Elite Talk with Koh Samui’s Operations Manager, Paranee Chanyuenyong

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Paranee Chanyuenyong, affectionately called Khun Yim at work, is the backbone of the team at Koh Samui. Besides making sure that guests are well taken care of, from the first enquiry to the end of their stay, she ensures that all the villas are running smoothly and guest requests are handled efficiently. Operations Manager Khun Yim gives us a glimpse into the workings of the Elite Havens’ villa network in Koh Samui.

Elite Havens: Hi, Khun Yim. What does your role as Operations Manager entail?

Khun Yim: Apart from making sure that each of our villas is maintained as per the Elite standard, I also take care of Guest Services. I start building a relationship before their arrival by emailing them, asking for pre-arrival requests or any service they may need. Once the guests check-in, I try to make it a point to go visit them, further cementing our bond. I love doing this, it’s always great to meet our guests and put a face to a name. It shows them that we care and go out of our way to give personal service.

EH: Isn’t it difficult and time-consuming to go meet every single guest?

KY: We endeavour to ensure that someone from our team goes and meets each guest. Unfortunately, my schedule sometimes doesn’t allow me to do so, but the Villa Manager is always waiting at the villa to welcome them. However, I try to visit at least once, maybe on their first or second day, sometimes with a little token to show our appreciation. These are usually local gifts, a little something like banana chips or Koh Samui’s famous coconut chips.

Sometimes guests have queries about recommendations for activities in Samui or if there are any special events such as festivals during their stay. As part of the Elite Concierge service, I give them a local’s insight into Samui and where to head to, basis their interests.

EH: What is your top recommendation?

KY: A must-visit place is Hin Ta and Hin Yai, or Grandfather and Grandmother rocks. Framed against the backdrop of a stunning blue ocean, these are natural rock formations with an interesting legend behind them. These rocks are unique to Koh Samui and a great tourist attraction, minus the jostling crowds.

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A Chat with Niseko Gourmet’s Manager, Annie Craig

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It was her honeymoon when Annie Craig first visited Niseko. They say cupid only strikes once, but for Annie, it was love at first sight all over again. Thus when her husband, Andrew Craig decided to move to Japan as Country Manager for Elite Havens, Annie jumped at the opportunity to helm Niseko Gourmet.

Her love for food shines through when you talk to her, as does her passion for preserving the region’s culinary heritage. As Manager of Niseko Gourmet, she discusses and finalises sumptuous menus with the chefs and manages the day to day operations. We caught up with Annie for a little tête-à-tête.

Elite Havens: How did you get to Niseko?

Annie Craig: When my husband Andrew and I came to Niseko for our honeymoon, we felt a deep connection and did not want to leave. At that time, Andrew was running the Thailand operations for the company. In 2018, Elite Havens acquired Niseko Boutiques and Niseko Gourmet, and Andrew was offered the position of Country Manager in Japan. Needless to say, we did not think twice.

EH: What is Niseko Gourmet?

AC: Niseko Gourmet is a boutique catering company, offering private dining and food delivery services to guests looking for a luxury in-chalet dining experience. We can cater for groups, parties and events.

EH: How long has Niseko Gourmet been around?

AC: Niseko Gourmet was started in 2010 by Tess Stomski, so it has been around for a decade now.

EH: What does Niseko Gourmet do exactly?

AC: The core of our business is arranging for Private Dining Experiences. We have five Japanese chefs, one western chef and one specialty Thai chef.

Guests who come to Japan seek varied experiences. Food is a large part of that journey and we offer them indulgent dining options within the comfort of their own chalet. Imagine a scenario where a master chef comes with all necessary equipment and ingredients, lovingly preparing food to suit your preferences, in your own kitchen. This is the epitome of gastronomic luxury.

EH: How are the chefs selected?

AC: We are very picky when it comes to our chefs and only work with the very best. Our chefs have been part of the local Hokkaido food scene for decades.

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Elite Talk with the GM of Koh Samui, Milos Kosanovic

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Milos Kosanovic had been in the hospitality industry for over a decade when he joined Elite Havens as General Manager, Koh Samui. A watersports enthusiast who was born in Sweden and grew up in Croatia, he chose to make Koh Samui his home after a diving trip around the island. Here, he tells us about his journey and how rewarding it has been.

Elite Havens: Hi, Milos. How long have you been with Elite Havens?

Milos Kosanovic: I’ve been with Elite Havens since November 2018, when they acquired my company.

EH: Tell us a little about your career journey.

MK: I have been a part of this industry since 2007. I started off with real estate and sales, but increasingly found that customers who bought properties from us needed property management services too. And as the global financial crisis hit, sales of new properties dried up but rentals continued. Recognising a shifting market, I modified my business model. In 2010, I was hired by what is now Panacea Retreat, and we set up new systems and management teams. We completely refurbished the villas and also did a lot of work branding them because the owner had very high aspirations for them.

I stayed there for five years as the General Manager of the estate before deciding to open up my own management company, SILK, with several other partners. Our growth was rapid and we reached a quantum of 15 villas at one stage. We managed and marketed the villas, which were limited to Koh Samui as a destination. In 2018, Elite Havens acquired my company and I joined the management team here.

EH: What does your role at Elite Havens entail?

MK: I’m the General Manager for Koh Samui and that involves a lot of owner relationship management. I also oversee all the in-villa expenses, as well as guest relations. I’ve got to keep my eye on the reservations that come in daily, liaising with our reservations team if they need any assistance in closing the sales.

Besides all this, there is a lot of work involved on the maintenance side, ensuring that the villas remain in good condition. I regularly inspect each villa, deciding what needs to be repaired and what must be replaced. Scheduling repairs for popular villas which are always booked out,

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Top 10 Coffee Shops in Bali

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Finding the perfect brew isn’t easy, even on the Island of the Gods where you’ll find coffee shops at every street corner. The Elite Concierge rounds up the 10 best coffee shops on the island, for morning pick-me-ups all the way to after-dinner joes.

Revolver Espresso 

Located down a quiet lane of Seminyak’s bustling main strip, stepping into Revolver is like getting instantly transported to a New York warehouse. With a smaller café, Baby Revolver, in Petitenget, Revolver is also a wholesale coffee supplier. Some say that Revolver revolutionized coffee drinking in Bali since it opened in 2011. We tend to agree.

Seniman Coffee 

Seniman is a boutique coffee roastery. The company provides beans and solutions to independent cafés, restaurants, hotels and domestic coffee distributors. You can order from their website if you’re abroad. An institution in Bali.

Hungry Bird  

Hungry Bird Coffee Roastery has been around since 2013, working with local coffee farms and supplying cafés in Bali and across Indonesia. The award-winning cafe in Canggu respects the process and handles its clients with love. Straight from the hands of the farmer, to those of the roaster, and then the barista, it works toward sourcing great coffee, served with a smile.

Expat. Roasters Brew Bar  

Expat. Roasters began as a passion project to find great coffee. It is driven by a desire to make the best brew in Bali. Exceptional.

Corner House  

Not just a café but a restaurant and bar, Corner House is also known for its delicious food. The Sushi Bowl and Naked Burrito are just as good as their brews.

Monsieur Spoon  

Monsieur Spoon isn’t just a place to get great coffee but sumptuous pastries as well. Rafi Papazian and Gregory Guerguerian have been sharing their dream in Bali, by way of Paris, since the past 7 years and show no signs of slowing down.

The Loft 

Vegan waffles? Acai? A bowl full of halloumi, roasted coconut sweet potato, avocado, probiotic purple cabbage, poached eggs, beetroot and chickpea hummus? Check. Great coffee is an added bonus at The Loft.

Soul in A Bowl  

Soul in a Bowl is located in Sanur with two floors designed to offer comfort in style.

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The Best New Year’s Eve Parties in Bali

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Welcome to New Year’s Eve in Bali, when the champagne flows and the party never ends. Ring in 2020 at any of these happening places, and start the year with a bang. Ask our Elite Concierge to help you when staying at one of our elite havens.

Café del Mar 

Experience the first ever NYE party at the island’s newest and most popular beach club, Café del Mar. Expect performances by legendary international DJs David Morales and Dimitri who are coming all the way from Paris. Tickets range from approximately IDR 846,000 to IDR 1,129,000. Add-ons for daybeds and dinner range from around IDR 2,872,100 to IDR 28,712,000.

Alila Seminyak

Alila Seminyak will hold a special four-course dinner at Seasalt restaurant accompanied by classy entertainment throughout the night by Leanna Rachel and her jazz band for about IDR 1,300,000 per person. Follow that up by joining the countdown party at the Beach Bar for a minimum spend of IDR 200,000 per person and kiss 2019 goodbye.


Bali’s premium clifftop venue, Omnia, will be celebrating the night to the tunes of DJ MaRLo, ably supported by resident DJs. Rates go from IDR 50,0000 to 1,000,000.

Finns Beach Club            


Expected to be the hottest party on the island, Finns brings an all-star lineup to their renowned establishments for New Year’s Eve with names such as Camelphat, Duke Dumont and Lost Frequencies. Rates go from IDR 1,800,000 for individual tickets to IDR 40,000,000 for tickets 10 people with VVIP Lagoon Party Bed.

Potato Head      

Iconic Potato Head Beach Club features the dynamic Peggy Gou along with DJ Harvey to keep the party rolling until the early hours.


Métis kicks off New Year’s Eve with a special dinner priced IDR 1,950 and continues on into the night with DJ sets by Nooze.B and Ben Burgess.

Book a stay at one of our elite havens on the island and enter 2020 in style. Last-minute bookings get up to 10% discount. Terms and conditions apply.

Photos from Cafe del Mar,

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