The Naked House is an architecturally designed Airbnb villa on the side of a small valley in the south of Koh Samui, the quiet side. It overlooks a jungle of coconut trees that lead down to the waterline. This location takes in all the benefits of a stunning daily sunrise and sunset over the water and, when staying in the house, you feel as though the island is hardly populated. This really is a truely amazing part of Koh Samui – it’s far enough away from the noise, but also close enough that you can go out at night on the main party beach, Chaweng. For us, it’s ideal because it’s close enough to Australia/New Zealand and is served by jets, however you feel that it’s a small remote island once you get to the house. Photographer, self-taught architect and designer, Marc Garritson, designed the house to create an authentic living experience and a break from the noise of big cities. For him, he wanted a return to the basics – fresh air, a connection to nature, beautiful surroundings and peace and quiet. A goal that he has certainly achieved. Marc says “Life in Taipei is very hectic, and I needed a place to escape to. I really wanted a quiet area and a fantastic view. An open plan living room, with doors that can totally slide away, that looks out over the pool and the ocean.” During his career as an interior and architectural photographer in Asia, Marc began to tire of unnecessary opulence. He questioned the value of marble flooring compared to polished concrete and decided that you don’t need to be excessive in your materials to really enjoy the space. As such, the property is constructed from the basic materials of wood, concrete, steel and glass and designed with minimal visual complexity. This is simpler and more meaningful architecture. And it works. Designing the house brought consultants from as far as Australia, Europe and Taiwan together to advise on the technical details. A good friend, Noek Witzand, worked out the intricate steel detailing. Building a house like this in Thailand is a challenge because the quality of workmanship isn’t to the same standard as Singapore or Australia. In fact, the steel frame needed to be constructed in Taiwan and then imported into Koh Samui. This was a major challenge that was also a bit of a surprise. Marc says “If I had foreseen all the challenges, I might not have done it”. But we’re thankful he did, because he created one of the nicest properties on the island and a place that we’d want to visit again… or own. The property can fit up to 11 people, which includes kids. There are 3 main bedrooms, another secondary bedroom and a kids room. The 3 main bedrooms each have ensuites with big baths, there are another 2 bathrooms in the property. With the property spanning 5 floors, each bedroom is quite private and detached – meaning that you can get away if you are staying in a big group. And that’s exactly how we recommend staying in The Naked House, as a group of 3-4 couples. It’s ideal for a chilled out group for a week. There’s good internet (>10mbps), a regularly serviced infinity pool, a wide open living area and a housekeeper to keep things clean and tidy and cook the occasional meal. After staying for a week, you’ll feel that the house is yours and this is how life will be forever. Except that it isn’t, and it won’t be like this forever… you’re on holidays. Nearby, you’ll find that you’re 3 km away from a small fishing village called Tongkrut where you can eat at many great restaurants by the sea and also pick up some groceries. Sunset dining by the beach is great here and Tongkrut is the town we visited most. If you need more substantial supplies, you’re also 10km away from bigger supermarkets and more built up areas which is an easy drive. On the topic of driving, we really recommend you hire a car as the property is remote and you need to drive everywhere. Cars are cheap and convenient and driving is slow and not stressful once you get the hang of how it’s done in Thailand, it’s a good break from Sydney driving. Take a look at our guide to staying in The Naked House on Townske to get all the details and download the app to guide you around the island. Depending on the time of year you choose, the house can be quite affordable. Even during peak season, it will be cheaper per person than many good resorts. Especially when you travel in a group of 8. Once in Thailand, and another benefit of not staying at a resort, food and drink is inexpensive. A pad thai is $4 (100 THB), a coconut or a coke is 50¢ (15 THB), beers are about $2 (50 THB) a group of 8 could eat out for under $50 including drinks. A car was about $50 a day and petrol is cheaper than Australia. That means your living expenses are low once you’re here. We also got a sim card with 3 gigs for about $15 and coverage and speed was good, this made navigating easy.
Do we want to go back? Yes. Would we live there? Absolutely. Are we planning to return? As soon as winter hits Australia!
High seasons are late Dec to early Jan and July to August. Outside of these times the weather is still good with the exception of November we’ve been told. This is a tropical island, it’s summer all year round. To check on price and availability please visit The Naked House on Airbnb. Thanks for having us!