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Must-see places and can’t miss things to do from Malé to Bali

A Haven for Muslim Tourists: 8 Reasons Why Elite Havens Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination

in Culture/Destinations/Dining/Families/Recreation by

The world is a place filled with wonder for curious people. Despite the role played by the internet in exposing us to the diverse places and cultures of the world, there are gems that people still long to visit and experience for themselves; at least I know I do!

As a Muslim, it can sometimes be a struggle to find an ideal holiday destination, whether solo or with family. More often than not, there is search to be done and extra measures to be taken to ensure that everything goes well and within the traditions of Islam. It wouldn’t really spoil the holiday, but it sure can be tedious work a burden I’d like be relieved of, don’t you just agree? At Elite Havens, I found all my answers.

Serenity and Spirituality Define Elite Havens Villas

Reflecting on my stay at an Elite Haven, two main points come to mind: serenity and spirituality. Wherever you turn your head, you can find picturesque beaches, mountains and even rainforests. Imagine how divine and high-spirited it would be, to watch the sun rising from a clifftop or while strolling across the beach. I get goosebumps merely taking a stroll down those memories!

Why Elite Havens Has a Wide Selection of Destinations Catering to Muslim Travellers
Free of culture shock – Muslim staff members catering to your needs

Small details make a huge difference. We were particularly surprised and equally appreciative when the concierge demonstrated to us which way to face when praying. This tiny action may not seem significant, but it was actually very touching and made our day.

Nearby Mosques – Pray and explore the city

If you choose villas located in Indonesia or Thailand, you can pray in mosques, alongside the local people. Interacting with locals can be the highlight of your trip. They are the ones to best guide you on the wonders of the town.

Make yourself at home with complete privacy

You will find comfort in the privacy of your own personal villa. In any haven you choose to stay at, not only do you have a private pool, but also gorgeous views, be it the beach, a mountainous scene or even a rainforest. If you’re looking for some alone-time to reflect and breathe in the nature,

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Surf, Sand and Serenity in Undiscovered Lombok

in Destinations/Families/Recreation by

In a world cluttered with tourist spots and travellers zigzagging across the globe, ticking off dog-eared bucket lists, the inevitable crowds and chatter follow you wherever you go. Isn’t it wonderful, when unexpectedly you stumble upon a hidden paradise – a quiet haven overlooked by the zealous crowds.

Located right next to Bali, Lombok is nothing like its neighbour. Or should we say, it is nothing like what Bali is today. Lombok is the Bali of 40 years ago, a tale of pristine beaches, uncrowded waves and quaint rural villages.

Here’s a thought – for your next vacation, why not do something different? Leave behind the red hot tourist spots and head to undiscovered Lombok, a gorgeous island thankfully forgotten by the world at large. Find yourself in the lap of nature, with lush green hills, champagne sand beaches and surprisingly good food, a destination that doesn’t bother with pretences.

While searching for the perfect Elite Haven, you are spoilt for choice. Sira Beach House offers barefoot holiday bliss amongst coconut groves and white sands while The Anandita has tropical baths and a golf course next door. Perfect for large groups with children, Villa Sapi is contemporary and chic, with three swimming pools, a tennis court and a glass-roofed building (yes, you read that right). For a traditional touch, choose Villa Sepoi Sepoi with its thatched roofs and enticing spaces such as open-sided pavilions and a poolside cabana bar.

Whichever haven you pick for your island escape, our Elite Concierge is on-hand to offer advice and help make this a holiday to remember. “From setting up a sunset barbecue on the beach to a picnic by the gorgeous Sinang Gili Waterfall with gourmet hampers and sparkling wine, we go the extra mile to make each day during your holiday count,” promises Andy Grant, Head of Concierge. An early morning boat trip for snorkelling around the Gili Islands or a cooking class coupled with a market visit. No ask is too big for the Concierge team and it really is the culmination of these experiences that will make your Lombok escape a ‘dream holiday’.     

Book any of these luxurious villas for stay anytime from now until 14th December,

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7 Things To Do in the Bukit Peninsula

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The majestic clifftop Uluwatu Temple lies in the Bukit area of Bali, which is also home to the best beaches and surf spots on the island. The Bukit is actually a large limestone peninsula and would be a separate island if it weren’t for the small sliver of land south of the Bali airport. The ‘Bukit’, which means ‘hill’ in Indonesian, is – unlike the rest of the island – arid, stony and dry. The west coast is particularly popular, with accommodations perched above Balangan Beach offering stunning clifftop ocean views.

The best way to explore the Bukit Peninsula  and visit all of its gorgeous beaches is via motorized transport.  Many elite havens have a driver and vehicle available to guests.  Simply check with the Villa Manager on availability and special inside tips on local attractions.  Alternatively, you can hire transport via the dedicated EH Concierge service.

There are many exciting things to do in the area. Here are our top 7:

Visit the Famous Uluwatu Temple

Go to the famous Uluwatu Temple, one of Bali’s nine key temples and part of its spiritual legacy. ‘Ulu’ means the ‘top’ or the ‘tip’ and ‘watu’ means a ‘stone’ or a ‘rock’ in Balinese. The astounding temple has been sitting on the same spot – 70 metres above the ocean – for thousands of years. Two sages are credited with creating and enlarging it: Empu Kuturan in the 11th century and Dang Hyang Nirartha, who they say achieved moshka or samsara (liberation) here. Temple anniversary celebrations are held every six months according to the Balinese 210-day Pawukon cycle.

The forest by the temple is full of monkeys who grab items such as sunglasses and cameras, so be careful. They can be bribed with bananas and peanuts to get your items back. 

Watch A Kecak Fire Dance

A popular dance, the Kecak fire dance, is performed at the Uluwatu Temple every day at 6pm, around sunset. It is a spectacular sight to behold. The dance is famous for its use of voices in lieu of instruments, which lends a powerful accompaniment to its drama. You can also watch it in the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park.

See the 120-metre statue of Lord Vishnu and Garuda

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park has a humongous statue of Lord Vishnu riding his mount Garuda,

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Treat Mum To Mother’s Day in Bali, Phuket and Koh Samui

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She’s the one who made sure your food wasn’t hot enough to burn your tongue and put a band-aid on your knee when you fell down. She’s the one who fed you when you were hungry, cared for you when you were sick and gave you an allowance. She helped you with your homework and made sure you wore the perfect dress to your first dance.

 

She’s the first one who cheered you on and made sure you grew up happy and able. Most of all, she’s the one whose hugs made you feel like everything was alright, and that nothing bad would ever happen. Why not give her the getaway of a lifetime? Take her on an unforgettable trip to Bali and Thailand. Here’s what you can do when you’re there:

Bali

Give Her Breakfast in Bed

Spoil your mum first thing in the morning on 12 May by giving her breakfast in bed. Prepare a basket of freshly-baked French butter and almond croissants. Add some elegant macarons to the mix for a real indulgence. Get them and more delicious treats at Monsieur Spoon, a bakery run by two Parisian cousins. The bakery has shops in Canggu, Petitenget and Seminyak.

Take Her To an Authentic Balinese Cooking Class

Venture to the market in Ubud to pick vegetables and meat. Chat with local farmers and observe the townsfolk going about their daily activities. Then, take an authentic Balinese cooking class inside a traditional Balinese house. Discover the way the local live – and eat. Enjoy the food you and your mom have made for lunch and dinner. You can do all this at Eat With.

Pamper Her in the Spa

What better way to say ‘This is your day’ than a pampering at the spa? From reflexology to a scalp massage and even hair colour to brighten up those roots, Therapy has it all.  Want something more off- the-beaten-track? Take mum to a bar-cum-salon. Blow Bar is an alternative bar where you can sip on a martini as you get a manicure, perched on a bar stool. Dad can enjoy the popular Scotch & Shave.

Have a Heart to Heart Over Tea

It’s your turn to listen to mum.

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5 Offbeat Things to do in Niseko this Summer

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As the winter recedes, so do the crowds that throng Niseko for its dreamy powder snow. And in their wake, they leave behind a countryside that seems to slowly stretch out and rise from its winter slumber. The grinding sound of ski ploughs and the whir of ski lifts is replaced by melodious songs of summer breeze and chirping birds. The country blooms all around, unaware of its unpretentious innocent beauty yet not needing the crowds to confirm what it already knows. That Niseko is divine in the winters, but it is in summer that Niseko truly displays its mesmerising self.

It is a step towards the unknown, but curiosity is well rewarded. If you truly want to explore the heart of the countryside, why not take a walk away from the beaten path and indulge yourself with these quirky offbeat activities instead?

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