Villas in Bang Por-Nathon, Koh Samui
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.
The living and dining spaces open completely to the wide pool and deck areas making it effortless to drift indoors and out as the mood dictates without ever having to tear yourself away from that view. Bedrooms are all very privately situated, comfortable and spacious, and while each of the bright ensuite bathrooms offer a similar range of fixtures, individual colours and choice of materials make them all delightfully different. We were sorry not to be able to try out the sumptuous home cinema during our brief stay (there was major power failure on the island), but have vowed to return, as this was a villa luxury not to be missed. Not sure what our excuse was for not trying the gym – it was certainly well-equipped and even this room doesn’t compromise on the view – but somehow the massage beds won out over the stairmaster!
Lime Samui’s staff team impressed us in all the right ways. When we had questions they had the answers; when we wanted privacy they disappeared; when we were hungry they presented us with deliciously fresh and tasty meals. There is nowhere you can easily get to from Lime Samui without transport (unless you’re into mountaineering!) but a driver and car is provided and, as far as we were concerned, we had everything that we needed right there and no inclination to leave.
The four king-bedded rooms are all very privately situated, comfortable and spacious, while the kids room, with its wide terrace just above the pool, is near enough to the villa’s main living areas to keep an eye on the little ones while still letting them enjoy their own space and the great facilities that go with it.
Lime Samui’s staff team impressed us in all the right ways. When we had questions they had the answers; when we wanted privacy they disappeared; when we were hungry they presented us with deliciously fresh and tasty meals (do try the refreshing home-made iced pandan tea!). There is nowhere you can get to easily from Lime Samui without transport (unless you’re into mountaineering!) but a driver and car is provided and, as far as we were concerned, we had everything that we needed right there and no inclination to leave.
With bedrooms and living areas housed in separate buildings, peace and quiet is easy to come by. On the other hand, Riva's excellent facilities make it a great villa for socialising. We spent our afternoon sunning ourselves on the pool deck, attempting to swim the full 32-metre-length of the pool, and exploring the beach and rock pools, before enjoying sundowners as we watched fishing boats coming and going and the sun sinking into the bay.
A seafood dinner was enjoyed alfresco in the barbecue sala alongside the pool. The villa’s elevated position on the headland means it catches the breeze perfectly, but on a still night, the sala has a ceiling fan to cool. And of course, you can always refresh with a moonlit dip in the pool that appears as an extension of the sea.
Music piped through indoor and outdoor speakers added to the mood (there’s an extensive selection of music with controls throughout the clubhouse and in the sala). Ending the evening on a high note, we retreated to the home cinema, reclined our seats to near horizontal and, at the touch of the iPad control, settled in with popcorn and drinks for a few hours of entertainment. After a good night’s rest in fluffy white bedding, there was nothing nicer than waking to the sounds of the birds – knowing that we didn’t have to get up just yet, but could indulgently savour the view from the comfort of our bed. Once we did manage to get up and about, the smell of breakfast on the go and coffee brewing drew us to the dining room where we could continue to enjoy the ocean views.
Irene met us at the foot of the steep hill that Nava is built on and smilingly escorted us up to the villa, where, on entering through the double doors, we were greeted by the beautiful view out over the pool and palm tops to a sparkling ocean dotted with tropical island gems. Pristine forested hills and Samui’s attractive coastline disappear southwards, with Nathon town’s long jetty just visible in the mid distance.
Villa Nava’s living room, dining area and kitchen are almost totally surrounded by glass (most of which folds back to create a bright open-sided space) providing easy access to the pool and the breezy sala where, come evening, we sat on black-cushioned sofas toasting the magnificent sunsets.
The bedrooms, split two in the main house and two in the guest bungalow, are well set up for a couple of families or for an extended family (as long and grandma and grandpa are not hampered by stairs – as there are quite a lot of them between the bungalow and the main living floor), and we liked that all the rooms offered pleasant outdoor terraces for a quiet read or rest.
The villa is self-catering, but Irene will help with the shopping and even organizes for meals to be delivered from some nearby restaurants. Alternatively, a local cook will come to the villa and prepare mouth-watering Thai cuisine for a very reasonable charge.