Some family or big group vacations are memorable because of all the activities you did, others because of the privacy afforded, and still others because of the exceptional service received. But how often do you get to combine all that into one single trip, and satisfy every single person in your crew? These new Luxury Retreats properties combine privacy with amenities many groups hadn’t even imagined.
Discover your private isle at Royal Island
Close to: North Eleuthera Airport, Spanish Wells
Ever imagined living on your own private island, surrounded solely by family or friends? That dream can become reality at Royal Island, an exclusive island estate in the Bahamas. Beginning with a 15-minute boat trip on the island’s private vessel to reach this tropical escape, you’ll receive the royal treatment for the duration of your stay. There’s five beachfront villas, each with its own king size bed, ensuite bathroom, lounge area, and balcony, as well as an additional nanny’s suite and bunkhouse for kids. The staff includes a chef and housekeeper, and massages, fitness instruction, and yoga classes can also be arranged. But otherwise, you and your group are on your own within the island’s whopping 430 acres.
While Royal Island definitely represents an escape from civilization, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do there. Stand-up paddleboarding and jet skiing are spectacular on the Bahamas’ crystal clear waters, and the island provides equipment for any watersport you could imagine. The property has an outdoor cinema with a top-of-the-line sound system, an outdoor fire pit, and a luxurious beach club with its own game center. The staff can also bring the entertainment to you by arranging a spectacular firework show or a visit from the island’s band, The Brilanders. Since the island is so big, a golf cart is provided to get you from Point A(mazing) to Point B(reathtaking). And one last hallmark of Royal Island that’s an absolute must? A remote sandbar where you can arrange a picnic.
Why it’s great for groups: The island is massive, completely private, and accommodates up to 16. But what really sets it apart as a group destination are the big party amenities and services available, from the outdoor cinema and huge swimming pool to the private chef and yoga instructor.
Revel in history at Villa Muzyka
Close to: Oppède-Le-Vieux, Avignon, Gordes
Set in beautiful Provence, France, Villa Muzyka’s six acres of gated countryside property and six large bedrooms make it the perfect sanctuary for a special occasion like a destination wedding or a family reunion. Built in the 18th century, this fortified bastide’s 7,000-square-feet has been stylishly modernized. Interiors are elegant and sophisticated; exteriors are charming and historic. And the property’s beautiful landscaping—its gated entrance, lush green trees, colorful flowers, and private courtyard—turns Villa Muzyka a private paradise. Though the building is hundreds of years old, its amenities are fully up-to-date, even futuristic. A media room, sound system, and Wi-Fi throughout the home bring you from 1700 into the 21st century. Evenings can be enjoyed outdoors thanks to the al fresco dining area, and each meal is made distinctly French thanks to the property’s personal wine cellar.
Villa Muzyka boasts spectacular views of the long, low, forested Luberon mountain range, clearly seen from many of the bedrooms, living rooms, the kitchen, the terrace, and the pool. The home is just a short drive from the small but picturesque town of Oppède and an easy day trip to popular cities like Avignon, Marseille, and Montpellier.
Why it’s great for groups: With two living rooms, dining space for 12, and plenty of space to lounge outside, there’s tons of spots for your entire group to congregate. Plus, all six bedrooms have their own ensuite bathrooms, so guests can opt for privacy as well.
Live al fresco at Seaside La Casita
Close to: Cabo del Sol Golf, Cabo San Lucas International Airport, Divorce Beach
At hacienda-style Seaside La Casita, you’ll want to spend as much time outdoors as possible—and that won’t be difficult. Eat outside: The al fresco dining area has seating for 10. Cook outside: A state-of-the-art BBQ grill is situated on the patio. Even watch a movie or cheer on your favorite sports team outside: A flat screen is carved into the stone wall facing the outdoor lounge area, and the screen can be seen from the pool, too. But the greatest show of all might be the villa’s panoramic view from the patio of deep blue water for miles and miles off the Gulf of California. Don’t miss the sunset from the very same spot, after sundown, notice how the stars glisten off the pool water too. Then slip into the hot tub or gather ‘round the fire pit with a nightcap to close the day out.
The beautiful resort city of Cabo San Lucas is known for beaches, watersports, and nightlife. Many visitors to Cabo are surprised to learn that many of its beaches are not swimmable, but Seaside is less than a mile away from one that is: the quiet Blue Flag certified Palmilla Beach. There’s also the famous (yet unswimmable) Divorce Beach and its twin, Lovers Beach, sitting side by side at the end of the peninsula, accessible by water taxi. The area called Land’s End is ideal for seeing sea lions, photo ops by Cabo’s famous El Arco rock formation, and romantic sunsets.
Why it’s great for groups: The indoor-outdoor layout of Seaside La Casita allows for group of up to 10 people to never feel crowded. The living room is set up for formal dining and the patio for casual al fresco dining; both spots are suitable for the whole group. There’s also more than plenty of outdoor lounge furniture for when the party moves outside.
Relish the views at Villa Maya
Close to: Big Buddha Temple, Choeng Mon Beach, Samui International Airport
It’s all about the exceptional views at Koh Samui’s glorious Villa Maya. Picturesque sights enhance—even define—the experience at this beach getaway near the island’s northern tip. Specifically, Villa Maya’s partially shaded, glass-bordered patio provides the perfect place to contemplate Koh Samui’s beauty. The villa sits overlooks the relaxed Choeng Mon Beach, so you can scout out an ideal spot to settle before heading down to the sand. Turn to the north and you may be able to get a glimpse of the little islands (mostly made up of rocks and cliffs) of Koh Som and Koh Lum Mu Noi. Behind the beach, in the small town of Bophut—also known as Fisherman’s Village—are numerous boutique shops, local bars and restaurants, and vibrant beach nightlife.
Even Villa Maya’s interiors allow the surrounding views to remain centerstage. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the main living spaces keep the stunning landscape as the backdrop to backdrop to casual conversation. Two of the bedrooms have sliding glass doors that directly access a private balcony with incredible ocean views. And the sunsets are simply striking when seen from the outdoor living areas. Our suggestion? Set up shop facing the ocean in the infinity pool, at the bar-style high chairs, or on the comfortable sun loungers, and take in the different shades of orange, magenta, and purple hues that crisscross the sky at dusk.
Why it’s great for groups: Villa Maya isn’t made for big groups, but for a party of up to eight, you’d be hard-pressed to find better accommodation on Koh Samui. Each of the four bedrooms has a King or Queen size bed, an ensuite bathroom, and direct terrace access. And there’s more than enough outdoor seating to enjoy those magnificent views all together.
Live the resort life at Turtle Bay Villa
Close to: Turtle Bay Golf Club, Bay View Beach, Sacred Falls State Park
Enjoy resort living at its finest at one of Oahu’s finest properties, neatly tucked on the island’s northern tip. Turtle Bay Villa allows guests the chance to stay in a secluded environment while still enjoying all the amenities the exclusive five-acre complex has to offer. It’s easy to get into the Aloha spirit when you’re surrounded by 850 acres of lush jungle, a multitude of scenic golf courses, and hidden beach access just steps away. Turtle Bay Resort is beachfront to Bay View Beach, a never-crowded stretch of sand with crystal clear water, loads of marine life, and good scuba diving and snorkeling. Surfing, stand-up paddling, kayaking, and more are accessible within the resort, not to mention swimming, dining, tennis courts, a spa, and helicopter tours.
Love golf? The resort contains not one but two coastal championship courses designed by two legends of the game, Arnold Palmer and George Fazio. These courses are each just a five minute walk from the villa, so teeing off literally moments after breakfast is quite possible. And if you only have time for one, try the Palmer course: It’s consistently ranked among the best golf courses in Hawaii, and combines Scottish links-style with a tropical jungle setting in an irresistible way.
Why it’s great for groups: Here, it’s all about the extensive amenities. There’s something for everyone: access to top-tier restaurants, lively bars, tennis courts, golf courses, a fitness center, and plenty of watersports equipment. Cribs and highchairs are also readily available for families.