Gorgeous Luxury Villas We Want To Escape To ASAP
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Gorgeous Luxury Villas We Want To Escape To ASAP

The loveliest rentals to call your own for a week – or two

Dreaming of a secluded sojourn? Try these gorgeous luxury villas on for size in 2024, selected by the C&TH team, from Ibiza to the Cotswolds.

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Best Luxury Villas 2024

Villa Fanya in Greece

Villa Fanya – Syros, Greece

Quite often in my travelling life, I have pinch-me moments, when beauty overwhelms. And, often travelling solo, those moments are tinged with regret that my family are not there to share them with me. So how wonderful it was last summer to journey with my family – one husband, three children, one daughter-in-law, one boyfriend and two grandchildren, and share the sheer gorgeousness of Villa Fanya together.

Contemporary in design, the earthy-toned, stone, five-bedroomed house lay low and sleek on the cliff’s edge. A path wound down to the sea, past the infinity pool – there was even a little jetty cut into the rocks where you could sunbathe if you wanted – and the boys in the party took to fishing down there. One lunch we had a catch of rainbow wrasse and sea bream grilled on the barbeque, accompanied by freshly made garlicky tzatziki, courtesy of the villa’s housekeeper, Evangelia.

The Thinking Traveller describe its properties, which dot Italy and Greece, as ‘Places with Soul’. Villa Fanya does indeed have soul, but its beating heart was Evangelia. She arrived with a smile and left us with one on her departure. In between she tackled the washing up from dinner, scrambled eggs for the breakfast, prepared dishes for lunch, made the beds and cleaned. She taught my husband how to make the local dip of yellow split peas, a dish we have brought home with us, and gave me an actual holiday, something I had not had in years. The other thing that did that was the intuitive shopping service of The Thinking Traveller, a seriously brilliant help, and its introduction to the Ousyra Winery. At a tasting there, owner Edward talked us through the excellent wines and its rosé became our go-to for long, lazy lunches by the pool and dinners under the stars.

We wandered into Syros’s magnificent capital Hermoupolis, where 19th-century merchant palaces in pinks and whites tumble down the hill towards the sea. We learnt about the islands culinary culture from Elisa at Villa Maria whose excellent cooking class included the ubiquitous parsley dip and we eat in the charming garden of the equally charming Aristide Hotel where the aubergine risotto is not to be missed.

And I learnt from our week at Villa Fanya, that holidays in luxury villas can, unlike previous experiences, be a holiday. You must just pick the right place. By Mary Lussiana

BOOK IT: From £9,554 to £24,747 per week, depending on season. thinkingtraveller.com

A pool with striped sun loungers beside the sea

Fincadelica Xarraca – Xarraca, Ibiza

Fincadelica has welcomed a new villa to the family in the form of Fincadelica Xarraca, and as expected, it’s stylish, it’s ultra-luxurious, and it has plenty of White Isle allure. With its enviable location that overlooks the shores of Cala Xarraca Bay, set among fragrant pines on the northwest side of Ibiza, this eight-bedroom 3,000 sq/m coastal estate is one of the largest beach-side properties on the island; and not only that, it comes complete with direct beach access, just follow the coastal path and its secret cove. Available for exclusive hire, the property is home to laid-back luxury and fully embraces the indoor-outdoor living ethos, playing to the Mediterranean’s climate and year-round sunshine. A private and secluded spot, Fincadelica Xarraca makes for the perfect glamorous escape – it’s no wonder then, that it’s been loved by the jet set over the years and was even shot by infamous American high society photographer Slim Aarons in the ‘70s, adding to the this luxury villa’s fun, glittering and culturally significant heritage. By Felicity Carter

BOOK IT: From £60,000 per week in the low season and £102,000 per week in the high season, fully staffed. fincadelicaibiza.com

Temple Guiting Manor in the Cotswolds

Temple Guiting Manor – The Cotswolds, UK

Fancy trying out the luxury villas closer to home? Enjoy your very own mini Saltburn-style escape in the heart of the stunning hamlet of Temple Guiting in the Cotswolds. Take over the whole estate with its Jinny Blom-designed gardens (sleeping 32 across a range of stunningly appointed accommodation); or, for smaller groups, plump for the divine small medieval manor house – described by Nicholas Pevsner as one of the finest examples of its kind in the country. It sleeps ten, and is the only house in the county to have two built-in dovecotes (now cleverly used as a cinema room and a hot tub room). There are endless nooks and crannies to explore and the estate is steeped in history; but that doesn’t mean it rests on its ancient laurels. Besides a Wim Hof-style dip in the lake, there are endless activities, from a pool and tennis court, to paddleboarding and rowing; from boules and table tennis to a delightful children’s woodland playground – every amenity has been thought of. And, of course, the rolling golden hills are just outside your back door should they beckon.

BOOK IT: The Manor, from £2,100 per night; the whole estate from £5,450 per night. templeguitingmanor.co.uk

A luxury villa with a large glass wall overlooking the sea and mountains beyond

Milos RHM – Milos Island, Greece

Embrace idyllic Greek island life with this luxurious, brand new luxury villa on the Aegean isle of Milos, which is renowned for its spectacular beaches, picturesque villages and excellent food. The showstopping villa – one of only a few five-star stays on this untouched island – features seven ensuite bedrooms, an infinity pool, plus glorious outside spaces to relax in, including a sunken firepit with a circular seating area. Just a stone’s throw away is the crystal clear sea, accessible by a path down to the water from the villa. Here, you’ll find a cluster of Milos’s colourful painted ‘syrmata’ fishermen’s huts, which are unique to the island. A skippered speedboat is available on request, meaning you can make the most of exploring this delightful Greek paradise.

BOOK IT: £POA, fivestargreece.com

A Portugese villa with bright blue pool

Villa Balbina – Algarve, Portugal

Nestled in its own little cove, Villa Balbina is a blissfully secluded beachfront stay enjoying a private stretch of sandy climes and lapping waves. It’s typically styled for the region, with Moorish-inspired terracotta tones and vaulted ceilings – but it’s still one of the most gorgeous luxury villas we’ve come across. The sun-splashed roof tiles are a picturesque sight peeking out from the lush surrounding greenery, too. Step inside and the interiors are stylish and chic – polished and contemporary, replete with relaxing breakout spaces and plush sofas. Up to ten guests can enjoy a stay here, swimming the infinity pool, luxuriating in a bubbling jacuzzi or commanding a paddle board from the neighbouring beach. An added bonus for active visitors is a very well-equipped indoor gym boasting free-standing weights and smart equipment. Of course, it goes without saying that there’s a chef service and a team available to hire throughout your stay to look after your every need.

BOOK IT: Villa from £15,682 per week depending on season. cvvillas.com

Villa Allegra

Villa Allegra – Zakynthos, Greece

Joyous by name, joyous by nature, Villa Allegra is tucked away in the hills on the rugged north- east coast of Zakynthos. Despite its rural setting, Allegra is just ten minutes’ drive from the fabled Peligoni Club (where children find their sea feet on boats, boards and sails) and offers peaceful seclusion and a magnificent view across the bay of Aghios Nikoloas. But this is no rustic retreat; modern and perfectly appointed, Allegra has everything you need to make a family holiday stress-free. The magnificent infinity pool is large enough for both lengths and lounging. The villa sleeps eight in three spacious bedrooms and can easily accommodate two families. The open-plan living area spills out onto a pergola-covered al fresco dining space, perfect for a sunrise breakfast, if you and yours are earlybirds. Suffice it to say, Allegra is a fitting addition to the impressive Peligoni portfolio. By Alex McIntosh

BOOK IT: From £2,900 a week. indigo-rock.com

A long table set for dinner

© Laura Mazzello Photography

Villa Binicalaf – Menorca, Spain

And finally on this list of gorgeous luxury villas for 2024, Binicalaf’s honeyed-stones offer perfect respite for travellers seeking pampered luxury on a summer – or anytime – holiday under the sun. The farmhouse, sensitively restored to accommodate up to 16 guests over eight bedrooms, is a short meander from the beach. But you’ll almost be hard pressed to leave this spoiling escape, not least because this luxury villa sits on its own 300 acres of orchard and private land. No shock either, then, that it can feed you straight from the estate’s organic vegetable garden – chef service is one amenity you can add to your stay for homely farm- to-fork Menorcan dining. For the perfect day here, start off with a spritely game of badminton or volleyball on the manicured lawns, before heading for a dip in the gated swimming pool. In the evening, retire to the villa for a spot of herbal tea, or lounge on the candle-lit terrace for dinner al fresco. The cherry on top of this already immaculate offer at Villa Binicalaf? A professional masseuse can be arranged to knock straight at your door should your stay not be relaxing enough already…

BOOK IT: From £26,000 a week. redsavannah.com