Chateau de Normandie in France // © 2015 Villas of Distinction
Feature image (above): Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows // © 2015 Villas of Distinction
When it comes to renting luxury villas, an industry that is experiencing double-digit growth, travel industry experts often cite the value of renting a villa versus booking several rooms at a luxury resort.
Still, travel is meant to be aspirational, and sometimes the only way to go is to go big.
If you — or your clients — are in the mood for a personal castle, a private island or a celebrity retreat, here are six sexy, over-the-top villas that might just fit the bill.
Chateau de Normandie, France
Storm the shores of Normandy from your own private 17-room castle, complete with towers and a moat. The family-owned chateau is furnished with priceless, authentic antiques that have been housed here for centuries. Stroll through the villa’s 60 acres of gardens and then retire to the grand salon or relax in the French cafe and billiard room. In the evening, clients can stage their own dance party at the villa’s discotheque or host a movie night in the 80-seat theater.
GoldenEye Ian Fleming Villa, Jamaica
Tap into your creative muse in the same location where super-spy James Bond was born. This five-bedroom villa, located on 15 romantic acres overlooking the Caribbean Sea in Jamaica, was once the home of Ian Fleming, who penned all of his 14 James Bond spy novels here. For a double dose of literary escapism, villa guests can arrange a private tour of nearby Firefly, the estate that belonged to Fleming’s close friend Noel Coward. Guests can ask the on-site staff to organize a Bond movie night or an alfresco dinner underneath shady almond trees that Fleming himself planted.
Greensleeves Estate, Barbados
Families can have it all at the lush Greensleeves Estate in Barbados. The nine-bedroom property features a children’s wing, which includes a jungle gym, bunk beds, a separate kitchen, a craft table, an outdoor dining area and a nanny’s quarters. In front of the property is a reef where clients can snorkel among exotic fish and sea turtles. The on-site swimming pool, measuring 100 feet at its widest point, includes a swim-up bar. For a relaxing night at home, take respite in the air-conditioned home cinema outfitted with cozy recliner seating.
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Hawaii
For clients who want the privacy of a villa but the services of a hotel, consider Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on Hawaii Island. The bungalows are in close proximity to the hotel, but each villa comes with its own separate entrance. Surrounded by saltwater fishponds and stunning views of the Pacific, each bungalow includes 4,000 square feet of living space, two bedrooms, a private pool and a spacious lanai area. Here, guests can enjoy a variety of complimentary local services, including turtle-feeding tours and lei-making classes.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Located in an unspoiled region of the British Virgin Islands, Necker is Sir Richard Branson’s own private island. Accommodations include nine bedrooms in the Great House, including a bunk room that can sleep up to six children. Six private, one-bedroom Bali Houses are also located on-site. Guests can relax on the beach, enjoy complimentary watersports and fishing equipment or take in a sunset from the rooftop Jacuzzi. The villa staff will even bring in a local calypso band for an evening’s entertainment.
Villa Machiavelli, Italy
Walk hand in hand with history at Villa Machiavelli, which was once the home of Italy’s legendary Machiavelli family. Dating back almost 600 years, the main villa still houses many original paintings and frescoes. Located in Italy’s Chianti Classico wine region near Florence, the 10-bedroom villa overlooks 750 acres of vineyards, olive groves and Tuscan forest. Farm-to-fork takes on new meaning here, as guests can enjoy olive oil and fine wine produced on-site.
All villas are available and commissionable through Villas of Distinction.