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: 208 Villa(s) in 21 page(s)
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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 Sairee

Baan Sairee

Thailand » Koh Samui » Laem Sor

It's wasn't until we drove from the airport and saw how developed Samui is becoming that we realised just how special Baan Sairee is both in terms of its design and the secluded location. Authentic wooden buildings and unspoilt surroundings make the villa feel very established – something built by a trader perhaps, or a member of the Thai aristocracy – and more akin to the traditional accommodation available in the north of Thailand, but with added bonus of a beach and superb facilities for the kids.     

For families there is more than enough space and although the villa is a fair distance from the main tourist centres, there’s plenty to keep you occupied onsite. A combination of swimming, volleyball, badminton, tennis, a trampoline with safety net and frisbee sessions on the lawn, plus the added treat of kayaking (there are two provided with the villa) when the tide comes up, will keep the kids smiling all day and sleeping well at night. Unless you feel the urge to venture out often, perhaps to visit a waterfall or ride on an elephant, it’s hardly worth hiring a rental car (and the staff can organise transport if needed).    

The villa manageress couldn't do enough for us and the chef carefully caters for all tastes. The staff are also used to coping with kids’ food requests (although the manageress told us she often manages to get them to try new things – apparently chicken satay is now on quite a few ex-guest's weekly menu). For special occasions such as birthday parties the staff will set the table on the lawn and organise fireworks on the beach.    

Baan Sairee offers the chance to experience an authentic but luxurious Thai home and enjoy it as your own. It's not a place for those looking to dine out and party all night. That would be a waste of the villa's special charm.  
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Baan Sairee

Baan Sairee

Thailand » Koh Samui » Laem Sor

It's wasn't until we drove from the airport and saw how developed Samui is becoming that we realised just how special Baan Sairee is both in terms of its design and the secluded location. Authentic wooden buildings and unspoilt surroundings make the villa feel very established – something built by a trader perhaps, or a member of the Thai aristocracy – and more akin to the traditional accommodation available in the north of Thailand, but with added bonus of a beach and superb facilities for the kids.     

For families there is more than enough space and although the villa is a fair distance from the main tourist centres, there’s plenty to keep you occupied onsite. A combination of swimming, volleyball, badminton, tennis, a trampoline with safety net and frisbee sessions on the lawn, plus the added treat of kayaking (there are two provided with the villa) when the tide comes up, will keep the kids smiling all day and sleeping well at night. Unless you feel the urge to venture out often, perhaps to visit a waterfall or ride on an elephant, it’s hardly worth hiring a rental car (and the staff can organise transport if needed).    

The villa manageress couldn't do enough for us and the chef carefully caters for all tastes. The staff are also used to coping with kids’ food requests (although the manageress told us she often manages to get them to try new things – apparently chicken satay is now on quite a few ex-guest's weekly menu). For special occasions such as birthday parties the staff will set the table on the lawn and organise fireworks on the beach.    

Baan Sairee offers the chance to experience an authentic but luxurious Thai home and enjoy it as your own. It's not a place for those looking to dine out and party all night. That would be a waste of the villa's special charm.  
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Villa Babar

Villa Babar

Indonesia » Bali » Tabanan

We thought that Villa Babar was one of the most dramatic and beautiful properties we have seen in Bali. Far, far away from the crowds of the south, this place is splendid, stylish, larger than life and fit for royalty.

Due to the remote location, the complementary airport pick up is not only welcome, but essential. The alternative is to take a helicopter from the airport as the property has its own helipad. This (rather expensive) option can be arranged in advance with the villa manager.

When we arrived we were blown away by the villa’s grand positioning on the hill and the views it commanded. Thanks to the open-plan design, we were able to take in a sweeping 360-degree arc of the mountains to the east and the north, (including the mountains of Java), the ocean to the south and the west and, in between, the endless emerald rice fields and jungle-clad river valleys that complete the picture. The beaches are completely devoid of tourists - populated only by fishermen and locals walking or playing football on the sand. We witnessed an amazing sunset over the ocean, and got up at the crack of dawn to watch the sun come up over Mt Agung.

Some small grocery shops nearby provide a few snacks and drinks but being so, so far out of town it is imperative that you are well provisioned in advance. The villa acknowledges this and invites you to pre-order your meals as well as any specialty goods that you want, so that the staff can do the shopping before you arrive. The chef specialises in the use of the fresh and organic produce and there is an extensive menu.

Wireless Internet is available throughout the villa free of charge. If you fancy a massage, a local therapist will visit. A massage bed is situated in a private corner in the open air on the upper floor with great views.

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Ban Haad Sai

Ban Haad Sai

Thailand » Koh Samui » Bang Rak-Big Buddha

It's not difficult to settle into 'the House on the Beach'. As soon as the sliding gate shuts out the roadside bustle, a relaxed atmosphere takes hold, coaxing you to kick off your shoes and switch into holiday mode.

The villa was originally designed as two separate residences and although this creates a few anomalies (such as two lounges, which seems a little excessive), we felt the symmetry between the left- and right-hand accommodation would allow families or friends the choice to spend time with or without each other when sharing the villa.

The more significant division perhaps, is between the front and rear. Staying in one of the front-facing master suites is a real treat as you enjoy constant sea views, instant pool access and special additions like sunken outdoor bath tubs but, depending on the group dynamic, this may cause a little bedroom envy with those occupying the rear guest rooms. Having said that, everyone benefits from abundant communal comforts and homely touches (including a good selection of books and DVDs) which, combined with the great sound system and the huge flat-screen TV in the AV room, add to the general sense of privilege.

Days slip by gently at the poolside, with the wide, comfy hammock providing the ultimate excuse to do nothing but read, swim and snooze. To really appreciate the villa's idyllic location and make the most of the relaxed atmosphere that pervades, ask the helpful staff to set a table on the deck or lawn in the early evening, then drift from sundowners into dinner before turning up the music for a pool party.
 
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Ban Haad Sai

Ban Haad Sai

Thailand » Koh Samui » Bang Rak-Big Buddha

It's not difficult to settle into 'the House on the Beach'. As soon as the sliding gate shuts out the roadside bustle, a relaxed atmosphere takes hold, coaxing you to kick off your shoes and switch into holiday mode.

The villa was originally designed as two separate residences and although this creates a few anomalies (such as two lounges, which seems a little excessive), we felt the symmetry between the left- and right-hand accommodation would allow families or friends the choice to spend time with or without each other when sharing the villa.

The more significant division perhaps, is between the front and rear. Staying in one of the front-facing master suites is a real treat as you enjoy constant sea views, instant pool access and special additions like sunken outdoor bath tubs but, depending on the group dynamic, this may cause a little bedroom envy with those occupying the rear guest rooms. Having said that, everyone benefits from abundant communal comforts and homely touches (including a good selection of books and DVDs) which, combined with the great sound system and the huge flat-screen TV in the AV room, add to the general sense of privilege.

Days slip by gently at the poolside, with the wide, comfy hammock providing the ultimate excuse to do nothing but read, swim and snooze. To really appreciate the villa's idyllic location and make the most of the relaxed atmosphere that pervades, ask the helpful staff to set a table on the deck or lawn in the early evening, then drift from sundowners into dinner before turning up the music for a pool party.
 
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Ban Haad Sai

Ban Haad Sai

Thailand » Koh Samui » Bang Rak-Big Buddha

It's not difficult to settle into 'the House on the Beach'. As soon as the sliding gate shuts out the roadside bustle, a relaxed atmosphere takes hold, coaxing you to kick off your shoes and switch into holiday mode.

The villa was originally designed as two separate residences and although this creates a few anomalies (such as two lounges, which seems a little excessive), we felt the symmetry between the left- and right-hand accommodation would allow families or friends the choice to spend time with or without each other when sharing the villa.

The more significant division perhaps, is between the front and rear. Staying in one of the front-facing master suites is a real treat as you enjoy constant sea views, instant pool access and special additions like sunken outdoor bath tubs but, depending on the group dynamic, this may cause a little bedroom envy with those occupying the rear guest rooms. Having said that, everyone benefits from abundant communal comforts and homely touches (including a good selection of books and DVDs) which, combined with the great sound system and the huge flat-screen TV in the AV room, add to the general sense of privilege.

Days slip by gently at the poolside, with the wide, comfy hammock providing the ultimate excuse to do nothing but read, swim and snooze. To really appreciate the villa's idyllic location and make the most of the relaxed atmosphere that pervades, ask the helpful staff to set a table on the deck or lawn in the early evening, then drift from sundowners into dinner before turning up the music for a pool party.
 
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
Search Results: 208 Villa(s) in 21 page(s)
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