Private villas are perfect for discriminating travellers, given their beautiful settings in breathtaking sites, and excellent service from villa hosts - the modern version of butlers.
They provide around-the-clock service, starting even before any guests arrive at the villa.
"Before a guest steps in, the villa host will have contacted him or her to make an introduction, and to ascertain his or her needs," says Julia Liu (below), senior villa host at Banyan Tree Macau.
"Together, they draft an itinerary for the guest, [which the host follows up by] making reservations for activities or restaurants. The host sets up the villa as per the request of the guests, and also picks them up from the ferry terminal or airport," she says.
"The host provides the guest with a mobile phone, so that the guest can always reach the villa host whatever the time and wherever they might be," she adds.
At Banyan Tree Macau, villa hosts are responsible for keeping tabs on the profile of every guest. "This enables the villa host to provide relevant service. For example, if there is a specific brand of champagne that the guest prefers, the villa host will see that it is available on their next visit," says Liu.
Making a guest's holiday wishes come true and providing them with lasting memories that make them return is the biggest challenge for Liu.
"I want to make sure that the guests are satisfied from the moment they arrive. We cannot do enough for them," she adds.
A villa host needs to be positive and outgoing, and to be able to work independently. "Anyone wanting to join the team needs to have three years of related experience, and to have a diploma or above," says Liu.
"Language skills are essential. High achievers can make it to 'manager' of the hotel," Liu adds.