One of the most common concerns holidaymakers have when it comes to staying at private villas is food. Unlike in a hotel where food can be served at the hotel’s restaurant, cafe or bar, a private villa doesn’t have these facilities. How then are meals served at the villa? Does a villa have a food and beverage department? For one, private villas don’t have as many personnel or workers as the hotels or resorts. And villas usually maintain a homey ambiance, so that really makes one think about how food is handled at the villa. In order to have an idea of how it works on a private villa, read on.
What You Should Know
Villa Staff Do Not Work 24 Hours Per Day
The private villa property does not have a lot of personnel, unlike hotels that employ a rather high number of personnel to take care of different responsibilities. Hence, villa workers only work limited hours per day. Regular working hours for villa staff are from 8:00 to 22:00 hrs. Sometimes it can be a bit later or earlier – depending on the client’s preference.
Communication Between Guests and Staff is a Must
As villa guest, you should communicate your food preferences for each meal. This will allow villa staff to prepare and serve according to what you specifically require.
How Does it Work?
Although each villa has a different approach to the way food is prepared, the differences will not be that much. Here are usual processes of how meals are prepared in a private holiday home:
Communicate with the Chef and Staff
Before starting your holiday at the villa, you should talk to the team to communicate your needs. You should set the schedule for serving food because different guests have different preferences. Some guests might want to wake up early for some exercise or fitness activities while others may want to sleep longer during the holiday. In addition, you should inform the villa staff about any food allergy or any specific food preferences – if you are a vegetarian, or if you prefer only fish. The Chef and the villa staff can make the proper arrangements.
Set Up Your Meal Schedule
This is important because villa staff do not work 24-hrs. Hence, it is best to inform them ahead of time if you wish to stay a bit late or wake up early as this will determine what time they need to prepare and serve your food. Some guests with kids and nannies might want to arrange a different time for their meal or require a special meal for the kids. Usually, the villa Chef and staff will introduce themselves to you and ask for your food preferences and requirement so that they can prepare the meal accordingly.
After giving the villa Chef the list of food requirements, the Chef will send the villa staff or go to the groceries by himself to buy the best ingredients per your request. Once the ingredients are ready, the Chef will start to prepare the meal and get them ready before the specified time.
Chef Introduces the Dish
In some villas, guests receive special treatment from the experienced chef recruited from the hotel. Private Chef villas provide the same special service to their guests. For example, at mealtime, the villa’s food and beverage team will serve your food, introducing each dish – explaining how it is prepared and cooked. This adds to a great dining experience where you can learn more about the dish especially if you requested for exotic food.
How Much Does it Cost?
Some villas might offer a la carte menus. This makes it easier for guests to order what they want to eat and pay the corresponding price. However, the guests can also buy the groceries and food ingredients themselves and ask the Chef to prepare and cook the dish at no extra cost provided that Chef service is included in the villa rate.
Another option is for the villa staff to do grocery shopping for guests. If you take this option, you will have to pay an additional charge on top of the grocery bill. The service fee rate ranges from 15% to 20%. This option is perfect for guests who don’t want to go to the grocery store during their holiday and just want to let the villa team handle all the fuzz.
Anything You Wish is Possible
As long as the Chef can cook, you can order almost anything. Most of the villas hire experienced Chefs with the same qualifications as those of the luxury hotels, to make sure that guests are pampered to the hilt with their food needs. I have interviewed the chef at Villa Upni Duniya in Koh Samui and his experience and qualification is quite impressive. Depending on the chef’s skills, you can order Thai, Japanese, Western, Indian or other dishes. It’s important that you communicate your special requirements before arrival.
You can have everything specially made for you. The private villa staff can arrange all food requirements and access all (as much as possible) required ingredients.
Guests will enjoy the best selection of the finest ingredients as the team will usually handpick the ingredients by themselves. Freshness and quality of food ingredients are therefore guaranteed.
Each villa adds a unique, personal touch in the food department. Some villas go beyond the regular dishes with their cuisine options. So next time you choose to stay at a private villa, share your memorable dining experience with us.