A holiday villa offers that homely feel when it comes to space and privacy. Now add in the comforts and conveniences of a five-star resort and you know you have the perfect place for an intimate event without the hassle of organizing everything yourself. Our curated list of top resorts with one-of-a-kind villas includes everything from oversized, celebrity-worthy bungalows to designer canvas-covered tents and built-on-stilts treehouses in the most beautiful locations.
1. Four Seasons Resort Seychelles
Fancy living in the wild? Do so in style in one of the 67 treehouse villas at the exclusive Four Seasons Resort Seychelles that come with private pools and airy wooden decks – perfect for those stunning selfies with the wilderness in the background. Build on a granite hillside, overlooking the beautiful Petit Anse island and brilliant blue waters of the Indian Ocean, this luxury resort is close to one of the best beaches in the area. You can also opt for the Four Seasons Private Residences Seychelles for a more exclusive and private experience. The Residence Villas come with three to six bedrooms. With their luxurious and spacious design, these are ideal for hosting a large family or group at a wedding, and can even serve as a venue for a cozy wedding. You will be spoilt for choice when dining here thanks to a team of 20 Indian chefs and unique locations to enjoy lovely meals such as within the charming Residence Villa itself, on the beach, the Steak Shack or Foumba (‘Old House’0 which is a unique venue that showcases the atmospheric ruins of a traditional Creole house. With lush greenery all around, and open to the sky, Foumba is perfect for intimate dinners and events for around 15 people. Plus, there are numerous activities – from yoga to boat trips, fishing expeditions to spa sessions that guests can indulge in.
2. The Chedi Muscat
Situated on the beachfront, near the brilliant blue waters of the Indian Ocean, and a short drive from the Muscat airport, The Chedi Muscat is a low-rise luxury resort spread over 21 acres and has its own private beach. All 38 Chedi Club Suite villas have sunken bathtubs, balconies, large windows and pond gardens. Guests can enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding Hajar mountains, gardens and water fountains from the privacy of their rooms. The resort has the largest spa in Muscat and the longest pool in the Middle East. Situated just 2 km from the city center, The Chedi Muscat is an oasis in the middle of bustling Muscat city where guests can immerse themselves in traditional Omani activities (fancy an exotic sheesha?) or shop at the local markets called souks.
3. Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa
If you fancy waking up to the sound of the waves right below your bed, book into Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa which has 60 stunning over-water villas which are built on stilts and situated in the lagoon. This elite resort’s 132 villas also include treehouse villas, again built on sturdy stilts and surrounded by lush greenery. You are assured of perfect privacy in a pristine environment as the resort is situated on the 2.5 km long Villingili Island, which is Maldives’ largest single-resort island. It offers four distinct and different outdoor venues ranging from the lush jungle, a sprawling 9-hole golf course, sandy beaches and reef side area which is ideal for wedding parties. If your guests are in the mood for some adventure, they can take their pick from exciting options such as diving, cruising in a glass-bottom boat, tennis sessions, snorkeling, eco-tours, scuba diving and other water sports activities.
4. Al Maha a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is a luxurious Bedouin encampment located in the desert, just 45 minutes away from Dubai. The conservation-led resort is situated on a total of 225 square kilometers of pristine desert landscape. This secluded hideaway resort offers personal and seductive experiences with great hospitality, privacy and absolute comfort. Al Maha’s luxurious accommodation includes 42 private guest suites in four different categories. Each suite has its own pool and private deck. Dining options include the signature Al Diwaan restaurant, Dune dining, Deck dining or In-suite dining. The resort also features a boardroom that can hold up to 120 guests and can be set up in different styles. The various activities are designed to provide the greatest first-hand experiences of the desert including Camel Trekking and Desert Safaris. The Timeless Spa serves the guest with a truly rejuvenating and relaxing experience incorporating single and double treatment rooms.
5. Iniala Beach Resort, Phang Nga
It does not get more luxurious or intimate than the Iniala Beach House in Phang Nga region in the south of Thailand, which lies 20 km from the Phuket Airport. Comprising of just three villas and one penthouse suite with a huge sun deck, guests (including many celebrities in the past) who book into this cosy complex can step out of their door and straight onto the golden sands of the Natai beach. The design of the Iniala Beach House makes for picture-perfect backdrops as they fuse Thai accents with fluid, modern forms against the Andaman Sea. The main restaurant here is Esenzi which serves up delectable seafood creations, among other international flavors.
6. Alila Jabal Akhdar
The Alila Jabal Akhdar resort is located in the central section of the Al Hajar Mountains. Jabal Akhdar translates into ‘Green Mountain’ in Arabic and the region is considered the fruit bowl of Oman, with its pomegranate and walnut trees. The resort is built around 2,000 feet above sea level and can be reached in a little over two hours from the Muscat International Airport. The 78-suite resort’s pride of place are its two exclusive Jabal Villas with two bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, private terrace and pool, dining and living rooms and a nifty kitchenette. Guests are assured serenity, space and stylish living in spaces that have been designed to fit smoothly into the natural rugged terrain of the mountainous area.
7. Samujana Villas Koh Samui
Located in Koh Samui on the north-east coast of Thailand, the stunning celebrity-worthy Samujana Villas are all about oversized luxury, with infinity edge pools and lush hill views with the blue sea glinting in the distance. This all-villa estate is located just minutes away from the Samui International Airport. With three to eight bedrooms, the 36 villas here have modern kitchens and amenities. One of the largest villas here come with its own cinema for 14 people, a gym and even office space. If you never want to leave your villa here – and that’s understandable – you can order in groceries or have your private Thai chef whip up delicious meals at your villa.
8. Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
Situated on the same ‘Green Mountain’ as Alila Jabal Akhdar, the beautiful Anantara Al Jabal Akhdar Resort is the highest five-star resort in the Middle East, and among the highest in the world at an elevation of 2,000 feet above sea level. With 33 private pool villas, including a super luxurious three-bedroom one, the resort also provides Villa Hosts who are trained to cater to every need of guests here. To relax before your intimate wedding or during your honeymoon, book into the spa here where you will be pampered with indulgent Arabic rituals. Survey the stars from the lovely stargazing platform here before gazing into your partner’s eyes over an Italian or Moroccan meal at one of the resort’s world-class restaurants.
9. Banyan Tree Phuket
Opulent villas, outstanding landscapes and organized within the sprawling Laguna Phuket integrated community, the sophisticated Banyan Tree Phuket resort is the go-to place for discerning travelers who want a popular, proven resort yet desire ultimate privacy. With 150 villas kitted out with their own gardens, classy interiors and modern amenities, guests are assured of privacy even as they splash about in their private pool. One of the largest type of villas here are the Spa Sanctuary Villas. The resort also offers signature experiences like the ‘Sanya Rak Dinner Cruise’, a decadent Sunday Brunch and pampering treats at the world-class spa. Located near the popular Bangtao beach, guests can also tee off at the Laguna Golf Phuket course here.
10. Six Senses Zighy Bay
With 82 Omani-style stone villas surrounded by rugged mountains, pomegranate trees and modern amenities, Six Senses Zighy Bay epitomizes luxury and adventure (you can paraglide to the resort if that takes your fancy!). Situated on the Musandam peninsula in northern Oman, the resort also offers premium ‘retreats’ – a higher category of villas which come with their own private pools. This sprawling resort made The Gold List 2017: The 20 Best Hotels in the World which is compiled by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. Guests get a butler to look after their needs and drive them around the stunning 18-acre resort or to the pristine private beach. With five restaurants serving up dishes comprising vegetables from the resort’s organic garden, food lovers will be spoilt for choice.
11. Mahua Kothi by Taj Safaris, Bandavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Mahua Kothi is an intimate lodge-style Taj Safaris property with 12 independent villa-style guest suites fashioned in the authentic style of jungle huts. Situated in the Bandavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh which has the highest reported density of tigers, this cozy estate offers jungle safaris twice a day. Spread over 40 acres, Mahua Kothi’s suites are luxurious and resplendent with authentic accents of Madhya Pradesh including private courtyards, mud floors, pottery roof tiles and wooden shutters. After a relaxing yoga session in your private courtyard, head for a picnic or a cycling tour around the area.
12. Rayavadee Krabi
Situated on the edge of the Krabi National Marine Park, Rayavadee Krabi lies next to the azure waters of the Andaman Sea and stunning limestone cliffs. It has 98 two-storey villa-style pavilions whose award-winning designs were inspired by the ambiance and architecture of an idyllic southern Thai village. It also has four luxurious beachfront villas. A two-hour drive from Phuket International Airport will get you to this tropical paradise that is lush with coconut groves. Like many other five-star villa resorts, Rayavadee Krabi also offers dedicated butler services to guests.
13. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
If you want to go ‘glamping’ – that’s the glamorous version of camping – head straight to the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle resort in Chiang Rai province in the north of Thailand. Situated in a bamboo grove, this resort by the luxury chain offers accommodation in 15 luxurious canvas-covered designer tents with custom-made hot tubs on the wooden decks, a quaint walkway which leads to the lavish interiors and stunning views of the lush surroundings. Spread across 400 acres, the 1,000 square feet tents offer ultimate privacy for that intimate get together. And if you crave adventure amidst the stunning solitude here, book some elephant rides or enjoy feeding the majestic beasts over a leisurely brunch.
14. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
From the Creole-inspired architecture to beautiful views of the Indian Ocean, the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa is one of the most charming properties located in the north of Mahe, the capital of Seychelles. Villas here are perched on stilts and incorporate elements of a traditional Seychellois home. They come in four categories – 26 Oceanside Hillside Villas, 14 Deluxe Oceanfront Villas, 15 Grand Oceanview Pool Villas and an uber luxurious two-bedroom Presidential Pool Villa. Guests can enjoy Creole food and other cuisines at one of the three in-house restaurants. One of the most popular beaches of Seychelles, Beau Vallon, is located just 15 minutes away.
15. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andaman Islands
With 75 luxury villas, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andaman Islands at is all set to create waves in the luxury resort sphere. Due to launch in a few months, the resort’s jewel in the crown will be the 8,000 square feet Presidential Suite which will come with its own private beach. The low-rise resort’s design, decor and architecture draws inspiration from the local Jarawa tribal huts (The Jarawa tribe is one of the oldest in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands). These all-wood villas will be perched on stilts and will offer plush modern luxury amenities such as four-poster beds and walk-in closets that well-heeled guests are used to.