Destinations - page 29

Everything we love about our exclusive luxury holiday rentals

What to expect in a Maldives villa

in Destinations by

When is a villa not a villa? When you’re booking a luxury Maldives getaway, it can be hard to know exactly what it is you’re booking. Villa, suite, bungalow, residence, condo, resort… everywhere you turn someone is using a different word to describe the same thing, or what you thought you were looking turns out to be something different.

So to help you out, here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you choose.

Resorts

Being made of up of more than 1,192 islands, the Maldives is rich pickings for private resorts from the big hotel brands. On the larger islands, you’ll find them lining private stretches of beach, only accessible to guests. More exclusive resorts take a smaller island to themselves, so the only people you’ll see on the island are other guests or staff of the resort.

Either way, they’ll offer a full service with restaurants, a bar and facilities for guests, plus a range of rooms, from hotel style blocks to free standing suites.

Bungalows & water villas

This is usually resort-speak for watertop, stilted suites. It’ll usually include a spacious, en-suite room, plus a balcony with stunning views across the Indian Ocean. More premium suites might feature a separate living space or dressing room as well. Some resorts may use this lingo for detached suites on the shore with a private pool.

They’re still part of the resort, so the accompanying dining options will be the resort’s house restaurants and bars.

Residences

What you might identify as a villa (if you’re European) or a condo (if you’re from North America). The Amilla Beach Villa Residences are four-, six-, and eight-bedroom properties, with their own stretch of crystal white sand beach and private pools, and fully self-sufficient with kitchen, bar and facilities.

The Amilla Beach Villa Residences are on a tiny swathe of land in the Baa Atoll, to the north of the Maldives archipelago. There are eight villas in the collection: six with four bedrooms, the six-bedroom Amilla Villa Estate, and the eight-bedroom Great Beach Villa Residence. The expansive pool-side terraces lead down directly on to each villa’s private stretch of pristine beach.

Each villa is run by a team of staff, headed up by the katheeb (or housemaster) who’s responsible for overseeing guests’ stay at Amilla’s residences,

Keep Reading

Koh Samui with kids

in Culture/Destinations/Families/Recreation by
pink elephant samui water park

Koh Samui, Thailand is not a big island – it’s just under 230 square kilometres, and much of that is still pristine forest-covered hillside – but it offers a wealth of fun and interesting things to do with kids.

CASUAL OUTINGS
Our list of child-friendly activities in Koh Samui begins with five easy excursions for the whole group. If a relaxed family holiday is what you want, you got it. If you’re up for anything, and looking for the best attractions and accommodation, keep reading ’til the end. 

1. Kids will love the Dusit Deva Cultural Centre, a slightly eccentric garden filled with creatures from Buddhist and Hindu myths.

2. Treat the family to a poolside Sunday brunch. Although there are several family-friendly restaurants in Koh Samui, our top picks for a gorgeous sea-view brunch with kids are the Four Seasons and Beach Republic.

paradise park koh samui

3. Take a trip to the petting zoo at Paradise Park Farm Samui in Lipa Noi, where you’ll also encounter exotic birds and other wildlife.
(IMAGE FROM FACEBOOK)

4. Visit nearby Nathon Walking Street Night Market on Tuesdays or the bigger Fisherman’s Village Night Market in Bophut on Fridays.

5. Samui Football Golf is a unique physical activity and all ages can share in the fun.

WATER FUN
It’s not a tropical holiday without some wet n’ wild fun for the whole family.

koh samui na muang waterfalls

6. Samui has a number of spectacular waterfalls. We love the Na Muang Falls where there’s a an inviting pool. For younger children, Lin Had Waterfall is most child-friendly. Please note both are not recommended during the rain season Oct-Nov.

7. Go island hopping in Ang Thong National Marine Park, which encompasses a cluster of islands. The heavily jungled islands are carefully controlled to keep them in pristine natural condition. A trip to them is a must.

Koh Samui water park

8. Splash and slide in the sun at Pink Elephant Samui Water Park in Maenam.
(IMAGES FROM SAMUIWATERPARK.ASIA)

ADVENTURE
Older kids and athletic teens with energy to burn have an opportunity to experience some thrilling sports in Koh Samui.

9.

Keep Reading

Another Island: Koh Samui

in Destinations by
Koh Samui island destination Thailand

Four stunning beachfront villas in Koh Samui, Thailand have joined Elite Havens Luxury Villa Rentals’ exclusive portfolio. Samui is our sixth outstanding island destination and the new properties are a consistent addition to our existing collection of over 200 carefully selected holiday villas on Phuket, Bali, Lombok, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Introducing Elite Havens’ first Koh Samui villas:

BAN SURIYA

Ban Suriya

LUXURIOUS SIX-BEDROOM LIPA NOI, KOH SAMUI BEACHFRONT GETAWAY WITH 20-METRE POOL
www.bansuriya.com

VILLA WAIMARIE

Villa Waimarie

LIPA NOI, KOH SAMUI BEACHFRONT HOLIDAY VILLA WITH SIX BEDROOMS, 15-METRE SWIMMING POOL, TENNIS COURT AND KIDS PLAYGROUND
www.villawaimarie.com

TAWANTOK BEACH VILLAS

Tawantok Beach Villas

GORGEOUS PAIR OF FIVE-BEDROOM VILLAS WITH A TENNIS COURT AND OCEANFRONT SWIMMING POOLS ON KOH SAMUI’S LIPA NOI BEACH
www.tawantokbeachvillas.com

 

These villas come brimming with facilities, fitted out and fully-staffed. They are perfect for family or group holidays and a supreme choice for weddings among Koh Samui event venues. The in-villa pampering is beyond compare and the outdoor activities are endless. Booking with Elite Havens ensures five-star service from the moment you enquire.

On-site at every holiday home is a team of hosts including a private chef and villa manager handling much more than the cooking and cleaning. Working alongside them to ensure hospitality of the highest standard is Elite Havens’ local Koh Samui branch, which opened in September 2017 and is Elite Havens second Thailand office. Elite Havens also has an office in Phuket and represents over 40 of the very best villas from Natai Beach to Cape Yamu.

 www.elitehavens.com

BALI, LOMBOK, SRI LANKA, MALDIVES, PHUKET and now KOH SAMUI

 

Keep Reading

East Bali: Top Things to Do and Best Beachfront Villas

in Destinations by
Villa Pushpapuri Bali Beachfront Villa

Its easy to be seduced by the glamour of southern Bali with its trendy restaurants and uber-cool beach clubs, but if you have something a little quieter in mind for your Bali holiday, the pristine Sunrise Coast on the island’s eastern shores has a charm all its own.

Saba beach in East Bali

Peaceful coastal villages nestle amidst banana plantations, lush green rice fields and exotic palm-fringed black sand beaches. A trio of volcanos looming in the distance make the most stunning of backdrops, especially when bathed in the pearly pink light of a Bali sunrise.

TOP THINGS TO DO

The atmospheric seaside town of Candidasa is situated mid-way up the east coast just 60km from the airport. Local art shops sell paintings, handicrafts and wood carvings, while casual open-air restaurants are strung along the shore, some with candle-lit tables right on the beach. Make sure to check out the main temple with a dreamy location on the edge of a lotus-filled lagoon.

Adventure-seekers can trek to the top of Mount Agung – the island’s highest peak, while water enthusiasts can explore Bali’s best dive sites, such as the HMS Liberty Wreck. Adrenalin junkies can get their kicks on a shark dive, or glide through the water with manta rays. The cool waters of Tirta Gangga, an elaborate water palace tucked into the nearby hills, makes a gentler respite with its spring fed pools and water fountains carved from stone.

A few kilometers inland from Candidasa, the 700-year-old walled village of Tenganan is home to the Bali Aga, the island’s first inhabitants. It is quite a cultural attraction these days, but still provides a fascinating glimpse into a traditional way of life and is justly famed for its beautiful ikat weavings.

The small coastal village of Jasri is home to Charly’s chocolate factory. You won’t find Willy Wonka, but you will find delicious chocolate (try the Narkabo dark chocolate nibbles) and great photo opportunities thanks to a quirky assortment of cone-shaped bamboo houses clustered in a grove of coconut palms right on the beach. Nearby, a bumpy dirt road winds through verdant forest to emerge at Pasir Putih (white sand) rightly crowned as Bali’s most beautiful beach. Bathe in the turquoise sea, soak up the rays from a deckchair and indulge in fresh fish for lunch, barbecued right in front of you. 

Keep Reading

Phuket Architecture and the Evolution of Luxury Design

in Destinations by
Thai architecture Phuket hillside Villa Minh

Before Phuket, Thailand earned its reputation as a world-class beach holiday destination, for centuries it called to fortune-seekers, workers and traders from Asia, Arabia and Europe. This interesting convergence of cultures is reflected in the island’s architecture. We take a look at how luxury villa design has evolved in Phuket over the last 150 years or so.

SINO-COLONIAL ELEGANCE

Baan Chinpracha Historic Mansion in Phuket by Opal HoPHUKET TOWN OLD GOVERNOR’S RESIDENCE

Back in Phuket’s booming tin-mining days in the late 1800s to early 1900s, the island’s emerging wealthy class built luxury mansions of Sino-Colonial design, in a fashion that reflected the tastes of the tin-mine barons of the time, who were largely descendants of Hokkien Chinese immigrants with family ties stretching from Phuket to Penang, Malacca and Singapore.

A handful of these mansions still stand today in Phuket Town, including the old governor’s residence, now home to the Blue Elephant restaurant (pictured above), and next door Baan Chinpracha mansion (below), which is now part family home, part museum.

Baan Chinpracha Historic Thai Architecture by Jinjoo ShinINSIDE BAAN CHINPRACHA MANSION

European influences are seen in the homes’ elaborate porticos (arched windows and doorways), neo-classical pillars and Italian marble floor tiles with intricate designs. Thick walls and inner courtyards helped protect the mansions’ residents from the sweltering heat, and air circulated through rows of elegantly arched louvered windows. 

These luxury villas of the past were largely found in the island’s interior near Phuket’s commercial centres – all the fabulous beaches lining its coast were not considered desirable places to live for anyone but fisher-folk. But once travellers discovered the beaches and tourism replaced tin mining as the economic driving force in the 1980s, visions of luxury living shifted to the coastlines.

QUINTESSENTIALLY THAI

Amanpuri PhuketAMANPURI PHUKET (IMAGE FROM TRIPADVISOR)

In 1988, a coconut plantation on a headland near Surin Beach became home to the Amanpuri, an exclusive resort built to a level of luxury unheard of at the time on Phuket. Designed by architect Edward Tuttle as a collection of elegant pavilions spilling over the hillside, it was a ground-breaking style that came about after his extensive travels around Thailand.

Historic city of Ayutthaya by UNESCOCITY OF AYUTTHAYA (IMAGE BY UNESCO)

His main inspiration was the ancient Ayutthaya architecture of central Thailand (above),

Keep Reading

1 27 28 29 30 31 34
Go to Top