|We traveled as a party of 10 girls, all aged 17-18. The house was almost exactly like the pictures; when we arrived we were in total shock at how good the villa was! The view was beautiful and it truly was a privilege to sit in the living room with the floor-to-ceiling windows open, whilst enjoying the cool breeze and each other's company.
The rooms were very big, and the beds were clean and comfortable. There was ample space to keep suitcases, and the master bedrooms had huge walk-in cupboards. The jacuzzis in the master bedrooms were a bit of a problem though. They filled up quite slowly so in the end we just gave up on filling them all the way. When we drained the jacuzzi, water started raining down in my friend's bedroom, which was directly below ours. It became quite a big issue as the room flooded, but luckily there was no lasting damage to my friend's luggage. The manager and staff were genuinely concerned and called a plumber to assist us, and we learned that it probably wasn't a good idea to use the jacuzzi for the rest of the trip!
That being said, everything else worked perfectly fine throughout the trip! Even though there were 10 of us, we could still get privacy in the house. There were times we couldn't hear each other as the house was so big! We found that traveling with 10 people was advantageous, as we could keep costs low on groceries and transport.
The pool was small but good enough for all 10 of us to swim and lounge around. We had a beautiful view of the surrounding villas and hills, and a wonderful view of the distant Patong beach. The pool was perfect for a sunset swim or for staring at the stars at night. The pool was cleaned 3-4 times throughout the 8 days we spent there. We did get a few bugs and leaves in the pool, but it was relatively clean throughout.
The sitting area with the TV was extremely comfortable. All of us spent a lot of time lounging around on the sofa. A few of us even slept on the sofa for a few of the nights that we were there - that's how comfortable it was! The villa subscribes to many international channels on TV, so it was convenient whenever we wanted to catch up on the World Cup or watch other shows.
The kitchen was well equipped for when we wanted to make meals ourselves. Meals made by the staff ranged between 800-2400 baht in total! We appreciated the fact that we were eating amazing food for a reasonable price!
The staff are all women, which was perfect as we were a group of 10 girls and were concerned about safety. The manager was on-call, and the other three staff came from 9am to 7pm. They were extremely helpful in calling tuk tuks and vans for us, and for booking our Phi Phi Island Tour, which they managed to get at almost half the price per person. We asked the chef to cook Thai food, which was absolutely delicious. Before the start of the trip, I was very concerned about managing my allergies in Thailand, as I'm severely allergic to peanuts, beans, peas, chickpeas and other pulses and legumes. However, the chef, Amina was very accommodating and made sure that I could still enjoy her fantastic Thai cooking without putting my life at risk. I will always be forever grateful to our staff, Amina, Grat and Jing, for taking such good care of us and making our trip the best it could possibly be. We became so close that we ended up hugging goodbye!
One of the other drawbacks of the villa was that it was at the top of quite a steep hill. It was quite tiring, especially on the first day when we went to buy groceries for ourselves. We carried 6 cases of water bottles plus various groceries between the 10 of us. It was an extremely strenuous walk as the tuk tuks were not willing to drop us all the way up without an extra cost. Most of the time the walk was all right, but on days when we had bags or were extremely tired it wasn't exactly desirable. I would recommend going with people who are younger and slightly fitter and who can make the walk. Alternatively, you could persuade tuk tuk drivers to drive all the way up for an extra cost, or hire a van for a day if you plan to be out all day. A villa van will take you all the way up.
Another thing that was a slight drawback, but also good in a way, was that our villa was on the outskirts of Patong. We had to take tuk tuks everywhere, even to the beach. The main road at the bottom of Patong Hill Estate was also a steep hill that was dangerous to walk down. We ended up having to take tuk tuks to the nearby Jung Ceylon mall and Patong beach. This would have been more expensive had we not been the party of 10 that we were. Places we wanted to go were not as close as they appeared on the map, so be prepared to take a lot of tuk tuks! We managed to get them at 150-200 baht, although sometimes taking tuk tuks back from the mall were more expensive, as people who worked at the tuk tuk service would call tuk tuks for us.
We were very lucky with the weather! We checked the weather forecast and saw that there would be quite a few rainy days. It only rained three times while we were there and not for very long periods of time.
Places we would recommend to go are: Jung Ceylon Mall (we ate at a restaurant called Cafe 101 three times - the food was amazing and somewhat reasonably priced considering the portions), Kata Beach, Laem Phrom Thep (a sunset watch point which was extremely beautiful), the Phi Phi Island Tour (book this through the villa staff), Kata Beach, Patong Beach (it's worth going parasailing!) Dino Park Mini Golf and Restaurant (near Karon Beach) and Bangla Road (if you want to go clubbing).
The villa felt like home to us, and we were so grateful to have found such an amazing place with equally amazing service. We would definitely recommend this place to anyone going on a high school or college grad trip, a casual trip with friends, or even family trips with those who can handle the hill!
If you have any further questions, the villa owner, Katherine Gray is extremely helpful and hospitable. Alternatively, if you have any questions about our experience, feel free to email me at email@example.com