While hotels have their obvious advantages, if you prefer a more private holiday experience, a catered house on an exclusive basis could well be the right choice for you and your party.
Eschewing endless restaurant choices for personalised menus, and enjoying the attention of staff dedicated to looking after you alone, the advantages of side-stepping a hotel and opting for your own home-away-from-home cannot be underplayed.
From boutique abodes for two, to palatial residences perfect for a large family party or a birthday celebration with friends, villas come in all shapes and sizes to suit your requirements.
Affording extra privacy and flexibility, rigid mealtimes are forgotten, disturbing the room next door is not a concern and the pool is all yours.
We’ve compiled a selection of our favourites below but naturally our little black book is jam packed full of gems to suit any and every brief.
Set on the glamorous west coast of Barbados, Lelant is a stylish, modern villa, a stone’s throw from the 16th fairway of the Royal Westmoreland Golf Club. Well positioned on a breezy ridge, the 5 bedroom property catches the soothing trade winds, which keep the chic indoor/outdoor living spaces airy and cool. When not luxuriating in the villa’s own huge infinity pool, guests may use the resorts myriad facilities including a fully equipped gym, Pilates classes, Robert Trent Jones Championship Golf Course and new flood-lit tennis courts. With exclusive permission to use the Royal Westmoreland’s private members’ beach club at Mullins Bay, guests can enjoy delicious light lunches, not to mention the best rum sours on the island.
Casa Galavanta, Colombia
Situated in the heart of Colombia‘s lush mountain range, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Casa Galavanta sits at 1,500 masl, between dense rainforest and coffee fields, with a perfect view of the Caribbean sea. Surrounded by incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna enabled by the shelter of the cloud forest formations, this rural luxury lodge boasts the utmost level of comfort while conserving the local ecology and minimising environmental impact.
Habaraduwa House, Sri Lanka
The home of colonial living, Sri Lanka is blessed with a plethora of beautiful private villas, stylishly decorated, dotted along beach fronts, through the countryside and nestled in hillsides. Habaraduwa House is one such address, effortlessly blending inside and outside living throughout its pavilions, spread amongst its grounds. The elegant poolside enjoys views over the beach and out to sea while the spacious airy living room and games room provide myriad options for relaxing.
Wazi Dubu, Kenya
Laid back living does come much more languorous than the African coast and the beach houses at Kizingoni on Kenya’s exclusive island of Lamu. Wazi Dubu embodies the ultimate relaxed private home with airy terraces overlooking the golden beach and ocean beyond, while a central courtyard accommodates a glorious 12m swimming pool. Breezy bedrooms and barazas are plentiful while cheerful staff are discreet yet quite brilliant at appearing at right time with vats of refreshing lime juice.
Seascape, Annandale, New Zealand
Settled amid the undulating slopes of New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula and the glittering sea of the Pacific the working coast farm of Annandale is home to four very different “gumboot luxury” villas. The jewel in the collection’s crown is Seascape. Accessed only by helicopter or by a 40-minute transfer in a 4WD, this single bed-roomed abode is set within it’s own dramatically beautiful bay. Privacy need not be disturbed as meals prepared by the in house chef will be delivered to your door along with simple instructions to complete and serve, undisturbed.
Heron House, Vietnam
Peacefully located, near Vietnam’s central coast and the centre of Hoi An, Heron House provides a tranquil escape for those pursuing a little slow living. Three airy bedrooms boast panoramas of neighbouring paddy fields and Vietnamese countryside from their terrace or balcony, complete with an idyllic hammock, ideal for unwinding with a good book and an expertly mixed cocktail. Dine in with a delicious BBQ or venture by bicycle to Hoi An, to explore the its wealth of excellent cafes and restaurants.
For more information on private houses or to book a holiday, get in touch.