Photo: Villa Crew Group
There are such things as travel snobs who think that enjoying anything too plush while on the road is an easy way out for the lazy among us. Returning home without a new scar or story of accidentally eating something potentially fatal seems to them like a waste of a trip. But like many staid positions, this can often come from never having tried the alternative.
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We aren’t talking about an all-inclusive resort somewhere. We are thinking bigger; we’re thinking about villas, fully staffed to attend your every need. Around the world there are gorgeous villas, often with awe-inspiring views and private beach access that inspire less white-knuckle adventure and more white-glove service.
Offering comfort and convenience far from home, villas like the Kadju House in Sri Lanka or Azura Retreat’s Presidential Villa in Mozambique can calm the worries of any nervous traveller. That said, staying in Hawaii’s Bali Hale villa or the California Dreamin’ estate in Sonoma can inspire a new level of luxury not too far from home. And when it comes to sampling local Mexican fare, what better way to become immersed than to pick your chef’s brain in Nido de Amor’s gorgeous kitchen?
Consider the way you think of “daily life” changed forever.
Location: Careyes, Mexico
Careyes is one of Mexico's well-kept secrets. A three-hour drive south of Puerto Vallarta, Careyes is a coastal town with only three resorts and a collection of brightly coloured villas along the beach.
With the nearest town about an hour away, all this exclusivity and seclusion offers an incredible amount of luxury, such as fully stocked and staffed homes like Nido de Amor.
Even the staunchest adventurer would enjoy having fresh Mexican food cooked expertly in your villa's kitchen each day.
Location: Maremma, Italy
With the spectacular Cinque Terre to the north, smaller coastal towns like Maremma, get fewer foreign visitors. An hour from Pisa and a 2 ½ hour ride to Florence, Maremma is a coastal Tuscan town that is host to Moscatello, a beautiful estate with two villas, a golf course, horseback riding, tennis courts, pools, beach access, and on-site hunting.
If you decide to opt in, you can choose to learn the ways of Italian cooking alongside your chef or simply practice your already honed skill for eating it.
Location: Galina, Jamaica
Jamaica's fresh tropical cuisine, infectious music, and chill nature are contagious and there is no better way of experiencing them than at your own temporary Jamaican home.
Guests who've enjoyed the confines of Bolt House before praise the chef on staff as reason enough to rent this villa. He makes mouthwatering local cuisine, sources the freshest produce, and it is all ready by the time you wake up.
During your stay, you have access to a private car and driver and can use many of the amenities at nearby hotels.
Location: Sonoma, Calif.
From the Russian River Valley to Healdsburg, you'd be hard pressed to find a single square foot of Sonoma that isn't gorgeous.
To rent a villa there, like this California Dreamin' estate, is like signing up for an immersion course in wine-soaked relaxation.
Location: Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Kadju House is one of those homes that you see in a magazine and makes you wonder, wistfully, if the person living there had to sell their soul to the devil to get such a sweet deal.
When you are done staring at the view from one of the four bedrooms (or the private spa room), you can join the chef on a trip to the local market to buy fresh fish, produce, and local delicacies.
Or you can laze by the private beach and wait for it to be ready to eat.
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