If you have a Mac, make sure you take it to The Headland Villas. The five properties on this luxury development are elegant, stylish, compact and desirable enough to have been designed by Apple Inc. There's something extremely satisfying about reclining on a cushioned sunbed by a blue-tiled swimming pool, tropical islands silhouetted in the distance while you chat on Skype, courtesy of the villa’s WiFi access, knowing that you fit the scene perfectly.
But it's not just the modern touches that make this villa (and neighbouring Headland Villas 2, 3, 4 and 5) so special; it's the way its design is so perfectly integrated into the stunning, natural setting. Clever features like folding doors (front and back), with roller blinds for daytime shade, add new meaning to the well-used phrase ‘bringing the outside in’ and keep the villa blissfully cool. These touches, along with an intelligent use of space make what is essentially quite a compact residence feel very roomy. It's therefore easy to switch between pleasures on a whim. You can wander straight from your king-size bed down to the pool to float in peace surrounded by tropical greenery and the soothing sound of crickets, then pop back to your bright, open-plan bathroom for a refreshing rain shower before grabbing a snack and freshly brewed coffee on your way upstairs to watch a movie in the TV lounge overlooking the sea.
The staff, like the decor, are discreet. There's an efficient daily maid and a friendly, knowledgeable on-site manager, but once you've enjoyed your healthy continental breakfast (included) you can turn the service on or off to suit your day (a full-time chef and provisioning are available at extra cost). It's a steep climb down to Taling Ngam beach but well worth the effort as you'll probably have it to yourself most days. Restaurants and resort-style amenities are in nipping distance, while boat trips, fishing trips and elephants rides are easily arranged. Drinking in the cinematic views with Vivaldi flowing through the Bose surround-sound system in the lounge is nothing short of living poetry.
The Headland Villas are set on a secluded cliff side overlooking a stunning bay with small islands stretching to the horizon. Interconnecting pathways and steps lead to each individual villa entrance and down to a semi-private section of Taling Ngam beach that's quite rocky in places but swimmable at high tide and shared only by occasional guests from the nearby InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam Resort. The guarded (public) road that leads to the villas’ car park is also used by this up-market resort. The villa manager can organise buggies to take you to the resort's restaurants and spa facilities. A one- kilometre drive (the road is walk-able, but steep) takes you to Baan Taling Ngam village and beach offering a handful of low-key resorts and restaurants, plus a peaceful temple to visit.
From a communal car park, landscaped steps and walkways lead to the five Headland Villas. Climbing the stone steps to Villa 1, you first reach the 14m infinity swimming pool, backed by an attractive rockery, with loungers placed for sun and views. From there, more steps double back to the main olive and white, thatch-roofed building, fronted by a wide, partially covered terrace that affords 180 degree coastal views (particularly beautiful at sunset). Outdoor furniture includes comfortable cushioned rattan couches, daybeds, coffee tables and white marble statues. These couches are as ‘flop-in comfortable’ as the inside sofas, perfectly extending the interior living spaces with the exterior.
The first room inside the main pavilion is the airy master bedroom that boasts folding doors opening on two sides and roller blinds for day-time shade. There's a contemporary king-size four-poster bed with draped netting, built-in storage, striking contemporary artwork and steel bedside lamps to complete the scene. The room opens onto a spacious ensuite with rain shower, beyond which is a private garden, guaranteeing plenty of natural light. The adjacent room is a mirror image of the master, boasting the same cool bathroom amenities, but with twin beds.
A small passageway separates the bedrooms from the living area (you can see through so keep the bedroom blinds down!) and leads behind the villa to a guest bathroom on one side and a wood and steel stairway rising to the mezzanine TV lounge on the other. This room looks over the main living space and is furnished with a comfortable double sofa bed poised in front of the TV and DVD player. (This area, along with the downstairs shower room, could be used as an extra bedroom for a larger group.)
Back downstairs the spacious (made more so by a mirrored wall), white, open-plan living and dining area is served by a well-equipped (with brand name appliances) kitchen and breakfast bar. Built-in cupboards have enough crockery, glasses and cutlery for a dinner party. One also houses the mood lighting controls and a powerful stereo system which feeds white, Bose speakers mounted on the lounge walls. The dining table seats eight, and there's an inviting sofa close by to sink -into when you're full. The entire room appears to fold out front and back to welcome the views and sea breezes, but there's the option of air conditioning and ceiling fans (throughout the villa) to supplement.
6.2m X 6.2m
6.2m X 6.2m