With the hectic holidays in the rearview mirror, the early part of a new year is always a good time for a break in the action — to escape home and find a new sanctuary to recharge and refresh. Those that live on the Pacific side of the continent can likely find direct flights to Mexico west, the California desert, and Hawaii. From a Cabo hacienda facing the Sea of Cortez to a rockin’ villa in the Coachella Valley, these seven homes will bring even more sunshine to your life.
Villa Eos in Long Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos
Villa Eos is a contemporary and sleek design that makes the most of its beachfront Turks and Caicos location. Situated on the award-worthy Long Bay Beach, the open-plan interior layout and glass walls allow it to show off its surroundings. As part of Long Bay Beach Club, Villa Eos enjoys flexible accommodation that makes it perfectly-suited for a group of families. The five-bedroom villa has two masters, each with a private balcony. Two other bedrooms share a living room and kitchenette, a convenient option for a family to have their own space together in private. Those two bedrooms also have direct access to a main level garden terrace. Meanwhile, the home shares amenities with two other nearly identical five-bedroom homes: Villa Hyperion and Villa Helios. Together, the three properties can comfortably accommodate a party of 36 people across 15 bedrooms. Shared luxuries include fitness facilities, community yoga, and concierge services.
Villa 431 in Los Cabos, Mexico
Just a two and a half hour flight from Los Angeles, and less than five from any major U.S. west coast city, Los Cabos is high value for little effort — especially for those coming from the Pacific side of the country. There are so many reasons to love Los Cabos — from world-class golf to lively beach clubs — but its the many stunning luxury villas that make each visitor to Los Cabos feel like royalty. That’s what draws guests to Villa 431, part of the Villas del Mar collection in Palmilla, a seaside resort development between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. You’ll love the way this spacious property fosters a private resort feel away from the crowds for you and up to five guests. The private chef cooks three meals a day, the private butler caters to each and every need, and a housekeeper visits daily to ensure nothing goes overlooked. It takes a lot to pry guests away from this stylish Mexican hacienda, its pool terrace with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez, and direct beach access — but the perks keep on coming outside the confines of Villa 431. Each of its guests has automatic exclusive access to the award-winning One&Only Resorts’ restaurants, bars, spa, and golf course, plus Villas del Mar’s Club Ninety Six beach club and Club Espiritu health and fitness club. On or off-property, vacation life doesn’t get much better than this.
Palm Beach Mansion in Sydney, Australia
The top-floor master bedroom has a large English-style ensuite bathroom. The home is equipped for all sorts of fun — a 1930s-style home theater for Movie Night or Game Night in the billiard room, which carries a massive 100-year-old table. “We had to buy it off the previous owners because we couldn’t get it out of the house,” says owner Jacqeline Crosby. “It’s too big!” Speaking of size, the little ones can have the sprawling second floor all to themselves. There are three bedrooms: one with a queen bed, ensuite, and Juliette balcony with water views; one with a king bed, ensuite and Juliette balcony with water views; and one with a queen bed, two doubles, and a private bathroom.
Plus the villa is adorned with a storied art collection: Indigenous Australians gifted one painting to Crosby and her daughter during their 2013 trip to the Northern Territory. Famous local painter Daniel Boyd brushed another. And there are decorative pieces ranging from Venice, Turkey, and Southwest England (from which Jacqeline’s husband hails). Palm Beach Mansion’s waterfront location is to be taken advantage of. A jetty over the water’s surface leads to a water taxi pick-up point for a ride to nearby restaurants. To sit back and enjoy the view, head to an upper-level balcony to watch sea planes land and boats navigate the water. Those views don’t go away when you retreat inside, so you can wake up to yachts and sailboats each morning. “You have views from every single area of every room on every floor,” says Crosby. “Uninterrupted. It’s stunning.”
Hainoa Villa in Big Island, Hawaii
Big Island’s Hualalai Resort at the Four Seasons is a top luxury destination in Hawaii, not to mention an elite golf resort with a scenic Jack Nicklaus-designed lava landscape course. The resort-provided golf cart is a fun way to explore the grounds, go pick up a locally-brewed coffee, visit the snorkel-worthy aquarium pond, or arrive at an upscale restaurant. Guests here also get to compete on its tennis court, stay active at the fitness center, detox in the sauna, or relax at the spa. The Four Seasons Hualalai Beach is the nearest place to find sand.
The Hainoa Estates collection is on Hualalai Golf Course, between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The views? Stunning. The amenities? Seemingly never-ending. The main living area and kitchen are open plan with a balcony on one side and a terrace on the other. Kickstart your morning in the fully-equipped kitchen — brew a local coffee (maybe one you bought from Kona’s famed coffee district, less than 10 miles away) and sip it at the breakfast bar, letting the Hawaii breeze encapsulate you from all sides. Find bliss in your private courtyard or the upper-level lanai, from which you should keep your eyes peeled for whales surfacing in the ocean between December and May.
Troubadour in La Quinta, California
The California resort city refers to itself as The Gem of the Desert — and we won’t disagree. La Quinta is just 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs and shares many of the same attributes. For golfers, some top notch courses like PGA West and Tradition GC make it a leading destination. For bettors, casinos like Augustine and Fantasy Springs give it a Vegas-like feel. And for legendary Italian-American movie director Frank Capra, it was a favorite escape from his busy Hollywood life, and the setting for some of his best work: Capra wrote the 1934 film It Happened One Night in La Quinta, and rumor has it he may have worked on the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life in the city as well. Truth or not, La Quinta was a quiet desert retreat for Capra, and it remains that way for guests all these years later. A rock-inspired rental called Troubadour is the best way we can imagine following Capra’s path to serenity while honoring the glitz and glamor of nearby Los Angeles.
Named after Hollywood’s famous rock club, Troubadour is rock n’ roll cool but peacefully quiet. Music-inspired artwork adorns the walls — can you find the Ramones and Grateful Dead? — and stylish furnishings invite guests to entertain with the bright-colored collection of paintings as the focal point. The home is located on the PGA West golf course with views of the SoCal mountains and close to Old Town La Quinta. Meanwhile, its private courtyard is a place-to-be whether you choose to take a dip in the pool, float beneath its swim-under bridge, or lounge poolside with Coachella Valley palm trees in sight.
Modern Beachfront Residence in Maui, Hawaii
Escaping the snowy winter of Colorado or Utah or Wyoming? Maui is warm all year round and Modern Beachfront Residence in Kihei on the west side of the island is an ideal place to stay to relish a winter vacation. The mystical sunsets and sublime panoramas are juxtaposed with top-of-the-line technology built into the beach house. Beachfront Residence is a smart home outfitted with Lutron brand blackout window shades, a Heos home audio system, and video surveillance cameras. Guests can control all these tools from their own mobile device. The kitchen is forward-focused too, equipped with leathered quartzite marble countertops and chef-grade stainless steel appliances. And a 21-foot folding glass wall opens the kitchen and main living area to an expansive pool terrace revealing 180 degrees of Pacific Ocean views over the Maalaea Bay and a peek at Haleakala, a shield volcano that forms more than 75% of Maui. Even with the contemporary gadgets in place, the home’s decor gives it a rustic feel thanks to Belgian limestone tile and custom French oak floors. The 1,300-square foot lanai and pool terrace are surrounded by lush palms and gardens, adding to the natural serenity this Kihei-area property enjoys. Four of the home’s five bedrooms enjoy direct balcony access — the perfect way to wake up each and every day.
Casa Mismaloya in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta is a perennial favorite among luxury travelers due to its high-end offerings and old-world feel. Just across the Gulf of California on mainland Mexico, PV welcomes scores of travelers every year for its beaches, watersports, and nightlife, and those looking to get away with their closest friends should consider one of its vacation rentals. Mismaloya is a remote, jungle-surrounded cove 12 miles to the south of Puerto Vallarta down Highway 200, and there lies the luxurious Casa Mismaloya. Luxury Retreats Operations Manager Theo Tabah took his friends there in 2017, and they felt like they were staying in an upscale hotel — with no one else around. He said it was the perfect villa to host his fun-loving travel group of mostly 20-something or 30-something couples: “Casa Mismaloya is great for a party crowd. The grandeur and energy of the villa really just gets you in the mood to grab a drink and dance.”
The home certainly begs its guests to entertain with the top-level game room as ground zero. Up there, you’ll find a poker table, pool table, blackjack and craps table, and foosball table, so no matter your game, there’s competition to be had. Plus, there’s a kitchenette and bar, which the villa’s waiter/bartender will tend to and provide service for your group. Rounding out the staff, a cook whips up each breakfast and lunch, and a chef tags in for dinner and dessert. Mexican classics like Tacos, Pozole (a soup), Birria (spicy beef stew), Torta Ahogada (sandwich drowned in sauce) can all be served. Meanwhile, the home overlooks Mismaloya Beach (a 10-minute walk down the hill) on the southern shore of the Bay of Banderas, so alfresco dining is particularly enticing. The seven bedrooms also take advantage of the views — some rooms seem to hang off the edge of the home and stare at the mountains through glass walls. Others lead to spacious marble-floor terraces with comfy patio furniture to allow you to enjoy your surrounding views for longer. But each one is private and with its own bathroom so couples can take a break from socializing and have their privacy. Finally, each room has a single wall painted in a different vibrant color — which one will you choose?