If you think the best thing about staying in a private pool villa isn’t going for a swim in your delicately tailored birthday suit, you’re kidding yourself.

Hanging stress up in the walk-in closet alongside your unnecessary swimming trunks, a private villa presents a form of luxury unlike any other. Think: the exclusivity of a unique location, the privacy of your own company, and the personalisation of tailored meal plans, activities, and always having first call on the best sun-bed. Private villas are transforming the way we travel, and what we seek when we travel. In Thailand, there’s also a hot haven for them at the moment, and it’s Koh Samui.

Where Phuket once reigned supreme as the ultimate island getaway with its many high end hotels and fine dining options, the many private villas on Koh Samui are coming in as close competition. Offering bespoke five star services in a home away from home, more travellers are flocking to the island for an experience that goes beyond a four-walled hotel room. And with the beach on your doorstep and a private chef cooking those eggs you like by the kitchen bar, it’s not difficult to see why.

Whether you’re looking for some inspiration for your next weekend getaway, or are simply dreaming thereof from your smartphone in a boardroom meeting, we’ve put together some of the best private villas on Koh Samui at the moment. Divided into villas within resorts and villas on private properties, do brace yourself: the wanderlust will be real.

Hero image credit: RAKU

1
The Library Samui

The Library is a creative’s absolute dream. The minimalist resort was designed for guests to ‘read, roam, and reflect’, and exudes an aura of artful serenity through its impeccably designed studios, suites, and pool villas. It’s likely you’ve spotted the signature (and truly stand-out) red swimming pool on a #Travelinspo Instagram account before, yet few know that beyond the shared facilities, The Library also provides a host of unique and charmingly designed private villas. The 359-square-metre Writer Villa merges flamboyant interiors with sharp-lined exteriors, featuring direct beach access, a custom-made 11-feet-wide bed, an outdoor cinema, private gym and jacuzzi, roof terrace, and saltwater pool. The resort claims that the villa is for adults only, and we’ll agree and say that it is best suited for dreamers only, too.

The Library Samui, 14/1 Moo 2, Chaweng Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, +66 77 422 767 8

2
Khwan Beach Resort

Glamping – that’s ‘glamourous camping’ for the uninitiated – is still very much on the hot list of millennial travel trends, and for those looking for a tantalising tented experience, boutique property Khwan Beach Resort certainly hits the spot. The two-bedroom luxury tented villa has a unique design, exuding a breezy aura of tropical romance and adventure. With a 4-guest maximum occupancy, the space spans over 110 square metres, with a 25-square-metre outdoor area and private garden. It has something of a secret and exotic hidden retreat, ideal for a sweet island escape with bae. Bonus points because it’s very Instagrammable, too.

Khwan Beach Resort, 67/61 Moo 1 Maenam Beach, Koh Samui, +66 625 650 796

3
Six Senses Samui

Made up of only 66 private villas, the residences at the Six Senses Samui offer a beautifully intimate hideaway landscaped within the island’s charming natural vegetation. The 160-square-metre split-level Ocean View Pool Villa consists of an upstairs living space and a pool deck on the lower floor, allowing you to rise and stroll down for a swim every morning. Sweeping panoramas of the Gulf of Thailand and the surrounding islands peek in through the bedroom windows, ready to greet you after you indulge in an outdoor shower on the upper deck. Go for the Six Senses warm stone spa massage after a day of exploring the island, and end your day at ‘Dining on the Rocks’, the cliff-face architecture restaurant on the premises.

Six Senses Samui, 9/10 Moo 5, Baan Plai Laem, Bophut, Koh Samui, +66 7724 5678

4
Banyan Tree Samui

Located on a private hill cove by a protected beach on Lamai Bay, the Banyan Tree Samui is a luxury all-pool villa resort, combining a pristine beach view with the signature Banyan Tree spa escape. The presidential pool villa spans a whopping 316 square metres of a lush treehouse-like space, consisting of two interlinking one-bedroom villas, and an elegant living area. Enjoy a panorama view of the gulf of Thailand from any spot in the suites – be it after a swim in the 35-square-metre private infinity pool, or a cocktail from inside the heated jet pool. With a capacity for six persons, it’s an ideal spot for a couples’ weekend getaway.

Banyan Tree Samui, 99/9 Moo 4, Maret, Koh Samui, +66 77 915 333

5
Ritz Carlton Koh Samui

Built on a former coconut plantation, the Ritz Carlton Koh Samui opened last October to much anticipation, and rightfully so. The luxury resort is made up of 175 suites and pool villas, with access to two secluded beaches and a swim reef with tropical fish. The 225-square-metre Villa Kasara is the star of the property, made up of three bedrooms, a living room and outdoor area, and a 60-square-metre private pool. Enjoy an intimate dinner on your own dining terrace and head to the rooftop for a gorgeous sundowner. Between the spa village and the yoga pavilion, it’s one of the most relaxing and indulgent stays on the island.

Ritz Carlton Koh Samui, 9/123 Moo 5, Tambon Bophut, Koh Samui, +66 77 915 777

6
Praana Residence at Panacea Retreat

Panacea Retreat is not here to mess around. Panacea Retreat knows what it means to provide unparalleled exclusivity in the form of large ultra luxe private villas. One of these is the Praana Residence, an incredible 4700-square-metre villa home to six ensuite bedrooms each fitted with rain shower enclosures and outdoor bath tubs. The property also boasts two infinity pools, a Muay Thai boxing ring, tennis court, gym, cinema room, private nightclub, billiards room, and 20 full time staff ready to meet your every (should you have any more) need. A bespoke and fuss-free experience from the get-go, you can also get personal trainers and arrange for a personal chef to create a customised nutritional programme and detox menu. From the night before to the morning after, it’s the millennial’s ideal villa.

Praana Residence, Panacea Retreat, 51/25 Moo 1 Bophut, Koh Samui, +66 77 43 0074

7
Baan Hinyai

For a more relaxed retreat, Baan Hinyai provides a beachside getaway like from a picture book. Architecturally intriguing roofs fall and rise throughout the property, with beautiful wooden accents and plenty of natural light. The spacious five bedroom villa looks over Samui’s Lamai Beach, with a dedicated villa manager, private chef, and housekeeping staff on call at all times to tend to any special requests. Go for a candle lit dinner by the shore before watching a movie outdoors under the stars, and for the absolute pampering, get a body scrub and massage on the poolside terrace. Beach kayaks, paddle boards, and other beach toys are also available, for a sweet day by Samui’s seaside.

Baan Hinyai, 438/110, Koh Samui, +66 81 968 1001

8
RAKU

The word ‘raku’ translates to ‘comfort and enjoyment’ from the Japanese language, and at RAKU private villa, it translates in the design accents and aura, too. The hillside residence consists of a four-bedroom villa overlooking the Angthong Marine Park, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao from its stylish floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors. Decked out in Jim Thompson fabrics, enjoy breakfast in the outdoor sala, before getting on the speed boat charter for a quick cruise, or taking part in an in-villa yoga class. Admire the waterfall at the entrance and lounge on velvet sofas and in marble and gold showers, before the personal chef prepares your next fresh meal. For a snazzy evening sip, the W Hotel and the Four Seasons are in close proximity, too.

RAKU, Bang Por Peak, Bang Por Soi 1, Maenam, Koh Samui, +66 60 003 5911

9
Ban Suriya

Set in a garden of coconut palms, Ban Suriya is a 3200-square-metre property on Lipa Noi Beach, boasting a six-bedroom villa and seven dedicated staff. With a capacity of 16 guests, it’s a fabulous spot to head with a group of friends for a special occasion, even if that occasion is that it’s finally the weekend. The villa is complete with a huge pool with swim-up bar, private gym, open-air cinema, beachside treehouse, private massage room, and game room, with entertainment services like magicians or Thai dancers available for special performances on the property. Laidback and tranquil, it’s also a great spot for a warm family vacation by the beach.

Ban Suriya, 62/1 Moo 2, Lipa Noi, Koh Samui, +66 77 955 160

10
Akatsuki

Akatsuki has something of a hotel resort – if that resort was so exclusive only you could roam free within it. The 2000-square-metre property is home to the 1200-square-metre Akatsuki villa, featuring five ensuite bedrooms and three cascading infinity pools, surrounded by a lush rainforest and Lipa Noi Beach to the front. Five individually designed suites make up the villa, each named after one of the five elements, and each exuding a sense of lavish comfort and indulgence in a fusion of Thai and Japanese aesthetics. There’s also an atrium hall with a ping pong table and badminton, a theatre pavilion with an entertainment system and mahjong table, as well as a fitness studio and alfresco deck for a nap under the stars or a lounge under the sun. Sublime.

Akatsuki, 57/8 Moo 2, Lipa Noi, Koh Samui, +852 8120 8488

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.