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 1, 2, 3, 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 and sides), 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 across 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 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.
Villa 4 occupies the highest point on the Headland development. Walking along a tree-lined pathway from the communal car park, you pass in front of the first three villas, climbing two steep flights of steps along the way. Entering the villa, you first reach a small terraced garden, with two strategically placed loungers overlooking the stunning sea views.
This villa's layout differs noticeably from the others in that the pool sits between the living and bedroom pavilions. A shaded terrace in front of the living pavilion is furnished with table and chairs whilst the spacious open-plan living and dining area is served by a well-equipped (with brand name appliances) kitchen and breakfast bar. Built-in cupboards contain enough crockery, glasses and cutlery for a dinner party. One cupboard also houses the mood lighting controls and a powerful stereo system which feeds wall-mounted speakers. The dining table seats eight, and there's an inviting sofa close by to sink into when you're full. Fold-out glass doors on all four walls welcome the views and sea breezes, but there's the option of air conditioning and ceiling fans (throughout the villa) to supplement.
In a small courtyard at the far end of the pool is a deck with outdoor lounge area, complete with three sofas and a coffee table. A flight of steps to the right, leads up to the mezzanine TV room. This room is furnished with a comfortable double sofa bed in front of a flat-screen TV and DVD player and could also be used as a third bedroom for larger groups.
Back downstairs, the twin bedroom is immediately to the left of the pool. This bright and airy room opens onto a spacious ensuite bathroom with rain shower. A glass door at the rear opens onto a small private garden that connects back to the poolside courtyard. The second bedroom is a mirror image of the twin, with a four-poster king-size bed, contemporary furnishings and the same spacious bathroom with rain shower and private garden at the back. In front, the covered section of the bedroom terrace features roll down blinds for shade and privacy, beyond that is a small lawn and garden wall (so no sea views directly from the bedrooms) .
6.2m X 6.2m
6.2m X 6.2m