Upni Duniya

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 March, 2011, 12:00am

Where is it? Upni Duniya (below) is an exclusive beachfront villa in the quiet fishing village of Bang Rak, on the Thai island of Koh Samui. The property is a 10-minute drive from the airport and a short distance from the island's top tourist attraction, the Big Buddha.

What's so different about it? Upmarket boutique hotels are nothing new on Koh Samui but the nine opulent villas that comprise Upni Duniya are only available to guests booking the entire complex. Private indulgence is the name of the game - it feels like you're staying in someone's (very expensive) home. Here, quality time should be spent with family or friends and the resort would be ideal as a tropical business retreat.

So it's pretty luxurious? Designed in accordance with the principles of fung shui, the individually furnished villas lead out to an infinity-edge swimming pool with a massage pavilion. The suites come with 24-hour personal butler service and are equipped with state- of-the-art entertainment systems, including wireless internet. Villa No 9 raises the bar in terms of extravagance. Sumptuously styled with original Asian artworks, the VIP master suite features floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic ocean vistas and a private ocean-front jacuzzi a few steps from the sand.

What's on the menu? A gourmet chef is on call around the clock (jetlagged travellers have been known to arrive at 4am in need of a feed). In keeping with Upni Duniya's personalised approach, guests are encouraged to devise menus with the chef and his team. Alternatively, drag yourself away from the sybaritic splendour and explore Fisherman's Village in neighbouring Bophut, where wooden shophouses have been converted into atmospheric cafes, bars and restaurants. The views over the Gulf of Thailand are sublime.

What's there to do? Staff can arrange chauffeured island tours or a round of golf at the photogenic Santiburi course. Soothing spa treatments are a phone call away, as are Thai cookery classes. A speedboat trip along the coast or to neighbouring Koh Phangan will blow away the cobwebs.

What's the bottom line? Daily rates for the entire property, which accommodates up to 18 guests, are from US$1,900 to US$3,900, depending on occupancy. Add an additional US$1,000 per night for Villa No 9. Costs for food and excursions are not included but are charged without a mark up.

Upni Duniya is at 25/25 Moo 4, Tambon Bophut, Koh Samui, Thailand, tel: 66 7724 6310; upniduniya.com.