Renting a villa has always been a good idea, but it is now more than ever: You only have to interact with the friends and family you’ve chosen for your vacation bubble. With these villas, there’s space to connect with loved ones inside; some spectacular, wide-open nature outside; and often a wellness element baked in. While it’s still too early for many of us to travel, it’s not too early to dream. Keep these in mind for when you can venture out of town.
Losinj Hotels & Villas, Croatia
The namesake, beachfront villas at this luxury property on the “wellness island” of Losinj are elegant places to hole up. (Why “wellness island”? A 19th-century botanist determined that it had the healthiest climate in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and it had its first heyday as a haven for people with respiratory problems.) The historic Villa Augusta, the Art Nouveau Villa Mirasol (eight bedrooms) and the contemporary Villa Hortensia (ten bedrooms) are all isolated from the main hotel, and each comes with its own pool, sauna, gym, dedicated butler and private chef.
Sublime Comporta, Portugal
When this chic hideaway opened earlier this week, it was with a new Family and Friends Villa option. The program includes a large villa (two to five bedrooms) with a private pool and large outdoor areas, in-villa check-in and check-out (on request), a lavish welcome basket of goodies from the surrounding Alentejo region, in-villa dining with “family comfort food” at no extra charge and grocery delivery. Throughout, the hotel is adhering to the guidelines of Portugal’s Clean & Safe initiative. And since it’s a small property on a 42-acre estate that’s surrounded by undulating umbrella pines, cork trees, sand dunes, vineyards, rice fields and more than 37 miles of white sand beaches.
Dunton River Camp, Colorado
Normally, this tented property operates as eight individually booked tents. This year, it’s available to single groups who want to have the ultimate family camping holiday. Cresto Ranch was a cattle ranch in the late 19th century, and its original farmhouse sits about 20 feet from the Dolores River and on approximately 500 acres of fields, meadow and forest. The tents, such as they are, span 640 square feet each, and come with six-foot soaker tubs for relaxing inside and two mountain bikes apiece for playing outside.
Euphoria Retreat, Greece
With Greece one of the first countries to have announced plans to welcome tourists, this luxury destination spa has launched new Sanctuary Stays with three customizable options. There’s the 1830 Leoncini Mansion, whose original wood beams and stone walls blend into the landscape at the base of Mt. Taygetus and its ancient forest on the Peloponnesian peninsula. Its six bedrooms can be booked for exclusive use, including spa time for the family or small group. Then there’s a 72-foot Pershing yacht for groups who want to get away from it all at sea. And larger groups can buy out the full 45 rooms.
Villa Manzu, Costa Rica
This clifftop, 30,000-square-foot luxury villa at the tip of Peninsula Papagayo accommodates up to 22 people and includes a private chef, an adventure concierge, use of vehicles and drivers, its own full-service spa, two heated pools, a yoga platform and—perhaps best of all these days—its own private beach. The style is lavish and exuberant, with colorful fabrics and artworks, beaded chandeliers and a careful attention to detail.
Deplar Farm, Iceland
Iceland has announced a plan to test arriving tourists for the coronavirus when it reopens this month, saving them from having to quarantine. The 11-room Deplar Farm—part of the Eleven Experience collection—is a fine base for a personalized program of adventure-until-sunset. It’s in the north of the country, far from the usual tourist circuit, with outdoor space galore. The Eleven Life option emphasizes physical and mental health and wellness.
Efendi Hotel, Israel
Now available for exclusive use, the 12-room hotel lies on one of the narrow lanes of Acre. Its rooms and terraces overlooks the historic city walls and the magnificent Mediterranean Sea. And there is much to admire inside: The structure combines two ancient houses, which were meticulously reconstructed under the supervision of the Antiquities Authority. Each room has a unique style and character designed to elicit a different emotion.
Prati Palai, Italy
While Italy is full of dreamy castles and palaces that can be rented, Prati Palai, on Lake Garda, offers another, perhaps even more delightful glimpse of Italian heritage. Amid about 50 acres of woods, green fields and olive groves, with a lovely view over the lake, it’s a carefully restored 16th-century farmhouse. Normally a boutique hotel with eight large suites and one smaller room, it is now available for a single group at a time. It comes with daily housekeeping and garden maintenance, with other staff on request.