Our resident villa expert Max Vee describes his stay at Headland Villas on Koh Samui's secluded southwest coast.
As hard as it was to drag myself out of the crisp, cushioned comfort of the four poster bed that had lulled me into dreamless sleep the night before; I knew that a few shuffle steps was all it would take to reach the cool blue waters of the pool for a gentle morning float, and lets face it, there's no finer way start to the day. So I rolled into my swimmers, slid open the wood and glass shutters, then padded down to the poolside to greet the morning.
Outside, the air was fresh with ocean scent, the sky topaz blue, and the only sound — birdsong. In other words, the dream I never had just became reality. I plunged into the waiting wake-up call, fooled myself into a few meagre strokes, then just lay back on the water to absorb the scene, which was framed in leafy loveliness, the cream and white hues of the Headland villa's exterior to the left, to the right an endless blue view, occasionally interrupted by a few precocious offshore islands. It was one of those moments when you thank the universe for the gift, but secretly wish it could delivered as an everyday package.
Rise and Shine
Suitably invigorated and looking forward to more indulgence, I skipped back up the steps for a quick rinse in the ensuite rain shower next to my bedroom, making full use of the fine lemongrass amenities provided to set the mood for the rest of the tropical day. Then I wandered out to the terrace with coffee on my mind.
To my surprise and delight, the table on the terrace was already set for breakfast with a plate of colourful fresh fruit, a jar of cereal and some fresh orange juice. As I approached wit glee, a voice from the kitchen called out a friendly "good morning" and asked if preferred tea or coffee and how I would like my eggs cooked. Perhaps I was still asleep after all.
Over breakfast, I chatted with the villa's bubbly cook and housekeeper about the area, which is one of Samui's most untainted and authentic coves. She actually came from the local village of Baan Taling Ngam and recommended I take the steps down to the beach from the villa and then walk and paddle along to the village, from where local fisherman still head out daily in their long tail boats in the hope of an abundant catch. I vowed to do just that once I had nosed around the villa a little more, and she recommended I stop at a restaurant I later drop into the Five Islands restaurant on the beach for a fresh seafood lunch. Nice change not to be sold an in-house special, I thought.
The villa tour
As I was tasked with reviewing the villa, my next job was to poke around and take some notes, some of which I will share with you here…
The Headland Villas
' white and green, thatched roof buildings are all fronted by a wide terraces with incredible sea views from almost every room. Each villa design is slightly different, but in this case, Headland Villa 1
is a two-story property housing an generous, open-plan lounge, dining room and fully fitted kitchen on one side, with [my] double bedroom occupying the front corner of the building and connecting to its own ensuite bathroom with rain shower, washbasin, toilet and a large mirror, plus doors opening out onto a modest private garden at the rear. The villa also has a twin bed room, a mirror image of the double, with the same aromatic bathroom amenities.
A small corridor separates the twin room from the main lounge area, then a staircase leads up at the back of the villa to a mezzanine TV den, which overlooks the living and dining space. The interiors all open up onto the views and breezes and are fitted with some pretty nifty furnishings and accessories — brand name appliances in the kitchen, mood lighting controls and a more than decent stereo system with white, Bose speakers mounted on the walls. The dining table seats eight, and there's an inviting sofa close by to drop onto for a post dinner snooze before heading up to the mezzanine to catch an evening movie.
Out and about
The fine details of the villa noted, I could't resist one more dip in the pool before heading down to the beach. To be honest, If I had been staying on a pure holiday, I doubt I would have left the villa at all. Its compact comforts and convenience are exactly what a real escape is all about.
It was a fair trek down the cliffside staircase to the beach, but well worth the effort to reach the quaint and totally empty cove, which brought all my Robinson Crusoe fantasies to life as a paddled through the shallow waters towards the village, which I fortunately remembered was due south.
After the headland from which the villas take their name, I passed a relaxed looking resort with a pleasant beachside restaurant, then also the aforementioned Five Islands, which seemed rather swish for such a remote location. Baan Taling Ngam itself is a sleepy fishing community with a handful of old wooden shop houses and a temple in the centre. It's a pleasant stroll back in time, and the local people I saw all smiled and greeted me, a rare pleasure in itself. I stopped to watch some young fishermen unload their catch and helped them carry the nets from the boat, but my heart wasn't really in tourism mode, so I skipped lunch and wandered back to the villa for another dip and a well earned nap.
By the time I woke from yet another deep, dreamless sleep, the daylight was fading so I rushed outside to catch the sunset. The view that received me was like nothing I had seen before. A natural show of epic proportions, coloured in shades of red, orange and blue I never realised existed and certainly couldn't name. I watched in pure amazement from the terrace, the experienced made all the more wistful thanks to the cold beer magically delivered to my hand.
I was so transfixed by this evening vision I forgot to take a photo, but the housekeeper later told me not to worry because it happens "almost every day" at Headland Villas. For one evil moment, I considered locking her in a cupboard and putting on an apron so I could stay on as staff and confirm the fact, but then a delicious dinner of Thai favourites appeared in front of me and I was once again absorbed in my own peaceful pleasures. An extra serving was insisted on when I told her I'd foregone lunch, and I felt so relaxed and at home it was hard to imagine I'd only been in residence for a day.
Crimson soon turned to midnight blue and the skies lit up with stars competing for attention. I was tempted to slip into the pool one more time, but then I remembered the sofa and TV/DVD on the mezzanine, so I head upstairs to slouch in front of a romcom; Headland Villas would definitely be the perfect place for a romantic break, but I settled for Jennifer Aniston's sweet comedic antics as I drifted into reverie.
There's plenty to do around Taling Ngam — waterfalls, elephant rides and snorkelling trips are but a short drive from Baan Taling Ngam — but for me, the picture perfect tranquility of these modest but ultra comfortable villas begs lazy days spent doing nothing much at all. If you are looking for a complete retreat, its the perfect spot to escape to.
As a fell asleep that night I understood why I wasn't dreaming.
by LVH Marketing