Most people can’t wait to start traveling again, but not everyone is keen to stay at a hotel. So the answer is a reclusive villa where you can enjoy privacy, freedom, independence with the ability to be as quiet (or as noisy) as you like.
Perhaps you want to get away with a group of girlfriends, arrange a big family celebration or find a romantic
hideaway for two. Here’s our pick of the best villas, with many of them featuring private pools, from the experts at 101 Holidays
Get away with the girls
If you want to relax with a small group of girlfriends, a villa is perfect. Your best option is one with lots of bathrooms, and within walking distance of bars and restaurants. For example, on the Greek island of Corfu, Vintage Travel suggests Arhondiko
which has four double / twin rooms with ensuite bathrooms, plus a single. Local tavernas are a short walk away.
In Provence in the South of France, you could rent Mas Mayeaux
with Oliver’s Travels. It sleeps up to 12 and enjoys complete privacy, but there are shops, bars and restaurants all within a short walk.
Celebrate in style
If you’ve got a big birthday or anniversary to celebrate – and a budget to match – you can rent a superb villa with staff to look after your every need. In Tuscany, A&K Villas has Villa Machiavelli
, a 15th-Century conversion with 10 rooms and suites sleeping up to 20 people. It’s fully-staffed with indoor and outdoor pools.
How about the Caribbean? In Barbados, CV Villas suggests the spectacular Crystal Springs which was decorated by Oliver Messel and sits directly on the beach. It sleeps 10 and is really the last word in luxury.
operates luxury hotel barges on some of the most beautiful rivers and canals in Europe. You can book a berth or charter the whole boat with gourmet dining, fine wines and excursions included.
Just the two of you
In steamy Andalucia in the south of Spain, we couldn’t imagine anywhere more romantic than Casa Rustica
, available to rent through Vintage Travel. It oozes rustic charm and has a private pool overlooking lakes and mountains.
Cornwall has been put firmly on the global map by the G7 Summit. In the lovely village of Fowey, Rural Retreats has Barnacles
, a gorgeous waterfront cottage with beaches and pubs on your doorstep.
If you want to be be on the water, Fleewinter
has crewed yachts sailing between the Greek islands. You can take a berth for two or charter the whole thing.
Get wed in paradise
It’s estimated that 240,000 weddings have been postponed in the UK alone during the pandemic. The figures worldwide will stretch into millions. The importance of creating special memories is more clear than ever. A romantic setting, a gorgeous place to stay and plenty of bedrooms for family and friends. You may want to stay at a hotel.
With Virgin Limited Edition, you can hire Son Bunyola
, Sir Richard Branson’s private estate on the island of Mallorca. It is made up of three separate villas and is absolutely superb.
Or head to the romantic Scottish Highlands where The Big Domain has Highland Hall
, an elegant country house set in six acres of gardens and woodland. Salmon fishing, golf and shooting are all available on your doorstep.
Multi-generational family reunions
One of the biggest post-pandemic travel trends is multi-generational
family get-togethers. Typically, the mums and dads organize it and the grandparents pay. You’re looking for a house that is child- friendly and close to a beach, but without too many steep steps.
Turquoise Holidays suggests Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives. It’s a cool, contemporary resort with lots of playful touches and one island dedicated to families with a choice of villa accommodation.
In the Greek Pelepponese, GIC The Villa Collection suggests Sea View Villa
which sleeps up to 10 with daily maid service and the option of hiring a private chef. Beach and tavernas are within walking distance, and Granny and Grandad have the option of taking the master suite in the main villa with the rest of the family in the guest wing.