There’s no one “perfect” holiday destination, and thankfully so, or it would be completely overrun! Some travelers crave the beach, others culture. Some want to commune with nature, while others nothing more than to clank glasses of champagne with friends. Here are six unique villa holiday ideas which aim to please a variety of personality types, from nature to city lovers and for the homebody to the socialite.
For the Stylish History Buff: Via Lambertesca, Florence
Located just blocks from the Duomo, the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio, you’ll be living between contemporary times and Renaissance at this gorgeous five-bedroom apartment. It’s the perfect spot for history fans looking to be right in the middle of all the cultural treasures of Florence within modern design and comforts.
The unique, fully restored apartment, available through Homebase Abroad, is found in a beautiful 17th-century palazzo. You are struck with this historic ambiance upon immediately entering into the buildings grand entrance hall adorned with original columns, statues and vaulted staircase that leads to upper floors (which can also be accessed by a newly-installed elevator). This play of the old and the new is carried throughout the apartment, starting with its stylish open-plan living room/dining room with stone and beams, including rubble from an adjacent 12th-century tower damaged during bombing in WWII.
During your wanderings around the city, stop in at Florence Mercato Centrale for some seasonal ingredients to whip up dinner in the apartment’s sleek, fully equipped kitchen. On warm winter days, you can enjoy meals on your private terrace, sheltered from street noise, yet with lovely views of the Florentine rooftops. The five bedrooms are all outfitted in beautiful linens and their en-suites clad in marble and complete with luxe bath products and plush bathrobes.
Outside of this cozy and chic ambiance, you are steps away from the city’s main sites, its world class museums, excellent shopping (perhaps for an early festive season shopping trip) and a wide array of cafés and restaurants – a much appreciated advantage on those chilly winter days when you want to spend less time walking too far.
Take in all the historic greatness of Florence with Homebase Abroad here.
For the Sun-Loving Homebody: Sugar Hill – Illusions, Barbados
If you are close yourself up in a pampering villa that has absolutely everything in one place, than this stunning four-bedroom villa in sunny Barbados is for you. Available through Blue Sky Luxury, the spacious and elegant villa, found in the coveted gated community of Sugar Hill Resort, has an incredible line up of amenities ranging from its amazing infinity pool to its gorgeous gardens – not to mention the perks of the resort – so you may not even need to leave the complex during your whole stay.
The fabulous custom-built villa offers breathtaking, uninterrupted views of the Caribbean Sea from the vast windows throughout the building. The foyer opens onto a covered terrace which overlooks the spectacular pool. After a swim you can take in some rays on the very sunny pool area or enjoy the awe-inspiring views under the shady parts of the terrace. A casual barbecue lunch can be enjoyed in the charming dining gazebo or if you’d like a more formal meal, there’s an interior dining room with seating for twelve and folding glass doors for alfresco dining.
When you’re not taking in the peaceful evening atmosphere of the great outdoors, cozy up in the comfortable living room for some drinks around the bar or for a movie on the large flat screen television with cable TV, DVD player and Bose surround speakers.
All guests will have ample personal privacy in their bedroom suite, as each has its own covered terraces and en-suite bathrooms. Found on the first floor, the master suite is a real indulgence with its own living room, walk-in closet, large king-sized bed, en-suite bathroom with both a tub and shower and sweeping panorama of the sea.
You can even stay fit on holiday in the villa’s private gym as well as keep up your swing on its putting green, nestled within the property’s lovely gardens dotted with banana, coconut and papaya trees.
If you feel the urge to venture from your splendid abode, you only need to walk a short distance to the Sugar Hill Resort’s Clubhouse, superb restaurant, two swimming pools, and four championship tennis courts. Guests also have access to the beach facility at the nearby Fairmont Royal Pavilion hotel.
Surround yourself in luxurious warmth this winter at this cozy and perfectly equipped villa through Blue Sky Luxury at this link.
For the Sporty Yogi: Marchons Sur l’Eau – St-Tropez, France
Connect with your inner self while staying super fit on an energizing vacation at this gorgeous villa situated next to charming and classy St-Tropez. Available through Villas Prestige et Services, the aptly named “Walk on Water” villa was designed to give the impression of an endless horizon from its divine infinity pool out to the shimmering Mediterranean, the ideal place for morning yoga sessions. The villa’s pool is also heated, allowing for year-round swims, plus there’s a private gym and many opportunities for hiking and other active pursuits straight from or nearby the villa.
The recently built villa is perched in a hidden location on the cliffs above the picturesque port of Ramatuelle, providing you with a very peaceful and private environment. The centerpiece of the outdoor areas is the spectacular infinity pool, which is bordered by two levels of terraces and a barbecue and dining area. The open living flows naturally indoors and into a comfortable living room and kitchen, tastefully decorated with colorful modern furniture and beautiful artwork inspired by Miro.
You can keep up your workout routine in the villa’s private gym or maintain your zen state of mind by hiking the cliffs around the villa and taking in the sensational views. A short walk away you can reach the “Cap Taillat” beach and club for some tennis and a variety of watersports. Pretty Ramatuelle is also best visited on foot to peer into its charming shops or stop for a break on one of its cafes. If you would like to explore further afield, the South of France offers an excellent array of other sports and cultural activities.
Plan your wellbeing retreat on the Cote d’Azur by contacting Villas Prestiges et Services here.
For Culture-Vulture Explorer – Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp & Bush Villa, Kenya
Satisfy both your cultural curiosity and a quest for adventure at Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp and Bush Villa. Located on the edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve and only one kilometer from the Tanzania Serengeti game reserve, the camp offers much more than your average safari excursions.
While staying at Cottar’s you can visit a Maasai Village and experience their rich culture. This involves a trip to their Manyattas (mud huts), village setup (security, healthcare, education and management of resources e.g. meals, water, firewood), local market with wonderful Maasai artefacts/attire for sale, their live-stock and many more. Guests can even try their hand at milking or for children they can also do fun activities like a firewood collection competition.
They offer a large variety of activities to keep avid explorers enthralled including day and night game drives, Bush breakfasts, lunches and dinners, swimming and line fishing at the seasonal waterfall, bush walks, Masai warrior school and balloon safaris. Every day at Cottar’s is an enriching and exciting experience!
Tuck away on its own 6,000-acre private conservancy within Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp, is their unique Bush Villa. The 10,000 sq ft villa features a spacious and bright living room, dining room, a fabulous viewing deck, and five en-suite bedrooms, all with breathtaking views. It has internet access throughout, satellite TV and DVD, in addition to being powered by electric and solar energy. Its spectacular infinity pool overlooking the Olderikesi Hills is a definite highlight. Guests of the private Bush Villa can also make use of the Safari Camps other facilities, guides and unique tours.
Get your culture fix and your thrills this winter on holiday at Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp and Bush Villa at this link.
For the Artsy Urbanite – St Germain Arty Getaway, Paris
This chic and artistically decorated apartment in the St-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood is the perfect base for art lovers who want a central base and quick access to art galleries, antique shops, design boutiques and museums.
Owned by an illustrator, the attractive and bright apartment, available through Haven in, is filled with original artwork and scores of books. The eclectic decor of furniture and design objects beautifully contrasts the classic wood floors, large French windows, marble fireplaces, and crown moldings.
The airy and spacious living and dining area features tall windows overlooking the historic street and gorgeous Haussmannian buildings. Just off of this is a well equipped, fully renovated kitchen, perfect for preparing some delicious French-inspired meals.
The comfortable master bedroom has a queen bed, a marble fireplace, and generous storage space. The second bedroom has a single bed and works will for a child. Both bedrooms face a quiet courtyard, providing a tranquil environment for sleeping.
The apartment is steps away from the rue de Seine art galleries, the St-Germain antiques network and the Boulevard St-Germain design shops. The Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre can be easily reached on foot and other museums are a short métro or taxi ride away. The neighborhood is also home to the gorgeous Luxembourg Gardens, the fashionable Bon Marché department store, an organic market on boulevard Raspail and a multitude of wonderful restaurants and food shops.
The autumn and winter is a great time of year for art lovers to visit Paris. There are a number of large art events, like the FIAC in late October and Paris Photo in November. It’s usually the time for the best large exhibits at places like the Grand Palais and the Centre Pompidou, plus the other museums have many fewer visitors outside the regular tourist season.
Enjoy an artistic getaway to Paris this fall at this stylish apartment through Haven in at this link.
For the Armchair Nature Lover – Casa Triton, Careyes, Mexico
Envelop yourself in the most stunning nature without having to budge from your lounge chair at this exquisite villa combining lush tropical vegetation, rolling mountains, pristine beaches and jaw-dropping 360-views of the sea and landscape. All aspects of the lovely six-bedroom home embrace these natural elements and are designed for the exterior lush tropics to take center stage.
“At The Triton you can enjoy complete privacy, away from the world and in touch with miles and miles of nature and deserted beaches,” describes Sylvia Delvaille Jones, Director of Villas and Apartments Abroad who represents the villa. “However, the gorgeous home is close enough to Careyes village for you to enjoy the animated social life during high season.
“The best views are admired from the villa’s Eagles Nest tower, where, if you listen closely, you’ll hear the ocean waves in the distance as well as birdsong that breaks the soothing silence. A thousand trails around the property offer many options for hiking and exploring.”
You can also take in this peaceful and exceptionally beautiful environment next to the villa’s panoramic, infinity pool, built like an aqueduct that reaches out 50 meters over a verdant cactus garden. All you need to do is take a few steps to find yourself in a different ambiance on the estate’s multiple patios, alcoves and gardens – all ideal places to relax, sit back and enjoy the cool, refreshing breeze and stunning natural surroundings.
Leaving your incredible personal, natural hideaway, you can hike along a series of extensive trails departing straight from the villa or spend an afternoon on one of the neighboring, spectacular and empty beaches. Guests also have access to the Careyes Polo Club. For a cozy evening at the villa, there’s a movie room/screening room/library. Anything else you may need can be arranged by the villa’s attentive, bilingual staff of six.
Contact Sylvia here to start planning your divine get away draped in stunning nature and sunshine.
For the Chic & Social Skier – Chalet Edelweiss, Courchevel 1850, France
A vacation in the Alps doesn’t only have to be about the slopes. If you’re both a passionate skier and social butterfly, then reserve a week this winter at the Chalet Edelweiss, by Ultimate Luxury Chalets. A ski in ski out chalet in the posh Alpine resort of Courchevel 1850, equipped with a fabulous lounge, dining area, a cinema room and luxurious spa not to mention its own nightclub, you’ll be able to zoom from the slopes and right up to your own cocktail or dinner party.
The eight-bedroom, six-level chalet has a 50m² ski room which opening directly onto the Bellecote piste. Inside you’ll find a comfortable and charming lounge and dining areas which have stunning views of the surrounding mountains and pistes. Invite all the new friends you meet on the slopes over for an amazing dinner party, prepared by your private chef and served on the chalet’s large dining table that seats up to 24 people.
Be sure to tell your guests to bring their swimming suits to enjoy the chalet’s exceptional spa floor with hammam, sauna, 13m x 4.50m swimming pool with Jacuzzi featuring a waterfall surrounding a skylight, a bar and relaxation area (and high tech gym and double massage room). The night isn’t over after yet, as you can then make your way to the chalet’s private 130m² nightclub, which can accommodate over 100 people and has a DJ booth, dance floor and bar. For a smaller and cozier night, bunk down in the state of the art private cinema to watch the latest releases or sip on some brandy in the library.
Once everyone is gone, retreat to the chalet’s plush bedrooms, all with the newest furnishings, fittings and en-suite bathrooms. Sprawling over 100m², the two master suites are ultra luxurious, the main one being comprised of two dressing rooms, a private lounge, bedroom and bathroom.
Keep up your busy social life in the mountains at this exquisite chalet through Ultimate Luxury Chalets here.