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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.

Chef du jour: Villa Chada

in Destinations/Dining by

Four stand-alone pavilions hug the edge of a cliff, standing tall against a stunning backdrop of the emerald-coloured Arabian Sea. Named after a Thai traditional ceremonial headdress, it is apt that Villa Chada’s interiors are adorned with Thai artefacts and curios, while the outdoors boast water features amidst lush tropical gardens. Stealing the show, a 16-metre freeform pool snakes around rocks and the large deck which is dotted with sun loungers. There’s plenty of space in its six ensuite bedrooms, some with astounding sea views, and others framing verdant gardens. Warm villa staff and an exceptional Villa Manager ensure that your every need is met.

Grand, yet surprisingly cosy, the villa’s enchanting rooms are distributed across pavilions, offering privacy and luxury. A haven ideal for relaxing, Villa Chada also has a path that leads down to a private beach where spectacular sunsets abound. But if you don’t want to make the effort, the master suite’s wraparound terrace offers the same enviable sunset hues, best enjoyed with a chilled beverage in hand.

The food at Villa Chada is every bit as exceptional as the residence itself. Here’s an excerpt from our talk with Chef Pu, who loves crafting delicious meals for the villa’s guests.

Elite Havens: What is your cooking background?

Chef Pu: Prior to working here, I was the in-villa chef at Villa One Waterfall Bay (another elite haven). I’ve also worked part-time at Restaurant Blue-Manow for many years.

EH: How did you learn how to cook?

CP: I gained valuable experience when I was a helper. The owner of the villa hired a chef to train me and my colleagues in the art of Thai and western cuisines. I consider myself very lucky to be given this opportunity.

EH: What qualities do you think mark a good chef?

CP: Paying attention to your cooking and loving what you do are the two most important qualities. Cleanliness is at the heart of cooking and so is punctuality – food must always be served on time and there shouldn’t be too much of a gap between courses.

EH: What did you cook for us today?

CP: Wing Beans Salad is on the menu today.

EH: Why did you choose to make this dish for us?

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Ultimate Christmas and New Year Feasts in Koh Samui

in Destinations/Dining by

Sun, sand, surf and an inspiring tropical vibe – Koh Samui is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Though your in-villa chef can prepare a memorable feast just for you, if you do decide to step out on Christmas or New Year’s Eve, we’ve hand-picked some of the best, most festive gatherings on the island.

THE SOCIAL

Handcrafted cocktails, all-day dining and epic sunsets. Thus goes the tagline of The Social in Koh Samui, a relaxed and aesthetically-pleasing restaurant and beach club, located close to the airport. The Social Samui’s drink selection is often regarded as the best on the island. Sunset are also spectacular here, and the music is peppy. The Social will be offering a traditional Christmas dinner this year. Guests may choose from two available sittings: 12pm to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm. The three-course dinner is THB 1900 per person and includes Smoked Salmon Mousse, Traditional Roast Turkey, Slow Braised Beef Cheek, Herb Baked Sea Perch, Pig in Blankets, Traditional Christmas Pudding and Caramel Panna Cotta. Dinner with free-flowing wine, beer and select spirits costs THB 3200 per person.

NIKKI BEACH

Nikki Beach Koh Samui is renowned for its incredible food, cocktails, VIP experience and events. The beach club offers personal touches that are signature to the Nikki Beach lifestyle brand. You can relax on a sunbed, listen to music played by famous international DJs and live musicians and get lost in the heady tropical-island vibe of it all. Experience the best of the island this Christmas at Nikki Beach’s Christmas Eve Dinner that begins at 7pm. Enjoy a seafront Christmas supper with a fireshow and live music. The club’s Christmas Day Brunch begins at 11am the next day, and includes music and entertainment by resident DJs,

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Top 7 Fine Dining Restaurants in Phuket

in Destinations/Dining by

The best menus in Phuket can be found at these restaurants, all of which use only the finest and freshest ingredients. Whether you’re looking for an exquisite seafood dish or a perfectly-grilled steak, Thai or European food, you’ll have plenty to choose from.

Pru

The first and only restaurant in Phuket to receive a Michelin star, PRU restaurant at Trisara encourages a sustainable approach towards food. Chef Jimmy Ophorst and his team cultivate a close relationship with local suppliers, also growing vegetables and foraging local roots, flowers and herbs on their own farm. Dress up and go – expecting to be served multiple courses featuring seasonal ingredients. A dining experience par excellence.

Suay

An acronym of sassy, unique, authentic and yummy, Suay has garnered great acclaim for its skillful balance of Thai and western flavours. With two outlets on the island – one in Phuket Town and one in Cherngtalay, it is popular with discerning tourists as well as locals. Standout dishes include Foie Gras with Betel Leaves, Tom Yam Lobster Bisque, and Grilled Sous Vide Duck Breast in Hot Basil Sauce. Both restaurants are upmarket, yet cosy and intimate, with indoor and alfresco garden seating.

Siam Supper Club

Siam Supper Club is a chic bar and grill located near the entrance of Laguna. A great place to network and socialise, the dark wood walls and leather upholstery lend it a gentleman’s club vibe. Its long bar is usually packed, while soft jazz music plays in the background. Meats, fish and pizzas feature on the menu, hinting at an easygoing experience, despite the exclusive feel of the restaurant. A classy affair.

The Boathouse Restaurant 

Five different seating options at The Boathouse offer you the chance to decide whether you prefer a romantic sea view meal or an elegant dinner with live music within air-conditioned environs. Western and authentic Thai culinary traditions come together in a heady mix at The Boathouse. Healthy gourmet food featuring ingredients sourced locally is served with as much style as fresh seafood and prime cuts of meat.

Mom Tri

Mom Tri’s Kitchen and Mom Tri’s Wok Gallery Kitchen are designed to satisfy every food craving.

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The Best Afternoon Eats in Bali

in Destinations/Dining by

Hankering for a cup of coffee this afternoon? Or perhaps you’re looking for some delectable tapas to fulfil a craving? Prefer something more sensual and relaxed, like a French pastry? Look no further than our list of Bali’s top casual tea and coffee venues. These are the perfect places to head to when you aren’t quite ready for a heavy meal.

MONSIEUR SPOON

Bali might seem like an unlikely place to find great French pastries, but Rafi Papazian and Gregory Guerguerian profess that it was the creativity and passion they found in Bali that charmed them to stay and share their dream. It’s been 7 years since they decided to leave Paris and set up Monsieur Spoon on the Island of the Gods and they haven’t looked back since.

BIKU

High tea and tarot card readings feature in this inspired 150-year old teak joglo that is part bookseller, part tea salon and part antique dealer. Biku has an incredible array of teas on offer along with old-school style classic dishes like scones with jam and cream and club sandwiches. Its the perfect spot for a cuppa and a slice of cake. Reservations recommended both for tables and tarot readings, via the Elite Concierge.

FOLIE 

Folie claims to be ‘a love child between two grand food cultures, neither West nor East, but an attempt to discover something in between’. Chef Stephane Simond, who has experience in Michelin-starred restaurants, believes that a good chef must be obsessed with food. A gorgeous high tea setting with seriously good pastries.

MILK & MADU

Milk & Madu offers perfectly poached eggs for breakfast which can be paired with smoothies, freshly made juices or fantastic house-blended coffee, as well as juicy beef burgers, wraps, salads and healthy breakfast bowls packed with fruits, bee pollen and other delicious goodies. It’s mellow and oh-so-smooth.

POULE DE LUXE

Attention, macaron lovers. This pâtisserie satisfies your sweet tooth with macarons, croissants and all things French. Searching for baguettes? Look no further. Poule de Luxe has all that your heart desires. Everything is freshly baked each morning.

CAFÉ KIM SOO

A favourite of many, it’s difficult to walk past Kim Soo and not be lured inside by the abundance of gorgeous homeware items on display.

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Fabulous Christmas Menus in Niseko

in Destinations/Dining by

Powder snow, the finest in the world. Après-ski cocktails, mixed by skilled bartenders. Dining? Only the very best. Welcome to Niseko, where luxury and high-quality is the starting standard for everything. If you’re planning to spend Christmas here, we confess that the most decadent feasts are those that can be delivered to your chalet by Niseko Gourmet. However, if you want to step out and are looking for options in town, we’ve hand-picked our three favourite places for Christmas dining, just for you.

KAMIMURA

Chef Yuichi Kamimura spent his formative years in his parent’s restaurant. He  worked with Chef Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney for ten years and then returned to his hometown Hokkaido to open Kamimura. The Michelin-starred Kamimura restaurant is famous for its exquisite dishes and quality ingredients. For Christmas, this iconic fine dining restaurant serves a special nine-course degustation menu, matched with an array of wines.

LA VILLA LUPICIA

La Villa Lupicia combines fresh Japanese ingredients with European recipes to create dishes that are a melting pot of continents. French and other European cuisines reflect in each dish, served here with special tea and bread. For Christmas, La Villa Lupicia’s menu includes Oyster and Crispy Seaweed served with fresh cheese, Soup with Smoked Scallops and Chinese Ham, Turkey marinated with herbal vinegar, and Roast Hokkaido Venison with Wild Grape Sauce, all for JPY 12k per person.

THE VALE BAR & GRILL

The Vale Bar & Grill, as the name suggests, is a steakhouse, grill and seafood restaurant. It is renowned for using premium ingredients and for hearty portions that satisfy even the most ardent meat lover. You may also pick from the vegetarian and seafood options on the menu. The venue is a great place for après-ski cocktails too. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the restaurant is offering a special course menu, along with a kids menu.

Although most of our Niseko chalets are booked out for Christmas, click here to find availability for other dates, while the snow envelopes the region.

Photos from Kamimura, Vale Bar & Grill and La Villa Lupicia. 

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