It warms our hearts here at Villa Getaways when guests write about their experiences at our Villas. We were thrilled to receive this guest blog from Vandana Desai, a seasoned traveler and passionate writer based in Mumbai, India. Here’s her review of Villa Talay Singh in Surin (Villa 422) in Phuket celebrating her 50th birthday in style with friends.
“Ka-pun-kaaah”, our Villa Manager ‘Waan’ greeted us in a sing song tone and disarming smile at the massive but elegant gate of Villa Talay Singh in Surin (Villa 422). It was a bright and sunny morning when my five soul sisters and I arrived all from different corners of the globe to celebrate our 50th year of being on this planet.
‘So what are you doing for your 50th?’ was the repetitive question from family and friends starting six months ago. The idea of organising a huge party to bring together a motley crowd of a few hundred exhausted me. A brainwave to break up the celebration into smaller groups and seal meaningful bonds over travel inspired me to start looking up travel destinations. My core of girlfriends (my motivational whips) and I deserved the best.
Leaving toddlers behind in the supportive care of families, postponing surgeries, ailing parents, getting leave sanctioned from work all had to be considered and managed before pushing go!
Choosing a villa over a homestay instead of a classic hotel would be ideal for the six of us. Thus began my search scouring websites, travel portals and nudging friends for recommendations.
As our van inched down the slope towards villa Villa Talay Singh in Surin (Villa 422) we were all wide awake with anticipation, even post red-eye flights. I looked around with trepidation to see if the pictures on the website lived up. The collective sighs, oohs, aahs and squeals of delight from my friends and the ethereal vision of the endless ocean put my mind at rest. Like little children in a toy store we went about checking the split level, serene space, territorially marking our rooms and wardrobes.
When we ravenously settled down to lunch we felt nothing short of being suspended from reality, somewhere between the sky and sea. Champagne bellinis and the most outstanding Thai food was only a trailer for our expectations in the next four days.
Waking up in the morning to take our positions on the main level deck, our teas, green or black, coffees, milky or otherwise were served with a benign smile. Masseuses with flowers in their hair and “Kapunkahs” on their lips to melt our stress away just seemed like the most natural extension to our indolent chats by the pool.
What could possibly follow but a dip into the delightfully enticing pool – hollering for our cocktail orders, completely oblivious to the world around.
Such was the atmosphere at the villa, endless views of the calm blue sea, the service unmistakably warm but unobtrusively perky and the meals, one more sumptuous than the other, that none of us wanted to step out of the premises!
The stir fried prawns with tamarind and lemon grass, the crab in red Thai curry style, the morning glory in oyster sauce, the lightly steamed fresh water fish in local herbs and the salads were just unbelievably simple yet delectable.
We selected a new menu at every meal; the housekeeper would step out and buy fresh ingredients and assemble a lip-smacking wholesome meal while we fiddled with our margaritas. A mirthful faux tussle ensued as to who would take the chef back home and how much we were willing to put down for the ubiquitous Villa Manager Waan who seemed to have ten hands. Naturally, the realms of notes I’d made on places to go to, must-try-restaurants lay neatly in my folder, undisturbed.
The villa was so conveniently located that all we had to do was walk down to the beach and go to the highly recommended Breeze at Cape Yamu but we were just so completely zoned out at Villa Talay Singh in Surin (Villa 422) that venturing out seemed like a dispensable chore.
It was finally on the fourth day that we forcibly cast the spell aside, opened the grand old gates of the villa and drove out to some lovely quaint shops close by selling linen, swim wear, jewellery and antiques.
Over our afternoon caprioskas we lazily looked up the list of night clubs that had been endorsed by some wild and well travelled friends. Stripped of expectations but draped in finery and heels we made our way to Kajoksee resturant in Phuket that night.
Nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared us for what would turn out to be our most fun night out together, ever! That place was something else!
How could charm, eccentricity, simplicity and pure unadulterated fun ever come together so seamlessly!? A low key, well guarded secret this place is a must-visit!
As we put our luggage in the back of the van, we left Villa Talay Singh in Surin (Villa 422) we felt transformed, ‘coming of age’ perhaps! The camaraderie we shared tuned in with the perfection of every minute at the villa was etched forever in our hearts as a cosmic blessing.
-Review By Vandana Desai