Don’t go for your run of the mill villa holiday this year. Chantal Borciani rounds up the best holiday houses in the Med and Caribbean, plus luxury villas for under £180 each for a week.
Villa holidays offer you the flexibility to go where you want, dine when you want and stay exactly where you want. Ideal for large families, groups of friends and couples, most villas now offer services including chefs, maids, spa treatments and concierges. Know where to look and some of these services come as standard.
Here our the top picks for bargain deals, new places to visit and all out luxury this summer.
Villa D’arcy: Caribbean idyll and great discounts
Contrary to popular belief, the Caribbean can offer great summer weather and even better deals as its the ‘low season’. In May, June and July, temperatures are still around 29°C in Saint Lucia and better still flights and accommodation is much cheaper.
Villa D’arcy is a private slice of paradise on the Cap Estate in Saint Lucia and has a maid and cook service five days a week included in the price.
Sitting at the beautiful northern tip of the island, the villa close to the bars and restaurants of Rodney Bay and sleeps four in two doubles with a private pool and tropical garden. With a vibrant watersports scene close by the villa is great option for families with older kids. Cliff at the Cap, easily one of the best restaurants on the island and the relaxed Naked Fisherman beach restaurant (stunning BBQ fish) are a four-minute drive away.
From the huge veranda guests can enjoy panoramic views of the lush hillsides and glittering sea beyond. Your chef will cook up a storm for breakfast, lunch or dinner as you prefer so you can completely relax. A food shopping service is also available and in-villa spa treatments can be arranged. Located a stone’s throw from the Cap golf course, this villa is great for two couples who enjoy a round on the fairways. CV Villas offers Villa D’arcy from £941 including cook and maid service for seven days.
Ager Costa, Sicily: personal chef and beauty treatments for £164pp
For those who like somewhere a little different, Sicily is a perfect mix if culture, earthy Italian gastronomy, gin-clear sea and sandy coves. The rental market is also more reasonable here than the honeypots of Croatia and Spain.
Ager Costa is a beautiful luxury villa with private pool, and Jacuzzi and sleeps 16. It is situated on the edge of Buseto Palazzolo, a pretty hilltop village on the outskirts of Trapani in the heart of western Sicily.
The property offers on request services such as: car transfer and boat rental, maid and babysitting, beauty treatments and guided tours, welcome buffet, breakfast and in-villa personal chef. Seven days staying at Ager Costa starts at £2624 with Wish Sicily. That’s £164pp for the week.
Dar Sana, Morocco: private roof terrace and chef in Marrakech
Villa holidays are not just for the Med. There are great rentals to be found in the culture capitals and they will ensure you save a bundle on expensive hotel rooms. Dar Sana sleeps just four people and offers privacy, charm and a stunning tented roof terrace. Hakima, the housekeeper, works at the riad throughout the day. She will prepare breakfast everyday and for an extra charge can also provide lunch or dinner when required. The riad is also staffed by two tortoises, Ali and Nino, that were rescued from the souk!
Dar Sana is located close to the Bab Doukkala mosque and is ten minutes from the other sights of Marrakech, while some of the cities best restaurants are just minutes away. Children under 14 are not permitted. Prices from £850 per week and short stays are available.
Beachhouse, Cornwall: hot tubs for staycations
Let’s not forget a good old staycation. Save on flight costs and bag a seriously luxury villa rental on home soil for friends and family. The best thing about Beachhouse in Whitsand Bay (apart from those views) is the large outdoor hot tub, meaning whatever the British weather throws at you you can still relax in style.
There’s also fab hydrotherapy baths, steam showers, open-plan sociable spaces and a large TV den with table football and Wii games console. The house sleeps ten in four bedrooms and is perfect for a Cornish getaway and yomp along the rolling coastal paths. Prices from £1,295 to £4,295 per week, depending on season.
Trulli dei Carrubi, Puglia: authentic Italy. £155 per night
For those who have not yet discovered Puglia, this quieter region in the south ‘heel’ of Italy is home to some fantastic Italian gastronomy and visitors can rent traditional trulli houses for an authentic stay. Trulli dei Carrubi is surrounded by olive trees and has a stunning outdoor seating and pool area.
The renovated house sleeps five and the historic town of Cisternino is 2km away with restaurants, bars and shops. Though growing in popularity, there are still great deals to be found in Puglian trullis and the region is still warm well into October. With championship golf courses a drive away, dei Carrubi would also be a great option for a golf getaway. Prices from £155 per night.
Vigli retreat, Fiscardo: Greek islands for half the price. €800 per week.
The views are unbeatable and this four bed villa can be rented for less than €800 this year. You are just a 15-minute drive from the charming port of Fiscardo.
The 200 year old stone cottage has been beautifully renovated and offers a private haven in which to relax and soak up the glorious Ionian sunshine.
Unique Kefalonia operates a dedicated concierge which can arrange boat and yacht charters, massages by the pool, private chef and host services, event organisation, restaurant reservations and anything else you may need. The concierge can be called upon both prior to arrival and while on holiday.
Costa Navarino, Greece. Hotel service with villa privacy
Villas located in five-star resorts offer you the best of both worlds; hotel facilities on your doorstep along with staff and dining options but the privacy and seclusion of your own villa.
Costa Navarino in the breathtaking Peloponnese, has a range of private properties within its award-winning resort. A world away from the cluttered island resorts of Crete and Corfu, this region is ever popular with boutique luxury developments. The low-rise villas blend in with the seascape and overlook kaleidoscopic waters and the 1.5km sandy beach or the rolling verdant greens of Navarino’s championship golf course.
Larger residences have their own spas with sauna, steam room and area for couples massages. And this is the place to spa. The Costa Navarino Anazoe Spa’s unique olive oil therapies have won a host of awards
La Samantina, Mallorca: full board option and nanny service
This luxury finca-style villa sleeps up to 12 and 360° views of the magnificent Tramuntana mountains. It comes with private chef and host.
La Samantina is located in the dramatic Vall de March region and is close to the beautiful old town of Pollenca and some great beaches. La Samantina offers ultimate relaxation and privacy. Nannies are also available five days a week.
Scott Dunn will tailor a package depending on your needs and board options but offers the villa for seven days including full board for 5 ½ days and transfers/car hire, plus flights from the UK for around £1,400 per person.
Special late deals and half-term holidays
Don’t fret if you’re hamstrung by school holidays. Further afield, Villa Kilim in Islamlar, Turkey, has a half-term special offer for £465 per person including British Airways flights from London Gatwick to Dalaman departing 25 May with maid service and welcome pack.
Located on the northwest tip of Santorini, overlooking the Caldera and the sparkling Aegean Sea, Canaves Oia Suites have private pools and the company is offering a guaranteed upgrade for all guests arriving 1 April to 30 April and up to 40% discount on all room types starting with Superior Suite, including Easter.
The Big Domain has offers every week, plus some places will offer shorter stays. Click here for discounts available.