Waimarie is an absolute beachfront villa at Lipa Noi on Koh Samui. Rambling through tropical gardens down to the pool and the beach, this private luxury Samui villa consists of a lounge pavilion, dining pavilion, large sala and six supremely comfortable en-suite bedrooms. The villa also has its own tennis court.
Waimarie is Maori for 'peaceful water', and the name is entirely apt for this villa where, for most of the year the sea is flat as glass and as warm as a mother’s hug. This is Lipa Noi Beach, and when you stay at Waimarie you will have it almost to yourself.
The rooms at this glorious Samui villa are secluded in the tropical gardens where guests are woken each day with birdsong from the resident mynahs, sunbirds and bulbuls. As you meander along winding brick paths, inhale the scent of frangipani and delight in the colourful splashes of brilliant tropical flowers.
Then, as you walk through an elegant archway, the sea greets you. Drink in the view. The sand is white and powdery. Next to the shore the sea is pale green, giving way to a band of dark amethyst, then aquamarine stretching to the horizon. Islands reflect the morning sunlight and behind them the mountains of the Thai mainland form a blue-grey graph against the sky.
Between you and the sands of Lipa Noi Beach is the villa’s inviting pool. Next to it is the sprawling sala, a favourite place for guests to loll and recharge their batteries. Work? Never heard of it.
Ensuring that guests have every opportunity to appreciate the delights of Waimarie to the full, the efficient, smiling villa staff anticipate every whim. The chef, especially, will cater to any culinary caprice, with Thai or international favourites.
Between meals, perhaps have a lazy swim before refreshing your tan in a sun lounger by the pool or on the beach. Or order up a soothing massage.
Feeling more energetic? Give someone a good thrashing on Waimarie's private tennis court or across the beach volleyball net, or take to the sea on one of the villa’s kayaks or paddleboards. Out into the peaceful water.
You arrive at Waimarie through the main gate into the brick-paved courtyard and parking area, with the tennis court on the left. From there, a brick path leads through an elegant archway into the gardens and past the rooms, on left and right, and then to the main focus of the villa: the beachside pool with the huge sala to the left, lounge and entertainment room facing the ocean, dining and kitchen pavilion to the right. Just a couple of steps away is the beach itself.
As befits its beachside tropical location, much of Waimarie’s indoor living is almost outdoors, with wide glass doors to the lounge and dining pavilions opening to allow the sea breezes and the view of the Gulf of Thailand to float into the interior.
The dining pavilion, attached to the kitchen, has a large square table that easily seats 12, as well as a spacious breakfast bar. There are four refrigerators, including a wine cooler, and a well-equipped and stocked coffee station. One wall is taken over by a large replica of a bas-relief from Angkor Wat, showing a Hindu god and his court.
Close by, the lounge pavilion has huge sofas and armchairs to sink into. An impressive teakwood central divider splits the room into social/reading area and entertainment area. The latter has a generous wide-screen TV with satellite connection, DVD player, Apple TV 4K box, and iPod station. A high-end stereo connects to smart phones or other compatible players, to relay guests’ choice of music through the lounge and the neighbouring sala.
Here, too, the owners' love of classic Asian art is in evidence, the back wall being home to two intricate wood carvings.
A big favourite with Waimarie guests is the beachside sala. It's huge: big enough for a long dining table with benches either side, and a massive L-shaped sofa and two armchairs looking out to sea. Fans in the vaulted ceiling keep the shady interior cool. This is the real social centre of the villa.
Some people like swimming in the sea; some prefer a pool. At Waimarie you're spoiled for choice. The 15-metre pool, partially shaded by a large banyan tree with twisted roots, is two steps away from the beach
The extensive gardens surrounding the rooms at Villa Waimarie are a tropical delight, with manicured lawns fringed with hedges of yellow and red Ixora, and overhung with scarlet flame-of-the-forest bushes. Presiding over all are tall coconut palms and an African tulip tree, which carelessly drops huge orange booms onto the lawns below. Birds and butterflies flit constantly from one leafy nook to another. And kids will be thrilled to find a playground within the villa gardens.
For those who just can’t idle in the sun, the sea or the pool all day, the villa has a swing hanging over the beach, table tennis, and all the equipment you'll need for a game of football or volleyball on the beach. If you prefer your activities wet and salty, there are two sea kayaks and two stand-up paddleboards. Pride of place in the list of activities goes to the private tennis court, which also has a basketball hoop in one corner.
And then there's the beach. Lipa Noi Beach has to be one of the world's most delightful yet least known tropical gems. Soft white sand with almost no one on it. Warm sea with islands in the distance. And at sunset, the perfect venue for a sundowner or two.