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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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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Villa Bengawan

Villa Bengawan

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

We liked Villa Bengawan straightaway. Its tranquillity and its relaxing open spaces edged by pretty lily ponds were very appealing. Each of the bedrooms is of a good and very similar size (great for groups) and all overlook the garden through floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors. We particularly loved the semi-outdoor bathrooms where you can shower or bathe right beside your own lush walled garden sprouting giant ferns, aromatic frangipani and palms. Skylights above the washbasins are also very handy for flooding in the right amount of light for applying makeup!

The lily ponds fringing the living and dining areas were very photogenic, and we loved how the pink flowers arched open widely during the day but closed tightly up again each night. The squashy sofas in the lounge were particularly comfortable and the mood of the room seemed to vary according to what was playing on the iPod. Refreshingly, there are no TVs in any of the bedrooms. Instead, you can catch up on the news or watch a movie in the air-conditioned media room to the back of the lounge.

Tufts of feathery grass between the lawn and the swimming pool provide a pleasing screen of privacy for the sun beds on the timber decking. Although the staff were present in the kitchen and around the villa as they cleaned and cooked for us, they were very discreet and tended to pop up only when we needed something – a snack or a drink perhaps. Their English is fairly basic but they did understand what we needed and we didn’t have any problems. The cook is excellent and the villa menu (groceries on guest account) is substantial enough to keep you satisfied for days.

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The Dutch House

The Dutch House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Galle

A favourite with visiting celebs – Sting once stayed here – the Dutch House manages to be both majestic and homely at the same time. It’s a true refuge, not only because of its large garden and hilltop location, but also because of the discreet, warm nature of the staff who keep the house so perfectly in order. Attention to detail – from the banana leaf-wrapped soaps in the bathrooms to sun hats and wicker bags in the suites – is an obvious source of pride. The house’s serene location made it hard to believe that we were staying in Galle. Everything is within walking distance, though three-wheelers are recommended to transport you up the steep hill back to the house! The large garden has plenty of outside seating (we loved the double lounger on the veranda) and was looking particularly lush on our recent return visit. The management told us that more and more weddings are being hosted at the house (for up to 200 people). Although the staff are very capable, the management team work with an experienced local events company for larger affairs. The wonderful vintage Rover parked outside the front door is an atmospheric companion to the house, and although this particular model is not roadworthy, vintage car hire can be organised for a colonial-style tour of town. Note that there are no TVs or DVDs (instead, hundred of books) but there are CD players – one in each suite. Whilst breakfast, lunch and snacks are served at The Dutch House, dinner is at sister property the Sun House (boutique seven-room hotel) just across the road. Here, three-course set dinners are served, with menus changing nightly. Guests can request to dine privately at ‘home’ on occasion, but we felt that although the food is unquestionably good at the Sun House, the Dutch House is a slightly let down by the fact that it doesn’t have its own private full-time chef.
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Hideaway

Hideaway

Sri Lanka » North West Coast » Gampaha

We simply adored Hideaway, which does exactly what it says on the tin. If you want to hide away and really escape the stresses and strains of everyday life, then this is the place for you. An hour from the airport, it’s the perfect place to recuperate from a long-haul flight and a much better option than staying in Colombo. Not only was the environment blissfully relaxing, but the staff had a similar effect on us as they were clearly well-versed in pampering. Continually reminding us to treat the property as our own, they prepared the most excellent meals, and our dinner under the stars was made even more incredible by the fact that it was completely illuminated by candles. Being wined and dined so well (five unpretentious courses), yet miles from anywhere, was a real highlight for us. Whilst the property would be excellent for groups of friends or for families (big garden and shallow area in the pool for paddlers), the private open-air jacuzzis, the isolation and the staff’s discreet service urge us to highly recommend this modest house as a romantic hideaway as well.  Although the F&B arrangements are restaurant-style – with the choice of either reasonably priced set meals or à la carte options – and we were discouraged from using the kitchen, there is little that we didn’t like about Hideaway. However this villa is not the place for those looking for nightlife, or who want to be close to beaches and a good selection of restaurants or shops.
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Indisch

Indisch

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Ahangama

We loved Indisch’s setting on a sweeping curve of coastline; the ocean panorama made all the more interesting by the waves crashing onto rocks just offshore.  Indisch is incredibly spacious, and with plenty of places to enjoy privacy it’s ideal for a couple of families, friends travelling together or even for big family reunions.  There’s a wide veranda to the front (with sun screens that are very effective at reducing glare without blocking the garden and sea from view) where we dined most of the time or sat quietly and read.  We liked that there’s a music system built into the living areas (although it doesn’t connect with an iPod), and the TV in the study is a good distraction for kids – and us, on a rainy day.  Run with the efficiency of a hotel, Indisch has a big attentive staff team and an excellent chef who dazzled us with his repertoire of dishes – Sri Lankan and international.  The kitchen is principally the domain of the staff but parents needing to prepare children’s or babies’ meals are welcome to use it on request.

Indisch is 30 minutes’ from Galle’s dining scene, but the villa food is so good that this doesn’t matter. This slightly away-from-it-all location might be just what many people are looking for.

The villa has a vintage Mercedes which can be used to take guests on nostalgic rides through the neighbourhood (recommended), and there is also a van at the villa which can be made available to guests (charges apply).

We’ve stayed in lots of villas over the years, and it’s fair to say that Indisch is one of the most immaculately presented and staffed in Sri Lanka.  On our recent visit, we were impressed by how well the villa has been maintained - it still looks new, and the dedicated staff team seemed to be constantly cleaning.  We visited as a big group and the excellent chef managed to pull off a spectacular dinner every night – we requested Sri Lankan food most of the time, and he managed to make every meal different.  The villa’s garden has matured beautifully and forms a natural screen from the beach, ensuring privacy.
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Kadju House

Kadju House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Tangalle

We thought that Kadju House would be ideal for anyone looking for some serious R&R – especially as it comes with its own ayurvedic spa: an excellent addition, especially as the villa’s location is so tranquil. A locally-renowned Ayurvedic doctor can come and consult guests, and prescribe treatments based on his findings. Relaxing massages and herbal baths can also be arranged.

Not only is the location very intimate and private, the pool enchanting and the rooms cosy, but the staff really pamper you during your stay. The villa adapts itself well to many types of holiday; bliss on the beach, a secluded retreat, or a base from which to explore the local area. The conviviality of the lounge and bar makes Kadju House a great choice for a group of friends, and nature lovers will appreciate the visiting wildlife  – we saw kingfishers and humming birds, and heard peacocks - and many of the southern wildlife parks and reserves are within easy reach. The villa’s proximity to the beach makes it a good family villa too, though possibly better suited to older children as the steps and railings might be a worry for toddlers and young children (or, indeed, for some more elderly visitors). Although the suites are quite similar in style, the views and bathroom set up of each is unique; we loved the tropical bathroom design that merges inside with out – just be prepared for the occasional visiting frog!   

A staff of five effortlessly kept the house in order and offered us a high level of personalised service, carrying out our requests with ease. Staff were discreet though friendly, and their charm seemed to be a reflection of the instinctive hospitality and warmth that comes naturally to the people of this deep south region. On our most recent visit a new cook had joined the staff. Her Sri Lankan cuisine was great, and she is experienced in a number of western dishes as well. Many herbs and vegetables are grown in the villa’s increasingly large home garden, and where possible, used in your meals. Meals are charged to guests at cost price.

Although the house works very well for larger groups, it’s also suitable for couples or small families, as it can be rented as a two bedroom property for a special discounted rate. This makes it great value.
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Karang Kembar - Latitude

Karang Kembar - Latitude

Indonesia » Bali » Jimbaran - Bukit » The Bukit

What an amaaaaaaazing villa! The moment we walked into Latitude, we knew we’d found something really special – an absolutely stunning villa in the most breathtaking location that ticks more boxes than we could ever need. Great views, check. Beach in minutes, check. Fabulous food, check. Fantastic staff, check. Top-notch design, check.

We loved the apparent isolation and felt no compunction to break away from the spectacular views to play pool or watch a movie, let alone actually leave to explore the area! Exploring the grounds was fun, as there are architectural or design surprises at every corner. We loved the jacuzzi ‘grottoes’ in the guest bedrooms – bathing on a clear night with the stars twinkling in the circular open window overhead was divine. Listening to the surf breaking on the beach as the sun emerged on the horizon was pure magic. And dining on chef Wayan Trimayasa’s fabulous dishes was to taste heaven in every mouthful.

Latitude is such a cool chill-out place with loads of social spaces for parties and events, and yet plenty private corners to escape to for some peace and quiet even with a full house (10 adults plus 2 kids). Villa manager Nick Home goes out of his way to create magic for everyone, and nothing seems to be too much trouble for him and his staff. A wedding party had just checked out before our arrival and their enthusiasm was a common theme in the guest book, which made delightful reading (hmmmm, how soon before my daughter weds?). We also thought what a wonderful place it is for groups of friends united by a love of food, for instance, or surfing – or simply wanting to unwind in luxury.

There was for us only one major problem that was impossible to overcome: that we had to leave Latitude at the end of our stay. How is it possible to disengage gracefully from this slice of heaven on earth? Bet you’re planning your next visit before you’ve even left!

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Kikili Beach

Kikili Beach

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Talpe

Kikili Beach is one of a kind; fresh, fun and fabulous. We loved its bright and bubbly design but also its emphasis on complete and utter rest and relaxation away from the crowds. It was a real privilege to stay here as it felt exactly as though we had walked into someone else’s well loved home. The atmosphere is totally stress free and we felt truly pampered. The housekeeper is an excellent chef and his culinary creations made us unwilling to go out; we picked out daily menus of succulent seafood, crisp salads and wickedly tempting desserts that were also economical as groceries are bought by the chef and charged at cost price. Although there’s an iPod dock we enjoyed listening to the owner’s collection of CDs, and found the book collection captivating (foodies will adore the cookery books). There are also plenty of magazines to get stuck into, as well as lots of information about the house and the local attractions – very useful. Whilst the house is quite small, it doesn’t feel that way as the generous verandah provides further scope for relaxing and dining. With only one bedroom, Kikili is really designed for couples (will suit younger couples best), but with the addition of a spare mattress or cot (on request) families with young children could be comfortable staying here too (babysitting can be organised on request). Kikili is also a wonderfully social house (especially with Kumara – the chef/housekeeper – taking care of everything from the shopping and cooking to the serving and cleaning up!) so if you want to have friends round for drinks and dinner it is entirely possible. Certainly Kikili’s guestbook is filled with superlatives from visitors who have not only enjoyed the tranquillity of the house but also the company of Kumara. He has a couple of nights off a week, so use this time to wander down to Wijaya to enjoy the chilled vibes and excellent food of this rustic beach restaurant or take your pick from the ones in Unawatuna.
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La Lagune

La Lagune

Thailand » Koh Samui » Laem Set

Sitting in the beachside sala at La Lagune, we were struck by the secluded feel of the place. Even though it's not that far to the main tourist beaches (Lamai is 10km away), you're totally removed from the commotion of Koh Samui and that's certainly one of the of the villa's main advantages. Day and night we enjoyed the benefits of total escape, helped by sensitive staff who remained unobtrusive unless we needed them. The only contact with outsiders was the occasional greeting from a passing fisherman, and having the sunset completely to ourselves was as much of a treat as the opulent surroundings we enjoyed it from (turning off the garden lights to star gaze at night is even better). The villa's open design and cool, tiled floors mean you can pad around barefoot in your beach wear, and with so many options for outdoor repose you're only ever fully indoors while sleeping (weather permitting of course - the villa's folding doors can all be closed during wind or rain). Staying in the master suite is a pleasantly private experience as the only view from the bed is across your private terrace to the sea. The owners are definitely active types and having so many options for recreation close at hand means that even kids will rarely feel the need to venture beyond the garden and beach. Having said that, it was fun to strike off and explore the coastal paths on the villa's two bicycles and drag a kayak out to deeper water so we could paddle to the nearby offshore islands. With delicious meals prepared to order by the chef, coming back to La Lagune at the end of the day was always a pleasure, sound in the knowledge that a blissful, private and chic retreat awaited our return.
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
Search Results: 208 Villa(s) in 21 page(s)
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