Gastronomic Delights Villas

Food, glorious food! Hot sausage and mustard! Cold Jelly and custard! Perhaps not quite, but these villas have been specially selected for their exceptional chef, marvellous menus, cookery courses or other culinary specialties. No Oliver, or Olivia for that matter, will be going hungry here.

Search Results: 206 Villa(s) in 21 page(s)
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Villa Voyage

Villa Voyage

Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Lembongan

This Robinson-Crusoe-meets-Roberto-Cavalli villa is sensational! Not usually prone to hyperbole, we consider it nigh on impossible not to be bowled over by the entire ‘barefoot luxury’ Villa Voyage experience. From the moment we caught sight of the dramatic sea vista beyond the living room, we were completely hooked. We lazed on sun loungers and beanbags by the pool, enjoyed siestas on the mezzanine bedroom balcony, and slumbered within the “I had a farm in Africa” tent bed, soothed by the pounding surf. The staff looked after us brilliantly, serving us a delicious breakfast every morning in the beachfront gazebo, and a three-course candle-lit dinner (tenderloin steak for him, sea bass for me) accompanied by the best chips in Bali! (Ingredients – which are charged to guests at cost plus a 30% shopping fee - are boated in from the mainland fresh every day, so we were asked to make our menu selection ideally 48 hours in advance).

This is a place that doesn’t do things by halves; all the design details have been painstakingly thought through, right down to the place mats and napkins (different for each meal – what perfection!). We loved the ‘voyage’ theme – the exotic travel books, the safari-style furniture. Every inch of the villa is a rich sensory pleasure, packed with surprises and with no part overlooked…like the antique daybed in the shadows of a sacred tree by the villa temple and the gate to the beach

We could have happily stayed put at the pool, so deeply relaxing is the Voyage experience! But the villa’s open-sided van, and jukung (outrigger) encouraged us out of our indolence, and we loved exploring the island – next time we’ll make a point of diving with the manta rays! We also dipped into the beach club next door for a tasty lunch, and strolled along the cliff tops – Dream Beach is only ten minutes away, and the restaurants of Mushroom Bay not much further.

Would we return to Villa Voyage? In a heartbeat! We felt so privileged to be among its first guests, and think that, once word gets out, this tropical island hideaway is going to get booked solid – by families and groups of friends.

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Ambalama

Ambalama

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Talpe

We found Ambalama to be a very flexible beach villa, suitable for families, groups of friends and even decadent couples. It is spacious enough to host larger groups and its sociable layout maximises party potential (as does the iPod docking station and Bose sound system). Each bedroom is similarly sized which saves arguments about who sleeps where (although the bedrooms to the far sides of the villa perhaps offer the most privacy and are a little more special with their tropical outdoor showers). There is plenty of space inside the villa and outside on the pool terrace for dining, and every meal is an occasion, reflecting chef Roshan’s five star hotel training in a wide range of delicious fusion cuisine. Ingredients (on guest account) are bought fresh from the market each day.     

The staff at Ambalama are proficient and present service with a smile; offering to unpack our suitcase on arrival and serving us chilled G&Ts on the pool terrace overlooking the sea at sunset. A pair of non-resident managers drop by to welcome guests and make sure they have everything they require, and are on call if advice is needed about where to eat out, or to help with any travel arrangements (Roshan doubles up as an in-house manager and can also assist with most guest queries).

Whilst there isn’t a TV or DVD player at the villa, these can be organised with prior arrangement – although it’s probably best to bring your own DVDs with you, as well as childrens’ games if needs be. Whilst the narrow beach outside Ambalama isn’t great for swimming, you only have to walk five minutes to the nearest swimming beach. That said, there are few villas on the Galle coast better located than Ambalama; beaches, restaurants, shops and attractions are all within a short walk or drive.
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Apsara

Apsara

Sri Lanka » West Coast » Bentota

What a wonderful villa! Apsara offered us plush comfort, an excellent chef and a wonderful riverside location all within easy reach of Bentota’s long sweep of beach. We enjoyed the company of the staff who always greeted us with a smile and made us feel so welcome. The chef, in particular, stood out for his conviviality and amazing food. The house and garden were both immaculate: it felt as though we were the first ever visitors. The lighting was also especially good. The bedrooms and living areas are all air conditioned, although we just left the doors open as there was always a refreshing breeze coming off the river.

There’s a wall-mounted DVD and Blu-ray disc player in the living room (loads of DVDs) and a surround-sound music system with iPod dock set up so you can hear your favourite tunes inside or by the pool. There’s also a good WiFi connection throughout the villa so you can easily get online if you bring your own kit.

Apsara has its own private jetty and is well connected with a locally renowned water sports outfitter who can come and pick you up from the villa in their boat. There’s a good supermarket just up the road from the villa that stocks loads of imported goods and the fresh produce market is right on your doorstep too. The staff will buy groceries for you though, and with such an amazing chef to feed you (and a wonderful menu) it’s unlikely you’ll be doing much more than ‘window’ shopping.

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Ariara

Ariara

Philippines » Palawan » Calamian Islands

The magical Ariara Island is truly an exciting new frontier for luxury travel. It might sound clichéd, but Ariara really does have it all: an incredibly pristine hideaway location, superb craftsmanship, inventive design, fabulous cuisine and a team that is absolutely thrilled to serve and guide you every step of the way. Since we tend to be lulled into laziness in the tropics we were quite content, really, to simply curl up on a poolside sun lounger with a cold San Miguel brew in hand, but our hosts had other plans for us! In just one day we were given dive instruction by the PADI-certified dive master, then plunged into the sea just metres offshore at a colourful site full of exotic marine life. Later, we hiked up the island's inland trail to the hilltop and were treated to an amazing panoramic view. Then, after returning to the villa and cooling off, it was time to climb aboard the Karen Joy for an excursion to a nearby fishing village. Still, we made it back to Ariara in time for a sunset cocktail and a three-course dinner featuring fresh lapu lapu (red grouper). There's no need to do all this in one day, of course. One could easily spend weeks, even months here and have a new adventure each day – or simply do nothing but lie back and contemplate the changing colours of the jewel-toned sea.

And the food, oh the food! Among the rich and varied things we sampled were wonderful, exotic fruits – some picked off wild trees on the island, giant lobster, imported beef steak barbecued to absolute perfection, pastas and salads made with organic cheeses, herbs and vegetables, fabulous desserts including orange and basil sorbet and the local rice and coconut bico treat. Being a remote island, getting fresh food in (aside from seafood, which fishermen bring directly to shore daily) is a big undertaking, and coordinating it all is a chef on the island and a Swiss chef based in Manila who operates her own organic dairy farm and expertly sources the finest imported foods and wines. Ariara was six years in the making by a very resourceful, creative and passionate team. With its potent combination of ground-breaking standards of service and a wild, largely undiscovered marine wonderland, we believe that it won't be long before Ariara is the place that others in the super-villa business will be scrambling to imitate.

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Villa Asli

Villa Asli

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

This is such a stunning villa! We’re suckers for character, so we really did love everything about Villa Asli. Not only do the gorgeous timber joglos exude such delicious charm in all their aging, creaking, antique-filled glory (and provide a rare [for Bali] sense of history), but the gentle natures of the staff also put us superbly at ease. Asli means ‘genuine’ and everything in this villa – from the exquisite collection of antiques to the staff themselves were certainly positive reflectors of this title.  Dressed in their traditional uniform, the staff were always a warm and efficient presence around the house. The chef was most definitely a highlight of the team as he whipped up an excellent range of dishes based upon an extensive menu and also according to our own suggestions. All the meals we had were thoroughly enjoyed, and since all food and drink was charged at cost price (and daily breakfast is included in the rate), we thought it was surprisingly good value and hardly worth eating out, despite the lure of nearby Seminyak.    

We were spoiled by the high level of comfort and the spaciousness of our bedroom, but its terrace was our favourite place of all. We loved the bathrooms too – the Sumatran gladak had a particularly jungle-like bathtub setting, which was enhanced magically by long lanterns night. The lighting throughout the villa is definitely worth a mention as it set off the chocolatey timberwork a treat.
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Auraliya

Auraliya

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Talpe

This is a fabulous villa. Standouts include the stunning sea views, gorgeous beach, expansive outside space and heartwarming team of staff, not to mention the great food. Everything about the villa is very family friendly and group orientated - the sky blue swimming pool with its shallow ledge; the huge garden with plenty of space for the kids to indulge in cricket or football; the interconnecting rooms; and the lovely beach with calm sea ideal for paddling.

We thought the staff were excellent; friendly, experienced and capable. The chef was particularly enthusiastic and his cooking was fabulous. He’ll even make snacks for kids such as jammy dodgers, an all-time favourite. He will also stock the kitchen with basic provisions prior to your arrival, and prepare your first two meals so that you can arrive relaxed and at ease. There’s a Nespresso coffee machine in the villa, but as you can’t buy the capsules in Sri Lanka, you’ll need to bring some with you. If we needed anything else, the staff shopped for us and they were able to arrange transport for us to visit attractions, restaurants and the fort at Galle.

Visiting in March 2013, three years after our original review, we were pleased to discover that the villa has the same lovely staff team and is as immaculately presented as before. Each master bedroom has its own mini fridge and the villa is also now equipped with a generator.


 
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Baan Asan

Baan Asan

Thailand » Koh Samui » Taling Ngam

Our stay at Baan Asan really felt like a retreat away from the hustle of every-day life. The pace shifted down a gear as the whole family adjusted to the natural tropical environment and our luxurious and very private surroundings. The kids adored the bunk-beds and having their own bathrooms as well as waking up early in the mornings and jumping into the pool. The efficient manageress ensured that we were well taken care of with her constant yet respectful attention and was very approachable for information or assistance. The master suite was a retreat within a retreat for us grown-ups, and having a designated office/library was helpful when we needed to check in with the outside world. Dining on the beach was unforgettable as were the sunset cocktails in the sala surrounded by comfy cushions. We found that after a few hours out exploring the island we were thrilled to return to the comfort of the villa. For us, Baan Asan struck the perfect balance between spacious and luxurious communal areas, intimate and private bedrooms and practical, well designed facilities, all located on a quiet beach renowned for its magnificent views.
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Baan Asan

Baan Asan

Thailand » Koh Samui » Taling Ngam

Our stay at Baan Asan really felt like a retreat away from the hustle of every-day life. The pace shifted down a gear as the whole family adjusted to the natural tropical environment and our luxurious and very private surroundings. The kids adored the bunk-beds and having their own bathrooms as well as waking up early in the mornings and jumping into the pool. The efficient manageress ensured that we were well taken care of with her constant yet respectful attention and was very approachable for information or assistance. The master suite was a retreat within a retreat for us grown-ups, and having a designated office/library was helpful when we needed to check in with the outside world. Dining on the beach was unforgettable as were the sunset cocktails in the sala surrounded by comfy cushions. We found that after a few hours out exploring the island we were thrilled to return to the comfort of the villa. For us, Baan Asan struck the perfect balance between spacious and luxurious communal areas, intimate and private bedrooms and practical, well designed facilities, all located on a quiet beach renowned for its magnificent views.
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Baan Hinta

Baan Hinta

Thailand » Koh Samui » Lamai

The incredible beachside location and natural surroundings make it easy to slip into indulgent tropical island mode at Baan Hinta. Even though the villa covers several levels, the staff somehow manage to always be on hand with fresh fruit and cool refreshments, and the design of the villa means that even large groups can find cosy spaces to chill out when they want some down-time, and super-size social spaces to party in when they don’t. The soft natural tones and subtle lighting of the villa can also make it feel very intimate and romantic should the mood take you. Active members of our group made the most of the vast range of water sports equipment on offer at the villa (kayaks and paddleboards free of charge; windsurfers, jetskis and other motorised fun charged extra), while those of us who hankered after a little R&R had no trouble fulfilling our wishes. And there was plenty to keep the kids amused too. Aside from the above-mentioned fun stuff to do on the beach (which is only steps away), Apple TV, Xbox and a 120-inch outdoor movie screen made for entertainment heaven. The window into the pool from the ‘childrens’ bedroom was a good source of amusement too – just like having front-row seats for a show at the aquarium!

Despite being a very grown-up and stylish villa, Hinta is also an idyllic family holiday destination for those with older children. There really is something for everyone here.

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Baan Hinta

Baan Hinta

Thailand » Koh Samui » Lamai

The incredible beachside location and natural surroundings make it easy to slip into indulgent tropical island mode at Baan Hinta. Even though the villa covers several levels, the staff somehow manage to always be on hand with fresh fruit and cool refreshments, and the design of the villa means that even large groups can find cosy spaces to chill out when they want some down-time, and super-size social spaces to party in when they don’t. The soft natural tones and subtle lighting of the villa can also make it feel very intimate and romantic should the mood take you. Active members of our group made the most of the vast range of water sports equipment on offer at the villa (kayaks and paddleboards free of charge; windsurfers, jetskis and other motorised fun charged extra), while those of us who hankered after a little R&R had no trouble fulfilling our wishes. And there was plenty to keep the kids amused too. Aside from the above-mentioned fun stuff to do on the beach (which is only steps away), Apple TV, Xbox and a 120-inch outdoor movie screen made for entertainment heaven. The window into the pool from the ‘childrens’ bedroom was a good source of amusement too – just like having front-row seats for a show at the aquarium!

Despite being a very grown-up and stylish villa, Hinta is also an idyllic family holiday destination for those with older children. There really is something for everyone here.

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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
Search Results: 206 Villa(s) in 21 page(s)
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