stunning villas that make up the Dhevatara Cove Estate on Koh Samui’s secluded eastern shore. The 5 bedroom private beachfront residence is nestled into a tranquil cove with mature, tended tropical gardens that extend through the ample grounds and open onto an undisturbed stretch of sandy beach. Chang means elephant in Thai and the Kingdom’s famous royal beast is beautifully represented throughout the property, from the giant statues in the garden at the entrance to delightful, hand-painted sliding doors on the TV cabinet in the lounge. High, pinnacled ceilings in the living and bedroom pavillions, along with a liberal use of top quality natural materials and an abundance of Thai silk also lend the villa a strong sense of its exotic location. Despite an atmosphere of royal antiquity, Baan Chang is also a very modern holiday villa, fitted with the latest home technology and furnished throughout with unique pieces like the impressive, circular dark wood table in the dining room and the huge sofa-daybed in the lounge poised in front of an LED Smart TV. All the spacious ensuite bedrooms open onto meditative ocean or garden views and also boast indulgent bathtubs for the ultimate private soak. With tall French windows in every room sliding open to welcome in the soothing views and peaceful island surroundings, Baan Chang blurs the borders when it comes to in- and outdoor pleasure. The villa’s huge private pool offers a constant, easily enjoyed opportunity to cool off, with plenty of cushioned sun loungers to use for relaxing days on the sun terrace or reclining in comfort on the beach. Baan Chang is the first but least visible of the villas when you enter the Dhevatara Cove Estate; its grounds follow the side of a forested headland that forms the tip of picturesque Lipa Noi bay. The villa occupies the largest of six oceanside plots, and the luxurious living spaces and bedrooms are spread through a series of spacious stand-alone pavillions that sit either side of an open-air central courtyard and 20-metre private swimming pool. A winding path leads from the estate’s private road to the villa’s entrance through a charming lawned and landscaped garden where elephant statues hide in the foliage, giving the residence its Thai name. Guests enter the main part of the property via a series of wide steps over a soothing water feature, then pass beneath a grand, Thai-style pointed roof that represents the traditional Thai greeting or “wai”; the same shape is used for the roofs of the living and bedroom pavillions inside the villa. Baan Chang’s kitchen, dining room and lounge occupy two pavillions on the right-hand side of the property, each sliding open fully onto the poolside terrace. A fully fitted western kitchen is positioned close to the entrance and features a breakfast bar for casual morning gatherings. From there, a corridor leads directly through to the ten-seater dining room, then there’s a small internal garden in front of the comfortably furnished lounge pavilion, which opens out at one end onto a beachside terrace, itself furnished with day-beds. The villa’s five generous ensuite double bedrooms all slide open onto the enchanting tropical grounds. Two of the suites are close to the villa entrance, while one is located above the kitchen and boasts its own private, oceanview terrace. Another bedroom sits poolside, and the master suite occupies its own beachside pavillion offering views of the soft sand and gentle waves right from the bed. Even guests with royal blood would most likely feel right at home at Baan Chang. The exceptional beachside location, sumptuous furnishings, verdant surroundings and carefully selected art and artefacts all combine to create a sense of special privilege that’s a rare pleasure, even on a boutique island like Koh Samui. The luxurious amenities and private facilities are made all the more appealing thanks to the modest but dedicated team of in-villa staff who unobtrusively attend to their guests without fuss or distraction. Mealtimes are a particularly enjoyable part of the stay; whether a casual breakfast at the marble bar in the kitchen, a relaxed ocean view lunch enjoyed in the beachfront dining sala or a family banquet around the polished teak table in the dining room. Living the outdoor life is an unobstructed pleasure at Baan Chang. The beach is so close and private that it feels like part of the grounds, and the waves provide a constant, gentle soundtrack to the stay. The cool pool is an irresistible centrepiece with its privacy you won’t quickly forget. Guests at Baan Chang also have the unique opportunity to charter one, or both, of the owner’s luxury vessels at special rates to explore the azure waters and teaming coral reefs of the Thai Gulf in consummate style. MY Absolutely (50ft) accommodates 2 crew and 12 passengers, while MY Escape 1 (31ft) accommodates 2 crew and 8 passengers. Such rare and special additions make this the perfect Koh Samui villa for those in search of a memorable, tailor-made tropical island experience.