Luxury villa holidays are becoming more popular and the clamour for insider knowledge on the best places to holiday is increasing. Although we'd never want to pick favourites, there are some destinations that prove again and again why they appeal to those looking for the very best from their holidays. Whether it's the choice of exclusive properties, atmosphere, activities or simply the ease of escape, there are plenty of places to choose from. Here then is our our current pick of the world's best luxury villa destinations.
South of France
A villa holiday in the south of France is hard to match. Spend warm afternoons by the pool or on the balcony watching the world go by, or enjoy the old-world glamour of St Tropez or the dazzling boutiques of Cannes.
Exclusive enclaves along the Riviera include Gassin, Ramatuelle, Antibes, Villefranche sur Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Menton, but wherever you choose you’ll be guaranteed a quintessential luxury experience.
The Amalfi Coast is a genuine gem and a perennial favourite. Sumptuous villas and stately homes, all ready and waiting to offer you a slice of la dolce vita, punctuate the spectacular coastline of steep cliffs and stunning villages.
Amalfi itself has been a seaside retreat for centuries, while the glittering island of Capri continues to attract the beautiful crowd to its cool cafes and pretty piazzas. Sorrento and Positano are two other jewels dotting the Sorrentine Peninsula.
Tuscany is rightly famed for its stunning scenery, artistic heritage and delicious cuisine. Most Tuscan luxury villas are located in lovely countryside settings, close to a wealth of walled towns, medieval villages and rolling vineyards.
A relative newcomer to the luxury villa scene, the North Queensland coast boasts some of the world’s best resorts and private luxury villas. Qualia on Hamilton Island was voted world’s best resort in 2012 - the beach House is a showstopper - while Port Douglas has its share of prestigious properties, all with access to that famous reef and rainforest.
The island of Phuket has long been a tropical getaway for the sun-starved and fun loving. There are many exclusive standalone properties alongside the standout resort villas popular with those seeking enhanced services. Recent openings have only added to the island’s luxury allure – from the secluded Naka Island, north to the celeb favourite Iniala on Phang-Nga.
Colourful Koh Samui has rightly earned its place as a world beating luxury destination, thanks to the sheer number of exclusive villas located across the island. From the big name resorts near Bophut – think Banyan Tree and Six Senses – to the secluded hideouts to the west, such as Celadon and Villa Beige, and the more relaxed options in the south, ranging from the lovingly built Naked House to the many health and yoga retreats, it’s hard to go wrong here.
The island of the gods seems blessed with otherworldly qualities: from its sublime blend of spirituality and serene luxury to its towering volcanoes and emerald-green rice paddies, everywhere there are endless invitations to surrender yourself to Bali’s beauty.
Choose the limestone cliffs of the Bukit Peninsula for glorious isolation, say at Alila Uluwatu or Villa Jamadara, or plump for the Luna2 Private Hotel villa, a hideaway straight out of a James Bond novel.
Barbados brings beachside beautiful to the world of luxury villas. From St. James and Sugar Hill to Sandy Lane and Royal Westmoreland, West Indian charm infuses every aspect of island life, from the endless pink and white sand beaches to the many exclusive estates.
The waterfront wonder of Cape Town is hard to overlook for sheer wow factor. Many of the best private penthouse villas and apartments are located along the coast in Camps Bay and Clifton, as well as Bakoven and Bantry Bay.
Table Mountain and the townships are ripe for exploration, while the Cape Peninsula is one of the world’s most diverse marine environments, offering plenty of opportunities to get up close with seals, penguins and, for the brave, Great White Sharks.
Ibiza is a Balearic beauty famed for beach clubbing, chic living and stylish designer trends. With a plethora of properties pulled straight from the pages of the latest design magazines, a luxury villa holiday in Ibiza won’t leave you disappointed.
And remember, Ibiza is not all about partying. Step off the popular trail to discover a beautiful unspoilt landscape, perfect for exploring from the comfort of your fabulous finca, cool crash pad or lavish luxury villa.Search Villas