Villa Cielo is an extraordinary family holiday home within an exclusive estate right on Phuket’s lovely Natai Beach. This home away from home is built for families with young children, with a full-sized kids’ play structure installed in the large garden at the back of the villa, as well as a basketball hoop, kids’ cars and a trampoline. Adults can have their own bit of fun by the pool table or the bar.
Looking from one end of the black-tiled 25-metre infinity pool towards the horizon, one can not help but succumb to the charms of its exotic location by the sea. A gazebo lies on one side of the pool, perfect for a nap or morning yoga. Six spacious bedrooms fill the home, offering each guest privacy, as well as a quiet nook to retreat to. Step onto the beach for a sunset stroll or watch your favourite film on the home theatre system, there’s no dearth of options here. And the one thing that ties it all up into the perfect family vacation, is the warmth of the villa staff and attention to detail that is second nature to them.
We sit down with Villa Manager Gia to get a glimpse of life at the villa.
Elite Havens: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Villa Manager Gia: Hi, my name is Gia. I’ve been working with Elite Havens since 2017. I work as a Guest Services Supervisor. Usually, the Guest Services Supervisor supports the Villa Managers, but in my case, I also act as a Villa Manager here at Villa Cielo.
EH: So, what are your main responsibilities?
VMG: I start taking care of our guests even before they arrive. Answers to the questions on our portal filled by guests prior to their arrival help us understand their requirements better. Based on their answers, we plan on how to assist our guests. For example, we find out what time they will arrive so we can arrange an airport pick-up. If they want to do some activities, book a massage, or join an island tour, we can make the arrangements in advance. We also talk about food preferences and restrictions, recommending local Thai dishes for their dining pleasure when they stay with us.
And when they arrive, the guests might have some additional requests or questions. It is my role to make them feel comfortable and well taken care of. It is the small details that go a long way.
EH: What is the profile of your usual guests?
VMG: Actually, our villas are very popular for weddings. In fact, we limit the number of weddings to two a month per villa, to give others the chance to stay here. So in a month, we usually have one or two weddings. When we have a wedding planned at the villa, we’re very busy. Other regular guests include families as well as groups of friends with young children. Sometimes, we even have corporate bookings for team outings.
EH: And what are some of the qualities of a good Villa Manager or Guest Services Supervisor?
VMG: I used to work for a hotel in the housekeeping department and I learnt that no matter which department you work in, if you want to do well in the Hospitality Industry, you have to be service-oriented. You have to recognise the needs of your guests and remember small details about their preferences.
Our guests come from all over the world, so you have to learn about different cultures to understand them better. You should also ask questions and listen well. And because you work with a team, you have to share this information with your team, so that everyone can work together to deliver exceptional service. Guests will also turn to us for information, so it’s important that remain updated, so as to give good recommendations.
EH: We value all our guests but do you remember any guests in particular?
VMG: Oh, yes! About four years ago, we had a family from Sri Lanka stay with us. Unfortunately, during their first stay, the kids got sick and I had to assist them. I took them to the hospital and made sure they were settled there before I came back. Luckily, the kids got well soon after and the family still got to enjoy their vacation. Since then, they have come back to our villa three times, and we look forward to meeting each other.
EH: Wow, that’s amazing! This is truly an example of the very ethos of Elite Havens – to go beyond the call of duty, to deliver an exceptional experience to each guest.