#thailand

Discover Gourmet Cuisine in Koh Samui

in Destinations/Dining by

Thailand’s leisure island of Koh Samui holds a priority position on the bucket list of every chic traveller. With Mick Jagger, Richard Branson and the Beckhams drawn to the divine destination, the island’s enviable reputation for barefoot luxury is set in stone.

Powder-soft white sand beaches dotted with swaying palm trees and a glittering turquoise sea set a spectacular scene.

Private coves and hidden beaches abound, and can be easily discovered by hiring a boat or a luxury yacht. Alternatively, you can marvel at exquisite marine life and colourful coral by putting on your snorkelling gear and heading into the blue water. 

Exclusive holiday villas are always the preferred style of accommodation among the rich and discerning, and many already own a private property on the island. However, the well-versed traveller knows the joys of simply renting a private luxury villa to experience the ultimate holiday. 


Personal Chefs

Chefs attached to these luxury villas are unique professionals with a vast repertoire of dishes fulfilling all dining moments – snacks, kids’ choices, a broad western menu, specific diets and five-star flavours.

Order a stunning poolside seafood barbecue, a formal degustation feast for 12 people or an intimate dinner for two at a perfectly set table on the beach at sunset. It is all possible and seamlessly executed.

Chefs enjoy showcasing regional specialities and dazzling guests with their culinary magic. Start the day with a trip to the local wet market, a great cultural immersion, and launch into a crash course in Thai cooking.

Learn to identify and select fresh ingredients to be pounded into the paste that you will turn into a creamy and lush coconut curry. Or as the afternoon heat sets in, climb into a comfy hammock with a cool signature cocktail and have a chat with the villa manager about possible trips to one of the pretty waterfalls in the hinterland, a traditional sea gypsy village or a visit to one of many Buddhist temples whilst your personal chef surprises you with yet another Thai masterpiece.

Dining at any one of our luxurious Koh Samui villas is a gourmand’s dream come true. It is a pleasure to leave behind the stresses of locating a touristy stall in town,

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Live It Up Celebrity-style In Phuket

in Recreation by
Villa Nautilus - Play golf with breathtaking view

 A world-class destination famous for its white-sand beaches, eclectic nightlife and outstanding shopping malls and boutiques, Phuket continues to go from strength to strength. If you’re looking to splurge and live it up celebrity-style while on holiday, the island delivers an abundance of luxurious and ultra-chic experiences: sample some of Thailand’s delectable cuisine at a five-star restaurant, enjoy an exotic cocktail garnished with a sea breeze and tropical sunset, or charter a yacht and explore the region by sea, your options are endless.

Experience Gourmet life

Looking for a luxury gourmet break? Holidays are the perfect excuse to indulge in delicious cuisine every day, and when you stay in an Elite Havens villa, that’s exactly what you can expect – without even having to get dressed! Just sit back, relax and enjoy as your private chef creates a range of beautiful dishes to tantalize your taste buds, including local Thai delights, western favourites and even special menus for the kids.

Jivana Villas - Private BBQ

With all those tempting treats available in-villa you might well decide to stay put, but if you do fancy a night out you’re in the right place. Phuket is no stranger to good food and offers something for everyone, from the tastiest street food to the finest of fine-dining establishments.

Try the unique, Michelin-starred, PRU , which focuses on locally sourced organic and free-range foods and has earned quite a name for itself since it opened in 2016. In fact, several of Phuket’s sumptuous eateries were given a special mention in the 2019 Michelin Guide  for Bangkok, Phuket and Phang Nga, so if you are looking to splurge for a night on the town be sure to check out some of these outstanding places.

Enjoy Phuket’s VIPs Beach Clubs

Once your appetite has been sated, perhaps it’s time to drop in for a few drinks at one of Phuket’s ultra-popular beach clubs. In recent years, these stylish entertainment venues have taken over the island’s party scene, and while there are many clubs to choose from, the decadent Catch Beach Club  is among the most highly rated, and knows how to lay on the red carpet treatment. With a stunning location on Bangtao Beach, Catch Beach Club has a high-quality bar, restaurant and chic lounge,

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An Ideal Stay in Koh Samui with Kids

in Destinations/Families by
Children are fabulously celebrated and doted on by the Thai people, which makes it a seriously sensational destination for a family holiday. The stunning island of Koh Samui is trending hard among ‘in-the-know’ families. Velvet-soft, sandy beaches are perfect for sandcastle construction (and parents lazing around) while the glittering azure shallows are safe for swimming and snorkelling.
Koh Samui is just off the south-east coast of Thailand’s Surat Thani. Its a tranquil corner of an energized nation. Blessed with extraordinary natural beauty, it has a wealth of fun adventures that will be certain to create memories.

Family-friendly villas

The first concern for most families is where to stay. Hotels and resorts may pitch themselves as family friendly, but the prying eyes of other guests can be vexing. Massive resorts offer little in terms of space and privacy and certainly don’t give you access to your own private chef.
 
The support of a stellar team of professional staff in a luxury private villa caters to the broad demands of family life. Daily housekeeping discreetly happens everyday, everything is pristine and random glasses are whisked away. Meals are a stunning affair with a private chef creating beautiful dishes – from exotic delicacies, western favourites, barbeques, kids’ choices and even special meals. Add to this an easily secured in-villa nanny and the load of parenting is lightened even further. 
 
Imagine a private swimming pool with floating toys; imagine board games and table tennis and pool tables. Staff are quick to help with the kids, so you can enjoy the bliss away from other guests who may not love junior’s joyful squeals and noisy pool games. Secure walls deliver safe spaces for little ones to wander and explore under the watchful eyes of a nanny. Many villas are also big enough to house a few families turning a gorgeous estate into a sensational tribal ground with friends and cousins roaming in packs. 
 
A stream of homemade snacks will be prepared by the cooks and guests also have open access to the
kitchen which is worth its weight in gold for families with toddlers and babies – and jetlag. 

Enjoy Koh Samui with Family

Villa managers are a mine of local intelligence and know where to find the fun far and beyond snorkeling and kayaking in the crystal-clear waters and mysterious coves of the Ang Thong Marine National Park.

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Through the Keyhole: Villa Samira

in Destinations/People by

It’s all about the views at stylish Villa Samira, set along Phuket’s ‘Millionaires’ Mile’. This six-bedroom holiday home boasts superb sea and sunset views from all its living spaces, including a 17-metre infinity pool and an unbelievable outdoor sea view jacuzzi. Modern interiors mix with traditional Thai design here. Whether savouring the sun at the expansive outdoor living areas, playing a game of pool in the game room or gathering for a movie in the media room, Samira’s lavish indoor and outdoor areas are a treat.

Samira, which means ‘cool breeze’ in Sanskrit, includes a custom-built spa for the perfect holiday escape. Enhancing your experience at this tropical haven is the finest staff team, including an English-speaking Villa Manager whom we interviewed.

Elite Havens: Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Villa Manager Samyot: My name is Samyot and I’m 45 years old. I have been the Villa Manager of Villa Samira for a little over one year. I have more than twenty years of experience in the hotel industry. Along with my previous job at a hotel, I also worked part-time as a Villa Manager elsewhere, before I started working at Elite Havens.

EH: What do you like about your job?

VMS: I love taking care of guests. It’s a thrill to be there when they arrive and see the villa for the first time. They are so happy to discover the beauty of this holiday home, and I try to ensure that their happiness extends throughout the visit.

EH: Great, so you enjoy looking after the guests for their entire stay. And do you have any interesting stories about some of your guests?

VMS: A group stayed with us once for two weeks. One day, they asked me to play pool with them.      They said that if I lost, they would throw me in the pool. And then, I won! But they all picked me up in good humour and threw me in the pool nevertheless. It was a wonderful day, such great memories. The guests were incredibly warm.

EH: What are some places that people can visit nearby?

VMS: Some of our guests love to go to Cafe del Mar. Patong is also popular for its beach,

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Muay Thai, Thailand’s National Sport

in Destinations/Recreation/Wellness by

Dating back hundreds of years, Thai Boxing or Muay Thai- The Art of Eight Limbs, is a close-combat, self-defense martial art incorporating the eight ‘weapons’ of the human body: fists, knees, elbows and feet.

Over the past 20 years, Muay Thai has swept across the world, not only as a professional fighting style but also as part of many fitness programmes. The popularity of martial arts has been one of the driving factors in Muay Thai’s appeal, besides the influence of cinema, especially  internationally successful films such as ‘Kickboxer’ starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Rituals

All Muay Thai fights start with the ‘Wai Kru’ and ‘Ram Muay’, very important parts of the sport. Wai Kru is a ritual performed before each fight during which a fighter will circle the ring three times and then bow down in the middle of the ring to ask protection for him or herself and the other fighter, and for an honorable fight. The fighters will then perform the Ram Muay, which is a personal ritual, in which each fighter demonstrates his or her prowess to the audience and the opponent.

Music is another essential part of a Muay Thai fight, with drums, flutes and cymbals all adding to the excitement, drama and spectacle of the fight.

Before padded gloves and boxing rings came into the sport, Muay Thai fighters would wrap their hands in cotton or rope and fights would take place on the ground, with a rope laid out in a circle to mark the ring’s boundaries.

Training

Muay Thai fighters are accomplished athletes, following a training programme that has not really changed over the years. That said, today’s competitors are more likely to practice their kicks on a heavy bag rather than a banana tree trunk (although there are some Muay Thai gyms that still use the old training methods). 

Fighters’ training is brutal. They start at 6am every morning with a run of between four and eight kilometres. Then it’s back to the gym for the morning session, which mainly consists of cardio and shadow boxing. That’s followed by breakfast and rest before the late morning session of jump rope, more shadow boxing, pad work with the trainer, heavy bag work, 5 – 10 rounds of sparring and then abdominal work.

Most fighters will rest during the afternoon in preparation for the evening training session,

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