With a carefully curated collection of luxury villas in stunning destinations across Asia, Elite Havens entices travellers from across the world. But what is that ‘X factor’ that makes a guest return again and again, often to the same villa? While a fabulous location and luxurious amenities are key to any great holiday, – who doesn’t love a beautiful villa with a view to die for – it’s that ‘something extra,’ that really sets the Elite Experience apart.
The unwavering attention to detail, the heartfelt service, and the willingness to go above and beyond. All of this goes a long way in making each holiday magical. And a lot of that comes down to the people. It is the people behind the scene who make or break a vacation. From villa attendants, drivers, chefs, gardeners and managers, to those working in support roles IT, reservations and human resources; every single employee at Elite Havens has a role to play in creating that exceptional holiday experience for you.
As Elite Havens turns 25, we went to its heart and soul and spoke to some of its long-term employees. “We are the pioneer villa management company in the region,” explained A.A. Indah Prabawati, Human Resources Manager of Elite Havens Indonesia, who has been with Elite Havens for a phenomenal 22 years. “We began with just a few villas in Bali and about ten employees, and now have close to 300 villas across Asia.” According to Indah, the company’s longevity can largely be attributed to its adaptability to changing consumers, markets, and employee needs.
Villa Specialist, Putri Marlini, joined the company in 2007 in Bali and attributes Elite Havens’ success to accumulated expertise and experience in the field. “Through years of experience,” she said, “we have developed a deep understanding of the luxury market. This helps us in crafting the perfect luxury experience for each guest.” She adds that building good relationships with clients, as well as villa owners and travel agent partners, is an integral part of the Elite Havens approach. This is key to the Elite Havens philosophy. Nurturing relationships with each stakeholder eventually translates into an exceptional experience for the guest.
Staying in a luxury villa offers privacy and exclusivity, with a round-the-clock team of butlers, housekeepers and security. Unlike a big resort, each elite haven has a tight-knit team that intuitively goes that extra mile to help you make memories. Arriving at a villa, you are greeted with warm smiles and feel genuinely welcome, which sets the tone for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. Villa staff understands that personalised service is key to creating a home away from home and that luxury lies in the small things. This meticulous attention to detail, such as whether you prefer your coffee with milk or black, combined with flawless service and an impressive ability to anticipate every need, turns your holiday dreams into reality.
Whether you choose to holiday in a villa in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India or Japan, “Our staff members are that tiny drop of magic,” says , General Manager of Elite Havens Indonesia Vitalis Alexander, who has been with Elite Havens for nine years. He explains, “It’s all about excellent service that leads to guest satisfaction and creating memorable moments.” Most villa staff members are local to the area and happy to share insider tips with guests. From explaining the significance of a local ceremony in Bali, to providing thoughtful ideas on unique things to do in Phuket, or recommending the best beaches in Koh Samui or the hottest new bar in Niseko, they are a treasure trove of information.
It’s this personal touch – the glass of water that appears beside your deck chair while you are taking a swim, the perfect gin and tonic served at sunset, the heartfelt conversation and shared laughter – that transforms a luxury villa stay into the holiday of a lifetime. But if you are of the ‘less is more’ persuasion when it comes to service, and prefer staff to stay in the background, they respect that too. Because, with Elite Havens it’s always your holiday and your choice.
A definite highlight of staying in a villa is having a talented personal chef at hand who can create meals to your preference, ever mindful of any special dietary requirements. From traditional local dishes to international cuisine, every meal is a gastronomic delight. Keen to learn how to prepare a dish? The chef will invite you into the kitchen for an impromptu cooking lesson. You may even be able to join them on a trip to the local market to select ingredients. What could be more personal than that?
Elite Havens’ Phuket General Manager, Dania Arunrojchana who joined the company in 2017, shares a story. “Most of our chefs in Thailand specialise in Thai and European menus, but we had an Indian family who wanted the comfort of Indian food. Our chef wasn’t experienced in this cuisine, but she learnt it quickly and adapted ingredients that could be found locally. The guests were very impressed and commented that it allowed them a glimpse of home.”
While the villa and its fabulous staff are what guests remember most, the Elite Experience starts well before arrival, with a highly qualified team taking care of all the details. “There will always be challenges in finding a villa that meets all the guest’s criteria,” shares Putri Marlini. “However, we dedicate ourselves to finding the ideal villa for them. If their first choice is not available, we help them explore alternative villas, or suggest multiple stay dates, checking beyond our usual search parameters to present a hidden gem that hopefully matches their preferences.”
More than just stunning properties, Elite Havens’ luxury villas are havens of comfort and tranquillity. It is the people, both in the villa and behind the scenes, who help create an atmosphere where every guest feels like a VIP. Their warmth, attentiveness and genuine care are what truly elevates the Elite Havens luxury villa experience to extraordinary heights.