-Locations to die for, kitchens full of kit, and high-tech havens –
When it comes to holiday luxury some of us like to stretch our legs and have more than a few home comforts. Others like to fly in by helicopter, enjoy the services of a private chef, have the run of a yoga studio, and command the best views on the bay. Or we might want to swap our urban rabbit hutch for a week in a modern architectural masterpiece, go Heston in a high-tech kitchen, and feel like a film star on the glamorous Côte D’Azur. With i-escape’s ‘supervillas’, that’s all possible….
Our newly extended collection of self-catering and staffed holiday boltholes includes some seriously sexy villas in Europe and beyond, all offering something a little bit special without blowing the budget.
Continental European glamour…
La Maison Moderne, Cap d’Antibes, France (sleeps 6-8) A stylish self-catering villa with modernist design and a cool pool. It’s set on the magical Cap d’Antibes, which was developed by European nobility in the 19th century, painted by Monet and Picasso, and then colonised by film stars who made it their summer playground – those looking for a taste of the old Riviera will love it!
Super factors: Terraces galore, a decked pool shaded by palm trees, a fancy kitchen with all the kit, funky all-white interiors, and an unbeatable location in one of the French Riviera’s loveliest spots.
Finca La Morera, near Ronda, Spain (sleeps 12) An ancient farmhouse transformed into a droolingly seductive Andalucian rental home, on a terraced hillside with views across the valley to the hilltop town of Ronda. A top London restaurateur, a renowned hotelier and one of the area’s finest craftsmen joined forces to create this exclusive holiday hideaway, which has a bespoke kitchen where you can cook for yourself or watch the housekeepers whip up delicious meals.
Super factors: A lofty dining room with twin staircases sweeping up to the drawing room and master bedroom, stylish and comfortable furnishings, 5 acres of terraced gardens and orchards, stunning mountain views, 2 swimming pools, a games room, a home cinema, a wine cellar, and a state-of-the-art kitchen.
The Lodge, Ronda, Spain (sleeps 14) A spoiling and fully-catered house-party hideaway in Andalucía – a supremely stylish yet utterly relaxing rural retreat, where former guests include a duchess, a celebrity chef and a UK political party leader. Fusing Asian and African design with lots of light, the building’s wrap-around veranda, high windows, planked floors and isolated ridge-top setting are evocative of the best safari lodges.
Super factors: A top-notch chef to cook gourmet meals, a vast open-plan living room, a yoga studio where you can have private lessons or indulge in massages, 28 acres of private estate, a stunning pool, and stylish interiors blending Asian and African design.
Villa Metato, Umbria, Italy (sleeps 2) A ravishing bolthole set amid the ancient forests of Umbria. This gets our vote for being super stylish – design junkies will relish kicking back in the 1960 Memphis bed, the dining area has a classic 1950s Saarinen table, and the sitting room comes with Eames chairs and Tom Dixon touches. Delicious breakfasts are included; for other meals you can hire a private chef or cook for yourself in the well-equipped kitchen.
Super factors: A highly romantic country retreat which you get all to yourself, with expansive views, stylish interiors, the option of a private chef, and total peace and seclusion.
SK Place Villas, Crete (3 villas sleeping 4-6) Beautiful self-catering villas with stunning sea views, private pools and a peaceful location near Almirida. This is a chic and tranquil place to unwind in, but should you feel restless you’ll find western Crete’s sandy beaches, unspoiled villages and Venetian towns close by.
Super factors: Living rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass looking out over rugged mountains, deep blue sea and the setting sun, thoughtful touches such as film libraries, mini gyms and saunas, a lovely private garden with a turquoise pool, an on-call concierge, and plenty of hi-tech touches (remote control entrance gates, flat-screen TVs, music systems with individual room controls).
Elia Beach Villa, Mykonos (villa sleeping 6-8 or 2 apartments for 2-4) This Cycladic-chic villa is perched above Elia beach and the shimmering Aegean Sea, on the glamorous island of Mykonos. Lounge in the shady gardens in between dips in the ocean and evenings of sophisticated partying. There’s a good kitchen for self-catering, but if you don’t want to cook there are heaps of excellent restaurants just a short cab ride away.
Super factors: Lush terraced gardens, perfect panoramic views of the Aegean sea, and sumptuous décor with a host of ‘extras’ (Villeroy & Boch china, crystal glasses, Bose music systems) – plus a tranquil location that’s still close to the heady Mykonos nightlife.
Casa do Dean, near Trancoso, Brazil (sleeps 4-10) A trendy architect-designed pad near the hip, laid-back village of Trancoso – this is New York loft style in a Brazilian jungle setting, with a fantastic kitchen for self-catering and a daily maid service to help cook and shop. Built as a 21st-century dream house for a celebrity photographer, this barefoot luxury villa is just a short stroll from buzzing bars, chic restaurants, the lively coastal town of Arrial d’Ajuda (a favourite of Naomi Campbell), and the snorkelling action of Bahia’s beautiful beaches.
Super factors: Super-funky décor (1960s movie posters, swathes of glass, polished concrete floors), sweeping rainforest views, 2 outdoor decks with showers, sofas and hammocks, and a maid for 6 hours a day to help cook, clean and buy groceries.
Siwa Villa, Siwa, Egypt (sleeps 4-9) A mud-brick house overlooking a ruined citadel in a small oasis on the edge of Egypt’s Western Desert. This is a ‘supervilla’ for escapists: think Arabian Nights, vast dunes, and simple luxury in a stunning setting. Choose between making your own meals or hiring in a chef to cook for you – or ask the owners to arrange a magical dinner in the desert.
Super factors: A huge roof terrace with a fireplace for daytime lounging and evening stargazing, stunning citadel views, a funky Flintstones vibe, and easy access to the beautiful sands of the desert for 4WD trips, sandboarding and camel safaris.
Cost: From £102 per night, based on 9 sharing – www.i-escape.com/siwa-villa/overview
Villa La Diouana, Oualidia, Morocco (sleeps 6-10) An exceptionally peaceful cliffside retreat on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, with unforgettable views across the Oualidia lagoon to the ocean. Housekeeper Abdillah, his wife Fatima and cook Fatiha couldn’t be kinder – whatever you want, they can arrange it. The position is priceless, the hospitality is brilliant, and some of the best fish restaurants in Morocco are nearby.
Super factors: Exquisite views through huge French windows, stylish simplicity with striking interiors, a cook to prepare wonderful Moroccan feasts, and a beautiful outdoor pool overlooking the lagoon.