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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.

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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Elite Talk with Head of Events Rara Suprastini

in Destinations/People/Weddings by

Rara Suprastini has been in the events and weddings business for over a decade. As Elite Havens’ Head of Events Indonesia, she oversees villa arrangements and other details for important occasions. Dealing with clients directly, she knows in-depth what they want and need.  We sat down with her to find out what its like organising and managing multiple assignments. (She makes it looks easy!)

Elite Havens: Hi, Rara. Can you tell us a little bit about your role?

Rara Suprastini: My team and I take care of booking events. More often than not, these are weddings, but we also do quite a lot of retreats and a few birthdays. We are here to help wedding couples or any guest looking for a special celebration in Bali.

EH: Say, for example, a couple is looking for a villa for their upcoming wedding. Should they come to you, because it’s a special event?

RS: Yes. That’s right.

EH: And then you will help them choose the villa? Set up the event?

RS: Absolutely. I was a wedding organizer here in Bali, before I started working with Elite Havens. So I know what brides are looking for. First things first – a fabulous venue. A bride usually knows exactly what she wants, ‘I want a beautiful villa on the cliffside. I want the sunset as the backdrop.’ They already have a dream, a perfect wedding that perhaps they’ve been thinking about since they were kids. The ideal venue is the first thing on their checklist.  And of course, the venue affects the budget as well. We try to lead them to the villa most suited to what they have always imagined.

EH: Do they visit the villa?

RS: Usually, yes. After seeing the villa in person, they are usually a hundred percent sure that it’s the villa they’re looking for. We are quite different from other villa companies – we take our time with this. Our approach is more hands-on and personal, because we assist them in their search for the ideal luxury villa.

EH: What’s the next step?

RS: One thing we always propose to our clients, is to connect with a reliable wedding coordinator.

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