If your life plan hasn’t quite got you your holiday home yet, at least there are plenty you can borrow – whether you want somewhere chicer than Casa Clooney on Lake Como, a coastal Corfu palace with ladders leading straight into the sea, or an Ibizan finca with a giant trampoline in the garden…
Ana Ana Artistic Habitat, Portimão, Portugal
Picture-perfect Ana Ana is the house-atelier of artist, creative director and interior designer Eric de Bruijn. This ever-evolving six-bedroom space boasts impeccably decorated airy rooms that incorporate bohemia with stark industrial lines. Artworks from de Bruijn’s personal collection pepper the property, giving it a uniquely stylish appeal. There’s plenty of areas for groups to dine and while away the days, with a huge open-plan kitchen, living room and plenty of outdoor space. Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon enjoying the sunshine on Ana Ana’s pink terrace sat by the swimming pool? If you are craving a little more hustle and bustle, then the restaurants and shops of Portimão is just a short walk away.
For more information, visit welcomebeyond.com
Villa Agave, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Settings don’t get much more idyllic than a clifftop surrounded by gardens which lead down to the sea below. Such is the location of Villa Agave which overlooks Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island. The former summer house of 19th-century English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evan, the three-bedroom stone villa was a favourite of Francis Ford Coppola who regularly used it as a tranquil writer’s retreat. A 24-hour butler will be on hand throughout your stay, while the four terraces will ensure that a beautiful vista is never far from reach. Still feeling stressed? The meditation room will help you expunge any worries.
For more information, visit adriaticluxuryhotels.com
Villa Passalacqua, Lake Como, Italy
Even George Clooney’s Como casa couldn’t live up to the 17th-century Villa Passalacqua – in the village of Moltrasio – which has nine suites, frescoes by Napoleon’s favourite artist Andrea Appiani, a waterfront swimming pool and a 200-year-old greenhouse amid the olive and lemon groves. The gardens stretch all the way down to the shores of the lake, and there are secret passageways that include a tunnel to the private marina. The former owner was the composer Vincenzo Bellini, and guests can sip peach-purée-enhanced champagne in the music-room where he used to perform to his visitors. You’ll be in good company: famous former guests include Winston Churchill and Napoleon himself.
For more information, visit thevillapassalacqua.com.
Villa Sueño, Deia, Mallorca
Set high in the Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca sits Villa Sueño, which offers views of both the sea and mountains. The infinity pool is surrounded by spacious gardens, sun beds, umbrellas and seating. If the sea-facing vistas become tiring, switch to the courtyard by the fountain under the shade of potted palm trees. Inside, guests can expect modern grandeur – artwork adorns the walls and decorative pieces make a bold statement. There are six bedrooms in total, accommodating 12 people, some with Juliette balconies, others with access to the terrace through floor-to-ceiling windows.
For more information, visit oliverstravels.com
Villa Pearl, Saint-Tropez, France
Enjoy the glamour of the French Riviera and the bustle of glittering Saint-Tropez, while staying in a tranquil private villa on the outskirts of the famed town. Guests are guaranteed plenty of space as they relax in the property’s expansive grounds, complete with a well-lit terrace and large pool. Only five minutes from the beach itself, Villa Pearl boasts six bedrooms and a pretty balcony. Available as part of the onefinestay roster, the company is offering the first 10 guests to book a Saint-Tropez villa for a stay in 2020 a bottle of rosé wine delivered to their property and an additional $250 USD credit that can be used towards its concierge services including in-villa spa treatments, vineyard tours, private yoga classes and airport transfers.
For more information, visit onefinestay.com/saint-tropez
Xinara House, Tinos, Greece
An English couple is behind the renaissance of this former bishop’s house on the Aegean isle of Tinos, near Mykonos – and luckily for future guests, they happen to be designers. The pair, along with local workers, have transformed Xinara House, which now has artworks by Andy Warhol and Gilbert & George, marble sinks and a Rachel Whiteread sofa. The terraced garden has olive, walnut, almond and citrus trees, as well as a vineyard and peaches, cherries and figs to pick each day. If you prefer to avoid kitchens on holiday, village cooks can be drafted in to prepare authentic Greek feasts using produce from the garden, as well as the island’s farms and fishermen.
For more information, visit xinarahouse.com.
Masseria Lamacoppa, Puglia, Italy
Masseria Lamacoppa sits on a 70-hectare family estate just outside of Ostuni. It’s a working olive-oil producer, so be sure to stockpile some of the white and rose-gold bottles filled with the heavenly golden liquid before you go home (though Londoners will be pleased to hear they can top up supplies at Sally Clarke’s restaurant in Kensington). The 17th-century building has been in the family for decades and it’s recently been restored, with a pool added a short buggy ride away from the main house so as not to spoil the historic building – the refurb has also included a shiny new poolhouse with kitchen and fridge space so you won’t have to keep going back and forth. The house is as atmospheric as you’d expect, with a library, lots of great art and a pink dining-room that would make a great backdrop for a dinner party. It sleeps 12 in total.
Masseria Lamacoppa, from €30,000 a week. For more information, visit lamacoppa.com or email [email protected]
Fontalbe, Dordogne, France
The owners of this gite in the Dordogne undertook an extensive renovation project when they bought the property in 2016 – back when it had no walls, bathrooms or kitchen. They’ve since transformed it into a sanctuary so stylish that they sold their London house and moved to France permanently at the end of last year. Guests can book in to enjoy the concrete floors, wood burners, original beamed ceilings and pool, along with wine tastings and trips to Saint Emillion. The main house has six ensuite bedrooms, and there’s also a one-bedroom apartment on site.
For more information, visit fontalbe.com.
Villa Soros, Corfu, Greece
If direct access to the sea is a dealbreaker, look no further than Villa Soros on Corfu, which has two sea-level terraces built into the rock face with ladders leading straight into the water. The imposing residence has a walled garden with mimosa-trees and bougainvillea, a cypress-studded lawn and Med-facing infinity pool, as well as a wisteria-draped outdoor dining deck and views over Corfu Town.
For more information, visit villacollective.com.
Finca 15, Ibiza, Spain
Hidden in the north of Ibiza, away from the island’s late-night revelry but a short drive from some of its prettiest beaches, is Finca 15. One of Scott Williams’ exceptional European properties, this tranquil retreat has been recently revamped by an eco-architect and boasts stylish accommodation for up to 10 guests. Inside you’ll find huge wooden beds, sunken stone baths and quirky artwork from around the globe. Younger guests will enjoy exploring the flower- filled gardens where they’ll find a six-foot tepee,a giant trampoline and a midnight-blue infinity pool.
From £450 a person, based on 10 sharing for a seven-night stay (scottwilliams.co.uk).
Trullo Pinnacolo, Puglia, Italy
Hidden away down a tiny lane that winds alongside centuries-old olive groves, the Trullo Pinnacolo is an oasis of contemporary chic. The bedrooms are tted with walnut furniture and pristine bathrooms, and several have oor-to-ceiling windows with views of the black mosaic swimming pool. Should you tire of alfresco barbecues and ping-pong on the terrace, Puglia’s glorious beaches and heritage towns are within easy reach, and the Thinking Traveller can organise an in-villa cook, a yoga teacher and trips to local attractions.
Seven nights, from about £6,710 a person (sleeps 12) (thethinkingtraveller.com).
From Harper’s Bazaar UK