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Elite Havens - page 12

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Elite Havens
Each of our 250+ carefully selected luxury villas in Asia's best island destinations is a private holiday home exclusively available for direct bookings via Elite Havens. We take it personally.

Honeymoon Bliss at The Layar

in Destinations/Tips/Weddings by

The ideal honeymoon escape includes a sanctuary, a snug and divine welcoming space to celebrate, relax and appreciate your love in complete privacy. The Layar, located in the heart of Seminyak, hosts the perfect honeymoon villas, right on the doorstep of world-famous restaurants, beach clubs, shopping and surf.  Stay in and soak up Bali’s sun-kissed tropical ambience in your private pool, or mingle with fellow holiday-makers in this l’eldorado touristique. 

Imagine your perfect honeymoon in paradise

A romantic path draws you into the quiet and peaceful heart of The Layar.  Pass through lush manicured lawns and fragrant frangipani trees resplendent with exotic red lanterns framing the entrance to your villa hideaway. It’s the first welcome into a perfect honeymoon setting.

Stepping inside your private one-bedroom villa, the first thing you notice is its outstanding design. Each villa’s slanted ironwood-shingle roof frames a larger space which houses the living and dining quarters.

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Savour Seventh Heaven at The Layar

in Dining by

A perfect blend of modern sophistication and the traditional warmth of an Italian kitchen.

Settimo Cielo (Seventh Heaven), a contemporary Italian restaurant in Seminyak’s Jalan Pankung Sari area, welcomes you for breakfast, lunch, cocktails or dinner. The restaurant shares its neighbourhood with The Layar Designer Villas and Spa, Gallery Randelli, Kendra Gallery of Contemporary Art and the trendy Seminyak beach scene.

The Design

This lovely restaurant is tucked amongst the lush tropical gardens of The Layar Designer Villas and Spa. A path leads over a pond and past a dramatic fire feature to the cocktail terrace. Beyond, in the main restaurant, a glass ceiling creates an alfresco dining experience, rain or shine. 

The interiors include quirky hanging lamps and a bar topped by bamboo-inspired objects. The feeling is tropical-meets-Italian with the green chairs and red pillows. Yet, there is a classic and welcoming feel in the space, much like the personalities of the Balinese themselves. Italians, we know as well, are equally a warm group people.

The Chef

‘’I started as a chef in my mom’s kitchen,”says Chef Alberto Pancio. “My mom is like a traditional Italian mom and grandmother who makes everything homemade.” Thus begins the story of Chef Pancio, as he’s called by his friends, before the long journey to his current post as chef of Settimo Cielo at The Layar Designer Villas and Spa.

Upon entering his teens, Chef Pancio decided to go to a school in Italy from where many successful chefs hail. General education before specialization included formation on food and beverage management, concierge management and staff management. He then worked in several restaurants before ending up in China, working as a chef for El Willy. El Willy, says Chef Pancio, “is a big group with a great and friendly Spanish owner. The concept is Mediterranean food with a flair.”

Although El Willy isn’t a find dining restaurant, it uses traditional methods to make dishes. It then presents the food in a fine-dining manner. “We made the work on fine bowls and ceramics. I used to shape them and it was pretty fun.”

Pancio then had the opportunity to work in Bali. “I really love Settimo Cielo and I love the style because we also have villas. They are amazing. We have a lot of room to improve and we use the freshest ingredients.”

The Food

Chef Pancio says that pasta is made fresh everyday in Settimo Cielo,

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Splendid Samui for the Whole Family

in Destinations/Families/Recreation/Tips by
elite havens official launching party - 18-03-2018 (229)

It is astonishing how much the charming tropical Thai island of Koh Samui has changed just over the last 10 years.  Expansion of the airport and direct flights from cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore have transformed the island from a backpackers’ haven to a sophisticated and vibrant resort island with leading international 5-star resorts, fabulous restaurants, and a wide choice of private holiday villas all over the island.

Holidaymakers looking to rent a villa in Samui are spoiled for choice by the Elite Havens collection which offers a superb range of luxury beachfront residences on some of the islands most beautiful beaches, spectacular hillside retreats with jaw-dropping views and palatial pleasure palaces with every  imaginable luxury, available for rent.      

There’s nothing quite like a villa stay for those who want to relax and be themselves among friends and family, where you have the flexibility and total freedom you never quite get in a hotel. 

In Samui, whichever villa you decide on, the relatively small island – you can drive around it in just over an hour –  means you are never very far from anywhere.

It’s an easy island to explore and fall in love with.    

Villa Neung is a chic designer villa with beachfront access to the idyllic Laem Noi Beach – an unspoiled white sandy stretch on the north-west coast, fringed by coconut palms and washed by a shallow blue sea. 

Designed for luxury tropical living, the villa has its own 15-metre beachfront pool, three ensuite double bedrooms and an airy, open-plan living and dining pavilion with stylish Thai-inspired interiors, making it an appealing beach holiday escape for families or small groups of friends.

Villa Nueng - Stylish villa facadeVilla Neung

The villa’s own staff will take care of absolutely everything, preparing delicious Thai and western meals to order, booking spa therapists, organizing tours and activities, perhaps setting up a picnic or candlelit dinner on the beach, and even watching over the young ones while you take a break.

For a change of scenery, a number of rustic beachside restaurants and bars are just a stroll along the beach and it’s only 20-30  minutes’ drive to the chic boutiques, trendy restaurants and nightlife of Maenam, Fisherman’s Village in Bophut and Chaweng.

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The Elite Concierge Service

in Destinations/News/Tips by

Our Elite Havens Concierge Team is ready to enhance your next holiday experience. Once your booking is confirmed, any requests you might have, no matter how large or small, will be taken care of by our team. Their abundance of knowledge and warm and attentive attitude will help ease out any vacation-woes from the moment you land until your departure. 

Concierge - Andy and concierge team - Kaba Kaba Estate entrance

Our mission: ‘Concierge provides Elite Havens guests with knowledgeable advice, assistance and tailored recommendations to ensure their villa holiday experience surpasses expectations.’

Here, we interview our Head of Concierge, Andy Grant, who’s proud of bringing an ultimate, bespoke experience to you.

Concierge - Andy Grant - Beachside

Elite Havens: Tell us a bit about your background, Andy.

Andy Grant: I hail from New Zealand and my first ‘proper’ job was in banking. I also have an extensive background in hospitality and eventually embraced the hair, beauty and cosmetic industry. I’ve always had a passion for service and love making people feel good. Tropical Asia has been a favourite holiday destination and I am now very fortunate to say I live permanently in Bali. Four years later and I’m still motivated by its constantly evolving hospitality scene, tropical climate and unique culture.

EH: What do you do for Elite Havens?

AG: I am Head of Concierge. My team  deals with our guests from the minute they have confirmed their reservation through to their arrival and stay at the villa.

EH: What does the Concierge do specifically during that time?

AG: Each of our direct bookings are assigned to a Personal Concierge team member. They will work with the guests, taking care of all requests, tailoring itineraries and fine tuning arrangements. Depending on booking times, interactions with guests can sometimes be up to 18 months before they arrive at their destination. This allows a lot of dialogue and a solid relationship built on trust to form over time. What we offer our guests is always premium, as we only deal with the best establishments and operators in each destination. We are more than the traditional ‘Concierge’ based in a hotel lobby, we coordinate across our whole portfolio which is like taking care of a vast number of mini hotels!

EH: What sort of requests does the team receive?

AG: You name it,

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Insider’s View: Kaba Kaba Estate

in Destinations/Tips by

We were invited to visit Kaba Kaba Estate in Kaba Kaba in the Tabanan region of Bali a few weeks ago. Having already seen a few luxury villas in Bali and having stayed in 3 different ones, I thought I knew what to expect: lots of space, quality building materials and a swimming pool. 

How quick one is to realize that they were lacking in foresight. First, the open foyer—or the first space that you discover after entering two large handcrafted wooden doors—had huge intricately carved walls. Housed in a square garden-like space surrounding a flower-filled pond, the open foyer beckoned you to enter with steps leading up to the main entrance of the estate.

 To the right was a path that led to the guest cottage, and to the left was an entrance to the main dining hall. Straight ahead was the main entryway, which led to the main foyer, which was absolutely luxurious. Filled with antique cabinets and curiosities from around the world, including a giant female Buddha, a welcoming bench and a staircase that led upstairs, the main entry hall also led to the master’s quarters, which contained a large four-poster bed and beyond, a deck that opened up into a private swimming pool. 

This pool was big enough for four people, but with the way it was situated, slightly shaded by an abundance of plants to give the bedroom privacy, you could imagine a couple luxuriating in its shallow waters. It led back outside to the main hallway with a cozy study-cum-den area replete with telephone (a rare sight nowadays) and all the accoutrements  necessary for a modern connected lifestyle. 

   

An exciting part of the villa was the open living room nearby, which had a wall filled with precious objets d’art and antiques that faced the outside: a humongous swimming pool with dark gray tiles to give the impression of murky waters. The living room was laden with art books on tables low enough to park your feet on, and several couches with pillows in the shapes of animals to tuck under your head for a light nap facing the outdoors. 

It was done in colors of beige and represented a way of life where you leisurely lounge in the presence of rare art across a “yard” (more the size of 2 football fields) that comprised several hundred square metres.

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