You can rent some incredible properties around the world. What’s great about this is you don’t have to pay the property taxes or finance the upkeep. Stay a week, and let someone else mow the 500-acre lawn—or clean the infinity pool overlooking the Southeast Asian seas.
Nha Trang Villa: Vietnam
If trips to St. Tropez are getting boring, then fly “far east” to Vietnam to one of the most celebrated villas in Asia. Perched on a rugged cliff with endless views of blue sea and sky, you’ll find the Nha Trang Villa. It is a 22,000-square-foot slice of heaven where you and ten of your best friends can get lost in luxury and pure pleasure. You’ll have to fight over the five elegant bedrooms, all with incredible views and tastefully decorated with custom-designed furniture.
Designed by award-winning architect Gary Fell, the villa has an abundance of natural light and views from every vantage point. The main floor of the property boasts a huge infinity pool, lounge, dining area for 20 people, and 180-degree uninterrupted views. You’ll also find a 12-seat cinema, gym, spa, two studies, and a dedicated children’s play area in your private villa. Of course, you can choose to have a nanny, private chef, chauffeur, concierge, and massage therapist.
Contact: Nguyen Thi Phuong Anh, reservation supervisor or email manager via listing on HomeAway.com
Nguyen Tat Thanh
Bai Dong, Cam Hai Dong, Cam Lam
tp. Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, Vietnam
Price: $5,500 USD per night (3-night minimum stay)
Villa Aquamare: British Virgin Islands
Looking for the ultimate party house? The Villa Aquamare compound features three 8,000-square-foot villas, a total of 15 suites, and three infinity pools, as well as a sandy beach park overlooking the waters of the Drake Channel. Thirty of your best friends can swim, kayak, snorkel, lounge, and party in privacy. Villa Aquamare has a discreet staff of experts on call to coordinate a celebratory gathering, including an on-site villa host, party planners, caterers, private chefs, wedding coordinators, and staff of housekeepers. They take care of every detail and offer the service you would expect at a five-star hotel. That leaves you free to savor the privacy of the nearly two-acre compound, situated directly on Mahoe Bay. Feel free to laze or play at the beach, dine alfresco poolside, or party in paradise on an island that’s removed from the glare of the paparazzi.
Contact: Villa Aquamare; Mahoe Bay; Virgin Gorda; BVI, VG1150
Price: From $51,500 USD for 7 nights, based on maximum occupancy of 30 guests
Aldourie Castle: Scotland
Why not call a castle home for a while? Especially one that is located near that infamous lake creature—the Loch Ness Monster. Aldourie Castle is only six miles from Inverness on the shores of Loch Ness. The castle is a five-star exclusive-use property with all the services and staffing meant for royalty. It has 13 double bedrooms with an additional two single rooms (smaller), which interconnect from the main bedrooms (think private midnight parties). The castle comes equipped with a full staff—yes, just like Downton Abbey. And for an extra daily fee, your guests can be treated to a traditional Scottish breakfast, light lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, fully serviced and staffed throughout.
Contact: Lavinia Turner, general manager; Aldourie Castle, Loch Ness; Inverness,
IV2 6EL, Scotland; firstname.lastname@example.org
Price: From $20,562 USD + vat @ 20% for a 2 night rental
$51,406 USD + vat @ 20% for a 1 week rental
Castle-villa at Le Torri di Bagnara: Italy
Napoleon’s great-great-grandniece, Zenaide Giunta, owns a 1,500-acre medieval estate and working farm in Umbria near Assisi and Perugia, on the border of Tuscany. She has transformed one of the property’s castles into Pieve Castle Villa, rentable by the week. The castle has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, spacious living areas, a professional kitchen, a courtyard, gardens, and a darling chapel.
Definitely hire the full-time Italian chef, who will create amazing meals for you and your guests from the vegetables in the one-acre botanical garden. Tuscan landscape designer Alberto Margheriti created the beautiful garden, and it encompasses the herb garden and kitchen garden. Dine in the epic castle or enjoy barbequed meals al fresco around the saltwater pool or on the jasmine-covered dining veranda. Other activities can include Italian cooking lessons, mountain biking or hiking on the trails on the property, yoga, truffle hunting, and wine tours.
Contact: Castle-villa at Le Torri di Bagnara; Strada della Bruna,
8, 06134; Pieve San Quirico; Perugia, Italy
Price: Euro $10,000 USD per week (amenities, such as professional chef, are extra)
Straffan House: Ireland
For the first time since it was meticulously constructed, Straffan House, an elegant private residence nestled on 550 acres of idyllic Kildare countryside on the grounds of The K Club Hotel, Spa and Country Club in Kildare, Ireland, is available for exclusive use. Built and owned by The K Club’s founder, Sir Michael Smurfit, the 34,000-sq-ft Straffan House was inspired by the original structure of the same name—built in 1832 in the style of a French Chateau that now houses the adjacent K Club Hotel.
Located just 40 minutes outside of Dublin, Straffan House gives you and your friends a true town and country experience, with traditional outdoor pursuits of fishing on the River Liffey, falconry, skeet shooting, and horseback riding. One of the perks of staying at the Straffan House is the unlimited golf on both Arnold Palmer designed championship courses: The Palmer Course, venue for the 2006 Ryder Cup, and The Smurfit Course, host to the European Open for three years.
Contact: Straffan House; The Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club, Kildare, Ireland
Price: $26,000 USD per night in the summer months and $16,000 USD per night in the winter
The Willows: Palm Springs
Marion Davies has been gone for more than half a century, but her legacy lives on at her beloved villa in Palm Springs, called The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn. This quaint hideaway was Ms. Davies Palm Springs residence during the late 1950s. With only eight incredible chambers—including one named for Ms. Davies—you and 15 friends will have a wonderful time recreating the glamour of a bygone era Each suite is a capsule of luxury boasting its own style, charm, and design, with fireplaces, tandem claw-foot tubs, private balconies, separate entrances, fainting couches, and priceless artwork. Although downtown Palm Springs is only a few blocks away, you might never leave the estate because of all the wonderful amenities. You get a chef-driven, three-course breakfast; evening wine and hors d’oeuvres; poolside snacks, and en suite edibles. One of the gems of the property is the breathtaking views from the sweeping terraces and spectacular gardens, with exotic and rare plants coupled with winding rock pathways, and a spectacular 50-foot waterfall that cascades down the hillside, making a spectacular backdrop for your dining pleasure.
Contact: The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn
412 West Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA
Price: $3,500 USD per night
Teresa Rodriguez is a travel expert and the founder of TangoDiva.com. She is also the author of several books, including Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone and Body, Mind, and Solo: 7 Keys to Conquering the World Alone.