With the Andronis Arcadia resort in Santorini, five minutes’ walk from the village of Oia, you have the privacy of a villa with all the benefits of a hotel. Spanning over 7,100 square feet, the three-story Eden Villa has direct sunset views and a color palette of white, sand and turquoise. It has six bedrooms, two private pools, its own fitness center and spa room, and a fully equipped modern kitchen. If you want something smaller, the resort also includes suites through to four-bedroom villas. The hotel has an Evexia Spa, developed in partnership with Denise Leicester, founder of organic skincare brand Ila Spa.
DETAILS: Price per week from $29,000, sleeps 12.
Andronis Arcadia; andronis.com/hotels/andronis-arcadia
Podere Celli is an historic Tuscan home ideal for large groups. Surrounded by extensive grounds and gardens, it has a 16 meter swimming pool built in travertine stone, with a pergola facing it furnished with sofas and sun loungers – the perfect spot for watching the Tuscan sunset. At the heart of the property is an open-plan living room, divided by archways into sitting and dining areas, with two large fireplaces. The highlight is the kitchen which has a wood oven, designed for avid cooks, though there is the option of renting the villa complete with cook and staff, which might be advisable given it has 13 bedrooms. Plus, Siena is located under one hours’ drive away.
DETAILS: Price per week from $15,456, sleeps 26.
Tuscany Now and More; tuscanynowandmore.com
french riviera, France
With views over the sea and Cannes, Villa Lizzie is a Provençal-style bastide with seven bedrooms and plenty of outside space for children to explore. This is a country house with a homely feel to it, featuring a living room with a fireplace, a wine cellar (though you will have to source and pay for the wine), an office, a playroom for younger children and a swimming pool. Five of the bedrooms are in the main villa and each has its own en suite, while the remaining two bedrooms are in a guest house, one with a double bed and the other with twin beds.
DETAILS: Price per week from $27,960, sleeps 14.
One Fine Stay; onefinestay.com
A former retreat of French royalty, Le Château Aubenas is a 16th-century residence in the rural landscape of the Luberon. The five-bedroom château is sheltered by tall trees, yet elevated enough to enjoy views of nearby hills. Located in gated grounds, it offers complete privacy. Outdoor areas include an olive grove, sun terrace, a barbecue and table-tennis table. There is also a heatable swimming pool in a pine-scented setting, which is open from May to September (and beyond for an additional cost). Inside, high ceilings and old-world artifacts are complemented by stylish contemporary décor. A chef can be pre-booked and Forcalquier’s shops, restaurants and market are six miles away.
DETAILS: Price per week from $3,882, sleeps up to eight adults and four children.
CV Villas; cvvillas.com
Many villa rentals have the advantage of having a hotel as part of the complex. Located on the Andalusian coast, close to the village of Casares, the resort of Finca Cortesin has a collection of 16 five-bedroom, all en suite villas with fully-equipped kitchens and private pools. They overlook a championship golf course, with views of the Sierra Bermeja mountain range. Breakfast is available in the hotel restaurant and the resort also offers complimentary parking and babysitting, freshly cut local flowers, Penhaligon’s toiletries and twice daily housekeeping.
DETAILS: Price per week from
$26,161, sleeps 10.
Preferred Hotels and Resorts; preferredhotels.com
The grand six-bedroom Villa Doria is ideally located for enjoying Corfu’s north-east coast. It’s a short drive from Avlaki beach and the waterfront restaurants and cafés in St Stephano, while Kassiopi’s harbour, restaurants and beaches are also within easy reach. The 12-meter long infinity pool is a real draw, while views down the hillside toward the Ionian Sea and across to Albania allow you to watch the sunrise in the morning as you look east, and see the lights along Albania’s coastline at night.
DETAILS: Price per week from $2,940, sleeps 12.
CV Villas; cvvillas.com
The newly built Villa Erakle, located in Eraclea Minoa on the southern coast of Sicily, benefits from a secluded beach nearby and plenty of al fresco dining venues. The villa is set over three floors with five bedrooms, and a main living area with a beautiful fireplace and large windows offering sea views. Outdoor facilities include a swimming pool with sunloungers, a hammock, a barbecue and ping pong table. Meanwhile, the local area offers a great variety of water sport activities.
DETAILS: Price per week from $4,700, sleeps 10.
Villa Travellers; villatravellers.com
Situated in the Chianti region, south of Siena, Villa Vercenni is a large former farmhouse accessed via a cypress-lined drive in a wooded private estate. The six-bedroom villa has been tastefully and artistically restored. The heavily beamed sitting room has a huge inglenook complete with a wood-burning stove, along with ample chairs and sofas, and a wall-wide mural of the estate. Occupying much of the lower floor, the kitchen/breakfast room features a stepped stone floor which opens onto the terrace, offering panoramic views of hills and valleys. The grounds also have a pool that is sunk into lawn surrounds, and a pergola for lunches. A chef can be pre-booked, and there are cafés and small shops in Radda, two miles from the villa, while nearby Siena’s attractions are only 20 miles away.
DETAILS: Price per week from $3,553, sleeps 11.
CV Villas; cvvillas.com
James Villa Holidays has a huge selection of villas – over 3,000 in 60 destinations. Its Villa India II in the S’Atalaya area of Binibeca is less than a mile from the resort’s restaurants and shops, as well as a sandy beach. The modern villa has patio doors leading from the lounge and all bedrooms to the outdoors, air-conditioning units, and a covered terrace with built-in barbecue.
DETAILS: Price per week from $618, sleeps six.
James Villa Holidays; jamesvillas.co.uk
Le Mas des Chenes Verts has stone floors and walls, antique furniture and local artworks. The six bedrooms are all en suite, there is a large living space with an open kitchen and lounge area and the pool house has its own barbecue and bathroom facilities. North and south facing terraces for dining offer views over the Luberon Valley and Mont Ventoux. The nearby village of Bonnieux with its restaurants and shops is only a short walk away either by road or along a forest path.
DETAILS: Price per week from $13,298, sleeps 12.
Abercrombie and Kent Villas; akvillas.co.uk
Villa Mayfair is in the heart of the Quinta do Lago resort, with its fitness center, The Campus, close by, plus top restaurants, cafés and bars. The villa has five en suite bedrooms across the first and second floors, two of which have their own private terraces. It also has a basement with a games room, complete with table tennis and snooker tables, giving teenagers their own space and providing adults with some peace and quiet. The private garden has a pool, a cascade waterfall, a barbecue dining area, plus a separate children’s pool. This villa is an ideal rental for the whole family – there’s even space in the basement to sleep four teenagers for an additional cost – but the resort has plenty of villas and apartments for every size group.
DETAILS: Price per week from $4,640, sleeps 14.
Quinta do Lago; quintadolago.com
The brand-new Villa Vista is located above the beautiful city of Omis on the Croatian coast. Close enough to local attractions and only a five-minute drive from local beaches, the villa still remains hidden and private. The family pool makes the most of the views, and there are three double bedrooms (all en suite) and a cozy living room with a fireplace and TV.
DETAILS: Price per week from $1,124, sleeps six.
val d’isere, france
Apartment Chartreuse is a ski-in, ski-out duplex penthouse apartment with a free-standing bath in the master double bedroom, and two further twin/double bedrooms with TVs and en suites – all with access to a balcony offering panoramic views of Val d’Isère. On the top floor, an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area has a stone fireplace while a snug area tucked away behind the staircase means children can watch films on the TV away from adults. Includes in-chalet ski and boot fitting service, lift pass delivery service, luxury robes, slippers and toiletries.
DETAILS: Price per week from $11,207, sleeps eight.
Bramble Ski; brambleski.com