When planning a holiday getaway at a private villa, an essential factor high on a traveler’s priority list is food. Compared to hotels with in-house restaurants or bistros, what you get in a private villa is a working kitchen facilitated by a private chef with the help of a small team of villa personnel — all working efficiently to make every meal, and your entire stay, as trouble-free and effortless as possible. 

Thai cuisine cooked by the in-villa chef at Villa Mia, Koh Samui

One thing that differentiates the dining experience you get from staying in private villas from multi-starred hotels is their special touch — that feeling you get the moment you sit down knowing that each dish was prepared and crafted especially for you. 

Wondering about the magic that happens behind the scenes and what to expect when it comes to food and dining on your next private villa booking? Read on and find out more.

Highly customizable menu down to a T

In-villa chef of Villa Mia in Koh Samui happily preparing ingredients for a dish

Part of the beauty of staying at a private villa is you get a unique and tailored experience when it comes to food service. You can request anything according to your specific preference, and the villa’s staff will note it all for you. Fussy eaters will be delighted to have their meals prepared just how they like it—whether it means having their meats cooked well done or extra rare or seasoning their food according to their palate. Guests can also request off-menu items as long as the chef capable of it. 

Flexible meal schedules for everyone

Breakfast served in bed at Villa Shanti in Phuket

Compared to hotels with strict dining hours for their restaurants, private villas give you the freedom to plan your meal times when it fits you. If you’re not a morning person and like sleeping in, you can request villa staff to have your meals served at a later time and enjoy a hearty brunch facing the pool or the ocean — how romantic is that?

Health buffs, especially athletes who train early in the morning or guests who follow a strict fasting regimen, will benefit mainly from this as they won’t need to sacrifice their health routine for the sake of mealtime schedules.  

Dietary preferences incorporated in menu plans

Vacationing with allergies or special dietary restrictions is such a burden as your food options will more or less be limited. Having your own chef dedicated for you group plays well to your advantage in such cases. In-villa chefs will take note of all dietary requirements when planning the menu. So whether you’re a vegan, on paleo, or observing gluten and lactose-free diets, you can request certain meals that you like, and the chef will whip up tasty dishes that you would surely enjoy.  


The best that the locality has to offer

A variety of Thai food prepared with fresh local ingredients in Villa Spice in Koh Samui

As many private villas are surrounded by nature (think coastlines, rice fields, or forests), you’re sure to taste the freshest local produce every meal. The chef prepares meals using native ingredients in season to ensure that they are in their best taste and quality. Being local experts, the villa staff are able to procure quality meats, grains, and vegetables from the most reputable sources in the area. It’s also the perfect opportunity to sample dishes native to the region and taste a bit of the country’s food heritage. 


Family style, buffet feasts, or full-course fine dining

A table setting for a group meal in Villa Hinyai in Koh Samui

Dishes prepared in private villas are usually cooked in quantities to accommodate the entire group. It gives a homier vibe when eating together at one table with your friends and loved ones. Single orders are also possible though with some adjustments to the costing.  The villa chef and staff can serve meals in the setting you prefer – from free-for-all festive buffets to formal sit-down set up with multi-course entrees.

Alfresco dining with spectacular vistas everywhere

The alfresco dining area of Villa Purissara, one of the most picturesque villas in Phuket

Nothing compares to the joy of feasting outdoors with the stunning beauty of nature as your backdrop. In a private villa, you are not confined to dining indoors. Imagine yourself enjoying your meal in front of the pool’s sparkling blue waters and the refreshing sea breeze to add to the paradisaic ambiance. Private villas are also equipped with facilities and open spaces that allow for barbecuing and outdoor bars for small soirees or sit-down dinners. At many beachfront properties, you may even choose to have a dinner setup right on the beach!

What are the costs involved 

In comparison with hotels featuring somewhat fixed prices with the meals you order in restaurants, most villas simply base food prices on the actual market prices of ingredients. The cost is then topped up with a handling fee that usually ranges between 15% to 20%. If you wish to be modest, the chef may also fashion the menu based on your provided budget. Another option for further flexibility is that guests can purchase ingredients on their own and bring them to the villa themselves. The chef will then happily cook and serve them for you without any additional cost. Some private villas provide complimentary breakfasts too.

Chef of Villa Leevadee in Phuket with a tray of Thai food ready to be served to guests

Dining in private villas is an experience you and your loved ones should not miss. With its flexible options, alfresco-style dining choices, and access to the freshest ingredients, mealtimes are more enjoyable and intimate, not to mention a notable feature for each private villa to be genuinely proud of. Next time you book your villa of choice, skip the restaurants outside and savor the goodness that private villa cuisine has to offer.