Spring is gradually awakening across the Northern Hemisphere with pastel buds appearing on fruit trees, vibrant daffodils pushing their way through the soil and the symphony of newborn birds resonating through country valleys. It’s an idyllic time to soak up the season’s grace and splendor – especially at these villas and historic homes with exquisite gardens and a unique cruise that allows you to enjoy the famous tulips of Holland.

Villa Sant’Anna – Tuscany, Italy

Situated a 10-minute drive from the walled city of Lucca this beautifully restored 18th-century farmhouse, available through Excellence.Villas / Trust & Travel, sits atop a hill surrounded by 40 acres of vibrant gardens, olive groves, vineyards and fields – the perfect setting for a springtime getaway to Tuscany.

Owned by an American painter and sculptress, the five-bedroom house features many of her works, inspired by the timeless beauty of the Tuscan landscape, echoed by the uninterrupted views over the picturesque countryside. The property is naturally filled with light and inviting open spaces. The house was recently restored and the interiors redone by the finest craftsmen respecting both Tuscan traditions and the highest standards of comfort. The living areas found on the ground floor have whitened wooden beams and original terracotta tiles and a stone fireplace. All rooms open onto the terrace through four large arched doors which were originally stable doors.

On the first floor there are two large bedrooms, a huge artist’s studio and a library. On the second floor are two large en-suite bedrooms and there is another small double with a shower room on the ground floor.

Guests will enjoy dining al fresco under the pergola and a second covered outdoor living area. The charming grounds also feature a manicured walled gardens, an 18-meter mosaic pool, an outdoor pizza oven and stunning views in all directions of rolling, wooded hills and on a clear day, one can see the Leaning Tower in Pisa. Leaving this verdant oasis, you can take trips into Lucca, the beach resort of Forte dei Marmi or slightly further afield to Florence or Pisa.

Soak up the glorious springtime in Tuscany through Excellence.Villas / Trust and Travel here.

Cowdray House – West Essex, England

Located only an hour and a half from London, this graceful English country house is the family home of Lord and Lady Cowdray and can be rented through Loyd and Townsend Rose. Nestled on an 16,500 acres estate, it has 110 acres of private gardens which pop out in a full rainbow of color in spring.

The expansive manor home has accommodation for 30 guests in 15 en-suite bedrooms, making it a wonderful venue for events and family gatherings. Its vaulted minstrel’s gallery, Buck Hall, in the heart of the house, has impressive stained glass windows and can seat up to 140 guests.

There is a grand wood panelled dining room, library, elegant morning room and drawing room, all with have stunning views. Additional luxurious facilities include an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a billiards room, a tennis court and private bowling alley.

There is a vast array of activities which guests can partake in on the estate such as golf, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing and other country pursuits. Cowdray House is particularly well known for polo and it was home to the original polo ground, more commonly known as House Ground.

Reach out to Loyd and Townsend Rose at this link to start planning your perfect spring getaway in the English countryside.

Hacienda Chichi de los Lagos – Yucatan, Mexico

Spring is the perfect time of the year to stay at Chichi de los Lagos, an 18th century property with six bedrooms in the spectacular Yucatan Peninsula, available through Catherwood Travels.

Situated an hour and a half from the city of Merida, you will instantly disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the world as soon as you turn into the narrow road that leads you to this magical property. You’ll be welcomed to the hacienda by hundreds of fluttering butterflies.

Surrounded by beautiful gardens, which in spring blossom with a stunning variety of regional flora, and the gentle songs of tropical birds, you will feel at one with nature all in the comfort of luxurious accommodation. This sanctuary of nature has vast gardens, its own cenote (sinkhole) and a lake, with an adjacent palapa for yoga and meditation.

Have an enchanting springtime with Catherwood Travels here.

 Borgo Finocchieto – Tuscany, Italy

The spectacular location of the Borgo Finocchieto, crowning a knoll overlooking the hills of Tuscany, is perfectly complemented by its gorgeous gardens designed and created by Peter Curzon, the famous British landscape architect who curated the famous English gardens at Villa La Foce in Montepulciano.

The Borgo Finocchieto is an exclusive private hilltop hamlet consisting of 22 suites spread over five buildings. Recently restored to its former glory, it’s a one of a kind venue ideal for bringing together friends and family or for special events. The interiors remain faithful to its heritage and are decorated with beautiful furniture and artwork. Additional facilities include a high tech gym, a steam room, sauna, cold plunge pool, hot tub and pool.

Encircling the buildings are the six acres of outdoor spaces designed by Curzon. He strove to create a visually pleasing and aromatically stunning arrangement of plants: cypresses, lavender, rosemary, varieties of sage, bay laurel, jasmine, roses, lime trees and many others. The wandering nature of the Borgo’s gardens creates a peaceful setting, with ample rolling lawns of green grass, water features and cobblestone paths.

Take in the beauty of these exquisite gardens by reaching out to the Borgo Finocchieto here.

Panache Barge, Holland

What better time to cruise through the canals of Holland then during the country’s famous tulip season. Experience some of the best of the 2500 acres of flowering spring fields aboard the beautiful Panache Barge, available through Barge Lady Cruises.

A spacious and contemporary two-story vessel, the Panache welcomes up to 12 guests. Its roomy cabins offer comfortable living and generous storage space, plus its modern bathrooms feature a double sink. The handsome leather sofas in the salon are the perfect place to curl up with a book or relax inside.

Off the boat guests can enjoy leisurely strolls and bike rides along flat towpaths aside the canal or take excursions through the famed tulip fields, the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens, or to a variety of charming small Dutch cities and towns. Junior “cruisers” will love the private boat trip zipping through the canals of Leiden and the stop at an indoor play park.

The delicious meals highlight regional flavors and ingredients, and include delectable Dutch cheese plates, a great range of Old World classics to New World discoveries and younger palates are also kept in mind with kid-friendly dishes.

Admire the stunning tulips fields and many other pleasures of Holland by boat via Barge Lady Cruises at this link.

Temple Guiting Estates – Cotswolds, England

“The Cotswolds is home to some amazing gardens that are open to the public and are especially enjoyable in the spring, “reveals our local expert Nigel Stengard-Green of Luxury Cotswold Rentals. “Some examples of these are Painswick Rocco Garden, famed for their Snowdrop display, Prince Charles’ gardens at Highgrove, The National Arboretum at Westonbirt (also a summer concert venue) as well as the gardens at Hidcote, Kiftsgate and of course Blenheim Palace near Oxford. And although Kent was called the Garden of England, The Cotswolds should wear that crown!”

You can experience the best of the Cotswolds public and private gardens while staying at beautiful Temple Guiting Estates which features exceptional gardens designed by Jinny Bloom, chosen by the Prince of Wales to design the “Healing Garden” at the 2002 Chelsea Flower Show.

The Estate is made up of the five-bedroom Manor House, the five-bedroom Barn, the two one bedroom cottages (Peacock Shed and Cow Byre) and the three bedroom Granary, recently opened in mid-March 2017. The Estate can also host small wedding receptions in the grounds or inside the Manor House (without marquee) with seating for up to 32 people. When not meandering the winding oases created by Bloom, guests can enjoy a match on the all-weather tennis court or relax in one of its two hot tubs.

Discover Temple Guiting on this wonderful 360 interactive ‘garden’ tour or contact Luxury Cotswold Rentals here for further information about this sublime property.

Villa La Cassinella – Lake Como, Italy

Nestled on three hectares of gorgeous grounds overlooking Lake Como’s Gold Coast, Villa La Cassinella is one of the fabled properties of Lake Como, the only private villa sharing the Punta di Lavedo with Villa Balbianello. The graceful seven-bedroom estate is a haven of stunning beauty, tranquility and service, available through Homebase Abroad.

After three years of intensive renovations, the villa has established itself as the sine qua non of villas on the Lake. Absolutely private, the only means of reaching the villa is by boat. Once you hop off the boat, you’ll be surrounded by fine design, rich appointments, six-star amenities stellar views and unparalleled service. Exquisite details include triple-sheeted beds with Rivolta Carmingani’s linens, Limoges china, and Cristallerie de Montbronn stemware. The staff of nine, including an amazing chef, is well-trained to serve with an air of friendly hospitality.

The refined grounds feature a formal garden with fountain pool an upper terrace, a teak-decked pool lined in glass tiles and a tennis court, all with the breathtaking lake views, without being overtly visible to passing motorboats. Elegantly dotting the estate are cypress trees, vines of wisteria and jasmine, flowering dogwoods, azaleas, tree peonies and roses.

Have an regal and relaxing spring escape to Lake Como via Homebase Abroad at this link.

Duchess County Estate – New York, U.S.A. 

Our global experts at Villas and Apartments Abroad have added another fantastic property to their US and Canada private listings for their clients who are expressing more interest in the American villa experience whether it is for cooler mountain retreats, beach resorts in from California to Florida or golfing at some of the best private golf courses.

This classic New York seven-bedroom country estate is found only 2.5 hours from Manhattan and a few minutes outside of beautiful Rhinebeck (and other charming towns and villages). It offers a niche getaway where low keyed affluent and sophisticated Americans own estates and where they go to escape from the summer heat and the crowds. Sylvia Delvaille Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad tells us why this is such an idyllic destination at this time of year:

“Witness the first signs of springtime showcasing new life… fresh branches and pale green leaves, baby birds, butterflies and other creatures of nature making their presence known by their chirping, pecking and hopping sounds. Delicate blooms like posies designed just for you sprout from the ground; branches laden with eager buds can’t wait to burst. The rushing of streams, all calling out that new life is here at the gate of summer when beauty exploded into a galaxy of colors and life.

“It is said that some important Americans, including George Washington, were guests when the home functioned as an inn in the 18th century. It features a hand-chiseled triple height barn and numerous old fireplaces, yet has been modernized to have all the amenities and comforts of a 21st century home. There are several dining areas, an antique barroom, a large comfortable TV room with 70” flatscreen, a sitting room with floor to ceiling bookshelves. The master bedroom has a king bed, fireplace, adjoining sitting area, and a marbled master bath. Two of the additional bedrooms have king beds, three rooms have queen beds, and the last bedroom has a twin.

“Within the estate of 29 acres there is a beautiful swimming pool carved out of the natural rocks and access to the woods via a wooden bridge over the stream. There are various outdoor areas for entertaining and relaxing. Plus I would be remiss not to mention the chef’s kitchen where an excellent chef can be hired to prepare fabulous summer meals using vegetables, fruits and herbs straight from the garden. The area also has some top restaurants that offer the best of culinary experiences.

“The privacy makes this the perfect place for those quiet families, entertainers and others in the know wanting to get away from NYC or any of the tri-states for peaceful and indulging break in total relaxation mind, body and soul.”

Savor the spring beauty and tranquility at this gorgeous retreat through Villas and Apartments Abroad at this link.

Bonnieux Villa – Provence, France

Provence is one of the first places to show signs of spring in France and you can capture the regional blossoms at this 18th century Provençal villa, available through Haven In. Located below the tiny hilltop village of Bonnieux, in the heart of Peter Mayle’s famed Luberon, it is surrounded by fragrant lavender fields, fruit trees, scenic farmland, and spectacular panoramic views of the Luberon national park.

Thoroughly restored in 2011, this 3,767 square foot (350m2) vacation rental has sprawling gardens, a charming courtyard, and a private swimming pool. The interiors feature warm tones, wood beams, original tiles, and thick stone walls. There is a lovely dining room, a TV room, fully-equipped kitchen and comfortable living room with large French doors open onto the summer kitchen, gardens, and pool.

Four large and comfortable en-suite bedrooms are located in the main pavilion. These have either a queen- or king-size bed, two of which can be separated into singles. The annex, accessible from the courtyard, offers two more bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, providing privacy for families or groups of friends.

Enjoy an apéritif or a meal at the spacious outdoor dining area to the backdrop of the verdant five-acre property. A few minute’s away, the quaint village of Bonnieux, home to the Musée de la Boulangerie, where visitors can learn the art of bread making. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafés, wineries and markets in vicinity.

Make the most of springtime in Provence at this lovely villa by contacting Haven In here.

Villa La Torre – Tuscany, Italy

Tucked away in the hills south of Florence, the eight-bedroom Villa La Torre, by Excellence.Villas / Trust & Travel, is the perfect match between a noble Renaissance mansion and the modern, sleek and colorful world of one of Italy’s top designers. The Prince and Princess of Wales were guests at the villa on their first trip to Italy together in 1986.

Discretely located on a large private estate, surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, pine trees and century-old cypresses, La Torre offers an awe-inspiring 360° view over the surrounding countryside, all the way to domes and bell towers of Florence. The mature garden has many different areas and which begin to delight the senses as of spring. Guests can also enjoy a heated swimming pool, a small theater in a natural setting, a private tennis court, a bocce court and a soccer field.

The interiors have been entirely redesigned by one of Italy’s top designers, who employed traditional materials to create contemporary, understated elegance. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and been decorated in pastel colors with antiques and rich, colorful fabrics. There are three sitting rooms one of which is the Belvedere living room situated in the tower with four bright, arched windows, framing the best panoramic views of the gentle Tuscan hills.

Take in springtime in style at the Villa La Torre through Excellence.Villas /Trust & Travel at this link.

Cornwell Manor – The Cotswolds, England

We just can’t get enough of the Cotswold in spring and another fabulous base to absorb the delights of the season in this breathtaking region is the majestic Cornwell Manor, considered “one of the prettiest houses in England” and available through Luxury Cotswold Rentals.

The manor is set in a valley in a particularly lovely area near Chipping Norton along the Oxfordshire-Gloucestershire border. It is surrounded by a privately owned hamlet and 2,000 acre estate, which was partly landscaped by Clough Williams-Ellis – the creator of the magical village of Portmeirion in Wales – who, according to George Plumtree, created at a stroke “something that combined architectural composition with bravura views.”

The house has a perfectly proportioned elegant façade, an ornate Italian garden, lakes beyond – a unique Cotswold estate where you can be lord or lady of the manor for your stay. Guest accommodation includes six prime first floor bedrooms, (four with en-suites), three second floor bedrooms with shared bathrooms and three nursery wing bedrooms, one with en-suite. All rooms, bar one single, have double beds and the house sleeps a maximum of 24 including the Nursery Wing.

Guests have the services of the manor’s live-in housekeeper who will light the open fires for you on a chilly day, take care of any laundry etc; and a live-in cook who can prepare everything from a like snack after a game of tennis or gourmet three-course dinner party for 16 in the Ballroom.

Cornwell is a very peaceful location yet remains close to a number of attractions and events like the Daylesford Organic farm, shop and spa, the Cornbury music festival, Wilderness and Soho House at Great Tew.

Surround yourself in springtime splendor at this beautiful estate through Luxury Cotswold Rentals here.

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