Caribbean & Bermuda The Exceptional, Attainable Escape: There’s More To A Villa Stay Than You Can Possibly Imagine
There’s an insider’s vacation secret that those in the know hardly want to share, and for good reason. It explains how erudite travelers seem to have such impossibly perfect vacations—luxurious accommodations overlooking breathtaking panoramic views, private sunset dinners at a moment’s notice, sparkling cerulean infinity pools without another soul in sight and impeccable service that is truly intuitive.
This secret is well known at Andrew Harper Travel, and now we’re ready to share it with the world: staying at a villa is not only an exceptional vacation experience, it’s also a very attainable one. Let’s dive into both sides of that confidential claim to show you exactly what we mean.
Your Own Private Sanctuary
Imagine winding through the narrow streets of southern Italy, arriving to your seaside accommodations after an unhurried day of exploration. There are no check-in times, no waiting in line and no wristbands to wear. Vibrant fuchsia flowers spill over sun-bleached stone walls framing the private entrance. Inside your elegant master suite, golden light pours in through soaring picture windows. From the formal dining room to the full kitchen, posh living areas and expansive, sun-drenched terrace, you are the first—and only—guests.
Where some hotel rooms feel like luxurious apartments, villas feel like sumptuous palaces. Even if your hotel has fantastic amenities, you’ll still have to share them with other guests. At a villa, it’s all yours. No waiting for fitness equipment, no squeezing next to strangers in the sauna, and no rushing down to the beach to lay claim to the last sunbed. Enjoy space to stretch out and truly relax. Swim in the pristine pool all to yourselves. Greet the sunrise on your oceanfront balcony wearing just a robe without fear of being seen by other guests.
“Guests love the fantasy of staying in an exotic Moroccan villa on seven acres of hilltop gardens and leaving the real world behind. We get a lot of ‘Type A’ guests. The first three days, they want to do everything. But by the third day, the serenity and beauty of their surroundings sets in. And by the fifth day, they are just so relaxed, they don’t want to move. ”
– Tatiana Copeland, Toucan Hill
If you want to accumulate truly astounding travel stories, along with the stunning photos to corroborate them, villas should top your dream list. And if the word “villa” immediately conjures images of Italy, you’re in for an exhilarating awakening.
Villa properties aren’t all sunny stucco estates nestled in rolling Tuscan hillsides, although you can certainly find several like this in Andrew Harper Travel’s list of partners, if that’s what you’re seeking. They come in any number of architectural styles—fairytale French chateaus, exotic overwater bungalows, remote estates—all nestled within the world’s most captivating landscapes. These private properties are sometimes hidden in the middle of a region’s most popular attractions, giving you both easy access as well as an oasis to escape to. Alternatively, other villas are perched in remote areas, allowing you to venture deep into largely uninhabited territories.
Furthermore, many villa estates boast unparalleled historical acclaim, like the Italian palace of Villa Sola Cabiati on the shores of Lake Como. Once the home of Charles II, king of Naples, and later the summer residence of Duke Gabrio Serbelloni, the romantic touches of its Belle Époque visage—gold-encrusted gates, intricate marble details and swirling gardens reminiscent of Versailles—hearken back to an era when decadence knew no bounds. Unwind like royalty with personalized service by a full team of dedicated staff, including a villa manager, butler, chambermaid and housekeeper.
Lodging options encompass more than archetypal mansions, too. Stay on the highest point of the private island of Mustique at Toucan Hill, a Moroccan estate in the Caribbean archipelago of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; or find your own slice of paradise at Dolphin Island, a stunning 14-acre private island retreat in Fiji. From Indonesian treehouses to Alpine lodges, Apulian trulli
and even Dalmatian coast castles, villas are infinitely unique.