Palm trees, turquoise sea, long-tail boats and temples are the images most people conjure up when imagining the perfect Thai scene. At Baan Ratree, you have the palms, ocean and boats only metres away, and Big Buddha temple glistens in the sun across the bay – so there’s no doubting where you are. A row of single-storey villas (also part of the Dhevatara Residence estate), lie just in front of the three-level Baan Ratree, but have been carefully positioned so as not to disturb the ocean view.
From your comfortable lounger by the pool or in the sala, you can enjoy watching the fishermen going about their daily business, setting up their nets, hunting for shellfish at low tide and heading off to fish for squid as the sun sets. With seafood and fresh markets nearby, sundowners and barbecues by the pool are a must.
Although at first, Baan Ratree appears fragmented with its three storeys and many stairs, it offers great flexibility for groups of friends travelling together as guests can easily find their own space. Bedrooms are privately situated, yet there are plenty of sociable areas to gather over breakfast, take dips in the pool, or watch a movie on the enormous flat-screen TV. And an outdoor bar by the pool makes the perfect venue for evening cocktails or daytime snacks. The bedrooms on the upper floors offer ocean views, while the ground- level bedroom opens to a small garden.
The villa’s manager, Khun Hei, drifts between Baan Ratree and two other villas in Dhevatara Residence, but she’s always on hand should you need her to arrange a masseuse to come to the villa or any other concierge services. A full-time housekeeper maintains the villa, and as part of the Dhevatara Residence estate, Baan Ratree benefits from 24-hour security too. Daily continental breakfasts are included in the villa rate and a private chef can be hired for a reasonable extra fee, with provisions charged at cost plus 20%. Should you prefer to eat out and explore the surroundings, Baan Ratree lies just off Samui’s main ring road and is within easy access of the restaurants, bars and shops of Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village.
Baan Ratree is located in the small, upmarket Dhevatara Residence estate, on the border of Bophut and Mae Nam. This villa forms part of a row of triple-storey villas (including 4-bedroom Baan Bua Sawan ), set slightly back from the beach behind a row of single-storey beachfront villas (see 4-bedroom Baan Leelawadee ). The area in front of the villa is used by the fishermen to sort their nets and moor their long-tail boats and while the beach is nice and sandy, it’s rocky below the water line and so not good for swimming. Bophut beach, however, is pleasant and lined with restaurants, bars and resorts, and is only a kilometre away.
Baan Ratree is spread over three storeys, with rooms on the upper two levels enjoying great sea views. On entering the villa through carved double doors next to the covered parking area, you’ll find a well-equipped and air-conditioned gym to the right and a bedroom with king-size bed to the left.
A wooden staircase leads up to the air-conditioned dining room and open-plan kitchen, simply furnished with a 10-seater wooden dining table, console and several statues and Thai artefacts. A washroom is conveniently located next to the kitchen. Sliding doors open up to the blue-tiled swimming pool set in a wooden deck, and overlooking the sea. Two sun-loungers are positioned to enjoy the tropical sun, yet umbrellas offer shade when needed. Flanking the pool are a shady daybed draped with wispy-white fabric and filled with scatter cushions, and couches to the other side. Both are perfect places to relax and enjoy the view across the bay or get lost in a book.
In a separate pavilion to the back of the swimming pool is the comfortable lounge and TV room, equipped with an enormous flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a DVD player. This room is informally furnished with a corner couch, a round ‘love chair’ for snuggling up on to watch a movie, and a few beanbags for extra seating. In an alcove between the dining/kitchen area and the living room, an outdoor bar makes an ideal spot to gather for evening drinks and enjoy the changing sky.
Also on this level, to the other side of the pool, are two bedrooms accessed via a covered walkway. The main staircase continues up to the second floor and the master bedroom. While this bedroom is only slightly bigger than the rest, it does have the advantage of a bathtub in its ensuite in addition to the rain shower found in the other bathrooms. All bedrooms have TV/DVD players, but the master bedroom also boasts a satellite TV and a bigger screen. Bedrooms are tastefully furnished with wood and sea-grass pieces, bold scatters and artwork, and mosaic-tiled features in the ensuite bathrooms. The three bedrooms on the upper two floors open onto balconies with sea views and the downstairs bedroom opens up to a small garden. What this bedroom lacks in view, it makes up for in privacy.
The villa is air-conditioned throughout and floored with glossy cream tiles for a modern, cool look.
6.5m x 6m
6m x 4.5m
6m x 4.5m
5.5m x 5.5m