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: 212 Villa(s) in 22 page(s)
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Amilla – the great beach villa residence

Amilla – the great beach villa residence

Maldives » Maldives » Maldives

Pinch me, I’m dreaming! Surely this is heaven on earth?  Flying over coral islands strung like pearls on a necklace, and sandbanks that sparkle in the sunlight, I knew we were in for a treat long before we arrived.  By the time we stepped onto the jetty to a phalanx of staff welcoming us to our ‘island home’, I was head over heels in love.  The Amilla Beach Villa Residences really are very special. This is an ultra-luxe destination with a relaxing island vibe and a generous heart-and-soul spirit. 

We kicked off our shoes immediately and kicked into the island groove (even the seaplane pilot was barefoot): swaying in the hammock, slipping into the silken lagoon waters, spying on the resident Maakana (heron) as he strutted along the pure-white sand.  Indoors, we indulged in the many treats that arrived as if by magic throughout the day.  (Turns out the villa came with its own magician – Munaadh, our hugely engaging Katheeb (house manager) who enriched our stay immeasurably.)  He proved to be a mind reader, able to anticipate our every whim, and shared his unbridled passion for the island with us.  He also organised a fabulous seafood-and-champagne barbecue at home – one of many culinary highlights of our stay.

Sauntering along sandy paths through coconut groves, past ancient Banyan trees, we were amazed by the sheer amount of activities available across the small island.  Sure, you can have the laziest, most relaxing vacation ever – I would gladly have spent my entire time at the sublime Javva Spa alone!  But the chance go dolphin watching and swimming with mantas was too tempting.

A shout out to the astonishing array of restaurants can’t be overlooked – the amazing culinary experiences and mouthwatering menus were among the many highlights of our trip. Sunset cocktails followed by a fresh-from-the-sea meal at the over-water Feeling Koi restaurant is an absolute must; I admit to piling on the pounds during my stay.

The sheer size and sensitive layout of The Great Beach Villa Residence makes it well suited for a large gathering of friends.  It’s also very family-friendly, and within the villa there’s masses to keep kids entertained beyond the beach and pools  –   not to mention the resort’s extensive recreational facilities and kids club.

It’s easy to lose all sense of time.  In fact, ‘island time’ really does exist here, as the Amilla visionaries set their clocks two hours ahead of Male so guests can enjoy extra hours of daylight; how’s that for above-and-beyond service?  A sign at the Empire Beach Club claims “Happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life”.  What a perfect epithet for our stay!
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From $26,600 ++

Bedrooms 8

Sleeps 16

Our
Rating 9.1

The Anandita

The Anandita

Indonesia » Lombok » Northwest Lombok » Tanjung

Anandita is exactly what a ‘destination villa’ should be.  It was lovely to be surrounded by calm seas, very comfortable lodgings and a team of staff who really know what they are doing.  Everything is laid on and we really had no desire go out, feeling so relaxed and content that all we did was swim, eat and sleep in the sun, with a little bit of volleyball and billiards thrown in for good measure.  The beach is ultra safe making it a great place for children to paddle and play; we felt that families would love this place given the choice of activities, and the room layout and bed configuration.  That said, the rooms would work equally well for four couples.

Something that really impressed us was the way the staff stopped what they were doing when we invited them to make up the numbers for a game of volleyball. It is rare to find a villa where the owner has encouraged his staff to go the extra mile to please guests in this way.  To quote from the visitors’ book, “The staff are truly the heart of Anandita”.  The kitchen produces some fine meals, with the emphasis on fresh fish and local produce - but remember that (if you wish to order from the suggestion menu) you need to give a bit of notice when ordering your meals or making your grocery list as the villa is a long way from the nearest shops.  An easy alternative is to opt for the all inclusive meal package offered at the villa which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.

Nothing changes very much in Lombok, so when we returned to Villa Anandita for our three-year-update we were delighted to find that everything was very much as it had been, including most of the staff who remembered us from our first visit.  Gusti the manager/activities manager delighted us with his energy and enthusiasm, taking us out for a long bicycle ride across the golf course and along rough tracks through the fields to the traditional market at Tanjung.  Since our last visit, the complement of bicycles has gone up to 13 and the owners have added a spa pavilion with two massage beds (professional therapists will come to the villa to deliver soothing treatments).  We were also pleased to find that the villa now has a WiFi internet connection, so it doesn’t feel quite so detached from the world.  The property has been well maintained but the beach bordering the garden has suffered from a bit of erosion so it has got narrower, but it is still beautiful to look at and you only have to walk a short distance to reach a wider section of sand.  Oh yes, there’s a new international airport in Lombok now, which is further away from the villa, so the journey is longer but you’ll see some gorgeous rural countryside en route.

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From $750 ++ Special 3br Rate

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 6

Our
Rating 8.6
Guest Rating 8.8

Real-time Availability

The Anandita

The Anandita

Indonesia » Lombok » Northwest Lombok » Tanjung

Anandita is exactly what a ‘destination villa’ should be.  It was lovely to be surrounded by calm seas, very comfortable lodgings and a team of staff who really know what they are doing.  Everything is laid on and we really had no desire go out, feeling so relaxed and content that all we did was swim, eat and sleep in the sun, with a little bit of volleyball and billiards thrown in for good measure.  The beach is ultra safe making it a great place for children to paddle and play; we felt that families would love this place given the choice of activities, and the room layout and bed configuration.  That said, the rooms would work equally well for four couples.

Something that really impressed us was the way the staff stopped what they were doing when we invited them to make up the numbers for a game of volleyball. It is rare to find a villa where the owner has encouraged his staff to go the extra mile to please guests in this way.  To quote from the visitors’ book, “The staff are truly the heart of Anandita”.  The kitchen produces some fine meals, with the emphasis on fresh fish and local produce - but remember that (if you wish to order from the suggestion menu) you need to give a bit of notice when ordering your meals or making your grocery list as the villa is a long way from the nearest shops.  An easy alternative is to opt for the all inclusive meal package offered at the villa which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.

Nothing changes very much in Lombok, so when we returned to Villa Anandita for our three-year-update we were delighted to find that everything was very much as it had been, including most of the staff who remembered us from our first visit.  Gusti the manager/activities manager delighted us with his energy and enthusiasm, taking us out for a long bicycle ride across the golf course and along rough tracks through the fields to the traditional market at Tanjung.  Since our last visit, the complement of bicycles has gone up to 13 and the owners have added a spa pavilion with two massage beds (professional therapists will come to the villa to deliver soothing treatments).  We were also pleased to find that the villa now has a WiFi internet connection, so it doesn’t feel quite so detached from the world.  The property has been well maintained but the beach bordering the garden has suffered from a bit of erosion so it has got narrower, but it is still beautiful to look at and you only have to walk a short distance to reach a wider section of sand.  Oh yes, there’s a new international airport in Lombok now, which is further away from the villa, so the journey is longer but you’ll see some gorgeous rural countryside en route.

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Villa Anucara

Villa Anucara

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Seseh-Tanah Lot

Villa Anucara’s stark, modernist design may not suit everyone — stripped of its Indonesian artefacts, it could be at home in Miami, Monaco or any number of expensive beachside playgrounds. But this reviewer swooned over the purity of the design, pleasing symmetry, and sense of space and light. The white and ivory colours splashed with aqua create a restful and restorative palette to counter the rectilinear strictness of the architecture. We liked the counterbalance of avant garde with antique, the textural play with Palimanan stone, teakwood planks, polished concrete, fossilized wood, gnarled tree roots and granite. And we loved the artistic flourishes and deliciously thought out details.

One overlooked detail, however, was the choice of cut flowers in every room: the garishly coloured marigolds seemed out of place in such sophisticated surroundings (even the flowers in the garden are all pure white). But this small ‘peeve’ will easily dissipate when the owner’s impeccable taste directs the staff’s flower arranging skills. (And let’s face it, how uptight do you have to be to even notice!)

Unusually, those who don’t draw straws for the master suites will not feel short-changed. (Magnificent though our master suite was, we would have been delighted to stay in guestroom 3 with its shaded grove of palms and its stunning outdoor bathroom with monsoon shower arch and lava-stone wall of water cascading down to a sunken hamam-style bath.) In this respect the villa is highly suited to groups of friends and families — who will also appreciate the many private spaces that allow for quiet as well as social holiday time. We would perhaps be nervous of bringing very young children here because of the stretches of unfenced water, unguarded stairs and upper deck, but note that baby cots and high chairs can be provided; indeed the party before us included several toddlers — and they stayed for a month!

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From $650 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 7.9
Guest Rating 8.6

Real-time Availability

Villa Anucara

Villa Anucara

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Seseh-Tanah Lot

Villa Anucara’s stark, modernist design may not suit everyone — stripped of its Indonesian artefacts, it could be at home in Miami, Monaco or any number of expensive beachside playgrounds. But this reviewer swooned over the purity of the design, pleasing symmetry, and sense of space and light. The white and ivory colours splashed with aqua create a restful and restorative palette to counter the rectilinear strictness of the architecture. We liked the counterbalance of avant garde with antique, the textural play with Palimanan stone, teakwood planks, polished concrete, fossilized wood, gnarled tree roots and granite. And we loved the artistic flourishes and deliciously thought out details.

One overlooked detail, however, was the choice of cut flowers in every room: the garishly coloured marigolds seemed out of place in such sophisticated surroundings (even the flowers in the garden are all pure white). But this small ‘peeve’ will easily dissipate when the owner’s impeccable taste directs the staff’s flower arranging skills. (And let’s face it, how uptight do you have to be to even notice!)

Unusually, those who don’t draw straws for the master suites will not feel short-changed. (Magnificent though our master suite was, we would have been delighted to stay in guestroom 3 with its shaded grove of palms and its stunning outdoor bathroom with monsoon shower arch and lava-stone wall of water cascading down to a sunken hamam-style bath.) In this respect the villa is highly suited to groups of friends and families — who will also appreciate the many private spaces that allow for quiet as well as social holiday time. We would perhaps be nervous of bringing very young children here because of the stretches of unfenced water, unguarded stairs and upper deck, but note that baby cots and high chairs can be provided; indeed the party before us included several toddlers — and they stayed for a month!

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The Arsana Estate

The Arsana Estate

Indonesia » Bali » Tabanan

It is difficult to pinpoint what’s best about The Arsana Estate. During our stay the chef cooked an exquisite dinner which was served fabulously by the staff. With the windows open, the sound of the waterfall and distant wildlife and a gentle breeze drifting in it was a delight. The so-cool pool leads off into the jungle, and with the Boss sound system cranked up, a G&T in hand and a masseuse on call, what more could one ask?

The staff were a pleasure – especially the villa manager – always attentive and smiling but nicely discreet. We could hardly believe it when the manager chased us on his motorbike for seven kilometres to return our laptop cable after we checked out. Such care! The bedrooms have superb views, ‘top’ bathrooms and ever-so-comfortable beds: closing the blackout curtains led to a deeply enjoyable but totally unplanned lie in!

Game of billards? DVD on the big screen? Walk in the village? There’s so much to do and yet it’s so easy to chill. To be honest there was no one thing that makes this villa shine, it all works really well and we could not recommend it enough.
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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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From $1,130 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 8-12*

Our
Rating 8.2

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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From $1,360 ++

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 10-14*

Our
Rating 8.2

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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From $1,200 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.4
Guest Rating 9.8

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
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