Villa Hat Yai, Ko Kut, Thailand (Vrbo): The dream of traveling is that, in the best years, we fly to a fabulous place to soak up new landscapes, sounds and tastes. But when, say, the whole world goes to hell, we can still dream of all the places we can’t visit. (As Dr Seuss once wrote, “All the places you’ll go if the pandemic ends,” or something like that.) The world you’ll take once it’s safe again, may we -we introduce you to the Thai paradise of Hat Yai Villa.
Located on the island of Ko Kut in the Gulf of Thailand, Hat Yai Villa is not so much a fabulously large castle as it is an island estate of interconnected treehouses and lodges. The $ 15,400 per night may put a damper on your vacation budget, but this jungle paradise is worth it for the memories you and your Tarzan (and maybe your little jungle bambinos) will make.
The master bedroom offers sea views and its own private terrace next to the pool. It also brings a whole new meaning to the essential movement of modern design: the open concept. Here, it’s all about life in the open air.
There’s a reason the bedroom walls retract so you can sleep outside– the outdoors is where you really want to be when vacationing on an island in Thailand. If you can’t stand the thought of moving around from your lounge chair, rest assured that there are resident chefs on hand to cater to your every whim.
The villa has five bedrooms and can accommodate 14 people, including a whole bunch of kiddos thanks to the bunk room equipped with four bunk beds. As if the younger ones need more of the enticement when traveling to Thailand, there’s also a slide that your little daredevils can slide down into the pool. The more mature children in your group will enjoy a dip in the hot tub with a glass of champagne.
Like the villa itself, the pool is less of a singular space for swimming and sunbathing than a lazy river that ensures that no guest at your party will ever be more than a step away from a dip. As if you needed some encouragement to embrace the lazy side of the holidays …
“Mmm, a Thai massage looks good,” you probably thought as you prepared your vacation plans. But then, the thought of leaving your villa seemed too stressful to imagine. Lucky for you, you can book your own masseuse to come to your own spa room in the residence.
Kayaking, paddle boarding, diving, snorkeling, sailing, if you can dream of a water sport you can probably find a place to do it in Ko Kut. But if you fancy yourself a member of the hoity-toity class, opt for a ride in the property’s private boat instead and find an empty beach to call your own.
Holidays are all about having it all – who really wants to have to choose between a relaxing beach destination or a jungle adventure? On Ko Kut, you can have both. Spend one day on the white sand beaches and the next one roaming the jungle mountains in search of waterfalls.
The listing agent promises that Hat Yai Villa residents will have a personal villa manager “who will be available 24 hours a day to ensure your happiness.” It’s a luxurious service to offer, especially given the – er – demanding nature of some tourists. (You know who you are.)
If the island has this beautiful feeling of remoteness, it is for good reason. Ko Kut is not accessible by car and less than 2,500 people live there full time. But what the island lacks in human inhabitants, it makes up for with exotic neighbors: 300-year-old Macca trees, vibrant corals, a rainbow of fish, turtles, barracudas and even seahorses.
Visitors to Hat Yai Villa also have access to all the amenities of the Soneva Kiri eco-resort, such as a private beach, restaurant and bars, and, of course, a chocolate room.
A film on the lagoon? Don’t worry if we do. Can we suggest that you choose a movie that is not part of the Jaws franchise. There is such a thing as being too much on the nose. (Dun dun … dun dun … dun dun …)
This is one advantage that every vacation home should offer: access to a private wine cellar. The only choice you have to make on this holiday: red, white or rosé?
Everything is better when you dine high up in the trees (well, unless you’re dizzy.) Can we suggest that you end your stay with a romantic dinner as the sun sets in the sky? But what about children, you ask? Oh, don’t worry about them. We’re sure they’ll be fine to jump into their huge private slide.
Book your stay: Villa Hat Yai, Ko Kut, Thailand: $ 15,400 / night via Vrbo