There’s quite an extensive priced menu at the villa – the cook’s excellent Balinese dishes come highly recommended and you receive a complimentary Balinese meal if staying more than seven nights. Self-catering is also an option but only for stays of seven days or more; in this instance, a 30% charge is added onto the total cost of your grocery bill if the staff do your shopping for you.

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Blue Samui

Blue Samui

Thailand » Koh Samui » Bang Por-Nathon

There's something refreshingly independent about Blue Samui. The secluded setting is quite unusual for a fast developing island because there are no other properties surrounding the villa (bar one, a little further down the hill, which barely enters the view). This means you quickly relax into your own, private world – shoes and watch off, beachwear on. Once you've stocked the fridge at one of the island's big supermarkets, the urge to venture out fades, at least during the day. The homely atmosphere, combined with abundant on-hand facilities lets you set your own schedule and this generally involves little more than eating, lounging, reading and drifting into the view. Of course, unless you're someone that sees cooking as a leisure activity, the lack of a chef means dining out becomes part of the routine, but with a hire car there are plenty of options close by. The two on-site staff are very keen to please and will happily serve snacks and drinks so you don't have to leave you sun lounger too often. A poolside barbecue is also a must at least once during your stay. The evening light makes those breathtaking views almost surreal. Although the guest bedrooms share a bathroom, the rooms themselves are nicely furnished, spacious and the wide verandah is almost an extra lounge. The views from the nicely hidden bath tub in the master suite make bathing a special pleasure that adds to the indulgence in what, for us, was a pleasingly private and relaxing island retreat.
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Villa Bodhi

Villa Bodhi

Indonesia » Bali » Ubud

Villa Bodhi is a breath of fresh air. Amos Kotomori (a gifted clothing designer) has created a lush, art-filled residence within easy reach of Ubud that, luckily for us, is now available for holiday rental. On the drive up to the villa along Jalan Raya Sayan, the major luxury hotels - Four Seasons, Aman, Alila, and Como Shambahala – are all vying for that magical million-dollar river valley view. Kotomori has matched that same magical ambiance at Villa Bodhi, except with two major differences – no neighbours in sight and a nightly rate that sleeps eight people very comfortably instead of two.

Being the consummate artist, Kotomori has done things a little differently at Villa Bodhi. Instead of the quintessential frangipani flowers found everywhere in Bali, I am greeted by the cheerful sight of vibrant marigold blossoms, carefully placed along stone ledges and statues. The garden is alive with butterflies and dragonflies in a rainbow spectrum from butterscotch to pomegranate. The villa manager, Made (pronounced mah-day), welcomes me with a cold towel and refreshing drink, and as he gives me a tour of the villa I feel like I have stepped back in time to the 1930s, when the likes of European painter Walter Spies spent languid days at Ubud Palace, capturing on canvas the never-before-seen landscapes that lured the West to explore this side of paradise.

A perfect blend of traditional and modern, the villa’s antique joglo structures are enhanced with contemporary polished concrete floors, air conditioning, modern timber and glass construction to showcase the outstanding views, and well chosen teak accents that uplift the ambiance. Kotomori’s style is whimsically elegant: antique stone statues wear colourful beaded necklaces, reclaimed sailboat wood in royal blue and sea-foam green add playful character against museum quality pieces, and the mesmerising views from the swimming pool make attending that wood carving class in Ubud seem less of a priority.
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Villa Bodhi

Villa Bodhi

Indonesia » Bali » Ubud

Villa Bodhi is a breath of fresh air. Amos Kotomori (a gifted clothing designer) has created a lush, art-filled residence within easy reach of Ubud that, luckily for us, is now available for holiday rental. On the drive up to the villa along Jalan Raya Sayan, the major luxury hotels - Four Seasons, Aman, Alila, and Como Shambahala – are all vying for that magical million-dollar river valley view. Kotomori has matched that same magical ambiance at Villa Bodhi, except with two major differences – no neighbours in sight and a nightly rate that sleeps eight people very comfortably instead of two.

Being the consummate artist, Kotomori has done things a little differently at Villa Bodhi. Instead of the quintessential frangipani flowers found everywhere in Bali, I am greeted by the cheerful sight of vibrant marigold blossoms, carefully placed along stone ledges and statues. The garden is alive with butterflies and dragonflies in a rainbow spectrum from butterscotch to pomegranate. The villa manager, Made (pronounced mah-day), welcomes me with a cold towel and refreshing drink, and as he gives me a tour of the villa I feel like I have stepped back in time to the 1930s, when the likes of European painter Walter Spies spent languid days at Ubud Palace, capturing on canvas the never-before-seen landscapes that lured the West to explore this side of paradise.

A perfect blend of traditional and modern, the villa’s antique joglo structures are enhanced with contemporary polished concrete floors, air conditioning, modern timber and glass construction to showcase the outstanding views, and well chosen teak accents that uplift the ambiance. Kotomori’s style is whimsically elegant: antique stone statues wear colourful beaded necklaces, reclaimed sailboat wood in royal blue and sea-foam green add playful character against museum quality pieces, and the mesmerising views from the swimming pool make attending that wood carving class in Ubud seem less of a priority.
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Brockenhurst

Brockenhurst

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Nuwara Eliya

Brockenhurst is a good private base for visiting Nuwara Eliya town and nearby attractions. Although there are few facilities – the kitchen is basic and there is no swimming pool – Brockenhurst does represent very good value.

The house can accommodate up to twelve guests; since the master bedroom has space for five (rather like a dorm room we thought) and the second bedroom can sleep three, it’s a great house for a couple of families. We felt that the ground floor bedroom would be suitable for elderly relatives who weren’t keen on stairs, making the house a good choice for extended family holidays too. Whilst the number of bathrooms equals the number of bedrooms, only two are ensuite, but this doesn’t really pose a problem. We felt that the house reflected bygone days when entertainment was made, not provided, which is certainly part of its charm.

Whilst Brockenhurst has probably changed little aesthetically since its colonial days, it has been updated; bathrooms are modern and have scorching hot showers (although the bathtubs could do with a few touch-ups here and there), and whilst the bedrooms are comfortable, they are sparsely furnished. The Sri Lankan-style kitchen is practical for staff use only. There are no menus, you can discuss meal requirements daily with Godwin, the chef, and buy your own groceries or give money to Karu, the multi-tasking caretaker of Brockenhurst, to buy them on your behalf. The chef lives in and his English is good so we didn’t have any difficulties.

Brockenhurst has been refurbished since our first visit. The hallway and living room floors have been laid with timber, which feels much warmer underfoot and more homely than the previous cement flooring. The sofas in the living room have been replaced, and the fireplace here has also been remodelled. These upgrades all make the room feel more sophisticated than it did before.

There’s a new flat-screen TV, a DVD player (although no DVDs) and WiFi internet (works best downstairs). Karu and Godwin are both still there, and were as warm and friendly as ever. They have a third team member helping them out now too. The kitchen remains fairly basic (although with Godwin cooking there’s really no reason to use this room at all) and we noticed that two of the bathrooms have been slightly upgraded.

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Bulan Putih

Bulan Putih

Indonesia » Bali » Jimbaran - Bukit » The Bukit

Villa Bulan Putih is a great place to get hitched! The grounds are the perfect size and the ocean backdrop will live on in photos forever. 

And those views! Since the villa faces north east, the ocean doesn’t turn inky black come night-time but instead takes in the twinkling lights and energy of southern Bali in a broad arc. On clear mornings, the mountains that form Bali’s backbone fill the horizon, while the crashing waves of nearby Bingin Beach can be heard 24/7. The views get even better from the first- and second-floor balconies; a quick glance from here in the early mornings will ascertain whether or not the waves are worth getting out of bed for.

Having seven bedrooms provides a lot of space for family and friends, and there’s even up to four extra beds and a TV room that can be converted to a bedroom for any overflow. Kids will love the size of the villa grounds, where they can run around to their hearts’ content. The staff are a real treat and never missed a beat.

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Bulan Putih

Bulan Putih

Indonesia » Bali » Jimbaran - Bukit » The Bukit

Villa Bulan Putih is a great place to get hitched! The grounds are the perfect size and the ocean backdrop will live on in photos forever. 

And those views! Since the villa faces north east, the ocean doesn’t turn inky black come night-time but instead takes in the twinkling lights and energy of southern Bali in a broad arc. On clear mornings, the mountains that form Bali’s backbone fill the horizon, while the crashing waves of nearby Bingin Beach can be heard 24/7. The views get even better from the first- and second-floor balconies; a quick glance from here in the early mornings will ascertain whether or not the waves are worth getting out of bed for.

Having seven bedrooms provides a lot of space for family and friends, and there’s even up to four extra beds and a TV room that can be converted to a bedroom for any overflow. Kids will love the size of the villa grounds, where they can run around to their hearts’ content. The staff are a real treat and never missed a beat.

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Villa Bungadesa I (5BR + 1)

Villa Bungadesa I (5BR + 1)

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

This little enclave across the river from Batubelig beach is as peaceful and quiet as the day is long. All we could hear at night was the sound of the rolling surf through the open windows. And the early morning view  -  from the bed in the master suite  -  over the pink-capped waves of the Indian Ocean was inspiration... at its very best! The gardens at Bungadesa are huge  -  filled with soft lawns, flowering tropical plants, fruit trees (you’ve got to taste the homegrown passion fruit) and a wonderful mix of Indonesian architecture and indigenous statues. This place catches the sun and the cooling sea breezes in equal parts making for perfect sunbathing conditions beside the pool. And the villa staff are great  -  funny, sassy, chatty when needed and gone like the wind when we wanted to be alone. A sweet touch was a surprise gift for the ladies, while Nana’s home-cooking proved to be superb, especially her seafood curry.
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
Search Results: 223 Villa(s) in 23 page(s)
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