Guest post and photos by Nicola Burke
Why you’ll love Bai Chao Lay Villa
Baan Chao Lay, meaning Fisherman’s Home in Southern Thai Dialect, is a beautifully designed beachfront villa located on a quiet stretch of sand on the west coast of Koh Samui.
We visited with four families (eight adults, four toddlers and two babies) and having booked in advance were eligible for an early bird discount (hooray!). The company that manages this villa are very family friendly and happy to provide cots, extra beds, high chairs and even cutlery for the kids.
The villa came complete with a villa manager, maid, chef, handyman and it was the friendly staff that made our experience outstanding. The staff were happy to play with the kids, babysit and whip up cocktails at 5pm, which we enjoyed in the outdoor sala that comes furnished with comfy chairs and is a lovely place to enjoy the sunset.
The area itself is beautifully quiet and the remote location is what makes it so attractive. You can go snorkelling, swimming or simply wander along the beach and enjoy the Nikki Beach Club and other small restaurants. I truly cannot fault the villa; it is the perfect place for a family holiday.
Why the kids will love Bai Chao Lay Villa
This is a beautiful villa but what made our experience truly fantastic was the staff who happily played with our kids and looked after them. The house itself is great if you’re travelling with friends (as we did) or extended family as all the rooms are generous in size (so no-one felt like they had the ‘dud’ room) and there’s more than enough space for kids.
The pool is a great size and there is small Jacuzzi attached that our kids liked to play in. The grassy lawn area surrounding the pool proved to be a good playground for the children and the large living room, with TV, DVD player and sound system, was the perfect place to retreat to for some down time.
The villa enjoys direct access to the beach and this is a wonderful strip of sand for children, particularly little ones as the shallow water stretches for metres. With fine white sand and no rocks or coral in the water, it really is one of the best beaches on the island for families.
The villa sleeps 10 comfortably in five bedrooms. All bedrooms have AC and come with an excellent ensuite bathroom. One of these rooms is the enormous Master Bedroom but all are beautifully decorated and very comfortable. The villa company are very family friendly in providing cots and fold out beds.
The villa came fully staffed with a villa manager, maid, chef, handyman and it was the staff that made our experience outstanding. The staff happily served up 5pm cocktails and cooked absolutely delicious Thai food on a daily basis. The chef also served western meals and could create kid-friendly dishes. The villa company offer boutique villas and more expensive signature villas such as this one that comes with a chef. A shopping list is available, groceries are charged to your account. Wine is available in the villa or you can bring your own.
Activities for Parents: Private infinity edge swimming pool with a separate Jacuzzi, spa treatments available upon request, library, tennis courts within 2km, 20 minutes from Lamai shopping centres and restaurants, concierge service available for tours and activities, private tours and car rental can be arranged, beautiful Lipa Noi beach, snorkelling, boat trips to outer islands in US Coastguard approved boat and peace and quiet.
Activities for Kids: Swimming pool, grassy lawns, direct access to Lipa Noi beach, swimming in the sea, searching for shells, snorkelling, building sandcastles, nearby Paradise Park Farm home to myriad animals and birds, butterfly farm, snake farm, Nam Muang Waterfalls, floodlit tennis courts nearby with professional coaches and boat trips to outer islands.
AC, babysitting, common rooms, cots, doctors & hospitals, extra beds, kids’ dining facilities, laundry service, private sit out, swimming pool, travel desk & excursions, wheelchair access, WiFi.
When to go:
Koh Samui’s weather patterns differ from much of the rest of the country. From April to September, when most of Thailand is experiencing the monsoon rains, Samui stays fairly dry. Instead, the rains fall from October to December. The driest period is from January to March.
Location & Travel:
Villa Baan Chao Lay is located on the West coast of Koh Samui, 10 minutes from the ferry port of Nathon and 35 kilometres from Samui’s international airport.