Looking for a little more space on your next short break beyond a bog-standard hotel room? Why not stay in a villa? There’s plenty of choices to suit every budget across the region, from the very posh with private pools to the highly functional, geared towards families.
So no matter what you plan to do – whether it’s romancing your other half, a quick getaway with the kiddos, a spa weekend or to party with your mates – there’s certainly a holiday villa that will be just perfect for you.
Best Villas for Couples
Song Saa Private Island, Koh Ouen, Cambodia
Highlights: Play Robinson Crusoe with your beloved in this picturesque eco-resort in the middle of a 100-hectare marine reserve. There are only 27 fabulous one- and two-bedroom villas in this tiny private island resort, with some perched on stilts in the azure ocean and others hidden from prying eyes in the jungle. The overwater villa features a see-through floor so you can look down into the water and post fish under your room.
Interiors blend seamlessly with the natural environment, from the thatched roofs to the cool, stone walls and the bath rack fashioned from driftwood. Guests can stroll along wooden walkways to an over-water restaurant, a champagne bar and the hilltop Ila spa.
For those looking for a little more action, there are also a water-sports centre, offering an unparalleled menu of activities.
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Why We Love It: Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali is a hip, seductive sanctuary overlooking miles of rugged beaches on a pristine stretch of the Indian Ocean.
Highlights: The Bali resort’s spacious and minimalist open-plan villas all have private salt-water pools, sun decks and cabanas with ocean views, where couples can dine privately on lascivious dishes as the sun sets. With butler service fine-tuned to cater to every whim and tempting in-villa treatment menus, it would be easy to overlook the Alila’s other fantastic facilities. But it is definitely worth emerging from your love nest.
There is an exceptional spa, an infinity pool overlooking gorgeous vistas, two restaurants, a clifftop bar and some unique activities which explore the cultural heritage and natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Villas for Families
Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas, Thailand
Highlights: Choose between classy, contemporary suites and villas filled with modern amenities and gadgets. Kids are more than welcome here – there’s an infinity pool equipped with water slides, children’s menus, as well as a complimentary kids’ club. One big bonus is that guests can use the facilities of all the other developments spread across the seven-resort Laguna Phuket complex, including a golf course, luxurious spas and 30 restaurants and bars.
Four Seasons Resorts Langkawi, Malaysia
Why We Love It: Four Seasons Resorts Langkawi is the epitome of unabashed luxury, sprawled across four green hectares in a UNESCO Geopark.
Highlights: This unique 91-room sumptuous hideaway in Langkawi sits halfway between an unspoilt private beach and majestic mountains, allowing privileged guests to unwind amidst the soothing sounds of nature. While its pavilions are its lower tier of accommodation, they are spacious and come with private decks or balconies. Its villas – which feature Moorish architecture interspersed with pastoral Malay elements – are colossal, with the smallest measuring 220 square metres, and private pools are de rigueur. A kids’ club keeps young ones busy with a string of indoor and outdoor activities, and there’s even a dedicated family pool. The youngest guests also receive amenities like child-size bathrobes, toys and children’s menus.
Villas for Spa Bliss
Sovena Kiri, Ko Kood, Thailand
Why We Love It: Sovena Kiri is one of Asia’s most exclusive eco-resorts with an utterly sublime spa offering holistic therapies in both Thai and Ayurvedic traditions as well as pampering retreats.
Highlights: Be cocooned in ultra-luxury at this premier earthy resort in Ko Kood, which is only accessible by Cessna plane from Bangkok. A ring of untamed jungle surrounds the island’s unbelievably vast 24 villas with private pools. For an unforgettable experience, savour gourmet delights paired with the finest wines at the Treepod Dining, a simple wooden booth high in the leafy canopies of tropical trees and where dishes are served via zipline. Then, catch a movie under moonlight at the outdoor auditorium Cinema Paradiso, which hangs over a lagoon.
Villas for Group of Friends
Les Villas Ottalia, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Why We Love It: Small in stature but Les Villas Ottalia on Gili Trawangan island packs a punch in unassuming elegance. These villas are a great base for small groups seeking to soak up the sights, tastes and sounds of Indonesia’s mini-Ibiza.
Highlights: All 26 tropical villas – each with its own pool – sport rough and rustic exteriors, but inside the sparse rooms are decorated tastefully in soft, muted tones, giving this gem of a resort a bohemian, chilled-out vibe. Outside, the villas are encircled by lovely gardens flecked with bright pink and red blooms. There’s not much to do here except to head out on a diving expedition, or to just kick back and lounge by the pool, waiting for the sun to go down before heading off to revel in the island’s raw, exuberant nightlife.