The ocean views are fantastic and the sea breezes are cool at Shambala, which is set in northern Thai Lanna-style pavilions on the hillside. A lift at the ground-floor entrance and car park takes you up to the first floor, which houses all the villa’s living areas. The open-plan kitchen, dining room and lounge features glass doors that open completely to the pool terrace at the front and a shaded deck area to the rear. The four sea-view bedrooms are arranged over the second floor – each a haven of privacy.
Shambala’s indoor living area doesn’t feel as though it’s inside at all, courtesy of the front and back walls that open and connect fully to the tropical surrounds and offer fantastic sea views. This wide space comprises a living area to the front where a custom-designed sofa, large TV screen and audio system with surround sound are positioned just steps from the pool deck. Next to it is the dining area, where meals are elegantly served at a table for six made with solid Balinese monkeypod wood. The kitchen completes this open-plan room; a modern and well-equipped space with a pair of double ovens and top quality finishings that are put to good use by the villa chef. The granite-topped breakfast bar offers an informal spot to dine, and a good perch for watching the chef prepare delicious meals.
Shambala’s outdoor living areas extend from the front and back of the living-dining room pavilion, with the 20-metre pool stretching across the front terrace offering fabulous views of the sea and sky beyond its infinity edge. The swim-up bar with submerged granite stools is an inviting spot to relax in cool comfort, while the surrounding terrace and sala – furnished with an outdoor table for six, soft water hyacinth armchairs and loveseats – offer ample space to dine, laze and soak up the views. Yet more comfortable sitting areas are found on the shaded deck to the rear of the living area, where the hill’s natural rock face forms a dramatic backdrop. Soft lighting and orchids enhance the peaceful tone.
There’s no need to draw straws for the best bedroom at Villa Shambala. All four rooms have been designed as elegant master suites, each with sea views, generous-sized resting areas under grand peaked ceilings, polished wood floors, king-sized beds, plush sofa beds and large, lavish bathrooms in marble with double terrazzo soaker tubs and showers. Sliding glass doors across the front can be closed to seal the rooms in air-conditioned comfort or left open to let the breezes flow through with the help of the ceiling fans.
Overlooking the pool, three bedrooms share the top floor of the villa’s larger pavilion connected by a balcony walkway while one bedroom suite is set in a separate pavilion with its own balcony and staircase for added privacy.
With northern Thai design flourishes and panoramic sea views, Villa Shambala is an elegant holiday home set high on the hillside near Surin Beach. Embodying its Sanskrit name – ‘a place of peace’ – this four-bedroom, fully staffed villa blends contemporary style with its majestic natural surrounds to form a serene and welcoming escape for families and groups.
Let the days drift by as you relax in the comfort of Shambala’s generous living spaces, which include an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area that opens front and back to the tropical hillside. Take in the sea views from the terrace while soaking in the 20-metre infinity pool or retreat to the furnished deck at the rear of the villa, where the hill’s rock face, trickling with spring water, forms a natural wall and adds a soothing touch – perfect for a quiet read or yoga session. Find more privacy and peace in the four king-bedded suites, each with sea views, sumptuous marble bathrooms and terrazzo bathtubs.
Enchanting bronze patina Kinaree statues adorn the terrace reflecting the villa’s character; these angelic figures of Thai mythology are celebrated for their grace, beauty and artistic skill. A sense of grace and harmony flows through the villa, with its stately pitched roofs, extensive use of natural stone and wood, lily pond feature, clean lines and charming art accents including African wildlife paintings and colourful lamps shaped like bejewelled Fabergé eggs.
The team of full-time staff at Villa Shambala includes a villa manager and a talented Thai chef, who prepares all meals in the modern kitchen. Just 500 metres away is Surin Beach, a stretch of soft sand with umbrellas for rent, while larger beaches including Bang Tao and Kamala, plus golf, dining and other leisure activities are within a 20-minute drive.