Who doesn’t love a big hotel? But only a private villa allows you to live the fantasy you actually have Direct in such and such a fabulous place. Here are some charming choices to ponder.
Esencia Mansion, Mexico
A Hollywood producer has transformed an Italian duchess’s tropical home on the Riviera Maya into the Esencia Hotel, one of Mexico’s most exclusive beach hideaways. Its VVIP clientele can now hide even more discreetly in this villa, the Esencia Mansion. Location: A jungly corner of the 50-acre estate just a five-minute walk from the white-sand beach of Xpu-Ha, the spa, and the gourmet tacos served at Mistura. Arrangement: 12,000 square feet on four levels, with four suites (each with a terrace with a hammock), a fitness studio, a rooftop terrace with ocean views, and three swimming pools. Wow factor: A secret entrance leads to a fully stocked underground speakeasy-style bar with a DJ booth, which is available on request.
Sopris House, Aspen
A former family ranch, Aspen Valley Ranch, opened in May 2021 as a gated community with high-end properties (for sale or rent for a month or more) and resort-level amenities and services (some team members are from Aspen Nell, and the concierge is from Les Clefs d’Or). Location: Ten minutes from downtown Aspen. But why leave when you and yours can backcountry ski, snowshoe and snowmobile in your private 813-acre playground? Arrangement: Five bedrooms and bathrooms (tubs with mountain views) spread over 5,709 square feet, with a central courtyard, a greenhouse and a wine cellar organized to your liking. Wow factor: Private stables and a wrangler at your disposal. Public spaces, such as the historic barn-turned-clubhouse, feature works by Jeff Koons and Tony Cragg.
Dunton Pangolin, Mosquito
The couple behind Dunton Hot Springs, the luxury resort in Colorado’s ghost town, recently remodeled their private Caribbean hideaway and added it to their boutique vacation portfolio. Location: Dunton Pangolin, the 20-acre estate atop Rutland Hill is the largest rental on the island, overlooking the nearly always empty Macaroni Beach. Arrangement: Seven king and one queen bedrooms, each with ensuite bath. The 35-foot swimming pool on the terrace offers views of both the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Wow factor: The impressive art collection includes works by Marc Quinn. Five excellent staff members keep the kids entertained with everything from pony camps to scavenger hunts.
Aurora Lodge, Norway
Aurora Lodge, travel curator Black Tomato’s fully-equipped, exclusive-use Arctic adventure base, was designed by Norwegian architect Snorre Stinessen (known for his award-winning minimalist cabins) and is so remote you have to travel by helicopter from Tromso. Location: 100 meters from the sea on 20 hectares of wilderness in the Lyngen Alps, one of the best places in Norway to watch the Northern Lights in winter. Arrangement: The A-frame can accommodate up to 12 guests in six suites, all with wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows. An open plan living and dining room anchored by a fireplace embody the concept of hygge (friendly comfort). Wow factor: In January and February, staff can arrange for wildlife photographer and marine biologist Audun Rikardsen to join groups as they kayak alongside orcas.
Kit Kemp, the British designer behind the Firmdale hotels in London and New York, recently opened the doors to her Caribbean home, Rossferry, which, unsurprisingly, is decorated in her collage of bold patterns and colors. Location: On 2.5 acres in the Sandy Lane residential estate on the west side of the island. A private beach with a dedicated cabana is a 10-minute walk away. Arrangement: A large hall with sea view, a living room filled with art, four bedrooms each with a covered terrace facing the swimming pool or the gardens. Wow factor: Six Firmdale-trained staff members can host formal dinners in the dining room, barbecues on the terrace, or sunset drinks at the pool gazebo. The 80-foot swimming pool is one of the longest on the estate.
A jewel in Mandarin Oriental’s new collection of villas, launched last summer, is Ca’n Miquelet, Mallorca, a four-bedroom finca-style stone house on a 32-acre estate surrounded by citrus and olive trees near the coastal village of Deia. Included: Mandarin Oriental five-star service.
This story appears in the October 2022 issue of City & Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW
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