The Bliss of Doing Nothing

Discreet and elegant with nothing too much trouble for the efficient concierge, Villa Layan proved a luxurious oasis for our travel-stained writers

Review by Victoria Kerly & Matthew Banks

The Hideaways Club is a luxurious way to merge investment and lifestyle. Founded in 2006 it offers its members access to a wide variety of discreet and elegant town and country apartments and villas. There are two options to buy into; city apartments or villas and chalets. As well as investment in the fund of your choice, there is a membership fee that covers maintenance, the concierge service costs and other basic rates. The member then enjoys complete access to all properties in that fund as well as those with affiliated groups such as Bayan Tree.

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Tucked away in the most exclusive part of Phuket, our taxi pulls up outside our Villa with a very grand entrance. The double front doors open to reveal a central courtyard pool. We are greeted with pretty flower lays, a cooling drink and our welcome party; our property concierge, our maid and the chef – all assigned exclusively to the Villa Layan.

The Villa Layan is a property kept and maintained exclusively for members of the Hideaway Club. One of many properties in the Hideaway Club portfolio, the Villa Layan does not disappoint. The large property comfortably sleeps 10 with each bedroom given more than adequate separation from the others, so even if filled to capacity you would never feel crowded. The villa is arranged in a horseshoe shape around the main feature – a wonderful swimming pool set in a perfectly manicured garden.

Everything is thought through so that you can start your holiday immediately with minimal fuss, which is thanks to the villa-assigned concierge. Before arrival, the concierge will do the shopping for you, as per your requests, so that the kitchen is stocked.

You can choose to do your own cooking, or to have the villa-assigned chef prepare and cook your meals, as well as take care of the nuisance of washing up. The maid will ensure the villas original state is maintained throughout your stay.

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The villa is tastefully arranged with a large kitchen, a TV room equipped with all you would expect and need from a multi-media arrangement. The dining room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows affords a view across the pool and garden and each bedroom is luxuriously appointed.  There is even a small room assigned as a DVD and CD library stocked with classic films, box sets and albums.

How you spend your time is up to you. Should you wish to get out and about, the concierge is always on hand to be of assistance. Whether that is in the hiring of a car or the booking of activities, she is always keen to ensure you maximise your stay. The Hideaways Club prides itself on selecting its staff with the very best local knowledge. You can do as much or as little as you want. You can have as much assistance or little as you require.

In our experience, we opted to make the most of the wonderful setting that the Villa Layan affords. With the help of the concierge we made a couple of trips to the supermarket and otherwise ‘bunked-down’. We made full use of the BBQ in the outside space for lunch and dinner. The chef made us breakfast every morning (as well as cleaning the kitchen from the previous night). The maid made sure we had a fresh bed to sleep in every night. Otherwise, we enjoyed the privacy of the villa, soaked up some Thai sun and cooled off in the pool. It was a thoroughly enjoyable three nights. Needless to say, we were sad leave and wouldn’t think twice before staying in a set-up like this again. The only problem is overcoming the guilt of being spoilt!

The wonderful aspect of the Villa Layan arrangement with the Hideaway Club, is that you have hotel service, but without the competing guests. It really is your own 5 star boutique hotel experience, whilst achieving a ‘home-from-home feeling’. riddle_stop 2

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Enquiries: The Hideaways Club, The School House, 50 Brook Green, London W6 7BJ/ +44 (0)20 7824 9940/

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