Let’s get right to the point: I want to live at La Cigale.
As soon as Brent and I stepped inside, I knew it was going to be difficult to ever go back to our apartment in Chiang Mai. The Rock Villa was easily twice the size of our apartment, plus included a room-porn-worthy kitchen. If you’ve read some of my other accommodation reviews, you know that I’m obsessed with rooms that have some character. I like a comfortable, clean, well-furnished room as much as the next person, but the guesthouses that really stand out for me are the ones that have a unique design, or somehow reflect the city’s local culture.
Perched on a hill and surrounded by an enormous garden, our villa felt almost part of the natural environment. This wasn’t a tame, landscaped garden, either: It had a jungle-like feeling.
Inside our villa, there were large rocks protruding through the floor in parts of the room. Their placement looked artistic, but the owner, André, told us they had just been too enormous to move, so they constructed the villa around them.
The villa itself opened into a full kitchen, which came stocked with a few starter items for cooking, including eggs, fruit, milk and fresh bread. There was also a container for coffee grounds, a mix of some of André’s favourite blends, and one of the most amazing espresso machines I’ve ever used.
A small staircase led out of the kitchen and down to the bedroom and bathroom. The bedroom was arranged in one of the coolest ways I’ve ever seen: Our bed faced towards floor-to-ceiling patio doors, giving us a view of out onto our balcony and the landscape beyond. On the balcony, we were elevated over a beautiful stretch of more jungle-esque greenery, and in the distance, we could see the sands of Sairee Beach, one of Koh Tao’s most popular beaches.
There was a table and chairs, plus a hammock out on the patio, both of which seemed pretty much made for evening beers and stargazing.
The bathroom was mostly enclosed, but the rock flooring, plants growing up the walls, and rainfall shower made it feel as earthy as the rest of the villa.
The whole villa was elegant, but at the same time, it had this warmth that made Brent and I both feel immediately at home.
We felt like we were staying in our own quiet, little world, yet we were still only a 10-minute walk from the beach. We also opted to rent a scooter (which are offered on-site), which made it easy to explore this small island.
The owner, André, couldn’t have made us feel more welcome. He might just be one of the most easy-going people I’ve ever met, yet he was also completely available to help us at any moment. The villa came with a cell phone for us to use throughout our stay, programmed with his number, along with the numbers of a few restaurants and other key local contacts.
I usually like to include a few drawbacks in any review because, personally, I feel skeptical myself when I read a completely glowing review. But, I honestly couldn’t find anything that wasn’t amazing about this villa. Usually Wi-Fi is a sticking point for me in a lot of guesthouses, but we never had any problems with it here.
I feel like I can only use so many superlatives to describe this villa, so Brent and I decided to make a video, so you can see for yourself:
I’ve mentioned a few times that Brent and I hope to open our own guesthouse someday, and we both agreed that La Cigale is pretty much a model of the kind of place we’d like to have.
Disclosure: La Cigale hosted Brent and me for 4 nights in exchange for a review. I strive to provide honest reviews, and only recommend places and products that I really believe you would enjoy as much as I did.