One can only describe the 10 days we just enjoyed at Villa Baan Tawan Chai (BTC) as PERFECT. "We" was a large group that included 8 family and 2 very close friends: a largish, unwieldy group that is generally difficult to accommodate and make everyone happy. But BTC was, well, perfect. The layout is perfect, with 4 bedrooms (each with ensuite indoor and outdoor bathrooms) a large kitchen plus dining area and a good size living room sprawled around a central pool area. Directly in front of the pool area is a large lawn with a small gate that leads to a basically private beach and the sea. 2 of the bedrooms are spacious, whilst 2 leave little room around the queen-size beds. 2 of the rooms can easily accommodate another bed (folding or chaise longue), as can the living room, thereby being able to fit in a total of 11-12 if one really wants to. But, ideally, BTC is for 8, that very comfortably can enjoy a superb experience. The location of BTC is also perfect, at least for those travellers that are looking for peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of Chaweng or Lamai beaches. BTC is on the southern Samui coast, which, along with the nearby western coast, remains the unspoilt part of the island. The villa is at the end of a dirt road that ends at the sea, and with (as yet) no neighbours, it is truly quiet in the villa. At night the only lights one sees are of the fishing boats bobbing beyond the distant reef. The sounds are only of nocturnal animals - no music blasting from speakers. The rooms are very well appointed with comfortable furniture. The place is looked after and cleaned daily by a live-in couple, Khun Luk and Khun Rawng, and they are a huge part as to why our stay was so special: their attention to detail in all aspects of service, their kindness and compassionate demeanour, added to the peacefulness of the place. One can also hire a chef for a nominal fee to cook, which we did a couple of times. For my father's 80th birthday we hired Khun Ten, a young up and coming Thai master chef. He cooked a delicious multi-course Thai meal that included lobster, crab and prawns, and, after 30 years of being a very regular visitor to Thailand, this was one of the 3 best Thai meals I have ever had. As we are all regular Thai visitors or long-time residents, we also enjoy going to the local markets to bring back prepared food, and there was no shortage of great cooked food to be found. The best market was probably the one next to the Tesco supermarket in Lamai. We also explored restaurants in the beach area in Tongkhut, all of which are rustic and simple, but generally serve good food. French Kiss Thanod is one example of a picture-perfect restaurant facing Koh Tan and Koh Madsum, two beautiful islands a 15-minute boat ride away with super snorkelling and swimming. 3 minutes from BTC is an usual restaurant, the Magic Alalmbic Distillery, which distils its own rum and serves very authentic and tasty French food. There is therefore tons to do and see within 20 minutes of the villa. But back to BTC. Each time, after an excursion, we drove back, the kids couldn't wait to be embraced by the lush gardens and dive into the pool. The only slight drawback to BTC is that that entire Laem Set coast does not really offer any swimming beaches, as the water never really gets deep enough. It did during high tide, however, allow my energetic 11-year son to spend a couple of hours kayaking in the bay (the kayak is part of the BTC offering). The 10 days seemed to melt away in to blissful hours of pure relaxation and enjoyment and contentment. Every single one of us, from ages 7 to 80, said this was one of the best holidays ever.
Truly a wonderful experience, Baan Tawan Chai offers Thai chic with that home from home feeling. The amenities are first class and the location superb. Staff very friendly and helpful.
There is a lot of the owners heart and soul in this property so the design and interior reflect love and serenity. An ideal place for families to have fun or just relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The pool, gardens and beach beckon so a third visit may well be on the cards.