Southeast Asia's top 10 private villas

Southeast Asia's top 10 private villas

A rundown of the best luxury rentals in the region, handpicked by The Villa Guide

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

"The villa grounds are huge, allowing each family enough privacy but with large common areas to allow for a combined get-together," says The Villa Guide.

Rating: 9.1

Price: From US$1,242 per night

Bedrooms: Six

Staff: Eight

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

In addition to the usual perks like a private pool and personal chef, The Tamarind has a Harley-Davidson for guest use.

Rating: 9.1

Price: From US$1,000 per night

Bedrooms: Nine

Staff: Nine

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

"We found the air conditioning in bedrooms a little noisy and the villa does require some minor maintenance which is no surprise given the coastal location but this equates more to 'touch-ups' than anything that affects the pleasure of your stay," says The Villa Guide's review of Villa Ananda.

Rating: 9.2

Price: From US$1,648 per night 

Bedrooms: Six

Staff: Seven

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.

More on CNN: Phuket's best pool villas and suites

7. Baan Suriya, Lipa Noi, Koh Samui, Thailand

"Although Baan Suriya is definitely family-friendly, the ‘floating’ stairs leading to the mezzanine lounge, the sliding doors opening directly to the pool, and the ungated beach access mean it would be wise to keep small children closely supervised," says The Villa Guide.

Rating: 9.2

Price: From US$1,942 per night

Bedrooms: Six

Staff: Three 

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

"We are hard-pressed to find anything to complain about at The Edge," says The Villa Guide. "Still, the price is high by anybody’s standards. This is a villa for people who have so much cash that it doesn’t matter … or someone else is paying."

Rating: 9.3

Price: US$18,150 per night

Bedrooms: 10

Staff: Eight

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  

"With three pools (four if you count the jacuzzi), fantastic views, great staff and a home cinema that will rock your world, The Shanti Residence is simply a beautiful place to spend a vacation," says The Villa Guide.

Rating: 9.3

Price: From US$1,668 per night

Bedrooms: Five

Staff: Nine

Pros: Amazing home cinema; great views.

Cons: Inconvenient beach access.

More on CNN: What to do in Bali

4. Villa Sapi, Tanjung, Lombok

"All in all, this is a villa where you will want to bring your friends so they can see it for themselves," says The Villa Guide. "Photos and tall tales just won’t suffice."

Rating: 9.3

Price: From US$924 per night

Bedrooms: Five

Staff: Seven

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

"Cliff-top means cliff-top -– there is a 60-meter drop down to the sea below," says The Villa Guide. "The edge does not have fencing to ruin that magical view but is protected by a wide bed of extremely sharp and very uninviting ground shrubs."

Rating: 9.3

Price: From US$2,512 per night

Bedrooms: Seven

Staff: Seven

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

"Such a spectacular 180-degree ocean view already singles out Latitude as special," says The Villa Guide. "Add the space-age architecture, seriously long swimming pool, the beach club, and the promise of gourmet meals day-in day-out, and Latitude is clearly in a league of its own."

Rating: 9.4

Price: From US$2,252 per night

Bedrooms: Five

Staff: Seven

Pros: Excellent chef; incredible views; private beach club. 

Cons: Remote location. 

1. Ariara, Calamian Islands, Palawan, Philippines

One could easily spend weeks, even months here and have a new adventure each day –- or simply do nothing but lie back and drink cold San Miguel brews all day.

Rating: 9.4

Price: From US$5,868 per night

Bedrooms: Eight

Staff: Eight

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