Villa on View.
Your weekly up-close view of those wow factor extras that make our villas outstanding. After all, attention to detail always makes a difference.
The pursuit of excellence in every aspect of our business, is a value embedded deep within the DNA of Elite Havens. Thus, it makes us proud to be bestowed with the renowned Certificate of Excellence 2018 from TripAdvisor.com – not for one, or two, but 19 villas across Asia. The awards, which were distributed earlier this year, recognise businesses across the world that consistently deliver an outstanding customer experience. The achievement is earned over time, where guests judge and review their stay at an elite haven. The villa must maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least twelve months. Says a representative of TripAdvisor.com, “We love working with such committed partners. Elite Heavens deservedly won our Certificate of Excellence after performing outstandingly throughout 2018.”
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have been supporters of speciality lodging for the past few decades. Still, says Elite Havens’ Managing Director and former Chief Technology Officer, Riyaz Moorani, “We don’t get a ton of business from them because our product isn’t the average holiday stay. We work in a niche market, offering luxury villas to the discerning traveller. Most people use OTAs to look for good deals on hotels and so our product doesn’t quite fit in with what they’re selling. But more and more, we are finding that people seem to be willing to make a commitment to book a big villa through OTAs. The market is gradually changing.”
This observation finds credence in recognition from Booking.com, who recently honoured Elite Havens with The Guest Review Award. These awards are given to Booking.com partners who have consistently received a review score between eight and ten from guests, with at least five reviews, for a period of two years. It recognizes key partners like Elite Havens, for their commitment to exceptional hospitality and service.
Moorani adds, “Each award that we receive is a great reinforcement of the fact that we are doing something right. We pride ourselves on delivering quality service. So, if we get a reward for fantastic reviews, it is noteworthy, especially when you consider how many properties are offered on those sites. To be in the top 9-10% of their properties in terms of performance shows that we are delivering on our promise to offer an exceptional luxury experience,
Situated in the verdant jungles of Thailand’s Phang Nga province, two hours north of Phuket, Yaowawit School is home to as many as 150 underprivileged children from the surrounding areas. Either orphans or children whose families cannot take care of their upbringing, the children of Yaowawit live at the school until they turn 18. Different from other establishments, the school focuses on holistic education and experiential learning to help break the cycle of poverty. It proudly claims that quite a number of its graduates have gone on to university and the older ones have even begun successful careers.
Founded in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Yaowawit is an impressive operation. Dedicated mentors work tirelessly to care for the children and teach them important life skills. While the school generates its own income from several small enterprises and is working towards being self-sustaining through the use of permaculture, it is grateful to receive help from individuals, small groups and corporations that share the school’s vision.
On 15 May 2019, the Elite Havens Phuket team decided to head to Phang Nga for a day of fun with the children of Yaowawit. On the way, Elite Havens Thailand Country Head, Femke Beekers, shared, “As a responsible company, we must also think about the community. So, along with the villa owners, we find out the needs of the community and help out as much as we can. In the past, we have supported the children of local prisoners in Baan Lung Pitak prison and the abused mothers in Good Shepherd by donating food and gifts on Children’s Day and Christmas. And we are always looking for locally-sourced products we can use in our villas. One such product we use is a beautifully scented soap made by abused mothers. We give this soap as gifts to our guests on their birthdays or in special gift baskets and we include a note about the women who make the soap and what they’re doing to make their lives better. We heard Yaowawit has a really good organic farm and that they also make products like detergent, so in addition to giving gifts today, we’d like to look into buying their produce or products for our villas. That way, our assistance is more long term.”
When the Elite Havens team arrived,
Fabulous Koh Samui, with its white beaches and verdant hills, is also a happening island. Hop into any of its excellent beach clubs for a day of fun in the sun. You’ll never want your vacation to end.
Overlooking the crystal blue waters of Lipa Noi, the beach club at Nikki Beach Resort Koh Samui is renowned for its incredible events, food, cocktails, and unsurpassed VIP experience. The beach club offers guests a unique experience and personal touches that are signature to the Nikki Beach lifestyle brand. You can relax on a sunbed, listening to music played by famous international DJs and live musicians, while enjoying handcrafted signature Nikki Beach mojitos and international fare. The Nikki Beach Sunday brunch and sunset cocktails are must-dos.
Chi Beach Bar
Chi serves up modern cuisine and handcrafted cocktails, with a swim-up bar and 25-metre saltwater infinity pool overlooking a pristine white beach. With an extensive menu that offers Thai selections, pizzas, burgers and other savoury fare, there’s something for everyone. Weekly offers include oyster platter deals, saxophone evenings, movie screenings, and ‘clever cocktails’ afternoons.
Beach Republic is an elegant and stylish beachfront venue located in the northern area of Lamai. Featuring impressive modern architecture, the resort’s restaurant has both indoor and outdoor areas, the latter set around the swimming pool deck, with direct access to the beach. They host special themes and events each day of the week, with live DJs and musicians entertaining the crowd.
Perfect for groups of friends or families, Karma Beach delivers on all fronts if you are looking for a laidback venue. Designed like an oasis, with touches of Thai elements, it exudes unmistakable tropical vibes. Get ready for mellow lounge music at an enviable beachfront location, replete with a tempting food menu. This is the lounge to head to for a luxurious and comfortable retreat.
KC Beach Club and Pool Villas
KC Beach Club and Pool Villas is located in Chaweng, the most happening beach on the island. It has a fabulous party atmosphere.
Whether you dress bohemian or prefer the ultra-tailored look, Bali is a shoppers’ paradise. Fret not if you’re short on time, we’ve done the legwork for you. Here’s the very best of Bali – keep this curated list handy for when you crave some retail therapy, though you may find it challenging to leave the relaxing environs of your luxury elite haven, even for a shopping spree. If you do manage to tear yourself away, we’ve got you covered. Go ahead, shop ‘til you drop!
The Tailor & His Lover
If you adore the simplicity of a stylish white shirt, then this shop is a must-stop. Born out of one woman’s obsession with the wardrobe staple, The Tailor & His Lover produces atelier quality shirts with divine fabrics, French seams and double French cuffs. A few ‘guest’ garments like skirts and trousers support the star of this show.
Chic and easy clothing inspired by Parisian bourgeois boheme and bolstered by French craftsmanship is Magali Pascal’s trademark. Antique references appear on soft silks finished with delicate lace in earthy hues. Such Art Deco hints and urban flair has inspired a cult-like following, with regulars making it a first call to secure a piece or two for a wedding or wanderlust.
Frockk is light and stylish fashion line that is island-perfect and is wearable in the summer and spring. Find raw linens, cottons and fine silk in earthy colours on the rack. Hand-dyed tops, shorts, trousers, skirts and dresses are cleverly cut for comfort and flattery.
Premier athleisure gear made with high performance fabric recycled from plastic defines Dare2Wear. The white hoodies, t-shirts and tops are all made of organic cotton. Each piece in the collection has been tried and tested by the owner/designer Trudi Christensen. The garments are fit for purpose, with hip prints and cool motifs.
Biasa is a world-acclaimed island label that offers graceful clothing for men and women. Natural fabrics and quirky lines fall with super fluidity, in trousers as well as skirts. Big bracelets, slim shoes or raffia accents lift these simple outfits to a space of enduring elegance.
Launched by its founder,
With cutting-edge design and magnificent ocean views, Villa Amanzi Kamala is an inspiring hideaway near Kamala Beach in Phuket. The modern three-storey villa is a visual masterpiece that complements its beautiful tropical surroundings. It was built around a large boulder to accommodate nature and its magnificence; the boulder acts as a gigantic wall beside the staircase down to the family room, which is replete with an Apple TV, a pool table, a foosball table and a jacuzzi to entertain guests of all ages. The 15-metre pool on the main floor extends towards the sea in a dazzling manner, and is the focal point of the villa at sunset. Each of the villa’s six bedrooms, set on the floors above and below the living level, are stylish retreats, with fabulous floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views. The modern kitchen has indoor and outdoor dining areas, and celebrates easy holiday living.
Hidden away in the Cape Amarin Estate, Villa Amanzi Kamala offers complete privacy and a convenient base for exploring the island, with Kamala and Patong Beach less than 15 minutes away by car. But because of its terrific sunset views and seductive allure, you might just be tempted to stay put in the villa.
We chatted with the amiable Villa Manager who helps deliver the Amanzi experience, to get a glimpse into what goes behind those amazing walls.
Elite Havens: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Boom Jaikamham: My name is Apirom Jaikamtham, and my nickname is Boom. I’m 34 years old, having been a Villa Manager for 9 months.
EH: And what did you do before you joined Elite Havens?
BJ: I have always been in the hospitality industry. I worked with different hotels and resorts as a butler, here in Phuket, before I joined EH. Actually, when I saw the job opening for Villa Manger at Villa Amanzi Kamala, it was a part-time position. But during the interview, they asked if I was willing to work as a full-time Villa Manager, and I said why not?
EH: Is the job of a butler the same as the job of a Villa Manager?
BJ: It depends on the company. Sometimes, the job is very similar, sometimes it is a little different.