There are two types of vacations: those with a tightly-packed itinerary and those with a whole lot of free time. As tempting as it is to plan, plan, plan, we could probably all use a healthy dose of the latter. These six top villas put the emphasis on making the most of your vacation time by providing everything you need, from spas, private beaches, outdoor lounging spaces, entertainment, and more. So why go anywhere else? Serenity is right inside your front door.
Sailrock Resort Ocean View Suite A, Turks and Caicos
Why leave home when you can soak in the beauty and luxury of Turks and Caicos all in one place? By home we mean Sailrock Ocean View, a stunner of a vacation rental within the confines of the exclusive Sailrock Resort on secluded South Caicos island. With 2,500 square feet of villa to enjoy plus plenty of convenient shared amenities within the resort, the intimate suite is perfect for two couples, a small family, or a romantic getaway. Sailrock provides a haute living lifestyle from start to finish, an experience you’ll become accustomed to as soon as you arrive at the airport, where an airport transfer awaits. Then—spoiler alert—the staff will welcome you in with a cold cocktail and fresh fruit. Once you’re settled, help yourself to espresso or a bottle from the wine fridge and relax on the wraparound deck. Each ensuite bedroom has access to a private section of the deck, so whether you’re ready to socialize or want some alone time, you’re covered. Then, take your pick of where to land next in the shared spaces of the pool, hot tub, spa, restaurants, and access to a quiet beach.
Leelavadee at Samsara, Phuket
Close your eyes and pinch yourself: Leelavadee is the kind of fantastical getaway that you can barely believe exists. But don’t keep your eyes shut too long—you don’t want to miss a second of your time in paradise. Perched 200 feet above sea level on Samsara Estate, this Asian-designed villa’s outdoor living spaces enjoy mind-boggling views that stretch over the Andaman Sea, to Nakalay Beach, and across Patong Bay. A 15-minute walk down the hill takes you to one of the Naka Thani Village’s nearby beaches—but that’s the furthest you should consider going because the villa itself has absolutely everything you need for a luxe escape. Equipped with four bedrooms, a whopping eight bathrooms, a home gym, a sauna, and a sun terrace with al fresco dining, Leelavadee can comfortably accommodate a group of eight. On the pool level, enjoy views over the Samsara peninsula, or swim down to the floor of the glass-bottomed pool to for a more personal view: Right into the rooms below. On the garden level, a home theater can host a relaxing movie night, and the master bedroom enjoys private access to a veranda with an outdoor jetted hot tub. So: Pinch yourself as much as you want; Leelavadee is real, and really spectacular, too!
Hale Lalama, Big Island
Hale Lalama offers you the best of both worlds: Private amenities that make it feel just like a luxurious home, and shared amenities that are total wows. Mauna Lani Resort is a Hawaiian oasis fit to host the most important events of your life, like a wedding or honeymoon. Visit the spa’s natural lava saunas, Watsu pool, and full service salon for ultimate relaxation, or get in a workout at the resort’s stadium-style tennis court, outdoor three-lane swimming pool, or one of two championship golf courses. But really,you can experience a five-star vacation without ever even leaving your villa. Hale Lalama’s private pool is more than big enough to hold a party of 12, and it has a waterfall, diving board, and waterslide that kids or teens will adore. There’s a gourmet kitchen with two dishwashers and three refrigerators (so there’s definitely room if even multiple sets from your party want to cook!). Nights can be spent the pool and poker tables, outside in the hot tub, or stargazing from the rooftop deck. The only real decision to make is whether to go out or stay in; either way, you can’t go wrong.
Petit Hopital, Provence
Seeking a quiet vacation? Petit Hopital is exactly what you’re looking for. This fabulous French villa is an idyllic, very private escape for a group of up to 16. The U-shaped 18th-century farmhouse is surrounded by apple and cherry trees, which provide an additional layer of concealment. And the secluded bedrooms give every single guest an option for privacy, no matter the size of the group. For socializing, guests can gather around the pristine swimming pool and marvel at the beautiful Romanesque fountain. Or, relax and sip a coffee in the private courtyard, where a second fountain serves as the centerpiece. The home’s magical manicured gardens and lawns can be the perfect backdrop to an intimate wedding. Despite its stone wall exteriors, the villa’s interiors are modern and comfortable, especially its quintessentially Provencal living room. And you can’t miss one of the home’s best touches, its tasting room. It’s stocked from a wine cellar and styled with a decor that transports you straight back to old-world France.
Champagne Dream, Palm Springs
Sure, Palm Springs has a lot to offer—high-end shopping and dining in the historic downtown, mid-century modern home tours, hiking and biking trails, and 80 golf courses to choose from in the Coachella Valley, just to name a few. But when you’re relaxing by the pool at Champagne Dream, we’re betting you’ll find yourself wondering, where else would I rather be? The villa’s backyard revolves around the large saltwater pool, which is flanked by an elevated hot tub. Wash off after a swim in the convenient outdoor shower. Then, there’s plenty of sunny sitting areas with views of the San Jacinto Mountains in the distance. After sundown, light up the night with not one, but two beautiful stone fire pits. Insides, the layout and decor is that perfect mix of California cool: bright, airy, with indoor-outdoor flow. Plus, there’s room for two families or one larger group. The newly-built casita is attached to the main house, but has its own private patio entrance, making it a perfect pad for teenagers to have their own space.
Tarasand, Grand Cayman
If your idea of a beach vacation includes having the beach all to yourself, then head to Grand Cayman’s off-the-beaten-path Rum Point, where Tarasand’s backyard is a closed-off stretch of Cayman Kai’s pristine white sand. The villa’s open-concept main floor, sun loungers, hammocks, and outdoor living area all promise a serene stay. And the indoor entertainment lounge and movie room keep you busy after dark. You have the option to skip a grocery run and pre-stock the villa with food and beverages; then cook for yourself as you please in the fully-equipped kitchen. There’s a casual breakfast bar and a formal dining table for serving; dip into the wine fridge to for a favorite bottle to complete the meal. And while the home’s decor is elegant, the atmosphere is relaxing. Vacationers at Tarasand enjoy access to Silver Thatch on-island benefits, including discounted snorkeling charters, Jacques Scott wine and spirits orders, and use of an excellent fitness center.