Want a heavenly getaway without breaking social-distancing rules? This ten-stop world tour in Relais & Châteaux’s private villas and cabins shows what kind of vacations await you, all offering safety and seclusion, with VIP services and exclusive experiences.
Now you can enjoy the privacy and warmth of a “home sweet home” on the other side of the world without sacrificing the pleasure of hotel conveniences and the joys of top-quality service. With Villas by Relais & Châteaux, you can choose from 500 private and secluded holiday homes, most in exceptional locations surrounded by unspoiled nature. Luxury treehouses, cabins, furnished tents—take your pick!
1/ Deep in the Forest at Imanta Punta de Mita, Mexico
Though you’re not far from the bustling streets of Puerto Vallarta, you’re nevertheless in the midst of a tropical rainforest looking out over the Pacific. The Casa del Arbol, crafted of pine and local stone, is a treehouse in the purest sense, the perfect setting for a private retreat: On one side is luxuriant vegetation and the Punta de Mita mountains; on the other, a private beach with crystal-clear waters dotted with colorful fish. By day, you can choose between the 18-hole golf course, organized sea excursions, yoga classes, or a spa treatment. As evening falls, dine in the privacy of your private premises before heading to the spacious bedroom, whence, in wintertime, you can spot humpback whales.
2/ Facing Etna at Monaci delle Terre Nere, Italy
Nestled on this 62-acre, ecofriendly estate deep in the Sicilian countryside, with views of vineyards, Mount Etna, and, in front, the Mediterranean, this villa ensures a private getaway that is still just a few hundred yards from the hotel’s luxurious facilities but far enough to enjoy the simple things that make this countryside retreat a positive experience. The former farm building, with charming exposed beams, spreads over 1,600 square feet and is home to two cozy bedrooms with contemporary décor and Etna Chestnut wood floors. Early in the morning, join the chef to bake the bread, and try an energizing massage in your villa, or a private Yoga lesson. In the afternoon, go round the estate with the mixologist, pick your favorite fruits and herbs directly from the trees and learn how to use them to prepare the cocktail you will sip as an aperitif in the large private garden with an infinity pool while gazing at Etna. And if you want to try the Slow Food sustainable menu at the Locanda Nerello restaurant, a golf cart service is available to get you there.
3/ The Ends of the Earth at Sonora Resort, Canada
British Columbia boasts an exceptionally intimate treasure in the middle of a Pacific archipelago, reachable only by sea or by air. A sophisticated and cozy starting point for exploring the local fauna: grizzly bears on a morning stroll, dolphins and whales surfacing off the coast, eagles perched in the trees. To relax after so much excitement, head to the hotel’s spa and dip into mineral pools at varying temperatures, try a round of trout-fishing, and enjoy a dinner crafted by a chef who loves local ingredients. The experience ends in the privacy of the Platinum Plus Private Villa, with bedrooms overlooking the ocean, a hot tub, a pool table, and a fully equipped kitchen.
4/ Into the Wild at Chewton Glen, UK
For a romantic getaway just for two or an adventure with the kids (who’ll just love the galleried bunks), climb up to the treetops and settle comfortably into the Treehouse Loft. In these cozy cabins perched on stilts, you'll enjoy modern comforts and carefully selected furnishings: a living room that looks out onto the trees, a bathtub with a view, and even Hunter boots available for woodland romps. Ready to have your feet on the ground again? A stone’s-throw away are all the services of the luxury hotel, including tennis, croquet, fishing, two golf courses, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
5/ The Jungle Book at Txai Resort Itacaré, Brazil
What would a luxury beach bungalow look like? Like these five-star cabins in wood and natural materials, nestled on the beach or the hillside, with stilt-perched porches and outdoor showers. Where are they? In Bahia, Brazil, on the edge of the Atlantic Forest. Itacarezinho Beach strikes a picture-postcard pose with soft sand as far as the eye can see, coconut palms, and crystal-clear ocean waters. To relax, stroll over to the bungalow sheltering the Shamash Spa, offering treatments with natural products from the region. The rest of your day can comprise a surfing lesson, a boat outing on Camamu Bay, eventide birdwatching, and a dinner of Franco-Brazilian flavors in either your private dining room or the restaurant.
6/ Out of Africa at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, South Africa
Fascinating rock-art sites with Bushmen paintings more than 10,000 years old, pristine nature, rugged rocks—welcome to the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, a peaceful corner of the Western Cape region. Stay in the heart of the plains, in the very midst of local flora and fauna, at the Koro Lodge, with two bedrooms and an infinity pool. Not only can you savor meals cooked on site by a chef, but your villa rental comes with a variety of activities for exploring your surroundings. A simple phone call and a driver appears to take you to the main building two miles away, where you can ease into a holistic spa treatment or take a guided tour of the reserve.
7/ Far West Fun at Dunton Hot Springs, USA
This former mining town in the Colorado mountains has become a ghost town, but is home to a unique establishment steeped in all the old-timey ambiance of the Gold Rush. To get in a Wild West mood, take a seat in the Saloon, with a vintage wooden bar and walls of western prints. Then take a dip in the natural hot springs at the river’s bend. For your accomodations, the Potter House includes 5 bedrooms, several private bathrooms and a large living area with fireplace. A trip back in time.
8/ Historic Highlights at La Chapelle Saint-Martin, France
A few miles from Limoges, on a vast wooded estate sheltering peaceful ponds, is La Chapelle Saint-Martin, a former 19th-century porcelain-maker’s residence that’s now a hotel run by Michelin-starred chef Gilles Dudognon. Ten minutes away is the property’s villa, Le Clos Colombier, in a 12th-century building with grounds boasting a garden of fruit trees, a 60-foot swimming pool, and a bridge, the Pont Colombier, that’s a listed historic monument. The villa offers nearly 200 square feet of living space, with three suites and two bedrooms to accommodate up to 16 people, a fully equipped Gaggenau professional kitchen, and a private gym. The highlight: the castle tower that now serves as a liqueur-tasting cellar.
9/ Maharajas' nights at SUJÁN The Serai, India
Make believe you’re maharajas and lounge in this luxury camp in the middle of the desert. The place recreates the spirit of the royal caravan sites of Rajputana with all the modern amenities you could wish for. The base camp: a villa for two with an outdoor veranda on the scrubland and a butler who responds to the tinkling of a bell. Perfect for exploring Jaisalmer and its fabled golden fortress, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a safari on camelback, a pottery class, and time to watch the sun setting over the Thar Desert, relax with one of the famed Ayurvedic treatments at the SUJÁN Spa, take a meditation class, then dine at the hotel’s restaurant to the music of the Manganiyar Musicians.
10/ Jungle Fever at Awasi Iguazú, Argentina
Dreaming about sleeping deep in the jungle? Come to Iguazu Falls in Argentina. In lush natural surroundings, this 1,500-square-foot villa, built on stilts in the canopy of the surrounding jungle, features two bedrooms and a private plunge pool. The décor is rich with local character, including Guarani crafts like these traditional textiles. Need a touch of civilization for reassurance? Just take the pathway to the main building, where you can enjoy the cuisine brimming with local ingredients. The villa includes full board and excursions aplenty: visiting the falls with a private guide, immersion in the Guarani culture, or guided walks for watching local flora and fauna.