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Luxury personified: The world’s five most luxurious villas


A real vacation is about creating memories that last a lifetime. It’s about collecting souvenirs beyond that of just materialistic possessions. It’s about experiencing opportunities beyond the realms of your imagination and dreams.

That’s why we’ve recruited the help of the travel experts at Luxury Retreats. They are the masterminds behind our hit list of the world’s five most luxurious villas. With their help, we’ve handpicked your next holiday destinations. And, wow, are you in for a treat!

Chalet Black Pearl – Courchevel, French Alps, France


$18,773 – $41,720 per night

Ah, the Black Pearl. Nope, not the infamous ship from Disney’s famous pirate movies – although it is just as magical a sight – we’re talking about the ebony beauty of an architectural masterpiece in the French Alps.

Upon your approach, the first things you’ll notice about this luxury chalet are the black facades and brickwork that help to mark its footprint. The stark contrast this creates against the freshly settled Courchevel snow allows the structure to stand boldly alongside its other, more conventional, peers. It’s an image that’s sure to remain imprinted in your mind far beyond your stay here.

Stepping inside, the same pitch-black wooden beams can be seen decorating the interior ceilings of this 1,350-square-meter home. When you finally drag your eyes away from the imposing beams, you can make your way up to this building’s pièce de résistance – a private spa that occupies an entire floor. Refresh yourself in the Hammam and sauna before plunging into the fourteen-meter interior swimming pool. What better way to recover after a long day of skiing?

The chalet sleeps 16 (courtesy of eight en-suite bedrooms) and rental includes housekeeping and chef or butler services at select times of the year.

Villa di Lorenzo, Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA


$22,000 per night

Not a fan of the cold? We don’t blame you – it’s not for everyone! Thankfully, the golden state of California provides an answer.

Nestled into the Hollywood hills, Villa di Lorenzo is a literal stone’s throw from the energy and glamour of Hollywood Boulevard. Yet it still feels so relaxing.

Outside, a bright white exterior contrasts elegantly with the rich greenery of the hills. The heat of the Californian sun soaks into the intricately laid clay tiles on the roof, while the archways of the building wink at you seductively.

Inside, large rooms boast Spanish colonial architecture that’s become synonymous with Beverly Hills and the Hollywood area. Should you encounter a rare cold evening in this corner of paradise, the house can be fortified with heat and the soothing sputter of burning logs thanks to a selection of carefully placed open fireplaces.

California’s always-perfect weather means the outdoor pool, with a cascading waterfall feature, makes for the perfect relaxation spot. Glide up to the pool’s edge and look out at the stunning city view – far enough away to admire its beauty, without the interruption of its hubbub.

This dream home comfortably houses 18 people, making it perfect for special events, large family get-togethers, or maybe even a romantic Hollywood wedding.

What’s our favourite feature? It has to be a deep, solitary bathtub, challenged by earthy limestone furniture, which offers a sheltered spot to reflect on your once-in-a-lifetime Hollywood getaway.

Over Yonder Cay, Bahamas – The Exumas, Caribbean

$50,000 – $86,000 per night

There are many reasons Richard Branson owns a private island. Simply because he can, being one of them. But we like to think that the biggest attraction to owning your own slice of the Earth is the peace and tranquillity that it must provide. Arguably, Over Yonder Cay blows Branson’s island out of the water.

This sequestered treasure floats elegantly in the warm waters of the Bahamas and is one of the world’s only eco-friendly private islands. It achieved this status thanks to its commitment to being fuelled almost entirely by renewable sources – a highly sought-after trait in today’s world.

A vacation here begins with a VIP airport transfer and ends whenever your imagination and dreams run dry. Or when you’ve explored all of the 72 acres’ hidden coves and panoramic views.

Four mind-bogglingly beautiful villas lie upon the island and accommodate 30 guests between them. With such a vast space to maintain, the island also comes equipped with butler, chef, housekeeping, island manager, and massage therapy services.

Aside from the island’s beauty and buildings, there are activities aplenty. From water sports to a nine-whole golf course, you’d be an anomaly among guests if you found yourself bored.

This truly is unparalleled Caribbean luxury.

Coco Prive Private Island

$45,000 – $50,000 per night

Sticking with the private island theme, Coco Prive presents its lucky guests with unrivalled sea views, the most vibrant, green vegetation we’ve ever seen, and a carefully mastered mix of luxury indoor-outdoor living.

Known to many as “the perfect Indian Ocean vacation,” this private island does a wonderful job of bringing its environment into its design. The interior spaces of its six separate villas are awash with wood floor and wall panelling, creating the most natural energy. While the upholstery and additional décor oozes modern Indian class.

Perhaps the best example of the creation of indoor-outdoor living is the island’s outdoor cinema, allowing you and your guests to recline on the warm evening sands and take in your favourite movie in a whole new way.

But save your film fantasises for the evenings, because there’s no limit of amenities available to you during the days. From the second you complete your booking the helpful hands of the island’s staff will begin to bring your desires to life. Organise full spa treatments that leave you in a complete state of relaxation. Or begin your diving lessons, presenting you with the opportunity to wonder at the colourful reefs below the water’s still surface.

Coco Prive sleeps 12 guests in its six villas; all of which are carefully placed to increase each household’s privacy. The true beauty of this getaway, though, is its ability to bring everyone back together again to enjoy alfresco dining with utterly unique views.

A final note on this stunning Maldives destination: Our sea levels are rising at an alarming rate, mostly down to the affects of global warming. With this in mind, this luxurious holiday destination could – in the not so distant future – become the new Atlantis. We hope it doesn’t come to that, because its beauty belongs above the warm waters. Not lost within them.

Gallio, Lake Como, Italy


$20,150 – $37,637 per night

There are many breathtakingly beautiful lakes in the world. And then there’s Lake Como. The iconic Italian escape is renowned for its richly crafted ancient architecture, still waters, and postcard-worthy backdrops.

Located on the lake’s secluded western shore, Gallio is a sight to behold. This sixteenth-century palazzo is luxury and class personified.

Upon approaching the entrance to the Main House, you’ll come face-to-face with a stretch of perfectly maintained hedges and an old stone archway that demands respect. Even from the outside, you can tell this building is filled with old-world elegance.

Stepping in, marble flooring and walls adorned with fresco paintings will capture your imagination. There are more priceless antiques and works of art here than in some museums. Other treasure to behold throughout the building’s halls and rooms include a grander than grand piano, ornate chandeliers and warm, inviting fireplaces. Despite all of this, it’s the grounds and lake views of this property that offer true, natural beauty.

Split between the Main House and the Villino, this luxury property can cater to 28 guests. It has ample parking for 10 (Italian) sports cars, private mooring, and even a helicopter pad.