Villas in Thailand

Without doubt, Thailand is one of the world’s most enchanting holiday destinations, marked by the fact that the same visitors grace it over and over again. The reason? Soft white palm-scattered beaches lapped by a warm turquoise sea; a clear blue ocean home to colourful coral reefs and a vivacity of mesmerising marine life; lush northern hills and mountains ripe for exploring outdoors; fabulous temples both old and new; some of Asia’s most exuberant festivals; and of course, the country’s fresh-as-you-like feisty cuisine. Boasting something for everyone, Thailand offers bags of appeal.

It’s of little surprise that most of Thailand’s villas are concentrated in the sunny wave-lapped isles of Phuket and Koh Samui. Phuket rose meteorically to fame some years back and now has an international airport, restaurants run by celebrity chefs, world-class golf courses and a cosmopolitan grandeur that have made it a synonym for The Tropical Good Life around the planet. Samui is subtler in its endeavours but its natural topography and raw beauty make it an unforgettable holiday isle. Cultural Chiang Mai, in the north, is completely different yet again; rugged hills carpeted in lush jungle beg you to seek out its treasures on foot, or better still, atop an elephant’s back.

Thailand's variable geography is mirrored by its climate, which is very much affected by the monsoons. Both Phuket and Samui are generally rain-free from late December to April whilst the rainy season is June through November. The cool season (November – February) is one of the best times to visit. March to May sees the temperature reach the mid-30s.

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Villas in Thailand by region

Chiang Mai Province, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Phuket
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Samui Summit Estate - Alpha Villa

Samui Summit Estate - Alpha Villa

Thailand » Koh Samui » Choeng Mon

It's not often you get to sit with an iced drink in the sunshine and look out on 180 degrees of tropical splendour with twinkling bays left and right and palm-coated hills rising from the valley below.  At Alpha Villa you can't avoid it and the upper floor lounge and pool terrace alone is a perfect spot to spend a relaxing few days.

If you sleep in the comfortable master bedroom next to the pool, you may never bother venturing into the villa’s rather cavernous lower levels.  That's not to say guest bedrooms downstairs are disappointing - all four are quiet, private and slide open onto beautifully landscaped gardens.    

Families or groups of friends will enjoy this villa because it offers plenty of options to combine shared time with more private moments.  Gathering in the TV room on the middle floor is like a trip to a laid-back cinema and it's easy to lose track of time in there, day or night, as you recline on the comfy cushions in air conditioned bliss, catching up on your movie back log.  But up on the pool deck is still the best way to lose a day; floating in the pool or gazing at the view.     

Although there are a lot of steps to negotiate between floors (not ideal for seniors), the kids have plenty of space to explore and play safely (as long as you keep an eye on them around the pool area, which drops off sharply).  Alpha Villa is also one of the few hillside properties on Samui that's genuinely convenient for trips to the main beaches and tourist attractions (although a car will be necessary).     

Efficient but unobtrusive staff and a wide range of optional services give you the freedom to be totally independent but also to spoil yourself with in-house indulgences like a private chef or daily massage if you so choose.  This is a great location, with versatile facilities and breathtaking views, as long as you don't mind a steep drive.  
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Samui Summit Estate - Alpha Villa

Samui Summit Estate - Alpha Villa

Thailand » Koh Samui » Choeng Mon

It's not often you get to sit with an iced drink in the sunshine and look out on 180 degrees of tropical splendour with twinkling bays left and right and palm-coated hills rising from the valley below.  At Alpha Villa you can't avoid it and the upper floor lounge and pool terrace alone is a perfect spot to spend a relaxing few days.

If you sleep in the comfortable master bedroom next to the pool, you may never bother venturing into the villa’s rather cavernous lower levels.  That's not to say guest bedrooms downstairs are disappointing - all four are quiet, private and slide open onto beautifully landscaped gardens.    

Families or groups of friends will enjoy this villa because it offers plenty of options to combine shared time with more private moments.  Gathering in the TV room on the middle floor is like a trip to a laid-back cinema and it's easy to lose track of time in there, day or night, as you recline on the comfy cushions in air conditioned bliss, catching up on your movie back log.  But up on the pool deck is still the best way to lose a day; floating in the pool or gazing at the view.     

Although there are a lot of steps to negotiate between floors (not ideal for seniors), the kids have plenty of space to explore and play safely (as long as you keep an eye on them around the pool area, which drops off sharply).  Alpha Villa is also one of the few hillside properties on Samui that's genuinely convenient for trips to the main beaches and tourist attractions (although a car will be necessary).     

Efficient but unobtrusive staff and a wide range of optional services give you the freedom to be totally independent but also to spoil yourself with in-house indulgences like a private chef or daily massage if you so choose.  This is a great location, with versatile facilities and breathtaking views, as long as you don't mind a steep drive.  
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Samui Summit Estate - Hilltop View 2

Samui Summit Estate - Hilltop View 2

Thailand » Koh Samui » Choeng Mon

We thoroughly appreciated the care and dedication that had clearly gone into furnishing and decorating Hilltop View 2. And the years that the owners spent amassing their treasure trove of antiques and collectables have certainly paid off. However, the house doesn’t feel like a museum – many of the pieces are usable items, although a few, such as the teapot collection, are carefully put away for eyes only.

Although TV shouldn’t make or break a holiday, it was nice to be able to watch what we wanted from our bed, each room having its own satellite channels. Not that we managed to stay awake for long: the bed was so comfortable (with both down and foam pillows) that sleep came quickly. But be careful! The silent air-con and black out curtains meant that it was all too easy to miss the sunrise and that early morning beach run. We made the most of the tropical climate by drifting between the pool and jacuzzi for cooling down, reading in the shaded sala, and grabbing a drink from the outdoor bar in between. The housekeeper keeps the villa spotless and estate manager Khun Birth is happy to act as a concierge service and book any extras or activities you may require, such as a chef, massage, or transfer, and is knowledgeable on what to do in the area.

We chose to open up the sliding doors to the pool and let in the sea breeze while enjoying our continental breakfast, later changing to air-con when the midday heat set in. The fully equipped compact kitchen offered a home-from-home feel and we enjoyed whipping up a few snacks after stocking up at the fresh food market. Making use of the private chef one night was however an indulgent luxury not to be missed.
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Samui Summit Estate - Hilltop View 4

Samui Summit Estate - Hilltop View 4

Thailand » Koh Samui » Choeng Mon

When we arrived at Hilltop View 4, we were as impressed as any child would be at having our own cinema with individual seat controls, and a pool that twinkles with different coloured lights at night. We also felt a curious childhood urge to play hide and seek! There’s such an abundance of perfect hiding spots amongst the many rooms, levels and alcoves here. And as our feet dangled from the huge chairs in the exceptionally high-ceilinged living room, we knew exactly what Alice must have felt like after she sipped the ‘drink me’ potion in Wonderland!

But there are few that wouldn’t be impressed by this villa. Its spectacular views don’t even fade with the sunset, when village lights, a green glow from the squid fishing boats, fireworks from the beach resorts, or perhaps a distant tropical storm light up the sky.

Hilltop View 4 is a true party pad. The kitchen is well set up for events, and there’s a second staff kitchen big enough for a team of chefs. Of course the central music system and mood lighting adds to the perfect party atmosphere, as do the three bars and pool deck. Lavish bedrooms offer solitude and tranquillity when needed and we felt that, with so many levels and living spaces, at no point would guests feel on top of each other, even if the villa was full.

When we felt the need to pay for our over-indulgence at one of the many excellent local seafood restaurants, a friendly game of tennis (racket and ball hire available at the office) at the estate’s shared court, or a walk down to the beach – and back – did the trick.

We enjoyed delicious breakfasts prepared by the resident housekeeper, but if you would like a private chef to prepare other meals at the villa, this can easily be arranged for a reasonable fee plus provisions charged at cost (plus 15% service). Khun Pee, the villa manager, will gladly help you arrange a chef and can take care of many other concierge services too, be it an in-house massage or a boat trip to one of Samui’s outlying islands.
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Shiva Samui Resort - Baan Chanchai

Shiva Samui Resort - Baan Chanchai

Thailand » Koh Samui » Laem Set

Arriving at Shiva Samui Resort on a very hot day, we were met by friendly guest service staff who escorted us to Baan Chanchai and its inviting swimming pool.  Eager to see what the estate had to offer, we strolled the 100m to the beach after a refreshing swim and were stopped in our tracks by the view – a white sandy beach, vivid blue of the shallow sea, and a bright blue sky with wispy white clouds.  But punctuating the scene were dashes of colour from the kite surfers’ catching the breeze.  Lower down, someone was gently paddling a duck-yellow kayak along the shore, and further yet, a local fisherman was stringing up nets.  It’s hard to ignore a view like this, and we wanted nothing more than to be a part of it, so before even unpacking our bags we were enquiring about kite surfing lessons.

We found ourselves torn between wanting to make the most of all Shiva Samui Resort has to offer, and just relaxing and enjoying the sea breeze by the pool.  The solution: to wake early, head to the gym or for a sunrise run on the beach, and then relax by the pool.  When the kids get restless, the kids’ club comes in handy and mum can book a spa treatment at the same time.  For the energetic, you’ll find plenty of country roads to explore by mountain bike, as this is the quieter side of the island.  Or, perhaps a friendly tennis challenge will work off some energy before another dip in the pool.

Come evening time, the Clubhouse Restaurant is festive, with live music on some evenings, happy hour and a games room with pool and table tennis.  We were lucky enough to stay on a Monday night, when the à la carte menu is replaced by a Thai buffet.  The tasty spread was well presented and offered a good selection.  Thursday evenings present a barbecue buffet for another change from the usual menu.  We were equally impressed by the selection on offer at the breakfast buffet, a great way to start the day.

Although the villa is small, we found it perfect for our little group (two adults and two kids) and enjoyed the outdoor living spaces, comfortable beds and rain showers.
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Shiva Samui Resort - Baan Khwam Rak

Shiva Samui Resort - Baan Khwam Rak

Thailand » Koh Samui » Laem Set

Arriving at Shiva Samui Resort on a very hot day, we were met by friendly guest service staff who escorted us to Baan Khwam Rak and its inviting swimming pool.  Eager to see what the estate had to offer, we strolled the 100m to the beach after a refreshing swim and were stopped in our tracks by the view – a white sandy beach, vivid blue of the shallow sea, and a bright blue sky with wispy white clouds. But punctuating the scene were dashes of color from the kite surfers’ catching the breeze.  Lower down, someone was gently paddling a duck-yellow kayak along the shore, and further yet, a local fisherman was stringing up nets.  It’s hard to ignore a view like this, and we wanted nothing more than to be a part of it, so before even unpacking our bags we were inquiring about kite surfing lessons.

We found ourselves torn between wanting to make the most of all Shiva Samui Resort has to offer, and just relaxing and enjoying the sea breeze by the pool.  The solution: to wake early, head to the gym or for a sunrise run on the beach, and then relax by the pool.  When the kids get restless, the kids’ club comes in handy and mum can book a spa treatment at the same time.  For the energetic, you’ll find plenty of country roads to explore by mountain bike, as this is the quieter side of the island.  Or, perhaps a friendly tennis challenge will work off some energy before another dip in the pool.

Come evening time, the Clubhouse Restaurant is festive, with live music on some evenings, happy hour and a games room with pool and table tennis.  We were lucky enough to stay on a Monday night, when the à la carte menu is replaced by a Thai buffet.  The tasty spread was well presented and offered a good selection.  Thursday evenings present a barbecue buffet for another change from the usual menu.  We were equally impressed by the selection on offer at the breakfast buffet, a great way to start the day.

We found Baan Khwam Rak perfect for our group, sleeping six comfortably, and enjoyed the outdoor living spaces, comfortable beds and rain showers.
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Shiva Samui Resort - Baan Lotus

Shiva Samui Resort - Baan Lotus

Thailand » Koh Samui » Laem Set

Although it looked a little boxed-in when we first arrived, once inside, the spacious interiors at Baan Lotus quickly made us forget that we were surrounded by similar properties. The homely atmosphere makes this an experience more akin to traditional self-catering holidays than to the new upscale villa rental concepts that have taken over in many parts of Samui. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have kids, because staying within a private, gated community brings added security, and with an office on-site and staff ready to handle requests and deal with problems, it’s very convenient too.     

The beach in front of Shiva Samui Resort is quiet and clean and the water is shallow, flat and calm for much of the year, so children can play happily and safely. It’s only a short stroll from Baan Lotus, so older kids could even be left to amuse themselves by the sea while the adults lie by the pool. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the property’s interior design, which combines practical features with some interesting, artistic Asian decor. This gives the house plenty of character, in some ways even making it feel more up-market than it actually is. But despite these touches of style, you never feel uncomfortable wandering around in your swimming gear or putting your feet up on the sofa. All the bedrooms are very comfortable and nicely furnished, particularly the upstairs master, which also has a pleasant balcony looking down over the garden and pool. The bathrooms are quite compact with no tubs to soak in, but large rain showers do the job well enough and there's plenty of storage space in the attached dressing areas.     

Despite a lack of spectacular sea views, Baan Lotus still offers a relaxing, seaside ambience with modern comforts and comprehensive service options that make your stay easy and enjoyable.
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Shiva Samui Resort - Baan Sarika

Shiva Samui Resort - Baan Sarika

Thailand » Koh Samui » Laem Set

 If you worry that staying in a gated community means dealing with intrusive neighbours and beating them to the sun beds in the morning, think again. As soon as you close the front door at Baan Sarika you're in a private, exclusive world and free to relax in your own space, surrounded by tropical extravagance. The decor may be a little magniloquent for a beach villa, but at least you never forget you're in Thailand and once you slip on your bathers and flop into the pool, you quickly get used to feeling like a royal guest.     

A team of staff take care of the entire estate, and as a guest at Baan Sarika you enjoy VIP treatment (although you can stipulate the amount of attention you receive!). Mealtimes are almost as much of a pleasure as the down time in between, most of which is easily spent doing very little in a horizontal pose.     

When you yearn for life's simple pleasures, you can wander along the quiet beach to watch the fishermen bring in their catch or just gaze over the calm waters to the small islands on the horizon. Although you share the beach with other guests and residents, this part of the island never feels crowded and local island life continues around you undisturbed. This is the kind of villa that inspires a long, satisfied sigh.
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Surin Springs - Villa 6

Surin Springs - Villa 6

Thailand » Phuket » Surin

Surin Springs Villa 6 is a tranquil base from which to comfortably enjoy this upmarket area of Phuket. The swimming pool looks over the lagoon and is a very relaxing place to soak up the sun whilst the lovely Surin beach is only a ten-minute walk down the road.

We thought the villa would be especially suitable for families, as kids will enjoy the independence of the upper-floor rooms whilst the master suite has a lovely situation beside the pool overlooking the lagoon. The shallow section of the pool, closest to the villa, means that younger children can safely make the most of the water. The kitchen is well equipped with appliances but only has the bare essentials in terms of cooking utensils, however with such a great choice of restaurants in the area – from local Thai food at the end of the road to fabulous upmarket dining (most including children’s menus), you might not be cooking much at home. A Thai chef can also be arranged to cook for you at the villa (with 24 hours notice and at extra cost) if you fancy a change.  

We were able to contact the management company at any time of the day when we needed help with tour bookings and transport. They also provide a laundry service and can do your food shopping for you (an itemised list with prices is available in the villa information pack) if you really want to have a break from the usual household chores.
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The Tamarind

The Tamarind

Thailand » Pattaya » Sattahip District

As soon as we were whisked away from Bangkok airport by the villa driver on our two-hour journey to The Tamarind, we knew we were in good hands. Turning into the flamboyant tree-lined driveway of the Buraran Estate we totally got into the privacy vibe of the place and relished the fact that this enormous empty estate was virtually all ours.

Dining was an absolute treat and we looked forward to each meal like lions at the only watering hole for miles. The staff, being Thai, certainly know how to cook this (in our opinion) most tantalising cuisine the world has ever seen. That said, they still throw together a mean pasta, and an even better English breakfast, and will serve it up anywhere you like. We breakfasted by the pool, lunched by the lake and ate nibbles and sipped champagne on the rooftop Sunset lounge.

Each bedroom is a themed adventure to another country, and together they have been designed to cater to all combinations and permutations of guests. We slept in the Africa room, surrounded by leopard prints and animal skins which made us feel like we were on safari. We were lucky enough to spend four days here and were never at a loss for things to do. We swam in the pool, went for walks around the estate, played tennis, billiards and petanque and spent many hours reading, watching the huge TV, eating or just being horizontal in the myriad places provided for just such a position.

The villa driver is on call for 10 hours a day (at a very reasonable charge) so do take advantage of the service to get out and see the local area. We had a great time sightseeing, including an outing to observe some of the infamous ‘netherworld’ tourism that Thailand is famous for.

Note: Guests at The Tamarind can also use the facilities of the adjacent Buraran Clubhouse (unless already occupied) with its two tennis courts, 16 x 9.5m swimming pool, additional 9m kids’ pool, and seminar room with drop-down screen projector and WiFi. There are six bedrooms here, which can be rented by the room to accommodate any overflow of guests at The Tamarind, up to a total of 12.

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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
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