Initially, we felt the three lounge areas to be excessive, but with kids in tow the option of a separate entertainment room in the evenings definitely appeals, and the upper floor lounge adds a new dimension to sunset cocktails.
The staff are courteous and try hard to meet every request. Despite the occasional language barrier they manage to run everything smoothly while remaining unobtrusive and the English-speaking manager ensures the villa runs smoothly and deals with things like tour bookings and restaurant recommendations.
This part of Lipa Noi offers a nice balance between seclusion and diversion. You can happily spend days doing very little, but a short drive to the other side of the peninsular brings you to some decent resort restaurants, as well as the Nikki Beach Club, which is far more sophisticated a venue than you'd expect to find in such a secluded location.
In some ways Akuvara felt like two villas in one. The studio at the rear of the property feels like an independent unit, but would certainly be a useful addition for a full family gathering. The option to rent the villa without this fourth bedroom, however, makes Akuvara a great choice as a functional but comfortable family getaway.
If there is such a thing as villa envy then staying at Akuvara may inspire it as the villas close-by are significantly larger and more opulent than this one - but come with a much higher price tag. Yet despite its compact design, Akuvara still boasts the full range of amenities required to provide a pleasant beachside escape. Between the pool and the beach you never want for daytime pleasures and lazing in the ocean-front sala with a cool drink and a book must surely rate as one of life's finer moments.