chiang dao
Villa Fever

How to live your luxury dream in Thailand

Words: Kankanit Wichiantanon

Think of a luxury stay and a villa holiday often springs to mind. Although villas aren’t new kids on the travel block, they are fast becoming the preferred choice of accommodation for globetrotters as travel trends march forward. In Thailand, where tourism is a top earner, riding travel trends is second nature for a hospitality industry keen to meet the evolving demands of travellers from around the world. And this is where villas come into play.

Private hotel luxury villas and standalone rental villas are blooming like wildflowers worldwide, but nowhere faster than in the Land of Smiles.

Two compelling factors are driving modern travellers towards this accommodation choice: size and privacy. Compared with standard hotel rooms, villas offer an abundance of space that gives guests a genuine home-away-from-home feel, perfect for those travelling with family and friends, or even lovebirds seeking a nest that frees them from being caged in just a few square metres. On the privacy front, standalone villas with private entrances or situated separately from the main hotel exude a zen-like atmosphere that is ideal for individuals seeking a retreat vibe.

Another highlight of villas is amenities. Most come with unique features like a jacuzzi, private pool, personal beach access, garden, spa amenities (including steam room, sauna, and massage bed), wine cellar, barbecue area, private gym, and personal butler, to name a few. Some take it even further with extravagant additions like a theatre and games room, or even an infinity pool with waterslide. Each facility plays its part like notes in music, jazzing up the overall deluxe villa experience.

The design of Thailand’s villas has progressed in leaps and bounds thanks to modern technology and luxury amenities. Today’s globetrotters have a plethora of villa styles to choose from, extending far beyond traditional Thai architecture, teakwood and classical décor.

With travellers increasingly drawn to contemporary concepts such as eco-luxury, sustainability, and wellness, new villas are crafted as retreats catering to diverse lifestyles and tastes.

For ocean addicts in love with seaside vacations, beachfront villas with Bali, Bohemian, or Mediterranean designs offer a stylish coastal stay. For those with a sustainability mindset, eco-conscious villas are an ideal choice, while wellness enthusiasts may resonate with options that evoke zen, embrace minimalism, and harmonise with nature.

But whatever your preference – contemporary villa with minimalist design and high-tech amenities or a traditional Thai adobe in Lanna style, intricate Ayutthaya brickwork, or colonial elegance – Thailand has something for everyone within its vast and vibrant hospitality landscape.

Without further ado, here are five of our favourite luxury choices in Thailand that are almost guaranteed to cure your villa fever.

Andara Resort & Villas

Andara Resort & Villas
Coastal Elegance in Phuket

Phuket is a sought-after island for seaside retreats filled with sandy delights. This Andaman gem combines pristine natural beauty with just the right touch of vibrant urban energy. Among its vast array of hotels and resorts, Andara Resort & Villas stands out for deluxe designs, prime location, and exceptional service.

Perched atop the lush hill of Millionaire’s Mile, an exclusive enclave on Phuket’s west coast, the resort boasts unparalleled vistas of the aquamarine sea and the prestigious ambience of one of the island’s most esteemed addresses. Just a stone’s throw from Kamala Beach and its must-try restaurants, bars, and cafés, visitors are treated to a flowing feast of succulent seafood, lively bar and café experiences, and relaxing beach outings.

With 37 splendid suites and 26 luxurious pool villas ranging from three to seven bedrooms, Andara provides ample space to accommodate groups of all sizes, whether for a family getaway, honeymoon, or friendcation.

The design aesthetic at Andara stylishly integrates Thai-inspired architecture with the natural, unspoiled beauty of Millionaire’s Mile, resulting in a space that seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor elements. This design philosophy extends to the Andara Pool Villas, which are adorned with traditional Thai motifs and boast five-star amenities. What sets these villas apart is the inclusion of a 20-metre private pool, a sundeck offering stunning seascape views, a private garden, and spacious living and dining areas. Further elevating the villa experience, guests are treated to private chef service and a villa attendant, ensuring that you will be well-pampered throughout your stay.

For a healthy dose of fun, the resort offers a variety of activities and wellness programmes, such as spa treatments, Thai cooking classes, and a kids’ pizza-making workshop. However, do check out the Celebrity Yacht private yacht charter — an excursion to explore Phang Nga Bay aboard the 107-foot Baglietto Italian motor yacht, customised specifically for Andara. This experience comes with a private chef and host, and guests can choose either a day or an overnight trip.

Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Eco-Luxe Villa Retreat

Since its grand opening in 1987, Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui has firmly believed that hospitality and sustainability can coexist harmoniously, like yin and yang. This belief shapes a meaningful deluxe stay, nourishing guests while at the same time nurturing nature.

Founded by eco-conscious guru Akorn Hoontrakul and now led by his likeminded son and daughter-in-law, Thanakorn and Saisiri Hoontrakul, the resort seamlessly integrates green projects and policies into its core values, all while maintaining luxurious amenities and design. Since December 2022, the Resort has been managed by Banyan Group, who continue embracing the values set by the owner and pairing it with their expertise in managing hotels and resorts worldwide.

Set in a lush 28-acre landscape with a private beach, Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui’s suites and villas are scattered in the shade of more than 170 trees, which are in turn home to over 65+ bird species. Along with its dedication to eco-friendly practices, the resort distinguishes itself through the refined simplicity of its minimalist yet captivating design. Ideal for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, it offers a sophisticated and harmonious retreat.

While the selection of 63 suites is downright dazzling, we recommend diving into the lap of luxury in one of the 18 Pool villas for a truly special stay. Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui presents a range of options enveloped in pristine nature and adorned with five-star amenities. Choose from a Grand Seafront Villa, Grand Seafront Pool Villa, Tongsai Seaview Pool Villas, Two Bedroom Seaview Hillside Villa, Wellbeing Seafront Pool Villas, Nang Gong Seaview Double Pool Villa, and Tongsai Three Bedroom Sea View Pool Villa.

Though each stands out for its unique design, space, facilities, and views, the one that caught our eye is the Wellbeing Seafront Pool Villa.

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or a wellness devotee, the Wellbeing Seafront Pool Villa option has you covered on all health fronts. Its spacious 180 square metres are equipped with a private pool, spring wall installation, and a cosy workout space. Even better, every workout session is elevated with a breathtaking seascape visible from every angle – even from the bathroom. With four units available, guests have the option to choose between twin or king-size beds for this villa type.

Layana Resort & Spa

Layana Resort & Spa
Zen Escape on Koh Lanta

Step into island serenity at Layana Resort & Spa, nestled on the sandy shores of Koh Lanta, Krabi. Renowned as one of Thailand’s premier beach destinations, Koh Lanta boasts an array of exquisite resorts and hotels, but Layana Resort & Spa sits top of our list for its exceptional deluxe villas.

The resort, exclusively catering to adults (18 and above), offers a haven of zen calm for those in pursuit of harmonious luxury design blended with top-drawer Thai hospitality. Set amid palm trees and lush green lawns, Layana offers a collection of 57 exquisite rooms, suites, and villas. Among them, the Beach Villas and Ocean Deluxe Villas will capture your heart with their style and grandeur. 

Indulge in ultimate comfort at a Beach Villa, where private balconies offer panoramic views of the cobalt- blue sea. With sleek furnishings and an ample 70 square metres, these single-storey hideaways provide the perfect setting to bask in the beauty of sunrise and sunset. Their garden bathrooms feature outdoor showers to immerse yourself in nature even during bathtime.

Meanwhile, the Ocean Deluxe Villas, spanning 100 square metres across two storeys, provide expansive accommodation with direct beach access. The second- floor master bedroom is luxuriously appointed with ensuite facilities and a balcony offering a front-row view of endless seascapes. Better yet, the villa’s garden boasts a jacuzzi and rain shower to take relaxation to new heights.

For the ultimate Layana villa experience, choose La Maison and luxuriate in its expansive 265 sqm space, featuring two spacious bedrooms, three lavish bathrooms, a secluded private balcony, and a refreshing swimming pool. To enhance the allure even further, a villa host service and a private wine cellar are also included.

Besides their luxurious villas, Layana Resort & Spa offers a big menu of activities, including paddlebording, kayaking, and snorkelling at nearby islands. Other highlights include a longtail boat tour to the mangrove forest and their Sundowner Cruise, a two-hour excursion exploring the lush mangrove forests and wildlife between Koh Lanta Yai and Koh Lanta Noi, culminating in a sunset viewing sesh. The entire journey is served up with scrumptious snacks and beverages, including wine, beer, and soft drinks, making it an unforgettable experience.

Martinez Colomer Real Estate

Martinez Colomer Real Estate
Your Portal to Villa-Living Grandeur

Seeking to turn your villa stay into a lasting memory or seize an investment ventures in extraordinary properties? Then look no further than Martinez Colomer Real Estate. Samui’s leading boutique agency specialises in helping you extend the magic of your villa-living dream and navigate the realm of real estate investment with confidence and elegance.

With an exceptional array of top-notch properties, the agency offers elite options and personalised service to a premier clientele. They specialise in showcasing off-market properties in Samui, assisting you in finding the perfect villa to transform into your dream home or investment property on the island.

Iván Martínez-Colomer, boasting 26 years of real estate expertise, and Ana García-Rivera, with 15 years of Swiss-trained marketing expertise in luxury hospitality, are the visionary founders propelling Martinez Colomer to the forefront of Samui’s real estate industry.

What sets them apart is their unwavering dedication to prioritising the client’s best interests and needs above all else. They skilfully guide clients through the process of discovering properties that perfectly reflect their lifestyles and preferences, all while upholding the highest standards of expertise and integrity. From property inspections to relocation services and legal facilitation, the agency has you covered every step of the way to ensure a smooth and stress-free process.

Their bilingual team, equipped with knowledge of both the local and global real estate markets, guarantees that your island home embodies luxury while seamlessly integrating with local life. Beach lovers will find the villas on Chaweng Beach and Maenam Beach a delight, while tennis devotees will be charmed by the oceanfront villas with private tennis courts. 

Whether you are seeking a beachfront villa for a home or for investment opportunities, their listings are tailored to meet your villa needs.

The Slate Phuket

The Slate Phuket
Redefining Modern Elegance

One of the dazzling jewels of the Andaman Sea is reight here at The Slate. Perched on Nai Yang Beach, just a 5-minute drive from Phuket Interntional Airport, the resort offers convenience along with exquisite design and an enviable location.

Every design element woven throughout the property is a fusion of rustic elegance, seamlessly intertwining Phuket’s illustrious tin mining heritage with the whimsical perspective and out-of-the-box ideas of globally acclaimed architect, interior and landscape designer, Bill Bensley.

Comprising suites and villas, the resort provides spacious accommodations infused with raw elements like dark wood, steel, and concrete, along with dark palettes and geometric patterns that ooze with industrial sophistication.

The stars of the show, though, are three exceptional villas spanning from 650 to 1,100 square metres: the One Bedroom Pool Villa, the Two Bedroom Family Pool Villa, and the Two Bedroom Pool Villa.

Visitors used to cramped city living can breathe easy at The Slate, where expansive indoor and outdoor spaces come with private lap pools, jacuzzi, and lush gardens. Adding to the allure are the separate bedroom and living room pavilions. Staying in a villa here also comes with special perks, including bespoke butler service and a personalised dining experience with in-villa meals, exclusive daily afternoon tea sessions, and menus curated by the in-house chefs. Wellness aficionados will also appreciate the private steam room, sauna, and en-suite massage beds.

For a pampering stay, indulge in a One Bedroom Pool Villa. Or for those travelling with a larger group or family, consider the Two Bedroom Family Pool Villa or Two Bedroom Pool Villa. And to guarantee a paw-fectly luxurious experience for everyone, up to two dogs (maximum weight 15 kilos each) are welcome in the pool villas for an additional fee. That’s good news for globetrotters who find it hard to leave their furry friends behind.


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