Whether you're in your own posh palace or in a bungalow at a resort, these villas are truly a home away from home.
1. Sundown Villa, Discovery Bay, Jamaica
Sundown Villa is the spot for your next family reunion. With a total of nine spacious suites, up to 18 guests can coexist comfortably in the crisply decorated spaces. The veranda opens to an outdoor living room with oversize sofas under the shade of a sprawling almond tree, just steps from the pool and 125-foot private beach.
Keep busy on the bay with stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking to a nearby reef for snorkeling and sailing on the Hobie Cat with the resident certified lifeguard. The rest of the staff, including a butler, chef, and housekeeper, seem to be mind-readers, anticipating your every need. All-inclusive meals are available, or the chef can tailor your weekly menu. Your farewell party includes s'mores and "Irie Mon!" written in the sand with fire. That means "Everything's all right, man," and here, it is all right—and more.
Rates start at $1,360 per night for the main house; yourjamaicanvillas.com.
2. Cubo al Mare, Noto, Sicily
Situated hillside along the rocky coast of Lido di Noto, Sicily, the ivory cubic structure of Cubo al Mare emerges from the emerald landscape like a fallen cloud. Inside, the open ground-level layout flows from the kitchen's stainless steel appliances to the sleek, white dining table and the soft, white sofa in the living room, where floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors allow the space to fill with light.
Up a winding staircase, two minimalist bedrooms make the scenery the star. The waist-to-ceiling windows yield awe-inspiring views of the land, sky, and sea. Up another flight of stairs is an open-air terrace, with a dining table for six and cushioned loungers for sunbathing to the soundtrack of the waves crashing below. Outside, stairs lead to the water and huge, smooth-surfaced boulders—the perfect locale for relaxing in the sun with the sea at your feet.
Rates start at $3,130 per week; thinksicily.com.
3. The Water's Edge Resort and Spa Villas, Westbrook, Connecticut
In the quiet, unassuming town of Westbrook, a resort is the last thing you would expect to find among the old-time shingled residences. In fact, The Water's Edge Resort and Spa sits not far from the multimillion-dollar estate of the late Katharine Hepburn, and the resort manages to maintain a similar vibe to an old New England family compound.
New this year at Water's Edge: trim two-bedroom villas for rent. At last you can prop your boat shoes on the deck of your own balcony overlooking the calm waters of the Long Island Sound. With beautiful water views, nautical decor, and top-of-the-line kitchen appliances, these gems are a retreat for water-loving, relaxation-seeking folks escaping the bustle of New York. With an on-site formal restaurant (brunch is a hot ticket and needs advance reservations) and a hopping pool right beneath your windows, you have the perks of a hotel plus the comforts of a villa.
Rates start at $750 per night; watersedgeresortandspa.com.
4. Villas at Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI
After 10 years of full-time residency, the sun-kissed inhabitants of the British Virgin Islands can apply for a special title: belonger. But, truthfully, it takes less than one day for visitors to Virgin Gorda's newest resort, Oil Nut Bay, to feel fully at home. Perhaps it's because guests at the resort's six-bedroom Bella Beach or two-bedroom Jewel Box villas can have the full-service kitchens pre-stocked with all their favorite goodies. Or maybe it's courtesy of the oversize, infinity-edge pools on private oceanfront patios.
Either way, these luxury rentals have all the conveniences of home and then some (45-inch LCD televisions, chromotherapy bathtubs, and remote-controlled, adjustable mattresses complete with massage settings). Visitors also get undisturbed bay views and access to dining at The Beach Club. It's the perfect retreat to get away from it all. (Though you can expect some minor construction as part of the resort's rapid growth.) Ferry service to neighboring islands turns this stretch of the Caribbean into your personal playground.
Rates start at $2,850 per night; oilnutbay.com.
Check out the full list of amazing villa vacation rentals.
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