Imagine waking in a plush bed, in a white walled room, surrounded by contemporary finishes. Beyond the whir of the air conditioning, it’s possible to hear the crash of the gentle waves on the beach. After stepping out through the sliding glass doors, is the reflection of the palm trees over a private infinity pool. Beyond that, the beach and the sea. To the right, a beautiful breakfast is laid out, prepared by a private chef. Yes, this is what it’s like to wake up in a private Koh Samui, Thailand, luxury villa.
Before this trip to Koh Samui, my experience with private luxury villas was limited to what I saw in various in-flight magazines, or perhaps living vicariously through James Bond on some sort of luxury escapade. But, those never end well for the girl. We’ve certainly stayed in some luxury hotel properties, but a private villa? I always thought it was out of reach. An unattainable goal.
And, yes, we received our Koh Samui luxury villa stays because of our status as travel bloggers. But, after learning more about the experiences, and the pricing, I realized it is, in fact, more attainable than I initially thought.
We arrived in Koh Samui to meet up with some blogger and social media friends. We’ve always wanted to spend more time traveling with friends, rather than always being on our own. We enjoy spending time together, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s fun to spend time with other people too. And, with so many of our friends and family so far away, it’s the travel bloggers in our network who are the easiest to meet up with.
Our friend Scott, of Mr. Scott Eddy, invited us down to Koh Samui. We planned on spending a few nights at the famed Nikki Beach Koh Samui. After, Scott was planning on checking into a private villa, with at least 3 bedrooms. Like us, Scott did not want to have the experience alone. He had just stayed in a majorly luxe vila in Phuket and felt a little alone. We told him, we’d be happy to keep him company. The sacrifices we make for friends. We can get ticket to the villa at discounted price with the help of seatgeek coupons.
Koh Samui Luxury Villa – Mandalay Beach Villas
The imagery I used above, with the description of the private pool, and the beach just beyond was indeed our experience at Mandalay Beach Villas, our first Koh Samui luxury villa. We arrived to a large gated door. Just inside, all we saw was water. A large infinity pool. The Gulf of Thailand just past. Our three bedroom villa had open living spaces, which took advantage of the view. We were steps, and I mean, steps away from the beach.
We were like kids in a candy shop, walking from room to room, checking out the amenities and the view. We chose a room the farthest away from the pool, but with direct views from our bed to the sea. It was stunning. The only thing missing was a remote control for the curtains. Otherwise, Eric had to get up to open them for the view.
Once we arrived, and realized how much space we had, Scott invited some other friends of ours, Chris and Angela of TielandtoThailand. Once they arrived our luxury villa posse was complete. We could get down to the serious business of making the most of our stay.
Although it rained a bit during our stay at Mandalay Beach Samui, it didn’t dampen the fun we had. We were able to walk along the beach, and enjoyed cocktails in our private pool. There were some shenanigan’s as well, once the staff brought out a raft and an inflatable dolphin. Luckily, no one was staying on either side of us, so we were able to crank up the music and enjoy our luxury villa … maybe a bit too much. We were settling into the luxury lifestyle well. I think it suits us. You can book your room online too and there is cab service available there. Hailo Cab discount codes will save you huge!
Koh Samui Luxury Villa – Lime Samui Villas
We did not want to leave Mandalay Beach Samui. We had settled in nicely and had made friends with the staff, even after only a few days. The living room become OUR living room, and the pool became OUR pool.
Our host, Linda from Onyx Realty, though, promised that the next villa was even better. We were skeptical, but trusted her. No one in our group had seen photos of any of the villas prior to arriving, so that we were surprised with each one. And, when we arrived at Lime Samui Villas, we were indeed surprised.
The villa’s private driver picked us up at Mandalay Beach Samui, and we climbed the hill leading to the villa, perched on a hilltop overlooking Nathon, one of the main piers providing transport to Koh Samui. Unfortunately, it was pouring when we arrived, part of the downside of being in Samui at the end of the rainy season.
Even with the rain, and the fog, which clouded the view over the island, we knew this villa was rockstar. With a huge infinity pool, plenty of pool side seating, and a contemporary sunken living room.
We received our tour of the villa, which included a private gym (which I don’t think any of us actually used), and even a cinema room (which came in handy one day when it rained all afternoon).
When we emerged from our tour, and we had each chosen our rooms, the fog cleared and we could fully take in the amazing view over Nathon. It felt like we were on top of the world. Although the villa’s driver would have been more than happy to bring us into town anytime we wanted, we retreated into our luxury villa.
We ate all of our meals, either prepared by the chef and his team, or ordered from outside and delivered to us fresh and hot. And, we were lucky enough to experience one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen on this side of the world.
Koh Samui Luxury Villa – Villa Sangkachai
As expected, Linda from Onyx Realty promised that Villa Sangkachai would be even more impressive than Lime Samui Villa. We had the benefit of arriving to bright blue skies, on a gorgeous Koh Samui day. Our villa manager, Jah, drove with us the thirty or so minutes to Samujana. In the car, she took our drink order, for a cocktail on arrival. When Jah asked if we wanted to alcohol or non-alcoholic, we all started giggling. I think Jah realized, quickly, that she had a handful with our group.
Just when we thought things couldn’t get better than Lime Samui, and the view over Nathon Pier, we arrived at Samujana. Samujana is a small development of private luxury villas in Choeng Mon, on the north side of Koh Samui. It’s a stone’s throw from the Koh Samui airport, which meant Eric was able to watch airplanes taking off and landing all day. He was thrilled.
The rest of us were thrilled for a whole different reason. Villa Sangkachai is one of the larger and more impressive villas in the complex. The view from it’s three levels was unlike anything I’d seen before. A huge, wrap around infinity pool, with views over all of the north side of Koh Samui. We could actually see three separate beaches from our perch up on high.
Yes, the pool views and open air living were amazing, but the attention to detail at this luxury villa really made the property stand out. Each of the four bedrooms had similar views and appointments, so that each guest could enjoy the luxury equally. We enjoyed the private theater, which was loaded with hit movies and TV shows. A pool table and party room became the perfect late night hang out.
Each nook of the villa showcased some amazing artwork too. There were large buddha statues and Thai artwork throughout, which glowed gorgeously at dusk.
Even the red carpet stairs leading down to the entertainment area and movie room had walls covered with classic movie posters. The pool had a square plexiglass window in the bottom, so you could see a seating area below it. We had a lot of fun with that one.
Yes, this was a perfect way to spend our final few days in Koh Samui. In total luxury.
Best Part of a Koh Samui Luxury Villa Experience – The Food
Each of these properties was unique in it’s own way, and the service was all phenomenal. But, there were a few parts of the experience which stuck out as unique.
First, having a full time staff, with cooks, was amazing. Breakfast was included each morning, and the staff laid out our breakfast beautifully. Generally, we chose the Thai breakfast option, and for us that meant morning Jok, a Thai rice porridge. The porridge was served with loads of fresh, shredded ginger, and condiments to adjust the spice level.
The Thai breakfast was always accompanied by fresh fruit, juices, and coffee made in a fancy espresso machine. It was always served when we wanted it, and how we wanted it. There was no fighting with other guests for the best of a breakfast buffet, and no waiting for food to be prepared. When we sat down, food arrived.
In addition to the breakfast, staff were more than willing to run out to local eateries to bring meals of Thai food in for us, which we did often for lunch. Many of our dinners were prepared lovingly in house, by the private chef. It was possible to order off a menu, and the staff would shop for the ingredients and prepare the meal. In most cases, our meals were less than $10 per person. That was a shock to me, assuming dinner at a Koh Samui luxury villa would include a luxury price tag.
We ate mostly Thai food, but some of the dishes were more than incredible. At Mandalay Beach Samui, we ate a pomelo salad served inside a large pomelo shell.
At Lime Samui Villa, we ate pork larb served in small lettuce leafs.
At Villa Sangkachai, we ate gorgeously fresh papaya salad.
Our fabulous service also meant drinks were generally plentiful, and delivered pool side. Our first villa manager would check with us, almost hourly, to see if we needed cocktails. Our last villa manager knew to check on us in the pool even more frequently than that to deliver our drinks. Although it’s possible to order beer, wine, and more from the villa menus, we saved some money by bringing in bottles from the local shops. Our last villa manager, Jah, even sent staff out to buy bottles for us, along with lunch. It was that kind of service that just made our Koh Samui luxury villa stay so much fun, and relaxing.
How to Book and Enjoy Your Own Koh Samui Luxury Villa
Really, though, the best part of our experience was hanging with a group of friends, and enjoying our time uninterrupted. There’s just something about having a private pool, and private space. We didn’t have to worry abut packing a bag for the pool, leaving our phones and cameras around, or fighting for a lounge chair. In fact, we never really locked our bedroom door at any of the three villas. So, we never had to worry about a key either.
When walking into each of these Koh Samui luxury villas, I was amazed. I assumed there would be a price tag to match that amazement. Now, these are no budget accommodations. But, each of these villas was between three and five bedrooms, and rented for as little as $800 a night, up to $2000 a night. Meaning, if you have a family gathering, or even better, a group of friends, renting a luxury villa like this is entirely attainable, for as little as $275 a night. If you compare that to one of the luxury hotels on Koh Samui, it actually is a pretty good deal. Rooms at the Four Seasons or the W often book for well over $500 a night.
And, the Koh Samui luxury villas not only allow for privacy, but with a private driver, private chef, and full-time villa staff, you’ll receive more personalized treatment than at a resort where staff is catering to hundreds of people at a time. Our private driver even escorted us for a luxury dinner at the Four Seasons Koh Samui.
Obviously there is a premium to rent in the peak of the high season, like Christmas and New Years. But, if you are looking for a unique luxury experience in Koh Samui, definitely consider going all out and getting a private villa.
We were hosted by Onyx Realty during our Koh Samui luxury villa tour. Onyx Realty manages and rents villas to visitors to Koh Samui and Phuket. They also offer luxury villa properties for sale, including Villa Sangkachai.
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries. Amber is the author of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna.