Spa Sensation Villas

From a refreshing facial or perfect pedicure to a complete mud wrap, from a salt scrub to hot stone therapy, spa offerings are many and varied. These villas offer more than a simple massage on the sun lounger (see Body and Soul) – they include dedicated spa services with trained staff and special facilities for a sensational spa treatment.

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Villa Amanzi

Villa Amanzi

Thailand » Phuket » Kata

    Settling quickly into the relaxed and cosseted ambiance of Villa Amanzi, we soon found our own favourite places to relax and enjoy the private facilities of this well-laid-out villa (of which there are many). Amanzi is an extremely comfortable and easy base from which to make the most of Phuket's tropical charms.   

We spent much of our time just chilling, chatting and feasting at the dining sala overlooking the pool; interspersed with a peaceful read on the private balcony outside our plush master suite. We never lost touch with the dreamy beach views, which are definitely one of the highlights at this villa – blemished only slightly at night by a brightly lit sign for the Katathani Hotel.   

With ten years’ experience in her role, Villa Amanzi’s manager is ultra-efficient. The food was fresh and delicious, always served in generous quantities, and with a barbecue ready and waiting we are already planning a pool party for our next visit!  

For us, the only slight disappointment was needing to wear flip-flops rather than pad around barefoot on the rough sand-washed pool terrace: it certainly wasn't a deal breaker though. There are a lot of steps at the villa, but the extra indulgence of a sauna and massage room more than made up for any strenuous climbs, and there’s always the lift for when a day by the pool leaves you just too exhausted to walk up to bed!
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From $820 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.2

Real-time Availability

Villa Amanzi

Villa Amanzi

Thailand » Phuket » Kata

    Settling quickly into the relaxed and cosseted ambiance of Villa Amanzi, we soon found our own favourite places to relax and enjoy the private facilities of this well-laid-out villa (of which there are many). Amanzi is an extremely comfortable and easy base from which to make the most of Phuket's tropical charms.   

We spent much of our time just chilling, chatting and feasting at the dining sala overlooking the pool; interspersed with a peaceful read on the private balcony outside our plush master suite. We never lost touch with the dreamy beach views, which are definitely one of the highlights at this villa – blemished only slightly at night by a brightly lit sign for the Katathani Hotel.   

With ten years’ experience in her role, Villa Amanzi’s manager is ultra-efficient. The food was fresh and delicious, always served in generous quantities, and with a barbecue ready and waiting we are already planning a pool party for our next visit!  

For us, the only slight disappointment was needing to wear flip-flops rather than pad around barefoot on the rough sand-washed pool terrace: it certainly wasn't a deal breaker though. There are a lot of steps at the villa, but the extra indulgence of a sauna and massage room more than made up for any strenuous climbs, and there’s always the lift for when a day by the pool leaves you just too exhausted to walk up to bed!
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From $990 ++

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 12

Our
Rating 8.2

Real-time Availability

Amilla – the Amilla villa estate

Amilla – the Amilla villa estate

Maldives » Maldives » Maldives

It’s official:  I’m in heaven.  This is the perfect island home, and I don’t ever want to leave!  Flying over coral islands strung like pearls on a necklace, and sandbanks that sparkle in the sunlight, I knew we were in for a treat long before we arrived.  By the time we stepped onto the jetty to a phalanx of staff welcoming us to our ‘island home’, I was head over heels in love.

The Amilla Beach Villa Residences really are very special – an ultra-luxe destination with a relaxing island vibe and a bountiful heart-and-soul spirit.  Of the eight villas within this elite gated community, the six-bedroom Amilla Villa Estate was my favourite.

There are simply no words or pictures to do The Amilla Villa Estate justice.  Absolutely everything was beyond-high-expectation perfect – the contemporary Asia-style architecture, the clean lines of the light-filled interiors, the oh-so-perfect pool, the amazing amount of privacy and space.

The moment we arrived we kicked off our shoes and slipped into the island groove: swaying in the hammock, sunbathing on the cool pool loungers, diving into the silken lagoon waters mask-and-snorkel at the ready.  Indoors, we indulged in the many treats that arrived as if by magic throughout the day. (Turns out the villa came with its own magician –Munaadh, our hugely engaging Katheeb (house manager) who enriched our stay immeasurably.)  Munaadh proved to be a mind reader, able to anticipate our every whim, and shared his unbridled passion for the island with us.  He also organised a fabulous seafood-and-champagne barbecue at home – one of many culinary highlights of our stay.

Sauntering along sandy paths through coconut groves, past ancient Banyan trees, we were amazed by the huge choice of activities available across this small island.  Sure, you can have the laziest, most relaxing vacation ever – I would gladly have spent my entire time at the sublime Javva Spa alone!  But the chance to go dolphin watching, sunrise fishing and swimming with mantas was too tempting.

A shout-out to the astonishing array of restaurants at the Amilla Fushi must be made – the amazing culinary experiences and mouthwatering menus were among the many highlights of our trip.  Sunset cocktails followed by a fresh-from-the-sea meal at the over-water Feeling Koi restaurant is an absolute must; I admit to piling on the pounds during my stay.

Celeb-friendly privacy, acres of entertaining space and the fair-share bedrooms make The Amilla Villa Estate perfect for a gathering of friends. There’s also lots to keep kids entertained beyond the beach and pool – including the resort’s extensive recreational facilities and kids club.

It’s easy to lose all sense of time in this paradise.  In fact, ‘island time’ really does exist here, as the Amilla visionaries set their clocks two hours ahead of Male so guests can enjoy extra hours of daylight; how’s that for superlative customer service?  A sign at the Empire Beach Club claims “Happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life.”  What a perfect epithet for our stay!
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From $25,330 ++

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 12

Our
Rating 9.3

Baan Taley Rom

Baan Taley Rom

Thailand » Phuket » Natai Beach

Moments before we arrived at the beautiful Baan Taley Rom, we had to pause in our car to wait out a Natai Beach-style traffic jam: a herd of buffalo was being ushered across the road, destined for some luscious green grazing grounds nearby, we guessed. And so began our delightful immersion into rural Thai charm.

It was well worth the wait. Once we stepped through the villa’s elegant arched entrance we found a regal yet welcoming holiday home of contemporary style that offered a fine balance to the dazzling sea and sky views beyond. Sitting in splendid isolation on an acre of absolute beachfront land, Baan Taley Rom is a rare find in the Phuket area. With so much space to work with, the villa has an exceptional range of facilities: a glittering 25-metre pool, a fully equipped gym, a spa room, wide sundecks and landscaped gardens for outdoor play. Though the villa facilities alone offered plenty to keep us occupied, having a friendly team of staff on hand ensured that we were never left wanting. Gathering for a family-style Thai meal prepared by the villa chef while watching the tropical sunset paint the sea and sky a rosy-golden glow is an experience we will not soon forget.
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From $1,170 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.8

Real-time Availability

Baan Taley Rom

Baan Taley Rom

Thailand » Phuket » Natai Beach

Moments before we arrived at the beautiful Baan Taley Rom, we had to pause in our car to wait out a Natai Beach-style traffic jam: a herd of buffalo was being ushered across the road, destined for some luscious green grazing grounds nearby, we guessed. And so began our delightful immersion into rural Thai charm.

It was well worth the wait. Once we stepped through the villa’s elegant arched entrance we found a regal yet welcoming holiday home of contemporary style that offered a fine balance to the dazzling sea and sky views beyond. Sitting in splendid isolation on an acre of absolute beachfront land, Baan Taley Rom is a rare find in the Phuket area. With so much space to work with, the villa has an exceptional range of facilities: a glittering 25-metre pool, a fully equipped gym, a spa room, wide sundecks and landscaped gardens for outdoor play. Though the villa facilities alone offered plenty to keep us occupied, having a friendly team of staff on hand ensured that we were never left wanting. Gathering for a family-style Thai meal prepared by the villa chef while watching the tropical sunset paint the sea and sky a rosy-golden glow is an experience we will not soon forget.
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From $1,550 ++

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 12

Our
Rating 8.8

Real-time Availability

Villa The Beji

Villa The Beji

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

Our stay at Villa The Beji was delightful.  The villa is incredibly well laid out, especially for families – it would make a smashing venue for two or three families to share.  All six bedrooms are fabulously spacious and have extravagant bathrooms, and the living areas are all strategically positioned for parents to keep a watchful eye on children.  There’s a huge amount to do at the villa itself – swimming pool, home theatre room, table tennis and gym, as well as a tennis and basketball court and a mini football pitch (the latter shared with the adjacent sister villa).  If that’s not enough, nearby is the beach and the Finns Recreation Club, which provides first class recreational and leisure facilities. Guests of Villa The Beji enjoys complimentary access to the exclusive Finns Recreation Club Guests for up to 6 guests daily.

The Beji’s staff were a real pleasure and made our stay very easy – the chef produced great food, the waiters and waitresses were discreetly attentive and the villa manager very keen to assist.  They made the villa particularly hard to leave when it was time to head home!

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From $890 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.8
Guest Rating 7.3

Real-time Availability

Villa The Beji

Villa The Beji

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

Our stay at Villa The Beji was delightful.  The villa is incredibly well laid out, especially for families – it would make a smashing venue for two or three families to share.  All six bedrooms are fabulously spacious and have extravagant bathrooms, and the living areas are all strategically positioned for parents to keep a watchful eye on children.  There’s a huge amount to do at the villa itself – swimming pool, home theatre room, table tennis and gym, as well as a tennis and basketball court and a mini football pitch (the latter shared with the adjacent sister villa).  If that’s not enough, nearby is the beach and the Finns Recreation Club, which provides first class recreational and leisure facilities. Guests of Villa The Beji enjoys complimentary access to the exclusive Finns Recreation Club Guests for up to 6 guests daily.

The Beji’s staff were a real pleasure and made our stay very easy – the chef produced great food, the waiters and waitresses were discreetly attentive and the villa manager very keen to assist.  They made the villa particularly hard to leave when it was time to head home!

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Dea Villas - Villa Amy

Dea Villas - Villa Amy

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

What the owners have done with the space at Villa Amy is incredible; so much has been fitted into the villa without overcrowding it. We don’t think we have ever before encountered such a large master bedroom, complete with huge hardwood beams stretching all the way to the lofty ceiling, polished floors, antiques, sitting areas and sliding glass doors leading out to a fish pond which appears to cascade into the swimming pool below. We felt a bit spoiled to be honest. An even greater feeling of space is conveyed by the clever use of wooden louvre shutters in the garden walls: lying beside the pool looking at views of the green swaying rice while cooling breezes drift through the shutters was pure bliss. Speaking of the pool, its low position means that when swimming or sun bathing you can’t help but look up and be mightily impressed by the architecture of the master bedroom. A beautiful place to simply chill!
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Dea Villas - Villa Radha

Dea Villas - Villa Radha

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

There have been a few changes since we stayed at Villa Radha two and a half years ago, with the addition of two new villas to the enclave, a children’s playground, a gym and a spa. Staying at Villa Radha now means you have the choice of two spas on your doorstep. We decided, however, that we preferred the bygone era ambiance of the totally private wooden spa building within Villa Radha’s magical garden. Like the villa itself, the spa is another antique building so it is more in keeping with the overall character and charm. We noticed that with a total of five villas on the estate there is a now a little bit of hustle and bustle (and dare we say modernity) outside of Radha’s garden walls, but tucked away in our own private paradise – the gardens have grown and are even more beautiful than we remembered – we were able to completely relax and enjoy the wonderful service of the staff, and the great food. If you’re into sleek contemporary design the ethnic, rustic style of Villa Radha may not to be to your taste, but it is nevertheless immaculate and very comfortable, with all the trappings of the 21st century. There is no sitting room as such, but we enjoyed relaxing on the veranda, and were also very comfortable watching TV and movies in the air conditioned bedroom. As for the garden, well this is a landscaping triumph: forget any ideas of a modern Zen-like space, this garden will bewitch you with its tropical abundance of giant taro leaves, spiky pandanus, fan, parlour and travellers palms, bird’s nest ferns, heliconia, flowering frangipani, and rare fruit trees. It will make you wonder how it can be so full (almost to the point of being overgrown) and yet so meticulously maintained. At first we thought it was a little bit expensive for a one-bedroom villa, but when you consider the uniqueness of the property, the space, the facilities, the butler service, the pool, spa and gorgeous garden, you’ll probably agree that it’s extremely good value for money.
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Dea Villas - Villa Sarasvati

Dea Villas - Villa Sarasvati

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

Two-and-a-bit years on from our original visit, Villa Sarasvati has matured and multiplied but lost none of its former beauty. Sarasvati is now part of an enclave of five villas (known as Dea Villas), so some of the neighbouring rice field land has been forfeited but there are still rice field views from the upper floor and all of the new buildings within the Dea Villa complex are now complete and available for holiday rentals, offering a whole host of renting options for large groups. The next-door Villa Radha (formerly known as the Gladak House) and its garden is now a separate entity (unless rented in conjunction with Sarasvati), but that’s okay because this is compensated by some new communal facilities, including a children’s playground, a gym and a dedicated spa. Overall, we concluded that Villa Sarasvati has been exceptionally well maintained and is still as eclectic as ever. With the addition of two more properties, the Dea Villas enclave is now busier and more commercial, so while the ambiance may have lost a little bit of its original laidback vibe, the team of staff has of course grown (they serve the whole enclave) and they have become even more slick and professional, yet we still found the service to be very personal.
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
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