YL Residence is a unique, extravagant villa originally built as a weekend retreat for one of Thailand's most successful entrepreneurs. The sheer size of the property makes staying here feel like holidaying in your own private resort. Tall palms and fragrant frangipani trees fill the garden; a central, majestic lawn is crowned by a 32m dark-tiled infinity pool overlooking what feels like a private beach. Large white, wooden and glass studios create a cool, colonial atmosphere adding to the exclusive ambience. The villa's 18 resident staff unobtrusively attend to guests' every whim. An extensive breakfast buffet is included and other meals can be ordered from the in-villa menu or through consultation with the chef (both options charged to guest account).
Three room types, all with sea views, cater to a range of accommodation needs and make YL Residence an ideal venue for large gatherings. The huge YL Suite is a villa in itself; its two connecting buildings offer a blend of ethnic grace and cosmopolitan elegance courtesy of renowned Filipino designer Budji. The three YL studios are equally impressive with indulgent private indoor and outdoor bathing options, while six only slightly less opulent studios are very comfortable and all with twin beds, making them the preferred option for families or friends sharing.
Thanks to the villa's size, options for relaxation abound. The vast beachside deck is a fabulous place to kick back on a sunbed and take in the resplendent island views. The lounge next to the pool is also an excellent base for daytime pleasures. There's no shortage of energetic alternatives on offer either, with kayaks, jet skis and a slick Sea-Doo watercraft for the ultimate 70km/h thrill ride.
When you've watched the sun sink over your cocktail glass, a dedicated games room features a full-sized snooker table and even an air hockey game. For dinner, the talented chef (ex-Dorchester, Babington House) prepares an eclectic selection of top class cuisine, with special touches like imported delicacies, home baked breads and irresistible desserts. This spectacular private residence leaves you in no doubt as to the benefits of living the good life.
YL Residence is on one of Samui's less visited beaches, Natien. Although incredibly picturesque, low tides can make swimming difficult between April and August. There's a long-established Thai resort next door to YL, complete with its own on-site aquarium and mini-zoo, but this is a considerable distance from the villa and only noticeable because of occasional bird calls during the day. In the windier months (March to June and October to December), a kite boarding school operates out of the same resort. Watching the kites and riders shoot past the beach adds an unusual element to the beautiful ocean views. The villa itself occupies such a generous area of land it's easy never to leave the grounds. Even if you're staying with a large group, there are plenty of places to slip away for some quiet time surrounded by the tropical views. Peace and quiet predominate in this part of the island and the pace of life slows accordingly.
A gated entrance opens onto a long driveway surrounded by tropical trees. At the end of the drive is the villa’s main house with its views across vast lawns down to the beach. This two-storey building is fully air conditioned and features a meeting room downstairs and, upstairs, an office with full AV facilities, including two home theatre systems surrounded by towering windows with electric blinds.
The lawn, lined with mature frangipani trees, leads down to the 32m oceanfront pool and adjacent pool lounge. The latter is served by a staffed mini-kitchen, with a dining table, TV, music system and office space surrounded by fold-out glass doors. An expansive wooden deck with covered barbecue area connects the pool lounge to the main club house pavilion. This generous living and dining space, with its bar, Bose surround-sound system, flat-screen TV and comfortable, modern sofas is an ideal area for entertaining. At the back of the club house is a games room, with a second big screen TV to watch satellite sport while you enjoy a game of snooker. A large, fully fitted kitchen equipped to please a master chef completes the picture.
The three deluxe studios face the beach with the YL Suite taking centre stage. Here, an oversized, designer four-poster sits proudly on a white terrazzo floor, while two antique doors open onto a free-standing round bath tub and jacuzzi. An outdoor rain shower sits in a private garden to the rear and a small corridor leads into the spacious living area. The suite has its own equipped kitchen, a five-seater dining table, two large stylish sofas and a chaise longue to watch the widescreen TV or listen to tunes through standing Jamo speakers.
The Deluxe Studios mirror the bedroom and bathroom layout in the YL Suite (minus the jacuzzi), furnished with queen-size beds crafted from reclaimed wood, built-in storage and wet bars, central remote control systems and large outdoor terraces with sea views. The YL Studios - three set back in their own garden and three overlooking the pool - are less extravagant, with rattan furniture, smaller bathrooms and twin beds. But also boast outdoor bathing options, private sun terraces and full AV capability.
BEDROOM 1(YL SUITE)
BEDROOM 2 (YL DELUXE STUDIO)
BEDROOM 3 (YL DELUXE STUDIO)
BEDROOM 4 (YL DELUXE STUDIO)
BEDROOM 5 (YL STUDIO)
BEDROOM 6 (YL STUDIO)
BEDROOM 7 (YL STUDIO)
BEDROOM 8 (YL STUDIO)
BEDROOM 9 (YL STUDIO)
BEDROOM 10 (YL STUDIO)