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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Bungadesa Villas (7BR + 3)

Bungadesa Villas (7BR + 3)

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 and 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 either of the two pools.

Make sure you take the time to nip down the local lagoon-side restaurant on your way back from the beach. It’s charming and rustic and, as well as a great menu of holiday favourites, can rustle up a half-decent pizza in a flash... and the beer is always icy cold. The villa staff were great  -  funny, sassy, chatty when needed and gone like the wind when we wanted to be alone. A sweet touch was a gift for the ladies, while Nana’s home-cooking proved to be superb, especially her seafood curry.
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Craig Appin Bungalow

Craig Appin Bungalow

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Hatton

We really liked Craig Appin. The rooms are all very comfortable and the four-poster beds in the two front rooms certainly look very grand. Although most of the furnishings are new, their style is redolent of the past. Bedrooms 4 and 5 are situated closest to the kitchen so in the morning, the noise of the staff preparing breakfast can sometimes be heard. Bedrooms 2 and 3 share a bathroom (you need to walk through bedroom 2 to reach it) although there is a guest WC along the corridor that occupants of bedroom 3 can use during the night. Having two living rooms was handy, so everyone can find their own space. We found the staff to be efficient, and meals were always served promptly, however only the chef spoke an acceptable level of English. Siri, the bungalow manager, drops by daily and is available at all times by phone, so it’s better to communicate any complicated requests to him, and he’ll relay the information to the staff. Lunches and dinners tend to be quite formal three-course affairs (pick from a limited set menu or let Siri know if there’s anything you would particularly like), featuring British style dishes and Sri Lankan cuisine. We preferred the local dishes, and particularly enjoyed the Sri Lankan breakfast curry spread.
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Anilana Craigbank Nuwara Eliya

Anilana Craigbank Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Nuwara Eliya

Anilana Craigbank is wonderfully warm and welcoming. Décor is contemporary colonial as befits this 160-year-old house which was expertly renovated and modernised by a previous French owner who lived here for many years. Despite the grand feel of the house and the enjoyable formalities of a good staff team, the atmosphere is relaxed. Each of the bedrooms is very comfortable with wonderful garden views. A selection of magazines, books, board games, DVDs and satellite TV kept us well occupied in the evenings. The Drawing Room is a cosy place to curl up with a book, and the DVD library in the TV room will keep the kids amused. It can get quite cold at night, so rooms are heated by working fireplaces whilst heavy curtains, knitted bedspreads and draught excluders all help to keep you toasty and warm.

The staff are friendly, warm and eager to make your stay as comfortable as possible; their natural hospitality also adds to the charm of staying at Anilana Craigbank. On our most recent visit, the house had come under new management. They have refurbished the house, replacing soft furnishings – the dusky walls of the bedrooms are brightened up by a contrasting collection of vibrant Sri Lankan artwork, colonial prints and Ceylonese maps; installed WiFi and brought in a few new staff. There are now a selection of priced menus for all meals, including breakfast. Two to three-course set menus for lunch and dinner always list a local and a western option, and tend to change daily. There is also a snack menu available. No alcohol is served at the house, however guests can bring their own tipples and no corkage will be charged. The house’s two tubby yet adorable labradors – Gin and Tonic – are still popular characters on the property, but can be shut away if guests would prefer. Hot water still takes a little time to work its way through the pipes!

During Sri Lankan New Year in April (typically the 13th and 14th) many Colombo residents flock here for family holidays. During this time the town is in full bloom and has a carnival atmosphere with many events – horse racing, car rallies, motor cross, golf tournaments, garden competitions and discos – being held. Prices often triple during this period and the town can get very noisy and busy. Unless you would particularly like to be here for this occasion, it is probably better avoided.

 
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Dhevatara Cove - Baan Rattana Thep

Dhevatara Cove - Baan Rattana Thep

Thailand » Koh Samui » Lipa Noi

It's rare to feel the spirit of history on a modern-day holiday island like Koh Samui, especially staying in a brand new, luxury villa. But Baan Rattana Thep soon transported us back to the colonial era. The architecture and fittings may be state-of-the-art, and certainly add to the extravagant experience, but it’s the carefully chosen art and artefacts that inspire you, bringing to mind learned pursuits such as poetry, philosophical conversation and an appreciation of fine wine.

There's plenty of space and opportunity for less cerebral activities too. You can fritter away the days lazing by the pool, lounging in the garden or relaxing on your bedroom terrace just enjoying the surroundings. Add to that TVs in virtually every room, hooked up to satellite and DVDs players, not to mention a villa-wide sound system, and you're never without options for holiday distraction.

It's unlikely you will want to venture out for meals either with a private chef on hand to prepare a range of delectable Thai and western dishes from a varied suggestion menu (ingredients on guest account). But if you do get itchy taste buds, the villa manageress will happily recommend options both in nearby Lipa Noi or Taling Ngam, even further afield if you don't mind the drive.

Staying within a development, albeit in high-walled privacy, offers opportunities to socialise with the neighbours and the beachside dining sala (gazebo) is great place to entertain. A heavy set of wooden gates actually connects through to the villa next door and renting two of the Dhevatara Cove properties would definitely create an impressive private wedding or party venue.

Baan Rattana Thep is a versatile property with a character of its own that makes you feel fortunate from the moment you enter its bounteous grounds.
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Dhevatara Cove - Baan Rattana Thep

Dhevatara Cove - Baan Rattana Thep

Thailand » Koh Samui » Lipa Noi

It's rare to feel the spirit of history on a modern-day holiday island like Koh Samui, especially staying in a brand new, luxury villa. But Baan Rattana Thep soon transported us back to the colonial era. The architecture and fittings may be state-of-the-art, and certainly add to the extravagant experience, but it’s the carefully chosen art and artefacts that inspire you, bringing to mind learned pursuits such as poetry, philosophical conversation and an appreciation of fine wine.

There's plenty of space and opportunity for less cerebral activities too. You can fritter away the days lazing by the pool, lounging in the garden or relaxing on your bedroom terrace just enjoying the surroundings. Add to that TVs in virtually every room, hooked up to satellite and DVDs players, not to mention a villa-wide sound system, and you're never without options for holiday distraction.

It's unlikely you will want to venture out for meals either with a private chef on hand to prepare a range of delectable Thai and western dishes from a varied suggestion menu (ingredients on guest account). But if you do get itchy taste buds, the villa manageress will happily recommend options both in nearby Lipa Noi or Taling Ngam, even further afield if you don't mind the drive.

Staying within a development, albeit in high-walled privacy, offers opportunities to socialise with the neighbours and the beachside dining sala (gazebo) is great place to entertain. A heavy set of wooden gates actually connects through to the villa next door and renting two of the Dhevatara Cove properties would definitely create an impressive private wedding or party venue.

Baan Rattana Thep is a versatile property with a character of its own that makes you feel fortunate from the moment you enter its bounteous grounds.
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Dhevatara Cove - Baan Rattana Thep

Dhevatara Cove - Baan Rattana Thep

Thailand » Koh Samui » Lipa Noi

It's rare to feel the spirit of history on a modern-day holiday island like Koh Samui, especially staying in a brand new, luxury villa. But Baan Rattana Thep soon transported us back to the colonial era. The architecture and fittings may be state-of-the-art, and certainly add to the extravagant experience, but it’s the carefully chosen art and artefacts that inspire you, bringing to mind learned pursuits such as poetry, philosophical conversation and an appreciation of fine wine.

There's plenty of space and opportunity for less cerebral activities too. You can fritter away the days lazing by the pool, lounging in the garden or relaxing on your bedroom terrace just enjoying the surroundings. Add to that TVs in virtually every room, hooked up to satellite and DVDs players, not to mention a villa-wide sound system, and you're never without options for holiday distraction.

It's unlikely you will want to venture out for meals either with a private chef on hand to prepare a range of delectable Thai and western dishes from a varied suggestion menu (ingredients on guest account). But if you do get itchy taste buds, the villa manageress will happily recommend options both in nearby Lipa Noi or Taling Ngam, even further afield if you don't mind the drive.

Staying within a development, albeit in high-walled privacy, offers opportunities to socialise with the neighbours and the beachside dining sala (gazebo) is great place to entertain. A heavy set of wooden gates actually connects through to the villa next door and renting two of the Dhevatara Cove properties would definitely create an impressive private wedding or party venue.

Baan Rattana Thep is a versatile property with a character of its own that makes you feel fortunate from the moment you enter its bounteous grounds.
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Dhevatara Cove - Baan Tao Talay

Dhevatara Cove - Baan Tao Talay

Thailand » Koh Samui » Lipa Noi

As much as Samui has to offer, we struggled to pull ourselves away from Baan Tao Talay’s comfortable terry cloth covered sun loungers, except perhaps for a dip in the pool every so often, or to take a stroll on the beach with its postcard-perfect sunset views. As dusk approaches, the villa puts on her party dress. Candles are lit by the staff who, though for the most part unseen, are always there when you need them. Tea-lights are dotted across the lawn, lanterns lit and cocktails prepared: we highly recommend Khun Joy's Mojito, bursting with mint and lime, and a perfect way to welcome the sunset.

The villa emits a warm glow, and delicious smells waft from the kitchen as dinner is prepared for us to enjoy in the beachside sala. The villa's talented in-house chef has no problem preparing special requests. His repertoire of vegetarian dishes is vast and he even makes his own tofu. With seafood literally on the doorstep – bought from the fishermen who walk the beach – fish is a regular item on the menu.

Oh the beds! If your goal is to get some rest during your stay at Tao Talay, you won't be disappointed. Dressed in crisp white linen, a duvet to snuggle into and with both foam and down pillows, these beds will guarantee you wake refreshed each morning, ready for another day of doing as you please. We also admired how silent the air-con is. But don't be tempted to sleep away too much of your time when there's so much else to enjoy at the villa. Should you fancy a massage, ask Khun Joy to arrange a professional masseuse and relax with a treatment either at the beach sala, or in the comfort of your room.

Although the ferry pier is only 200m away, it's no bother, and you'll only hear a short horn toot as boats depart and dock. In fact, it adds interest to what would otherwise be an uneventful, albeit pretty beach scene.

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Dick Oya Bungalow

Dick Oya Bungalow

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Hatton

The winding road leading up to Dick Oya Bungalow promises something special at the top, and it doesn’t disappoint. From its glorious hilltop location you can eye 360-degree views and revel in four acres of private gardens. As soon as you arrive at the bungalow, you’re transported back in time. Although the bathrooms are quite basic, the rest of the house lives up to its promise of twenty-first century comforts and is wonderfully cosy. There are two generously sized living rooms, and each of the bedrooms come with sitting areas too meaning that there’s plenty of private space to hide away. The staff at the bungalow carry out their roles efficiently, if a little seriously, but this formality provides yet more character to a stay here. The dining room is elegant and meals are a formal affair – multiple courses for lunch and dinner are priced per person, and although they list a small selection of western and Sri Lankan options, efforts are made, where possible, to accommodate any request. The Sri Lankan dishes were our favourite, and were perhaps more in keeping with the chef’s abilities than the western dishes. Siri, the friendly off-site manager drops by daily to visit guests and assist with anything they need.
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Emerald Beach Villa 4

Emerald Beach Villa 4

Thailand » Koh Samui » Bang Por-Nathon

As an independent couple with plenty of travel experience, we found Emerald Beach Villa offered everything we needed on a beachside break and represented good value when compared to similar accommodation in a hotel. It would work equally well for a family. An agreeable, practical space, clearly designed for outdoor living, we spent most of our time either by the pool, on the beach or in the fan-cooled dining pavilion with the sliding doors flung open to catch the sea breeze. The rear pavilion is something of an anomaly, especially the 'greenhouse' lounge which gets very warm during the day. The bedrooms however, are spacious, cool and comfortable, although with so much glass the morning sun tends to flood in so light sleepers may find early rises become the routine. The upstairs twin bedroom is great for older kids (say seven years and above), but families with toddlers may find the steep stairs and upper landing that lead to it a concern.

Renting a vehicle is highly recommended if you plan to eat out a lot, although the in-villa menu suggestions are varied if you opt to pay extra for an in-house chef. A jolly cleaner arrives every morning after breakfast and again in the evening, she's accompanied by the helpful villa manageress who deals with special requests and will even nip to the local shops to buy basic provisions. Essentially, it is the beautiful garden, quiet beach and stunning views that appeal most. The somewhat remote location makes the holiday home (villa may be a tad generous) feel your own as soon as you arrive and although the neighbours are very close by, walled grounds create a pleasant, personalised holiday environment. As a private alternative to Samui's more upmarket resort accommodation it is an attractive choice.

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The Headland Villa 1

The Headland Villa 1

Thailand » Koh Samui » Taling Ngam

You'd be hard pressed to find a more romantic spot than The Headland Villas. The sunsets are unbelievable and the design definitely lends itself to love, with special touches like private bathroom terraces and sliding wooden shutters outside the bedrooms for added privacy. Even if you bring the kids or share with friends you can easily escape to your own space (upstairs in the TV room, for example while the kids are in the pool).

For those craving company and variety, being virtually inside the grounds of a luxury resort means the options for dining and entertainment are far more diverse than you would expect in such a secluded location. The cool, white decor and uncluttered interiors not only show off your sun tan, but also mean you don't worry too much about drifting between the pool, terrace and fridge in your beach gear. The staff keep a low profile and are 'on-call' rather than 'in-situ' for most of the time (although extra hands can be brought in, as needed, at extra cost), so you're left to do your thing in satisfied peace.

Being part of a small estate also gives you the option of hiring more than one of The Headland Villas for a family gathering or celebration. Once ensconced in your own villa, however, you neither see nor hear your neighbours unless you want to. It's quite rare, even on Samui, to find such modern comforts so close to unspoilt nature and traditional island life. The combination of the two makes for a memorable holiday indeed.

Since our initial visit three years ago, the Headland Villas have flourished and now blend even more naturally into their surroundings as the gardens have become more established. The properties have been well-maintained, with little evidence of wear-and-tear.
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
Search Results: 223 Villa(s) in 23 page(s)
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