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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.

A Chat with Niseko Gourmet’s Manager, Annie Craig

in Destinations/Dining/People by

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

in News/People by

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

in Destinations/Dining/Recreation by

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

in Destinations/Recreation by

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.

Omnia

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

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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A Delicious Christmas and New Year in Phuket

in Destinations/Dining by

You’ve come to Phuket for the sun, the emerald ocean, the fabulous nightlife and your luxurious villa. But did you know that you can also enjoy decadent Christmas and New Year feasts outside your villa? If you want to step out on Christmas or New Year instead of letting your in-villa chef create a magical meal for you, we give you the lowdown on the best that the island has to offer. Ask the Elite Concierge to book a table for you at the earliest.

CAFÉ DEL MAR

Café del Mar Phuket is a classy outpost of Ibiza’s world-famous venue. Located at the northern end of Kamala Beach, with beach cabanas and great beats, it is a place to see and be seen at. The club offers a Christmas Eve Scandinavian Dinner by Chef Daniel Isberg with the first seating at 6-8:30pm and the second group at 8:30-10:30pm. The menu includes breads, cheese, seafood such as Smoked Salmon, Gravlax, and Home-Smoked Prawns, as well as salads including Potato and Red Beet. Meats like Christmas Ham, Roast Beef, Swedish Meatballs, and desserts such as cheese, Brownies and Candies complete the meal. The price for adults is THB 1950 while the price for children 12 and below is THB 750.

A fabulous New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner buffet comes out to THB 9950 per person including half a bottle of champagne or 2 persons at THB 21900 including one bottle of house wine and one bottle of Taittinger champagne or 4 persons at THB 49990 including including one bottle of house wine, one bottle of Taittinger champagne, and one bottle of house spirits. The buffet includes cold cuts, caviar, Caesar salad, parma ham, lobster, oysters, smoked crab, smoked salmon, sushi, sashimi, lamb chops, pork chicken, mussels, scallops, prawns, barracuda, Alfredo and Bolognese pasta, prime rib, duck a l’orange and a whole lot more.

CATCH BEACH CLUB

Catch Beach Club in Bangtao is enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike. Delicious food, good cocktails and a fantastic wine list are some of its top draws. International DJs spin by the swimming pool and keep you grooving to top beats all evening long. Catch celebrates with a Christmas Eve menu at THB 2,500++ per adult and THB 1,500++ per child.

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