There are holiday rentals, and then there are luxury holiday rentals. If you’re planning that well-deserved break, might as well do so in absolute class and opulence. With rental services companies such as Airbnb on the rise, travelers have been shifting their preferences for hotels to these more homely options. Whether you’re in the exotic Seychelles, or perched atop the French Alps, make yourself right at home with these five dream properties.
At the summit
Name: Le Hameau de la Volière.
Where: Courchevel 1850, in the French Alps. Amid the lush vegetation of the Chenus, at an altitude of 1,850m (which gives the town its name) and a stone’s throw away from the centre of Courchevel 1850. Right by the skiing pistes, with unblocked views of the valley.
What: A trio of ultra-luxurious chalets in pale wood. Exotically named Les Bastidons, Cryst’aile and Nanuq, each comes with five rooms bathed in natural light over three or four levels, all designed by Christophe Tollemer in an exquisite, contemporary style.
Capacity: 12 persons per chalet.
Services: Evok Hôtels Collection, managers of this property, have provided everything, and more: indoor pool, spa (with Clarins products, no less), gym, wine cellar, and a home cinema.
Extras: Personal chef, butler, fitness instructor on demand.
Price: €40,000 (S$62,000) per week for 12, or €3,300 per person.
Name: Cousine Island.
Where: The Seychelles; 6 km south-west of Praslin Island.
What: A little private tropical paradise caressed by the waves of the Indian Ocean, Cousine Island had until recently only had four pretty villas decorated in a graceful colonial style. A new presidential villa was launched in April this year. Nestled amid the luxuriant vegetation, but at only 30 m from the beach, the 625 sqm villa contains two spacious suites with bathrooms, a study, living room, dining room, gym and spa. To get around, guests use the electric golf carts.
Capacity: 16 to 20 persons for the five villas.
Services: For the presidential villa: A butler, a chef and a chambermaid.
Extras: The Guest Conservation Ambassador, an ambitious eco-system sustainability program that encourages guests to participate in the conservation of this exceptional natural environment.
Price: On request.
Name: Villa Lavinia.
Where: Paros, in the Cyclades islands, a 30-minute flight from Athens. On a hill overlooking the port of Naoussa.
What: A large, all-white and recently built villa, with an adjoining two-bedroom guesthouse. The main villa contains five double rooms on two levels (with verandahs on the upper floor) and a bright, sun-lit interior, blending perfectly with the modern décor. The guesthouse has direct access to the charming garden featuring olive tress and aromatic herbs. Day beds next to the pool and a large outdoor reception area ideal for barbecues.
Capacity: 14 persons.
Services: Daily cleaning, cooked breakfasts and concierge services.
Extras: The magnificent Kolymbithres beach with its beautiful sand and enormous granite formations is just a few minutes away on foot.
Price: €15,000 per week.
Name: Villas Stylia
Where: In the village of Trou d’Eau Douce, on the east coast of Mauritius. In a pretty garden at the edge of one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. A 10-minute boat ride from l’Ile aux Cerfs.
What: Six modern, comfortable villas recently opened by Patrice Hardy (ex CEO of the Naïade Group) and his son Alexandre. Four villas with a garden view, and two villas with direct access to the lagoon. The beach is a mere 50m from the garden. Each villa contains three bedrooms (including one for kids with bunk beds) and three bathrooms, as well as a vast open concept living-cum-dining room that give on to the private pool.
Capacity: Up to nine persons per villa.
Services: Service staff including villa manager, concierge, gardeners. On demand: massages, airport transfers, personal chauffeur, guide, baby-sitter, car or scooter rentals.
Extras: A shared kitchen with a chef who will cook breakfast and delectable meals at reasonable prices. The chef can also prepare dinners or barbecues by the beach.
Price: From €200 per villa per night.
Name: Villa Iposeira.
Where: Rio de Janeiro. In the São Corado neighbourhood, within 10 minutes of Ipanema.
What: A futuristic architect’s villa. Completely see-through, the house is the centrepiece of a four-hectare park with lovely palm trees and a fountain. No walls can be found here, just immense bay windows that give incomparable views of the ocean and nature. There are even three majestic trees taking pride of place in the large drawing room… The 900 sqm of the villa boast not only elegant reception rooms with tasteful contemporary art pieces, but also four luxurious en-suite rooms. The dining room with its imposing table can accommodate up to 20 lucky guests.
Capacity: Eight persons.
Services: On demand.
Extras: A huge infinity pool.
Price: From €700 a night.
This story first appeared in a slightly different form in L’Officiel Singapore.