through the keyhole

Through the Keyhole: Baan Puri’s Villa Manager

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Baan Puri is all about luxurious island living, with a long pool stretching out towards the ocean. Flanked on one side by an open-air sunken sala for cocktail evenings and separate pavilions with enormous bedrooms on the other, it competes with the vast sea for attention. Imagine waking up to views of the ocean, or soaking in the bathtub as you gaze at the pool and ocean beyond.

Decadent dining, served both indoors and alfresco, adds to the holiday experience. But it really is those views that take the cake. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to enjoy them from every part of the villa, the main house built over two levels. If you can manage to tear yourself away from gazing at the endless horizon, there’s plenty in the villa to keep you busy. A pull-down movie screen makes for exciting movie nights and it being located near the dining area and wine cellar, makes Baan Puri the quintessential entertainment villa.

With six elegant bedrooms, there’s plenty of space for your entire group. The sweet smell of frangipani follows you around, and outdoor showers, four-poster beds and private terraces lend it a dream-like quality.

For your holiday to be perfect, there is an entire contingent of staff that works tirelessly and quietly in the background, keeping the villa spic and span, while taking care of all your needs. Running this tight ship is Villa Manage Aoy, whom we sat down with for a conversation about what makes Baan Puri the best of the best.

Elite Havens: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Villa Manager Aoy: Hello, I’m Aoy and I’ve been the Villa Manager here at Baan Puri for almost 8 years.

EH: How did you get started here?

VMA: It’s an interesting tale. I had experience in this line of work but I was finding it difficult to find a similar job at a villa because I could not complete my higher education. However, one day my friend who worked for Elite Havens told me that there was a job opening for a Villa Manager here and she recommended me. And I am so grateful to my bosses because they recognized my experience and gave me a chance.

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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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Through the Keyhole: Villa Naam Sawan

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Enter Villa Naam Sawan in Phuket and prepare to be transported to a beautiful, modern version of Thailand. Statues of Buddha are perched beneath a multi-pitched roof. The ceiling is strategically filled with lights that shine on large couches, Thai artefacts and a sleek dining table surrounded by stately chairs. Inviting, with a vast amount of space to envelop you – you feel tiny in here – the villa was designed by the world-famous architectural design team of Philippe Starck and Jean-Michel Gathy.

The level below has four luxurious bedrooms. All face the large swimming pool, which looks out onto a private beachfront. You can lose sense of time lounging on any of the large chairs by the pool, or on the bale to the side. This marvelous and spacious villa was made just for that purpose. 

We had a quick chat with Villa Naam Sawan’s Villa Manager Wawa about what makes her job special.

Elite Havens: Hi! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Wawa Biutiatinoni: My name is Nukhatra Biutiatinoni, but you can call me Wawa. I’m 37 years old. I’ve been the Villa Manager in Villa Naam Sawan for nearly 3 years.

EH: And what did you do before you became a Villa Manager?

WB: I worked with hotels for nearly 10 years within the Front Office function. My roles ranged from that of a Receptionist to Guest Service Supervisor, welcoming new joinees; as an Airport Rep, picking up the guests at the airport and even that of a Butler.

EH: Why did you choose to live in Phuket?

WB: Well, first of all, I love the sea! And the hotel industry is bustling in Phuket. There are many opportunities to work here and you can practice your English. So if someone wants to work in the hotel industry, I recommend Phuket as the place to start your career.

EH: If a guest wants to visit places nearby, what places can you recommend?

WB: First, I must check to find out what they like to do. If someone likes adventure, we have that! If someone likes shopping, we have that too! Or even relaxation. I first ask them what they like so I can recommend something basis their preferences.

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Through the Keyhole: Villa Pangi Gita

in Destinations/Dining by

Villa Pangi Gita is a breathtaking space in the middle of Canggu, Bali. The villa exudes a peaceful, almost spiritual and comforting warmth. Entering through ornately carved doors into a completely private and cool tropical garden, all you can hear is the tinkle of water and the birds high in the bordering rainforest canopy. Ironwood-shingled roofs and traditional local decor contribute to the quintessential Balinese vibe, which is found in every imaginable touch – from the charming hospitality of the villa staff to the amazing food presented by a dedicated Chef.

We sat down with Elisa Herup, one of its owners, for a unique insider’s perspective of the wondrous space.

Elite Havens: Hi, Elisa. What makes your villa unique?

Elisa Herup: The amazing, exotic, large garden, nature’s sound of stillness (the flowing river, chirping birds, crickets, etc.), the warm staff and the villa’s beautiful authentic Balinese design.

EH: What should guests expect when they stay here – outside the norm of other villa experiences?

Elisa: That they actually do not want to leave the villa!

EH: What can you tell me about your team here?  What makes them special?

Elisa: They are family. They have all been here for many years – many of them since the beginning. We also have the best and kindest chef.

EH: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Elisa: We are three Danish families – one of the families lives in Switzerland – who own the villa and share a common love for Bali, the Balinese people and Villa Pangi Gita.

EH: Why did you build this luxury villa? 

Elisa: We fell in love with Bali and everything Balinese, many moons ago, and wanted to build a house in the rice paddies out of respect for the local community. The house is designed by the same architect who also designed the Four Seasons Hotel in Bali. He wanted to build a 6-star villa-resort, which resembles Balinese family tradition of having several houses/bungalows within a compound, for all members of the family.

EH: How long did the process of building it take?

Elisa: Planning the design and garden layout took two years and building the house another two years,

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Through The Keyhole: Villa Sepoi Sepoi

in Destinations by

If you are seeking a truly unique and quintessentially tropical backdrop for a special event, be it a destination wedding, significant birthday or large family reunion, Villa Sepoi Sepoi situated on Sira Beach in Lombok is the perfect venue.  Nestled between coconut plantations and sleepy villages this villa offers size coupled with a charming warmth. 

The lush green lawns meet a private white sandy beach, providing picture perfect views of Mount Rinjani, the Gili Islands and Bali’s Mount Agung.  Active guests can access a wide range of water or lawn sports provided in the villa or play a round at the immaculately maintained golf course located a short distance away.  Day trips to Gili Islands and local land attractions are personally curated by the Villa Manager providing guests with insider knowledge and truly special holiday memories.

Villa Sepoi Sepoi reflects traditional Indonesian architecture, paying homage to local Lombok culture and design, while maintaining an air of sophistication. Designed around a central courtyard, Villa Sepoi Sepoi includes 3 garden bedrooms and an expansive living pavilion all overlooking a magnificent in-ground pool. The villa has its own orchard which grows many of the ingredients used by the Villa Chef. 

We interviewed Villa Sepoi Sepoi Villa Manager Akmal Tubagus to find out what else makes the place unique.

 
Elite Havens: Hi, Akmal. What can you tell us about Villa Sepoi Sepoi?

Akmal Tubagus: Villa Sepoi Sepoi is quite large.  With 6 bedrooms, it can accommodate from 12 -16 people. With Sira Beach House, just next door a large group of up to 28 people can be housed. It’s right on the beach and you can see the Gili Islands and also Agung mountain in Bali. That is the view of our villa. There is always a very beautiful sunset. Our difference is because we face the Gilis, we can see the sunset in front of us, not like the other villas. We have lots of gardens, coconut trees. Our villa is exclusive and far from the normal crowds.

EH: Can you tell us more about the villas in Lombok?

AT: Every villa is unique. The villa staff love to take selfies here. Also you can see comments from our guests. Their comments about Lombok are excellent. Good food,

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