SEIZING THE DAY
“Karpe Diem is the perfect reflection of our personalities,” says Daraius Nawroze, owner – along with his wife Irène – of the 1,000-square-metre villa on Koh Samui, a venue which offers 180-degree panoramas over the Gulf of Thailand. “It is named after the Latin phrase carpe diem, meaning seize the day, and that’s exactly what we encourage our guests to do. It’s completely boutique. We’re much more like a private holiday residence than a hotel. Everything is laid on, and nothing is too much for the staff. Our passion is to make everything bespoke for our guests.”
Created by the visionary Thai architect Bodin Sritrakul, Karpe Diem has extraordinary sea views, complemented by the seclusion of the 4,000-square-metre plot, enveloped in mature forest. Yet drop down to the coast road, and the local buzz is only ten minutes away. “Our guests never need leave the luxury of the villa,” says Irène. “However, though you wouldn’t know it from the tranquillity of the villa, the bright lights are within easy reach.”
The design of the villa is also bespoke, and laid out to maximize the views and the privacy of the guests. The top floor is a self-contained penthouse with its own infinity pool, so – though the villa typically rents for 8–10 people – it can also be a romantic getaway for two. “The other bedrooms are built away from the main building to maintain complete privacy, but allow guests to mingle when they want,” says Daraius.
The villa is staffed by a husband-and-wife team of chef and housekeeper. Each morning, they will discuss menus and itinerary, then buy ingredients to order. “Guests tend to want Thai food, but the menu is international,” says Irène. “We’ve had private chefs for special birthdays and weddings, and we can arrange anything a guest wants.” To balance the effects of such lavish catering, there’s also a gym, a spa and a massage room, with an onsite masseuse.
Koh Samui adjoins a marine national park, so more energetic guests can charter a boat and explore the reef. For most, however, Karpe Diem is the perfect tropical island getaway. “We designed the villa partially with our own semi-retirement in mind,” says Daraius. “But we find our guests enjoy the ultimate bespoke luxury too.”