Villa on View.
Your weekly up-close view of those wow factor extras that make our villas outstanding. After all, attention to detail always makes a difference.
Comedy genius Charlie Chaplin may have experienced a mystical and mysterious epiphany whilst in Bali, something which this island has been known to trigger among those seeking change. After his 1932 escape to Bali,the filmmaker transitioned from career crisis to his greatest era of movie making.
In the 1930’s the Hollywood legend was mired in anxiety about the arrival of ‘talkies’ – films that gave voice to previously silent movies. As the reigning king of silent movie comedy and pantomime, his place in the new world of filmmaking was all but assured.
After a European tour promoting his 1931 romantic comedy City Lights, he abandoned Hollywood and boarded a ship with his brother Sydney to ‘escape to Bali.’ Rare black and white footage of this trip captures a happy time with Chaplin exploring the unique island and her exotic performance art. Clearly fixed on dance, the brothers produced an intriguing film study of two girls performing the Legong Kupu Kupu Tarum (butterfly Legong dance) at Pura Samuan Tiga in Bedulu near Ubud.
Other footage of his escape to Bali shows a gleeful Chaplin engaging with the Balinese; dancing and mimicking movements to the high amusement of his new friends. Upbeat moments of feeding a monkey, sharing a joke and eating from a warung are caught in time.
in 2017, French documentary maker Raphaël Millet launched his exploration of the brothers’ visit in Chaplin in Bali, in which he uses Chaplin’s footage to tell the story of the actor and director’s self discovery in the island paradise. The historic archive is used to great effect and reveals first-hand Chaplin’s fascination with the complex and exceptional culture, exquisite dance and the arts of the island.
Importantly Millet suggests that Balinese orchestral sound and music helped to lead the artist to embrace the new technology that gave voice to films.
Four years after his trip to Bali, Chaplin went on to make his two most celebrated films; Modern Times – in which he sings a satirical song and then the controversial movie The Great Dictator.
While the impact that Bali had on Chaplin is considered to be profound,
Foodies and gastronomy aficionados are sure to have a great time at Selong Selo Resort & Residences in Lombok, which arguably has the best food on the island. The estate is built on the ethos of community-tourism and eco-friendly initiatives. It offers a slice of unadulterated paradise, and the chance to connect with oneself, amidst serenity and natural splendour, with a minimal eco-footprint.
Selong Selo’s farm-to-table dining is an extension of this very ethos. Seafood served here is freshly caught by local fishermen, and the local youth are offered food service training and career opportunities in the estate’s kitchen and restaurant. The founders of Selong Selo are keenly progressing in their vision and offering of a community food system. This revolutionary approach allows the integration of production, processing, distribution and consumption as one, to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a particular place.
The estate has a garden complete with its own chickens and its own organic farm, which grows vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, kale, etc. They even have an herb garden with parsley, thyme and a wealth of other plants, herbs and spices. Because chemicals have been virtually eliminated from Selong Selo’s dining ethos, you can be assured of only the best produce and ingredients being used in the delicious food you are served. What’s more, your kids can also enjoy tours of the chicken and vegetable farms, to get close to nature and see how livestock and plants are grown.
If a gastronomic holiday with astounding sea views sounds like a great experience, you will love your stay at Selong Selo, where each private pool luxury villa comes with a fully equipped kitchen to create gourmet masterpieces. Don’t worry about ingredients. The butler is on-hand and can arrange for groceries to be delivered straight to your doorstep. Cooking made easy.
There is a large variety of dining options in Selong Selo, so get going and enjoy the fresh, farm-to-table goodness.
Aura Lounge and Bar
The estate’s restaurant, Aura Lounge and Bar, which enjoys fabulous views from its hilltop location, serves delicious pizzas, sandwiches, pasta and main dishes. If you’re craving to try something more local, select one of the plates native to Lombok, like their sumptuous Nasi Goreng.
Women’s International Tennis Singapore (WITS) was founded in 2000 by Chris Clontz, to provide a daytime tennis league to ladies living in Singapore. They grew from an initial 150 players, to the 637 doubles and 63 singles players registered in Scoring 2019 Season.
In 2017, WITS registered as a society in Singapore, with a constitution directing it to raise funds for chosen charities. WITS committee members are all volunteers, and donate their spare time and energy to various important causes.
For several years, WITS supported a children’s charity in Cambodia called Sunrise, and made it possible for the children to take tennis lessons and have access to rackets, balls and other tennis paraphernalia. In 2016, they decided to support charities in Singapore and chose Aidha, an organisation that helps empower expat women to manage their finances and start businesses in their home country.
As a registered society, WITS can only support one charity raffle per season. It now supports Aware as well. Aware helps women in Singapore through difficulties at home, by providing helplines, legal advice and support centres.
For the past few years, Elite Havens has supported WITS, offering a villa holiday, at a luxurious property that features tennis courts, for the end of season awards, held in June and November. This has enabled WITS to raise more money for their chosen charities, through raffle ticket sales for the villa prize. As teams have enjoyed the benefits of villa stays, many members are now loyal customers of Elite Havens, booking villas for their personal holidays as well.
In addition to the charity work, WITS is increasingly becoming more environment-friendly and has stopped production of paper waiver forms and rule books. They now only use the online version. WITS members are also trying to minimise usage of single-use plastics and plastic bags.
That is not all. Members are involved in a range of related philanthropic activities. Recently, Leighann Beevor – a key committee member in charge of the WITS Facebook page – initiated a large collection of used tennis balls, to ship to a children’s tennis academy in the Philippines. Another member, WITS committee registrar Tanja Tullberg, helps coach soundball students in Singapore. Soundball is tennis for the visually-impaired and Tullberg recently accompanied the Singapore team to Spain for the Soundball World Cup.
Niseko Gourmet complements your adrenaline-packed snow adventure holiday with an exceptional dining service, ensuring you are replenished and re-energized daily. All of your culinary requirements are catered for, from grocery shopping to gourmet food delivery and even in-chalet private chef dining experiences. A favourite with both locals and visitors, Niseko Gourmet has satisfied discerning palates for more than twelve years. Chef Kamada-San is a sushi master and an integral part of the Niseko Gourmet success story. Starting as a 15-year-old and with a career spanning more than 50 years – Chef Kamada-San is credited as a founding influence on the Niseko food renaissance. As one of Niseko Gourmet’s longest-standing chefs and its sushi master, it was an honour to chat with him and savour his signature dishes!
Elite Havens: Hi, Chef Kamada-san. When and how did you make the move to Niseko?
Chef Kamada-san: When I was working in a sushi restaurant in Sendai (early 1972), a diner walked up to me and said that his friend needed some help at his restaurant in Kutchan. I decided to take the opportunity and made the move, where I worked for 3 years and coincidentally also where I met my wife. She was a loyal customer, and, from memory, I think it was me who said the first words to her. After we got married, we both went on to open our own sushi restaurant in Kutchan and operated it for 35 years.
EH: How did you come to work at Niseko Gourmet?
CK: I think it was meant to be, that at the time my restaurant shut, I met Tess Stomsky (the founder of Niseko Gourmet) and then began serving quality sushi to the customers of Niseko Gourmet.
EH: What makes you happiest at work?
CK: When my customers are at their most content, I am too. I also just love making sushi. The process and the pursuit of perfection gives me joy.
EH: What are you thinking of when you make each piece of nigiri?
CK: I am always focused on my customers and giving them the best food possible.
EH: What are some of your most memorable experiences?
CK: Working with different staff members from different countries.
Planning a family vacation to Phuket or Koh Samui and accommodating the needs of an entire family is no easy feat. The mind boggles with such a wide range of both indoor and outdoor activities available. What are the most reputable and safe options, and which activity could satisfy everyone equally – from the oldest to the youngest? Staying at an elite haven makes the decision-making process simple. Not only will you receive the attentive care and local tips from your dedicated Villa Manager, but you also have the assurance of the Elite Havens’ Concierge to assist with all your booking requirements and to personally manage your experience. So, you can sit back, relax and simply enjoy your holiday.
The Phuket Aquarium, on the island’s southernmost tip at Cape Panwa, is a great place to discover Phuket’s underwater world and learn about local marine conservation at the same time. The aquarium is especially suitable for younger kids who will delight at the sight of sea turtles, manta rays and, of course, those cute clownfish of Finding Nemo fame. Top Tip: Walk along the nature trail at the exit of the aquarium and you’ll find a sanctuary for injured turtles.
Phang Nga Bay, with its magical hidden lagoons and towering limestone karsts, is a sea kayaker’s dream. Day trips from Phuket accommodate paddlers of all ages* and abilities and are a wonderful way to discover this unique seascape. Alternatively, ride the waves aboard a traditional long-tail fishing boat, or charter a luxury sail or motor yacht for the day.
*If your kids are very young, we recommend checking with the tour organiser before you book, as full day trips may not be suitable.
Bikes, Boats and Beaches. If you fancy something a little more energetic, we highly recommend a day out with Andaman Nature Tours (Feel Phuket). This three-in-one tour starts with a boat trip over to one of Phuket sister islands Koh Yao Noi. From here, saddle up for a bike ride. The terrain is relatively easy-going and the scenery is stunning. You’ll ride through paddy fields and meet local farmers who are the real organic hipsters, then up into the rubber plantations. For your lunch stop, hop aboard a traditional fishing boat and cruise to a secluded palm-fringed white sandy beach,