You already expect comfort, convenience and chic interiors from a luxury retreat. But here are several properties that go above and beyond to satisfy even your most indulgent whims.
Stone Manor, Malibu, California
Known for its “Red Carpet Treatment” of guests, Stone Manor has a 25-year-long reputation among the elite of Hollywood. It’s been enjoyed by Academy Award winners, revered rock stars and prime-time television producers. But you don’t have to be a celebrity to feel like one.
“We want people to feel like a star in their own lives,” says Aime Lindsay, the owner. This means vetting the staff and every recommended experience. “A wonderful vacation doesn’t happen by accident, and you won’t get a do-over. It takes a team of people to put together a world-class celebration and vacation.”
We recommend booking Stone Manor for any occasion, but if you’re celebrating something special, tell your concierge and the staff will make it just perfect. Whether you want to have elegant cocktails with a few friends near the waterfall and pool, or you prefer a DJ’d dance party on the lawn looking out toward the Pacific Ocean, no request is too small, or too large. If you can, schedule your stay over the full moon, when the magic of the moonlight reflects off the water for miles.
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Villa Contea, Tuscany, Italy
Located in the picturesque Val d’Orcia area of Tuscany, this magnificent country villa is among the rolling hills and vineyards that were the setting for the Oscar winning movie The English Patient and which provided the breathtaking panoramic countryside scenes from Gladiator. This is the kind of retreat that people dream of experiencing all of their lives. And Villa Contea is devoted to making sure that every detail of that dream comes true.
Three acres of manicured lawns, orchards, and groves make a paradise for relaxing travelers. A private chef can be arranged to provide authentic Italian meals made with local produce from Tuscan farm estates, and accompanied by wine from nearby vineyards. Several decadent spas and challenging golf courses are within an hour’s drive, as well as sightseeing opportunities in Montalcino Pitigliano, and Lake Bolsena.
If you go, we recommend asking the concierge to arrange a private, VIP tour of a vineyard in the heart of this world-renowned wine country. Cooking classes and truffle hunts are another great favorite among guests. Most of all, we recommend seeing as much of the countryside as possible, whether by Vespa, Ferrari, or hot air balloon. Whatever you dream of doing and seeing in the Italian countryside, Villa Contea is the ideal place to make it happen.
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Casa Ramon, Playa Dominical, Costa Rica
Surrounded by rich, tropical vegetation along the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica is a home unlike any you’ve ever experienced. Perched on a lush mountainside with vast oceanic views, it is often visited by friendly wildlife including Capuchin monkeys, toucans, parrots, and the occasional sloth. Since its opening Ramon has been a favorite retreat of celebrity guests from around the world. This is the ultimate luxe getaway: plenty to do, but no pressure to do it.
Casa Ramon is, of course, a luxurious home with every comfort provided. Unique arrangements of fresh tropical flowers are displayed in each room, daily maid service ensures everything remains meticulously clean, and special arrangements can be made to satisfy even the smallest of whims. Whether you are interested in a hot stone massage in the private spa, or an original epicurean adventure with the chef, or even you would like fireworks to celebrate a special occasion, just ask your concierge!
While there is no shortage of adrenaline-pumping activities such as waterfall hikes in the mountains, zipline tours in the rainforest canopy, or horseback rides along the beach, we suggest you take every moment you can to practice the true meaning of the word “leisure”. Spend a quiet afternoon in a hammock with a margarita and a good book, or enjoy a candlelit dinner at sunset. It is the perfect place to reconnect both with nature and your loved ones.
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