Home Away From Home, With Style!
Have you ever wondered what it's like to wake up in a king-sized bed with an ocean view, in one of the beautiful mansions in Hawaii? Or to have breakfast at a gorgeous lakeside villa in Italy that is overlooking both the countryside and the Mediterranean Sea?
Seriously, who doesn't want to travel first-class, stay at luxurious villas, and pose for the camera like the popular Asian-Australian fashion, food and travel blogger, Tara Whitman of Tara Milk Tea? I certainly do, but I used to think this kind of lifestyle is only exclusive to celebrities and not for mere mortals like us. Turns out, the luxury travel industry is a huge market and millennials, who are reaching the pinnacle of their careers, are slowly spending their affluence to a more comfortable and opulent way of traveling.
This led me to LuxuryRetreats.com. I stumbled upon the website while going through home inspiration on Pinterest. Luxury Retreats is like an Airbnb platform but only features curated rental homes and villas. These rental homes and villas are expensive but damn, they are gorgeous and very Instagram-worthy. Let me clarify that luxury doesn't necessarily have to be expensive. The definition of luxury can vary from one person to another. In short, one traveler’s luxury is another’s ordinary, but if a money wasn't a concern for me, I'd definitely book a trip to one of these destinations and stay at these places for a week or two.
I have spent a good number of hours at the Luxury Retreats website and found a handful of listings that I absolutely love.
Canggu, Indonesia - Villa Canggu North
Starting from $260 per night | 4 Pax
Two (2) bedrooms, two (2) ensuite bathrooms, and a pool
Located near the up-and-coming Nelayan Beach, this gorgeous vacation rental offers an intimate getaway for a small family and couples. Based from the photos, every corner is Instagram worthy so that's a plus for us millennials.
Staying at Villa Canggu North includes the following: a personal chef, a butler, a housekeeper, 24-hour security guard, and a villa manager. Guests can also rent a car with a driver at an additional cost.
Do note that the nearby beaches are not swimmable. Guests must go to Seminyak if they want to swim and do water sports. I recommend the Sunday Beach Club!
Barcelona, Spain - Hotel Arts Barcelona
Starting from $10,508 | 6 Pax
Three (3) bedrooms, three (3) ensuite bathrooms, and pool
This one blew me away. The luxury duplex penthouse is located on the 40th floor of the beautiful Hotel Arts Barcelona and the distinct feature of this penthouse is the panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean sea. This place is hands-down gorgeous and super, duper expensive, but if this is the view I get to see everyday, then why not? I want to live in place like this one day.
Since this is a hotel, guests will have shared access to the other amenities such as the spa, beauty salon, swimming pool, and gym. Guests can also rent a Mini Cooper Cabrio for four hours a day throughout their stay.
Starting from $490 per night | 6 Pax
Three (3) bedrooms, two (2) bathrooms, and a fireplace
Perched high on the clifftop in the quaint town of Fire, Blue Angel Villa is the perfect place to watch the sunset. The renovated villa has a jetted tub on the terrace where guests can enjoy the Mediterranean view and ancient volcanic rock.
Inclusions of this listing: daily maid service for 4 hours, complimentary roundtrip villa transfer, fruit basket, local wine on arrival, and breakfast. Guests can also enjoy the services of a private chef, upon request.
Starting from $1195 per night | 6 Pax
Three (3) bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and a pool
This home in Palm Springs is a fusion between contemporary and 70s-inspired designs. If you're concerned where to shoot for Instagram, don't fret because every room is beaming with lots of natural lighting and bright colors.
This is a cute place but it's bit disappointing the listing doesn't offer complimentary housekeeping services or airport transfers, but guests can enjoy a fully equipped kitchen with breakfast bar, Apple and Cable TV, piano, a Koi pond, and gas fireplace.
Starting from $702 | 6 Pax
Three (3) bedrooms, three (3) ensuite bathrooms, and a pool
This penthouse in Cape Town is my dream home. It has a large window, a balcony, and spectacular views of the city, the beach below, and the Atlantic Ocean. The whole place is drenched in sunlight during the sunset and it looks magical. Honestly, this place is everything. My peg for my future house, in the event we actually live near the beach.
Starting from $684 | 6 Pax
Three (3) bedrooms, three (3) ensuite bathrooms, and a jacuzzi
Designed by local celebrity designer, Heinz Julen, this pet-friendly (this is very important!!!) loft has a spectacular view of the village and the mountains. The listing offers a catered package that's perfect for busy travelers. This package includes a pre-trip menu planning, breakfasts and gourmet dinners, daily cleaning, and exclusive use of the chalet.
Editor's Note: According to an article on Bloomberg, a deal has been made and Luxury Retreats is now owned by tech-giant, Airbnb.