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Elite Havens has 132 articles published.

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.

Women’s International Tennis Singapore Loves Our Villas

in Destinations/People/Recreation by

Women’s International Tennis Singapore (WITS) is a tennis league where the women play tennis for competitive challenge and social camaraderie. The league began in 2000 with just a handful of members and has grown to over 650 women. WITS has several philanthropic missions, and the women bond over these and their love for the sport. They’ve also spent time together in an Elite Havens villa and we asked some members to describe their stay. 

Past WITS President Louise Martin describes herself as “a professional trailing spouse.” Martin has live in 9 countries over the past 25 years. Besides tennis, she loves the gym and reading a book, cup of coffee in hand. Louise has stayed in Arnalaya Beach House, Villa Ramadewa and Villa Sapi.

EH: Hi, Louise. When did you have stay in an Elite Havens villa?

LM: I have stayed at 4 different EH villas over the past 5 years.

EH: What did you like best about the villas?

LM: I love the the feeling of total pampering.  Each property is different but similar in the standard it offers it’s visitor – superb!

EH: What did you do at the villas everyday?

LM: There is usually so much to do at the villa – you can sunbath, swim, play tennis (2 out of the 4 villas I stayed at had tennis courts), have massages, practice yoga, eat fabulous food!!!  What ever your heart desires.

EH: How long have you been playing tennis?

LM: I’ve only been playing tennis for the last six years of so.

EH: What do you think of the Elite Havens tennis courts?

LM: On both occasions the courts were excellently maintained and the I even remember flood lights on the one in Lombok.  I would absolutely recommend them to a friend.

EH: Any anecdotes about your stay you can tell us?

LM: I don’t have a personal one but a friend of mine told me about something that happened to her when she stayed ….

She is a busy mother of 3 young kids.  She and her family were all packed up and in your Elite Havens transport on their way to the airport when she suddenly realised that she had left her brand-new remodelled diamond ring by the sink in their suite!! 

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Luxurious Living, Cocooned by Nature at Selong Selo

in Destinations/Recreation by

Close your eyes for a moment. Picture unobstructed endless views from atop lush hills. Green paddy fields tumbling down towards azure waters. An aquamarine bay that changes colours as the day goes by, finally donning a dark black cloak at night, studded with twinkling lights from lobster fishing boats. Imagine gazing at these mesmerising vistas sitting on a wooden deck, next to your own private infinity pool, sipping a refreshing beverage as the tropical breeze brushes by.

Meanwhile, the children play indoors within the air-conditioned comfort of the villa’s sprawling living room, while you keep an eye on them through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Comforted that all’s well, you turn your eyes back to the views, slip your sunglasses into place and lay back on the lounger as the spa therapist works wonders on your feet.

Sounds like the perfect holiday, doesn’t it?

What if we told you that this is not just a dream. It can be your reality, the next time you need to take a break from urban life. Retreat to the unexplored island of Lombok, where you wake up to the chirping of birds and sleep to the tropical sound of crickets. An unbelievable world where the stresses of urban life seem to ebb away, and all that is left is you, nature’s enchanting beauty and the sound of silence.

Luxurious villas

Selong Selo Resort and Residences is a sprawling estate in southern Lombok with more than 22 luxury villas, nestled into the hills above Selong Belanak Beach. Each villa is unique and reflects the owners’ personality. Some are built over various levels while others stretch out on terraced gardens. Sophisticated interiors open up through sliding glass doors onto expansive outdoor living spaces, including a private infinity pool in each villa. The last word in luxury, the villas are elegantly designed and decorated with local artefacts and eclectic art from across the world.    

Dining options aplenty

Fully equipped open-plan kitchens are available should you want to cook a meal. However, if you just want to sit back and relax, you can always order-in from the menu or enjoy meals at Aura, the estate’s in-house restaurant and lounge. Set in an open-sided pavilion, Aura is also a great place to sip on sundowners at dusk.

Beach life

Selong Selo offers shuttle service within the estate and down to Selong Belanak Beach.

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Sri Lanka National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries

in Destinations/Families/Recreation by
Birds at Kalametiya Park

Famed for the historic Galle Fort district, tea industry and pristine family-friendly beaches, Sri Lanka is also known for its several national parks, animal reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.

When holidaying on the south coast, don’t miss the chance to visit at least one of the protected wetlands or other animal habitats. Day trips are fun for the whole family and easy to arrange ahead. Road trips around the country require a bit more planning. Why not start now? Here are a few of the most popular animal attractions in Sri Lanka.

 Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Established in 1938, this is one of the oldest protected wildlife parks in Sri Lanka and is celebrated as one of the best eco-birdwatching destinations in the entire world.

Heron birdwatching at Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

THINGS TO DO Birdwatching, photography, kid-friendly rock climbing, early morning or afternoon paddle boat cruise

WILDLIFE Over 150 bird species including Indian Reef Heron, Sri Lankan black-capped purple Kingfisher, Glossy Ibis, Jungle Fowl, Black Bittern, Slatybreasted Crake, Watercock, 20 mammal species, 40 types of fish, 40 exotic reptiles

BEST TIME TO VISIT Kalametiya is home to several local bird species, and more migrant birds come to roost and nest each year between November and March

LOCATION 20 km from Tangalle city, the sanctuary is near the village of Hungama on the south coast of Sri Lanka

GETTING THERE Via train or private transportation, the exit for the sanctuary is clearly marked on the A2 near the 214 and 218 km posts

WEBSITE kalametiyabirds.lk

Minneriya National Park

The site of The Gathering, a world-famous elephant spectacle, Minneriya is a protected 8,890-hectare reserve within Sri Lanka’s famed Cultural Triangle. Critical to the biodiversity in this habitat are its natural wetlands, water tanks and irrigation systems.

The Gathering at Minneriya National Park

THINGS TO DO Jeep tours; Wildlife photography

WILDLIFE Approximately 200 wild (Asian) elephants, various migratory and aquatic bird species, wetland mammals

BEST TIME TO VISIT The dry season, usually late August to October is when groups of elephants congregate here

LOCATION Less than 10 km from Habarana on the Colombo Polonnaruwa road

GETTING THERE Entrance requires a permit from the Ambagaswewa wild life conservation office, so guided tours are the way to go

Bundala National Park

Made up of brackish lagoons,

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The Best Beach Clubs in Phuket

in Destinations/Dining/Recreation by

Our island destinations boast a diverse and thriving restaurant, bar and beach club scene with a multitude of options for wining, dining and drinking in that tropical vibe – from a day bed! With so many new and exciting venues appearing almost weekly, it can be challenging for holidaymakers to choose where to go and when to book. Let your Elite Havens Concierge do the leg work for you. In addition to offering suggestions like where to hit the dance floor, special spots for romantic dinners or even somewhere to sip cocktails as the sun sets, we can secure restaurant reservations, book tickets to premier events and guarantee gold star treatment at some of the island’s most exclusive venues. Just let us know the time, place and number of guests and we’ll handle the rest.

Baba Beach Club – Natai Beach 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sunset State of Mind ?@bababeachclub.phuket Cr. @brendonohue @ninjarod #bababeachclubphuket #bababeachclub

A post shared by Baba Beach Club (@bababeachclub) on Jun 17, 2019 at 3:43am PDT

Baba Beach Club is set on Natai Beach with 200 metres of blissful beach frontage. The decor draws inspiration from the iconic Sino-Portuguese architecture of Phuket Old Town, combined with the vivid colour palette of Shanghai Tang to create an innovative “Sino Portuguese Tang” vibe. Baba Beach Club has a huge pool with a swim-up bar and although the club is part of a villa resort it is open to everyone.

Top Tip: The quality of the sound system and the local and international DJ’s make this a go to venue for music lovers.
Café Del Mar – Kamala beach

 
 
 
 
 
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Have Your Dream Wedding in Bali

in Culture/Destinations/Weddings by

When it comes to destination weddings, it doesn’t get much dreamier than Bali. Where else delivers a marriage of stunning setting, exotic décor, highly experienced event planners and spectacular destination-in-themselves villas? And all this without shattering the piggy bank?

As you relax into your vacation and settle into  the laid-back island vibe, you’re subject to some special Bali magic. If you or a family member are celebrating an engagement, or are in the early stages of planning a wedding,  it’s only natural to daydream of saying “I do” here on the Island of the Gods.

Just imagine –exchange vows on a cliff-top looking over the shimmering sea, with the sound of the surf crashing below. Declare your love on the beach, sand between your toes, as waves lap the shore and the setting sun flames the sky. Or seek the seclusion of a rural oasis and celebrate your union on the rim of a mountain ravine, surrounded by rice terraces.

Imagine the details – delicately woven palm-frond decorations and penjor flags framing the ceremonial space; three-tiered temple parasols and tropical blooms; flaming bamboo torches and candles amidst  a garden of colossal foliage; the hypnotic sound of Gamelan music; a lattice of party lights strung like pearls illuminating the darkening sky. And within that enchanting setting, imagine a paparazzi whirl of cameras recording  those first moments together as husband and wife.

Visualising the romance of the occasion comes easy in this culturally rich landscape. After all, since Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall tied their knot in Bali nearly three decades ago, many celebrities have followed suit. But what about the practicalities of a destination wedding, perhaps the other side of the world from your home?

The good news is that you get more bang for your buck in Bali; so you can save if you want or splurge. Happily, this applies whether you wish to stage a low-key wedding for close friends, or the most elaborate bells-and-whistles event for hundreds. If that’s not reason enough, think about the venue – perhaps a bride’s most important decision, after the dress of course. Here Bali comes up trumps, with a stellar cast of destination villa venues in jaw-dropping settings and an insane choice of accommodation for wedding guests.

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