In the summer of 2013, the Ford family from New Zealand spent two weeks in a private villa on Koh Samui. Here is what Mrs Ford had to say about their stay."Most of our holidays start with me doing the research online. We had been to Thailand many years ago, as backpackers before we had children, and many of our friends and relatives still come back year after year, so we decided to try it out as a family.I decided on Koh Samui partly because it was easily accessible from Bangkok – we have small children so long bus or train rides wouldn't work – and partly because I had the impression that it was less touristy than Phuket. The hardest part was choosing somewhere to stay. We had initially wanted to stay at a child friendly resort, maybe even one with activities for the children, but we found most of them completely uninspiring. Then by coincidence I came across a website for a private villa rental company and I started playing with the idea of having a villa to ourselves. I had the impression that private villas were out of our price range, but I quickly found out that they come in a range of price levels. For only a little more than we would have paid for 10 days at one of the resorts, we could get a three-bedroom villa with private pool and housekeeping service not far from the main beaches. The website had an easy-to-use search function where I could narrow my search down depending on number of bedrooms, price range or location, which helped a lot. The entire booking process was very easy and transparent and we I soon had an English speaking contact person that even helped arrange pick up from the airport and various activities during our stay.One of the best things about the private villa was that we didn't have to worry about other hotel guests and we could really spend some quality time together. The children loved the pool and when we got bored we were only a short rental car ride from shopping, restaurants and spas. We also had the villa company help us arrange fresh seafood barbecues. Sitting there under the stars at our own private dinner party was the final proof that we had made the right choice with a private villa.