The villa has been arranged over three levels and you enter through a large wooden door into a wide hallway on the middle level. Greeting you is a life-size Buddha statue which immediately gives a sense of tranquility and an indication of the Thai cultural aspects you will find around the villa. On the staircase to the upper level there are old black and white photographs of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej when he visited Koh Samui in 1962 and snapshots in time of what life on the island was like almost 60 years ago. It’s a little different now.
At the top of the stairs is an extensive open-plan living room, dining area and a substantial guest kitchen that a professional chef would be very much at home in. The kitchen is modern in design with a large fridge/freezer, oven and hob, microwave, extraction system, a double sink and plenty of preparation space. There’re also lots of cupboards with all the crockery, cutlery, glassware, pots, pans and cooking utensils that you could ever need. On the upper level there is also a bathroom, a safe for valuables and the living area has an excellent sound system. There’s a large dining table that seats 12 and large sofas facing a wall-mounted large-screen television in the lounge area. The coffee table is a fascinating, bespoke piece of antique furniture made from a very old wooden door with a glass top. Best of all though, no matter where you are in the living area, you have the most perfect views through the floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that lead onto the pool terrace.
Stepping onto the terrace has a huge ‘Wow’ factor. The elevated views are spectacular and you can easily see the tiny island of Koh Matlam in Chaweng bay directly in front of you with Chaweng Lake just to the left. Beyond the lake are the small islets of Koh Som and the towering hills of Koh Pha Ngan in the distance, the latter famous for its ‘Full Moon Parties’. It’s a wonderous sight you will never grow tired of, nor of watching the ocean change colour in the morning as the sun arcs across the sky bathing the terrace in sunshine from dawn until dusk.
Outdoors, in and around the infinity pool, is where you’ll spend much of your day either swimming or lounging on the sunbeds. On the terrace there’s also a barbecue and direct access to the first bedroom. All the bedrooms are fully air-conditioned with ceiling fans, have double beds, plenty of storage space and open-plan bathrooms with shower, double sinks and toilet. Bedroom 1 also has a Terrazzo bathtub, a work station for a laptop and is ocean-facing with those fabulous views.
Bedroom 2 is on the middle level and in addition it also has a private balcony with comfortable seating and great views. Down a flight of stairs to the lower level and there is a surprise waiting. It’s an expansive second lounge/living area with sofas and another wall-mounted television. This lounge is bright and airy but the sun doesn’t come directly through the windows so it remains cool even on the hottest day. It’s also fully air-conditioned like the upper level living area and has some fascinating artwork and photographs on the walls.
On the lower level are the other four double, en-suite bedrooms. Bedroom 3 to the right of the staircase has an open-plan shower room and toilet and has good views. Bedroom 4 has its own private balcony with table and chairs and both front and side views of the ocean and the surrounding hills. And bedrooms 5 and 6 are again both double rooms this time with a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom in-between them. Those of you of a certain age may remember watching The Brady Bunch on TV in the 1970s. The boys and girls in that show had a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom and introduced the world to the concept. It’s a bathroom shared between two bedrooms, with doors entering from each room. Just remember to unlock both doors when you leave!
Manu Villa 1 has a maid service every day and continental breakfast and a villa manager who can co-ordinate every aspect of your stay from arranging car hire or taxis to recommending trips, tours and local restaurants, bars and cafes. There is also a free fitness room just a few steps from the villa, there is CCTV cameras outside and ample off-road parking.
This is a wonderful family villa just 10 minutes to Chaweng Noi beach and 15 minutes from the major shopping and entertainment centre of Chaweng. And yet its real beauty is the spectacular views that greet you every time you open your eyes.