Kantaraya Villa, A Unique Destination in Thailand's Koh Tao

Kantarya Villa exterior

James Mills

Like most beautiful places on earth, Koh Tao can be a little hard to get to but those that make the journey will be rewarded. The island is accessed by high speed catamaran from nearby Samui in the Gulf of Thailand or Surat Thani on the mainland. It is home to hidden beaches, secluded bays, jungle trails and some of the best diving and snorkelling you can experience in Asia.

Master bedroom and view to the sea
James Mills

Instead, a number of unique and luxe villas are popping up around the island, but are built within the natural surroundings of the environment. There is a large environmental movement on Koh Tao holding developers to this ethos.  Added to this appeal is the growing variety of restaurants, spas, and activities available on the island, which now caters for the discerning traveller.

I am lucky enough to have been offered to experience a little slice of luxury, hidden high on a hill on the less developed west side of the island. After negotiating with a driver, who said the other side was 'too far' for him we swallow our pride and pay him a premium to head out on the dusty the road towards Lang Khai Bay. I can immediately see our destination; a large bell shaped building which is strikingly beautiful among the greenery of the jungle on the hill.

Thai Sala
James Mills

The unique design of Kantaraya is like no other villa on the island and is the creation of talented local architect Narupon Charentikul. With an open air jacuzzi situated beneath the master bedroom, (perfect for sunset drinks), a private Sala, two more bedrooms and handmade furniture throughout, Kantaraya is the perfect place to have a romantic break as a couple or rent with a group of friends. The dome shape Sala overlooks Shark Island below, a popular spot for divers.

Although the villa is situated on the top of a hill, you will experience a feeling of complete privacy and seclusion. Days can be spent exploring the island, whiling away time in a book on the Kantaraya deck or snorkelling at one of the many hidden bays. Private boat tours and in house yoga classes can also be organised by Kantaraya.

Palm tree on Sairee Beach
James Mills

We are delighted to find some of the best snorkelling on the island close by, simply wander down the road from Kantaraya to the pier next to Moondance Bungalow. Here you can spend hours exploring the marine life while most likely enjoying the whole bay to yourself.

After watching the sunset from the Sala, we climb the stairs into the loft to the cathedral shaped bedroom. Here, I star gaze from my pillow through the skylight. My heavy muscles find comfort in the soft European bedding, (a rare and wonderful find in this part of the world).

Boats passing by at Lang Khai Bay
James Mills

I drift off to sleep and wake to watch the sun slowly rise over Lang Khai Bay from my pillow. I admit I have never had a morning view like this from the comfort of my own bed and think how peaceful the world could be should everyone wake like this.   

On leaving Kantaraya, I worry that the secret about my little paradise is almost out. Get there and see it before the rest of the world does. 

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Ashleigh Mills

Ashleigh is from the sunny shores of Sydney, Australia. She writes about travel, health, wellbeing and family.With her photographer husband James, she can be found trotting across the globe, freediving or going in search of the perfect beach. When not exploring, she is just as happy on her local beach in Sydney with her head buried in a good book. Ashleigh has been published in International Liv...(Read More)

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