The private facilities on offer to guests at rental villas on Phuket and Koh Samui also make them the perfect venues for a variety of social events and gatherings.
Families, couples or groups of friends travelling together to one of Thailand’s top island destinations have a wealth of options to choose from when it comes to activities and entertainment. Whether it’s a temple tour or an elephant trek, a shopping trip or a night out on the town, islands like Phuket and Koh Samui offer a diverse range of choices to suit the equally heterogeneous global visitors that flock to their shores.
In recent years, travellers have increasingly been seeking out personalized holiday experiences, especially at the luxury end of the spectrum, which is why private villas are now such a popular alternative to hotels and resorts. The search for such special moments also extends into social experiences, with more people choosing to travel with their extended family or close circle of friends, either sharing accommodation or staying close to each other so that they can enjoy activities and diversions as a group.
Milestone events like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays or simply a shared national holiday, provide a worthy reason for people to travel and celebrate together as a family or group. In fact, large groups of guests renting a private villa for a special celebration often set aside at least one day for a communal meal, informal gathering or private party.
Depending on the occasion, there are plenty of ways to make the most of a private villa and also to make sure that you mark that special moment in a memorable way.
A Family Affair
The large communal areas offered by many private villas make for a fantastic family get together, be it an important birthday, or a chance for families scattered across different parts of the world to gather for some quality time. Spacious, open-plan living areas and generous outdoor spaces are perfect for catch-up conversations, relaxed meals or fun and games around the pool. Thailand’s islands also offer plenty of opportunities for a family day out. “We are from the UK, but we hold an annual reunion on Phuket because some of the family live in Australia so it’s a convenient and appealing place to come together,” said Jason Blake. “Last time there were so many of us we ended up renting two large villas on Natai Beach, but we made sure everyone joined together for a couple of special barbecue nights by one of the villa’s swimming pools and we also rented a boat for the day so that everyone could go snorkeling, which was great fun.”
The best private villas in Thailand provide the same standard of facilities, amenities and services you would expect from a top class resort, but with the added bonus of exclusive access. Guests in search of total escape – or those looking to refresh and rejuvenate their body and soul – certainly appreciate unique additions such as private spa rooms, yoga decks, meditation pavilions, and a private chef to cook healthy food. Then, of course, there’s the tranquil villa setting and breathtaking views, all of which combine to offer the ultimate personal sanctuary. “We have travelled twice as a group to Koh Samui on health breaks in the last year and it’s a fantastic way to reboot,” said Hilary Spiegel, a resident of Hong Kong. “We stayed in a private villa in Lipa Noi and never left the grounds. We held yoga sessions, walked on the beach, ate healthy meals and laughed until we cried. It’s rare to return home after a holiday feeling quite so good.”
Hen & Stag Parties
For couples hosting a destination wedding in Thailand, throwing a hen and stag party at a private villa offers the chance to focus on their friends before the priorities of the big day take over. Instead of heading out to drink and dance in a busy bar or nightclub, guests as a private villa can enjoy all the usual fun and games in exclusive, safe surroundings, and even have enough space for the stags and hens to hang out together, avoiding any difficult questions the morning after. Many villas come with water sports equipment such as kayaks and kiteboards for guests to use in the ocean during the day. In the evening, there are more options for fun thanks to fully equipped games rooms with pool and foosball tables, or even private cinema rooms for movie marathons. “We held a three day hen and stag party at a villa on Phuket and it was amazing,” said Natalie Lee from Singapore. “The days were spent outside on the beach, in the pool or out and about on island tours; then we organized pool games, a barbeque and a hilarious fancy dress party in the evenings, so by the time we got married everyone knew each other as well as we knew them.”
Renting a private villa for a wedding guarantees a tailor-made celebration and offers the flexibility many couples look for when organizing a ceremony far away from home. Couples have plenty of choice when it comes to the entertainment they want at their wedding too; whether its local DJs keeping guests dancing around the pool until dawn, fire jugglers adding an extra spark to the proceedings or traditional Thai dancers offering a more cultural vibe. “Even the decorations can be hand-picked to reflect the bride and groom’s individual personalities,” explained Juliette Burrows, Wedding Planner with The Signature Weddings. “Many couples choose to decorate the private villa with traditional flowers like orchids and frangipanis, which not only add colour, but also release a sensual aroma to turn up the romance.”
It’s now widely accepted that office environments are not the most conducive places when it comes to creative ideas, which is why many forward thinking companies hold their training sessions and team building events in isolated destinations surrounded by nature. Such locations inspire and motivate people, while at the same time ensuring limited distractions. “In many ways, private rental villas offer the ultimate balance of work and play,” says Wayne Hue, DOSM at Luxury Villas and Homes. “The living areas and private office spaces are perfect for in depth presentations and brainstorming, then well earned breaks can be enjoyed with breathtaking tropical views as new information settles in the brain”. Team building activities can also be organized for groups using the villa’s private facilities, whether it involves learning to cook, meditating with a guru or playing competitive games in the pool. The villa manager can also organize off-site activities to help build staff motivation and develop new skills.