Southeast Asia's top 10 private villas
There are a few reasons you might want to rent a private luxury villa rather than stay in a resort.
Extra space. Naked swims in your private pool. Personal chefs.
In terms of sheer swank factor, combined with fashion-spread worthy surroundings, Southeast Asia has some of the world's best private villas.
Based on its inspections of over 200 properties in the region, The Villa Guide -- a booking site that features reviews of villas in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka -- recently put together a list of what its reviewers feel are "without a doubt the top 10" villas in the region.
Criteria: "Every villa that actually makes it onto The Villa Guide website (many do not) has been independently reviewed and rated. The criteria is stringent, and in each category they are scored from a possible 10 points, then combined to give an overall result.
"All villas in the 7-plus range are great rental properties, therefore any villa that the seasoned reviewers rate at 9-plus, is absolutely out of this world."
10. Villa Puri Bawana, Canggu, Bali
Price: From US$1,242 per night
Pros: Spectacular rice field terrace design; beautifully finished interiors; outstanding staff and service; close to both beach and Seminyak; and gourmet food made to order
Cons: Difficult to find anything wrong other than the occasional morning cockerel and the odd farmer tending the rice.
9. The Tamarind, Bang Saray, Thailand
Price: From US$1,000 per night
Pros: Nine round-the-world decor bedrooms; super luxurious and massive; no neighbors to disturb; great Thai cook; and umpteen facilities.
Cons: Staff’s English not hot, their Tom Yam is; and easy to get lost so keep a mobile phone handy.
8. Villa Ananda, Natai Beach, Phang Nga, Thailand
Price: From US$1,648 per night
Pros: Eighty meters of beach frontage; serviced to a six-star level; spacious, impeccably landscaped grounds; super private bedroom pavilions; and tasty Thai seafood prepared with panache.
Cons: Need to watch the kids at the pool, beach; far from nightlife entertainment; and weddings/events not permitted.
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7. Baan Suriya, Lipa Noi, Koh Samui, Thailand
Price: From US$1,942 per night
Pros: Facilities that go the extra mile to please; knowledgeable, helpful villa manageress; delightfully indulgent bathrooms; and fabulous views out to Angthong Marine Park.
Cons: A few toddler-unfriendly features to watch out for; occasional traffic noise; and a big group is needed to fully appreciate the villa.
More on CNN: Best of Koh Samui
6. The Edge, The Bukit, Bali
Price: US$18,150 per night
Pros: Top-of-the-line luxury; eye-boggling views; state-of-the-art spa; and tailor-made cuisine.
Cons: The price. And there will be monkeys.
5. The Shanti Residence, Nusa Dua Bali
Price: From US$1,668 per night
Pros: Amazing home cinema; great views.
Cons: Inconvenient beach access.
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4. Villa Sapi, Tanjung, Lombok
Price: From US$924 per night
Pros: Three swimming pools; desert island setting; private absolute beachfront; incredible architecture; chef is a culinary genius.
Cons: Quite remote; outdoor showers not for the modest.
3. The Istana, The Bukit, Bali
Price: From US$2,512 per night
Pros: 60-meter cliff-top views; fabulous staff; suites and bathrooms to die for.
Cons: Remote location far from most attractions; usually booked up solid.
2. Latitude, Karang Kembar, The Bukit, Bali
Price: From US$2,252 per night
Pros: Excellent chef; incredible views; private beach club.
Cons: Remote location.
1. Ariara, Calamian Islands, Palawan, Philippines
Price: From US$5,868 per night
Pros: Private island; personal dive guide; delicious gourmet meals; plenty of watersports; great design and craftsmanship.
Cons: Pool access unsafe for families with young kids; pier is lacking a handrail.
More on CNN: The Philippines' best beaches and islands