Travel experts’ guide to 2017

Planning this year’s vacation and not sure where to start? This simple guide will put you on the right track. We asked some of the world’s best bloggers and travel writers to share their tops tips for 2017 – and they came back with some surprising recommendations…

Scotland

MIKE MACEACHERAN

An award-winning travel writer and guidebook author, Mike has traveled to over 100 countries. Here’s why Scotland is his top pick for 2017.

why visit scotland in 2017

“The world won’t fail to take notice when T2, the highly-anticipated Trainspotting sequel, arrives at the end of January. The content may be outrageous and acerbic, but Edinburgh’s medieval core of Gothic wynds and crooked steeples has never looked better on screen.

“Add to that the capital’s enduring Edinburgh Festival, which hits its 70th year this August, and a hefty splash of tartan thanks to Visit Scotland’s year-long History, Heritage and Archaeology jamboree, and it’s looking pretty peachy for ruddy-faced Scots on both sides of the Brexit debate.

“That’s not forgetting the recently-introduced North Coast 500, a Route 66-style road trip across the Highlands; the country’s new Gin Trail; the opening of the Queensferry Crossing, the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge; and the 200th anniversary of Rob Roy, which’ll put the spotlight on Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.”

Antarctica

TWO MONKEYS TRAVEL GROUP

Travel enthusiasts Kach Medina Umandap and Jonathan Howe have been travelling the world since 2013. This year, they recommend taking a trip of a lifetime to Antarctica.

two monkeys travel group

“While the unknown is a huge part of what makes a cruise to Antarctica so exciting, one thing you know for certain – it will be one of, if not the most, unforgettable journey of your lifetime! It is one of the few remaining refuges of pristine and unspoiled nature on the planet.

“There is no another place like Antarctica in the world, with its great towers of ice protruding from dark crystal waters and the inhospitable beauty that only a select few have the qualities and skills to survive in – none of them human!”

Europe’s hidden gems

SUITCASES AND SANDCASTLES

Blogger and adventurer Clare Thomson is a big fan of slow travel. She recommends taking the time to explore some of Europe’s lesser-visited corners.

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“My travel tip for 2017 is to hunt out some of Europe’s undiscovered gems. I think travellers will be looking for more authentic experiences this year, to find those lesser-known, more laid-back destinations. The kind of places where you can find wonderful local food, stunning countryside and perfect beaches without the crowds and the tourist-trap prices of the busier resorts.

“In Greece, you can find laid-back perfection on lesser-known islands like Folegandros, Sifnos and Tinos. In Italy, avoid the crowds on the Amalfi Coast and Capri and head instead for the charming Cilento Coast and the island of Ischia. And in France, swap the Côte d’Azur for the picturesque delights of the villages in the south west.”

Budapest

THE TRAVEL HACK 

The Travel Hack is a blog where contributors share adventurous tips, with a healthy dose of style thrown in for good measure. In 2017, founder Monica Stott recommends a trip to beautiful Budapest.

Travel tips for 2017: Budapest

“It’s a beautiful city with a magical charm. There’s nothing better than spending the day sightseeing and then warming up in the city’s steaming thermal baths or with a big bowl of comforting goulash. [Budapest] has a great mix of old and new, with a really modern feel among the old buildings and beautiful architecture.

“Budapest is also really affordable, with lots of budget airlines flying there – and there’s lots of affordable accommodation so you can step it up and get somewhere much more luxurious than normal.”

Northern Italy

GLOBAL MOUSE TRAVELS

Nichola West over at Global Mouse Travels shows how easy it can be to travel with a family. Her top tip for the year ahead? Northern Italy.

Lake Como in Italy

Pic: Jim (CC)

“I can’t recommend Northern Italy highly enough for a family trip (or any trip!) away. The Italian lakes are beautiful and the perfect tonic – it’s impossible not to see them and feel your shoulders start to relax.

“The cities around this area are wonderful too, from the hustle and bustle of Milan to the absolute beauty of Verona which is my favourite Italian city. It’s easy to get over to Venice for the magical feel of this watery land too. Throw in the hospitable Italian welcome and delicious food at every turn, [and] it really is the perfect break!”

Venice

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

A travel addict and sun seeker, blogger Stephanie Holmes explains how Venice has something to offer everyone in 2017.

Visiting Venice in 2017

“The backdrop to countless movies, the romantic setting to an endless number of books and one of my top picks for where you should travel in 2017: Venice. One of the most romantic cities in the world, [it] has something to offer everyone. Whether you are traveling alone, as a couple, or with your family, from the moment you arrive at the train station and walk out onto the large plaza into the heart of bustling Venice, you will be spellbound.

“It is at that exact moment that you realize you have arrived in the most unique city in the world. Made up of more canals and bridges than streets, it’s the perfect place to wander, explore, immerse yourself in the winding cobblestone alleys and get lost.”

Dodecanese Islands, Greece

MARK HODSON

Leading travel writer Mark Hodson recommends seeking out some of the smaller Greek islands, where prices are lower and crowds are less bothersome.

Why you should visit Greece in 2017

Image credit: Mark Hodson


“Greece is going to be popular this year, but if you want to avoid the crowds and squeezed prices, you should seek out some of the smaller islands. I’ll be heading to the tiny Dodecanese islands of Nisyros, Tilos and Symi in the south-east Aegean. They are far too small for the big cruise ships (Tilos has a population of just 200) and ferry services are sporadic. The best option is to join a gulet cruise with a specialist company. Highlights include a hike into the spectacular volcanic cone on Nissyros and cocktails in the neoclassical harbour on Symi.”

Naxos, Greece

TRAVEL BABBO

Having visited more than 80 countries, Eric Stoen from Travel Babbo takes his kids along on every new adventure, opening their eyes to what the world has to offer. He suggests a trip to Naxos in 2017.

Why you should visit Naxos, Greece in 2017

“We highly recommend the Greek island of Naxos. It’s a short ferry ride from Mykonos and Santorini but it couldn’t be more different, as there are no cruise ships that stop in Naxos and it’s not a party island. Rather, it’s a family-friendly destination that never feels crowded, perfect for a week or two of beach relaxation, Greek culture and excellent food. We prefer to stay on St. George Beach, since the water is shallow and perfect for kids and the beach is within walking distance to Naxos Town, but you can’t go wrong no matter where you stay. We’ll be back again this summer!”

Odessa and Belarus

HIDDEN EUROPE

Berlin-based travel writer Nicky Gardner is the co-editor of Hidden Europe magazine; whenever she has a few days to spare, she’s inclined to hop on an eastbound train from the German capital. Find out why she picked Odessa and Belarus as her top spots to visit in 2017.

Top spots to visit in 2017

Soviet era monuments at Vitebsk in Belarus © Hidden Europe

“The fracture line between western and eastern Europe acts as a deterrent for some travellers. But many of the up-and-coming destinations for 2017 are in territories well east of the traditional European travel hotspots. Odessa has eclipsed Genoa as a chic port city, and visitors to the Black Sea resort are rarely disappointed. Long gone are the days of dour Soviet service, and today Odessa makes a great choice for a first visit to Ukraine.

“Or why not venture to Belarus, where there’s still a touch of Soviet style in the monuments and street art? For a first taste of the country, make for Hrodna or Vitebsk, both amiable mid-size cities. Vitebsk was the home city of artist Marc Chagall. Belarus, like Ukraine, offers great value for money and, being off the beaten track, visitors still get a warm welcome. If heading for Belarus, take along a copy of Nigel Roberts’ excellent guidebook. The third of edition of Belarus was published by Bradt Travel Guides in 2015.”

Iceland

THE LUXURY COLUMNIST

Suze Renner, a food, style and travel blogger, gives her take on everything luxury, from top restaurants and places to visit. Iceland is her top pick for the year ahead.

Why you should visit Iceland in 2017

“My top tip for 2017 would be to visit Iceland – the landscape has an undeniable charm and if you’re lucky you’ll see the northern lights! The food is delicious, Icelanders have a wicked sense of humour, and natural wonders such as the erupting geysirs will leave you thrilled.”

Thailand

The Luxury Editor

Keen traveler Ross Fraser writes about his trips over on The Luxury Editor. Thailand is his favourite place to hang out in 2017, and here’s why:

why go to thailand in 2017

“My recommended destination for 2017 in Thailand; it’s a hands-down winner for me. The land of smiles has never failed to disappoint me over my many years exploring the country. Thailand is a great introduction to Asia if you haven’t been before: people are helpful, the sun is shining and nothing is too much trouble. Start your adventure in the sprawling metropolis of Bangkok and visit the city’s many tourist attractions, do a bit if shopping while you are there and immerse yourself in the city’s chaotic culture.

“Then make your way down to one of Thailand’s islands for some beach relaxation – I love Phuket which is peppered with beaches and hidden coves meaning you can often have an entire beach to yourself if you book a villa on the island. You really will feel like Leonardo Dicaprio in The Beach.”

Canada’s National Parks

MATTHEW LONG

An experimental luxury traveler, Matt Long has visited more than 70 countries and shares his adventures with thousands of readers everyday.

why visit canada in 2017

He says: “2017 is a special year in Canada. There are lots of anniversaries going on, including the 150th birthday of the Canadian Confederation and the 100th anniversary of the country’s impressive national parks system. From coast to coast, these parks are some of the most beautiful places on the planet and two in particular – Banff and Jasper – rank among my favorite travel destinations.

“This is the best year to explore Canada’s national parks because, in light of this celebration, all parks will be free to visitors for the duration of the year. Take advantage of this rare chance to see the best of Canada’s natural treasures for free. Some highlights of Canada’s National Parks include: the Icefields Parkway, Maligne Lake, Bay of Fundy, Gros Morne, Kootenay, Prince Edward Island and many, many more.”

South Africa

SILVER SPOON LONDON 

A strong sense of wanderlust has taken Angie Silver all over the globe. Her top recommendation for 2017 is South Africa.

why visit South Africa in 2017

“South Africa is one of my favourite countries and certainly a great place to visit this year. Explore the history, beautiful scenery and eat incredible food in Cape Town and take the short drive to the Winelands to enjoy some fantastic local wines. If there’s time, discover the nature and wildlife along the Garden Route before finishing with the experience of a lifetime – a safari in Kruger Park or Sabi Sands.”

Cuba

THE STYLE TRAVELLER 

Join fashion-obsessed Bonnie Rakhit on her travels as she shares luxury style tips all over the globe.

Cuba is a top pick for 2017

“Last year I traveller to 34 destinations in 15 different countries and I ticked off one of my all-time bucket list destinations: Havana. Cuba has been on my agenda for years and after spending just a few days in the vibrant city I completely fell in love with the colourful, crumbling facades of the buildings, the buzz in the streets and the impromptu street parties, which just seemed to explode into life from literally nowhere.

“It totally lived up to all of my expectations and then some. What I especially liked was the laid-back vibe and the way in which the city hasn’t quite caught up with the modern world yet. With plans to build a whole raft of new luxury hotels, and global chains keeping a close eye on the city, I highly recommend visiting now before the true authenticity of this incredible place is lost. There’s still time!”

 

Luxury villas for couples

Heading to the sun with your partner? You don’t have to rent a mansion to holiday in total luxury. We’ve got a whole range of stylish vacation homes that are just perfect for couples.

Orlando

The theme park capital of the world is famously good for families, but Orlando can be just as exciting for couples. These compact but luxurious vacation homes are just a short distance from the main rides and attractions.

Reunion Resort 534

Villas for solo travelers and couples

Located 6 miles from Disney’s main gates, this 1-bedroom condo provides all of the luxuries you could ever need for a restful stay. With stunning, upscale interiors and a sun-dappled patio area, it’s just steps away from a communal pool – perfect for a relaxing dip after a long day at the theme parks.

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Reunion Resort 588

villas for couples in orlando

Overlooking the renowned Arnold Palmer golf course and set in the heart of Reunion Resort, this 1-bedroom apartment has it all. In close proximity to Orlando’s famous theme parks and a whole host of other attractions, it offers plush furnishings and a private balcony with epic views.

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Reunion Grande 1

reunion-grande-1

If you would prefer a slightly more spacious Orlando home on your couple’s retreat, this 2-bedroom condo provides just that. Situated on the 8th floor of the Reunion Grande complex, it enjoys great views over Orlando’s best golf courses – and gives you a front-row seat for Disney’s impressive fireworks displays.

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Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui’s heavenly beaches, mountainsides and lush green forests create the idyllic setting for a couple’s getaway or solo retreat.

Choeng Mon 1252

villas for solo travellers

Compact living doesn’t mean the end of luxury. This 1-bedroom, open-plan villa provides a private pool, an outdoor dining space and contemporary furnishings throughout. Right near Choeng Mon beach, it offers easy access to local bars, restaurants and shops.

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Plai Laem 1001

Plai Laem 1001

Escape to the beach! This sensational 1-bedroom villa offers a private pool and contemporary interiors, and is just steps away from the crystal-clear Gulf of Thailand. Ideal for a honeymoon or a special solo adventure.

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Barbados

Crystal-clear waters and soft white sands are just part of the Barbados story. Add in friendly locals and some delicious cuisine, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a vacation in the sun.

Paynes Bay 26

Barbados villas for couples

This Barbados condo overlooks the beach. With 1 bedroom, the home offers plenty of space for a couple – and has breathtaking views from its private balcony, which offers views over the water.

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Barbados 329

villas for couples

In St. Peter, near Speightstown, this exceptional villa provides luxury at every turn, making it perfect for a sunny getaway. With a private pool and a superb beachfront location, relaxation couldn’t be easier.

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France

You don’t have to try hard to find peace and tranquility in the beautiful French countryside.

Siorac-en-Perigord 1

Villas for couples in France

Tucked away within 5 acres of private grounds on the banks of the Dordogne River, this snug and secluded cottage is perfect for a loved-up couple. The charming property has its own private pool, plus an outdoor seating area surrounded by rolling countryside.

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Saint Martin

The gem of the Caribbean, St Martin has everything you need for a totally relaxing escape. Whether you want to spend your days sunbathing on the pristine beaches or checking out the local sights, our vacation homes serve as the perfect base.

St. Martin 309

villas in st martin for couples travel

Swap a traditional hotel room for your own villa in St Martin. Couples and solo travelers will love this secluded hideaway, which offers its own private pool and jaw-dropping views of the sea. The outside dining area is the ideal place to enjoy dinner.

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Looking for something bigger? View our full range of vacation rentals here.

 

10 great places for a vacation in February

After the holiday hubbub has passed there’s nothing better than a relaxing vacation to escape the New Year blues.

Whether you want to hit the theme parks without the crowds, whisk your loved one away on a Valentine’s break, or pack in some action on the slopes,  these destinations are great for a vacation in February.

Orlando

Orlando in February

Why go in Feb?

You can beat the Spring Break crowds by visiting Orlando in February. The temperatures are fantastic, and there’s so much to do that you may not know where to start!

Hit the Mardi Gras at Universal Studios or visit Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

You’ll have some of Florida’s best golf courses on your doorstep, as well as an abundance of attractions, restaurants and nightlife. If motor racing is your thing, you’ll be close enough for the epic Daytona 500 rally.

See our Orlando villas

 

Koh Samui

Vacation in February

Why go in feb?

There is no bad time to go to Thailand, but if you visit for a vacation in February, you’re guaranteed lots of sunshine and hardly any rain.

In fact, Koh Samui sees less rainfall in February than in any other month of the year. Join in the Chinese New Year revelry, which spills over into early February, or take your other half to one of the island’s hot Valentine’s Day spots.

Think turquoise-fringed beaches, jungle trekking and boutique spas, with daily temperatures reaching more than 86F.

See our Koh Samui villas

 

Paris

Paris is a great place for a vacation in February

Why go in Feb?

The weather may not be warm but you can heat up your Paris vacation if you visit in February.

Always a classic for romance, the City of Love is the ultimate destination to get swept off your feet, so there’s no better time to visit than Valentine’s Day. Steal a kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower, sip on some bubbly at the world’s best champagne bars, or get lost together in the long halls of the Louvre.

A perfect evening can be spent enjoying an intimate meal in a candlelit bistro, or sampling the buzzing Paris nightlife.

See our Paris villas

 

Destin

February vacation in Destin

Why go in feb?

Tucked into the Florida Panhandle along the state’s northwest coast, the city of Destin has it all.

It’s famed for its powder-white beaches, first-rate golf and world-famous fishing, but there’s plenty more to do besides. If you’re visiting in February, you’ll escape the Spring Break crowds.

You’ll also be able to make the most of quieter beaches, restaurants and attractions. What’s more, the new Northwest Florida Regional Airport makes it easier than ever to reach.

See our Destin villas

 

Aspen

February vacation in Aspen

Why go in feb?

The slopes are still snowy, the crowds have dispersed, and prices are starting to fall by mid to late February.

Not only is there plenty of on-mountain action, Aspen is famed for its world-class shopping, restaurants and après ski. In February, expect events like the Mardi Gras Parade and the Power of Four Mountain Battle.

See our Aspen villas

 

Barbados

Barbados vacation in February

Why go in feb?

No list of February vacation destinations would be complete without a slice of balmy Caribbean paradise. Palm-fringed beaches, gin-clear waters and year-round sunshine are what Barbados is famous for.

There are an abundance of other attractions too. Live it up at the annual Holetown Festival, join in with the locals at a Friday night fish fry or laze your days away on the pristine sands of the Platinum Coast – there are so many things to do in Barbados.

See our Barbados villas

 

French Riviera

vacation in February

Why go in feb?

While the French Riviera gets the vast majority of its annual visitors in the summer months, February can be an ideal time to visit.

There’s the quiet of the low season, and there are no long lines at museums and attractions. Accommodation and airfare costs are at their lowest too. There’s the Nice Carnival, which comes alive with street processions, music and fireworks.

And if you’re visiting for Valentine’s you’re more likely to get a table at one of the region’s world-class restaurants.

See our French Riviera villas

 

Chamonix

A vacation in February to Chamonix

Why go in Feb?

It’s the most famous ski resort in France. It also boasts stunning surroundings, and a whole host of attractions that make it stand out as a year-round vacation destination.

Chamonix hosted the first-ever Winter Olympics way back in 1924. Today it attracts skiers and snowboarders from across the globe. Chamonix is a top pick for vacations in February, but it can get busy for a week or so during the UK February half term.

You can spend your time on the diverse variety of slopes, chill out at a spa, or visit the vibrant town with its great shops and buzzing après ski.

See our Chamonix villas

 

Cape Coral

Vacation in February to Cape Coral

Why go in Feb?

Hailed as a place where the sun shines all year round, Cape Coral is a top choice for a vacation in February.

Located along the shimmering Gulf of Mexico, this family-friendly destination offers all the natural beauty you’d expect from southwest Florida. It’s a top spot for boating, fishing and watersports.

It’s also a great golf destination. You can go shelling on Sanibel Island, take in the stunning surroundings or soak up the Cape’s great shopping, dining and nightlife.

See our Cape Coral villas

 

Jamaica

Jamaica vacations in February

Why go in feb?

If you want reggae, jerk chicken and rum on tap, then Jamaica is the ideal place for a vacation in February. It may be peak season but there are plenty of perks to make it worth the trip.

If you’re a fan, there’s Bob Marley Week in Kingston and the Bob Marley Birthday Bash in Montego Bay. Best of all, if you go in February, you’ll just miss the US Spring Break crowds.

See our Jamaica villas

 

If you’re booking an vacation in February and you need advice on the best places to stay then contact the Top Villas travel team today. Additionally, the Top Villas concierge service can arrange any added extras you need such as great value car hire and attraction tickets.

 

3D tours of our best vacation homes

The best way to get a feel for the sheer size of our amazing vacation homes is to pay a visit and take a look around in person. If that’s not possible, or if you’d rather take a virtual tour before making a booking, these 3D tours are a great place to start.

We’ve included 3D tours for 5 of our favourite homes in Reunion Resort, Orlando. To explore each home, just press the play button and use your mouse and/or cursor keys to move from room to room. If you have a Google Cardboard or another VR headset, you can tour the homes in full virtual reality.

Reunion Resort 3000

10 BEDROOMs – SLEEPS 24

This huge mansion comes with its own movie theater, game room, arcade and poker room, plus an indoor squash and basketball court. There’s also a private pool, a steam room and a sauna. See if you can find the bowling alley!

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Reunion Resort 2000

12 bedroom – sleeps 24

Take a sneaky peek at this enormous vacation home – one of the largest and most luxurious villas in Orlando. There’s a movie theatre, a game room, a sports bar and a fully-equipped gym. There’s also a large swimming pool with a water slide and a bubbling hot tub. Can you count how many people can fit around the dining table?

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Reunion Resort 6000

9 bedrooms – sleeps 24

This stunning home is packed with so much luxury it’s more like a film set than a self-catering villa. There’s a 24-seater movie theater, a state-of-the-art gym and a vast pool area with cabanas, a huge hot tub, an outside dining area with a large TV, and your very own golf putting green!

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Reunion Resort 1000

12 bedroom – sleeps 24

Check out this spectacular vacation home featuring 2 swimming pools, 2 movie theaters, a private gym and multiple living and dining areas. Best of all it’s located just a stone’s throw from Disney World!

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Reunion Resort 875

5 bedrooms – sleeps 10

This contemporary vacation home is jam-packed with quirky features including themed kids’ bedrooms and a game room with a pool table, ping pong and an arcade machine. It also boasts an alfresco dining area and a private swimming pool with a sunken hot tub. Which themed bedroom is your favorite?

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Want to see more?

Click the images below and you’ll be directed to some of our other villas with 3D tours.

3d-01 3d-02 3d-03 3d-04 untitled-6-06 3d-05

If you’re booking an Orlando vacation home and you need help and advice then contact the Top Villas travel team today. Additionally, the Top Villas concierge service can arrange any added extras you need such as great value car hire and attraction tickets.

A bloggers’ guide to Christmas abroad

Fancy spending Christmas away from home? Not sure where to head? Then check out our bloggers’ guide to Christmas abroad.

We asked some of the world’s best-known bloggers and travel writers for the inside track on where to spend Christmas – and where they’ve had the most festive fun abroad. So if you’re thinking of swapping turkey bones and dirty plates for santa hats on the beach, here’s some top tips from the people who know best.

Christmas abroad

Fancy spending Christmas abroad?

Orlando

One Tiny Leap

Travel blogger Maria Belfort of One Tiny Leap said she’d love to spend Christmas soaking up the sun and sangria in Orlando…

Christmas in Orlando

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney World, Orlando

“Our Christmases are usually spent with family either in Portugal or England, but I dream of one day taking our family to spend Christmas somewhere sunny, where we could spend Christmas Day frolicking in the sea and singing carols over a piña colada.

“I’d happily combine that with a few days at Disney World in Orlando.

“I’m a self-confessed Disney nut and the thought of spending Christmas at the ‘House of Mouse’, with the parks, especially at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, would be simply magical.”

See our Orlando villas

 

Lapland

Flip Flop Travels

Victoria Philpott is the author behind global travel blog Flip Flop Travels. Her blog grew from her passion to help people travel better, by visiting places they might not have thought of before. For her, the perfect Christmas would be spent surrounded by snow in Swedish or Finnish Lapland…

Christmas in Lapland

A reindeer in Lapland, Finland

“If I was going to spend Christmas abroad I’d spend it in Lapland.

“There can’t be anywhere more Christmassy, right? I visited Swedish Lapland in the summer and really enjoyed the vast wilderness. I’d love to see it in winter with snow covering the ground.

“But then, seeing as the Finns are adamant that Santa lives in their Lapland, I’d like to stay there to test the theory. The opportunities to see the Northern Lights would make it worth it too!”

 

Jamaica

Mini Travellers

Travel enthusiast Karen Beddow loves jetting off across the globe with her husband and 3 young children. Her inspiring blog Mini Travellers is packed with advice for parents of all ages looking for vacation ideas. Karen shares her fond memories of spending Christmas in Jamaica…

Christmas in Jamaica

Jamaica is a great Christmas vacation destination

“If we weren’t spending Christmas at home, I would choose Jamaica.

“The first Christmas myself and my husband were together, we decided to fly off to somewhere hot and sunny and Jamaica ticked all the boxes.

“I have fond memories of sitting on the beach sipping a cocktail whilst Santa jet-skied past us. It was a fabulous trip and I’d love to experience it with the girls.”

See our Jamaica villas

 

Thailand

My Travel Monkey

Ting Dalton, author of award-winning travel blog My Travel Monkey spent her very first Christmas abroad in Thailand. Here she explains why she loved it so much…

My Travel Monkey

“Christmas is all about spending time with loved ones, wrapping up warm and going for long wintry walks before tucking into a huge dinner with all the trimmings. However, as much as I look forward to this annual tradition I do remember with fondness my first Christmas away from home spent on the island of Koh Pha Ngan in Thailand.

“After a simple breakfast, we spent the morning lazing on the beach (in santa hats of course!) and then having a Christmas dinner in a restaurant where celebrations went on all night. The locals tried to make it as festive as possible for us – and even though I was far away from home, it was just wonderful.

“So with this in mind, if you fancy a change from the norm, head to a tropical paradise for some winter sun. I know that we’re planning to in the near future!”

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Barbados

Travel Loving Family

Travel writer Lisa Jane has ventured to more than 80 countries in the past 5 years. She shares her experiences on her popular website Travel Loving Family. Lisa recommends spending Christmas in the Caribbean, particularly Barbados.

Barbados beach

Christmas on a Barbados beach – photo courtesy of Travel Loving Family

“I would love to spend Christmas in the Caribbean again! 

“I spent three Christmases out there while working aboard cruise ships. To be honest, the first year I was due to spend Christmas in the Caribbean I worried that celebrating in the sunshine wouldn’t feel Christmassy. Of course the reality was [that] I loved spending Christmas day snorkelling in the turquoise blue Caribbean sea and sunbathing on the white sandy Barbados beaches.

“I would swap a cold, wet Christmas in England for celebrating with a rum punch on a stunning Caribbean beach in a heartbeat this year!”

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Switzerland

Pod Travels

In her spare time, multi-award nominated blogger Charly Dove travels the world with her family. She prefers a ‘winter wonderland’ style Christmas in the magical Swiss Alps…

Switzerland vacation

View to the Matterhorn sunset reflected in the lake Stellisee

“Nestled in the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn is Zermatt, a quintessentially Swiss mountain resort renowned for its skiing, climbing and hiking. Situated at 1,600m, this beautiful snow-covered and largely car-free town, is reminiscent of a winter wonderland.

“We’ve visited twice during the festive period, the atmospheric après-ski scene making it especially memorable. Bahnhofstrasse has shops, restaurants, bars and cafés aplenty – or [you can] grab yourself an enormous Bratwurst wrapped in crusty bread. 

“With 360km of pistes, skiers and snowboarders of all levels are well catered for. The more experienced can take the Theodul Pass to the Italian region of Aosta Valley. Relaxation can come from one of the many mountain restaurants, which boast magnificent views. Tobogganing, sledding and an array of other winter sports are available although the Gornergrat mountain train, with views of the Matterhorn, is a must for all the family.

Christmas in Switzerland

Famous sightseeing train in Switzerland, the Glacier Express in winter

“The centre of town has an ice rink with skating, curling and hockey on offer. Further afield there’s Zermatlantis (the Matterhorn Museum), forest park, Vernissage cinema, swimming pools and the Matterhorn Brewery to visit. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do if you don’t fancy the slopes. Top tip: Make sure you try the moreish caramel vodka!”

 

Bali

Where’s Sharon?

Author of popular travel blog Where’s Sharon?, Sharon Gourlay loves family vacations in Bali so much that she’s just returned for the fourth time…

Villas in Bali

Sharon and her family enjoying Christmas in Bali

“We loved spending Christmas in Bali.

“It’s fun to spend Christmas in the sun and Bali has enough tourists that there’s still enough elements of Christmas to make it fun! Many places have Christmas decorations, it’s easy to have a traditional meal (with carols!), and all the locals were wishing us a merry Christmas.

“It’s also affordable enough that you have options like pool villas without having to have a huge budget.”

See our Bali villas

 

Cuba

Global Grasshopper

International travel blog Global Grasshopper is run by self-confessed ‘travel snob’ Becky Padmore. Along with their team of fellow travel enthusiasts, she’s on a mission to discover the world’s most underrated and beautiful places – Cuba being one of them…

Becky from the Global Grasshopper travel blog

“If you’d prefer to escape the cold (and the commercialisation) I’d recommend spending Christmas in Cuba. 

“Sip mojitos and salsa dance the night away on glistening white sands beside breezy azure waters. The next day hire a 1950s Cadillac and spend your Christmas exploring Cuba’s vibrant Jardines del Rey, a cluster of beautiful tropical islands located off the North coast.

“Then head to Havana to party with the locals on the Malecón, an atmospheric ocean road lined with colourful but fading, salt-eroded art deco and colonial buildings.”

 

New York & Florida

Extraordinary Chaos

Founder of family lifestyle blog Extraordinary Chaos, Sarah Christie said she would love to spend Christmas in New York. She also dreams of Spending Christmas in the warm Florida sun…

Christmas in New York

A New York vacation is on the Christmas wish list

“The one place I would love to spend Christmas is New York.  We have visited in summer, and fell in love with the hustle and bustle. However I have a real desire to experience it at Christmas, as I know it will be magical.

“I am not sure if it is growing up in the Home Alone era. But I have visions of staying on 5th Avenue and shopping in the snow, with people singing Christmas carols on the street.

“I would love to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and all the festive shop windows. As much as I love the heat and sun and dream of spending Christmas in Florida one year, I also love the seasons and the thought of snuggling in my hat and scarf on the streets of New York is so appealing and something I have always wanted to do.”

See our Florida villas

 

Sri Lanka

Twins that travel

Self confessed travel-obsessed sisters Claire and Laura Jopson are joint authors of award-winning travel blog, Twins that Travel. They recommend Sri Lanka as an ideal winter sun destination…

Christmas abroad

Christmas in Sri Lanka – photo courtesy of The Elephant Stamp

“Sri Lanka is an ideal winter sun destination, where relaxation on idyllic beaches can be combined with some ‘soft adventure’ in the country’s famous tea regions. Stay in luxury bungalows on working tea plantations, taking a step back into the country’s colonial past, or hike up to Lipton’s Seat to enjoy breath taking views out over the glistening green tea plantations.

“If you’re looking to keep fit over the winter season, Sri Lanka also offers world-renowned yoga retreats: leaving you tanned, healthy and clear headed for the year ahead.”

 

Myanmar (Burma)

Mrs O Around the World

Avid traveller and luxury travel blogger Ana Silva O’Reilly said one of her travel highlights of 2015 was spending Christmas on a luxury cruise along the Ayeyarwady river in Myanmar…

Burma

Ana loved her Christmas cruise in Myanmar

“I am a great believer in actually not going anywhere for Christmas – I do like spending it at home surrounded by family and friends. Last year I decided to mix things up a bit and we spent Christmas away from home on a boat. In Myanmar.

“We sailed on the maiden voyage of The Strand Cruise and explored at Irrawaddy river between Bagan and Mandalay. It was exceptional, and we then celebrated New Year at home with all our loved ones.”

 

Chicago

Kids are a trip

Mother of 3 Kirsten Maxwell is the author of family blog Kids are a Trip. She recommends taking a Christmassy break to Chicago, USA.

Christmas in Chicago

“Chicago might be cold in the winter, but during the holiday season the city really shines.

“Locals and visitors bundle up to brave the chill and head out to enjoy each and every one of the holiday offerings. Some of the more popular events include the Christkindlmarket, a replica of the European Christmas markets where shoppers meander through wooden stalls while warming themselves with mugs of glühwein.

“Those looking for Chicago’s ‘holiday central’ head to Millennium Park, home to the famous ‘Cloud Gate’ sculpture, the city’s Christmas tree, the Maggie Daley ice skating ribbon, and multiple holiday concerts. The favorite indoor holiday activity of many is attending Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at the Museum of Science and Industry.

“Here visitors can marvel at trees decorated to represent over 50 countries and cultures from around the world and enjoy live holiday performances.”

If you’re booking a Christmas vacation and you need help finding the perfect place to stay, then contact the Top Villas travel team. Additionally, the Top Villas concierge service can arrange any added extras you need such as great value car hire and attraction tickets.

11 luxury villas perfect for large groups

Whether you’re planning a big family reunion, a dream wedding, or a catch up with a group of old friends, you’re going to need plenty of space. These luxury villas feature extras like huge pools, home theaters and swim-up bars, and are perfect for large groups. We’ve also included a few villas that are located right next to each other, giving you even more flexibility. 

Orlando

Reunion Resort S2547

Luxury villas for groups

Right beside one another in Reunion Resort, these two Orlando villas sleep a combined total of 62 guests, providing comfort and entertainment at every turn.

Just 5.5 miles from Disney World, the villas offer amenities that you won’t want to miss. Take a dip in the 2 private pools, experience your own movie marathon in their home theaters, challenge each other in the game rooms, and then end the day on a high in one of the 25 plush bedrooms. Lengthy dining tables and spacious kitchens provide enough space to prepare a feast fit for kings.

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Reunion Resort 1500

Luxury villas for large groups, including weddings or family reunions

Overlooking one of Reunion’s signature golf courses, the contemporary villa accommodates up to 30 guests in a total of 11 bedrooms.

Wake up and you’ll be just moments from the magic of Disney (the parks are just a short drive away). The fun doesn’t have to stop there; with an extensive swimming pool, a game room, a gym and a private cinema, the villa itself offers plenty to keep big groups busy.

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Koh Samui, Thailand

Maenam S38208

Accommodating 78 guests, this private estate is ideal for large group holidays

Holiday with the entire extended family or a big circle of friends at this huge Thailand villa complex, which has 38 bedrooms and sleeps an unbelievable 78 people! Right along the beach, the 8 individual holiday villas are located next to one another, bringing everybody together in a private estate.

Steps away from the crystal-clear waters, each property has direct beach access. Spend your days lolling around, sinking your toes into the clean, soft sands or watching the sunset from the many private pools. Swim, lounge and indulge, living the true VIP lifestyle in Koh Samui, Thailand. Young or old, everybody will be able to embrace the captivating atmosphere no matter what the occasion.

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Maenam S14207

Beach-side villa suitable for large group holidays

Side by side along the beach, these two villas accommodate up to 28 guests in 14 stunning bedrooms.

The special location in Maenam, Koh Samui, lets you watch the waves rolling in from the comfort of your bedroom. Multiple pools and direct beach access allow you the freedom to soak up the sun, take a dip, or delve into your favourite novel.

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Bangrak 8049

Luxury villas ideal for large group vacations

This huge beachfront villa in Bangrak, Koh Samui, has its own infinity pool overlooking the sea and sleeps up to 16 guests.

Although it’s usually a 9-bedroom property, it’s possible to rent the villa with just 8 bedrooms at a discounted rate. Serene outdoor areas and stunning interiors go hand in hand here, and there’s even a traditional-style sala right in the middle of the pool. The laid-back atmosphere is perfect for lazy swims in the pool, or afternoon strolls on the sugar-white sands.

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Barbados

The Garden 3

Villas around the world ideal for weddings, conferences or family vacations

Fancy renting your own enchanting beachfront estate set across 1.7 acres of land? This home consists of 8 suites – 3 in the main house, 2 in an adjoining annex and 3 more set in individual 1-bedroom cottages within the grounds. All in all, there’s space for 20 guests.

Dive into the vast private infinity pool or put on the finest spread for dinner – the sense of space and freedom is limitless. Combine the luscious Caribbean Sea views with grand decor and you’re all set for a dream Barbados vacation.

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Sandy Lane 27

Luxury villas suitable for large groups

One of the finest properties in Sandy Lane, Barbados, this villa is home to 7 bedrooms and has space for 14 guests.

Luxury isn’t short lived here, with elegant furnishings and top-notch features everywhere you go. The lengthy pool is a great place to swim or kick back with a drink, soaking up the great Caribbean weather from the sun loungers nearby. This is a chilled, totally private environment, ideal for a relaxing escape with a big group of your nearest and dearest.

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France

Montagnac 1

Luxury chateau ideal for weddings, family trips or conferences

Escape to the countryside at this historic French Château, which accommodates 14 guests across 9 incredible bedrooms.

Located to the south of Montpellier, it’s close to both the sea and leafy tracts of woodland. The recently renovated French property blends contemporary design with historic elements, showcasing a stunning interior that reflects the picturesque surroundings outside. For a European villa break with a big group, delve into history and embrace the traditional ambiance in this home.

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Jamaica

Montego Bay 45

Villas around the world for large groups

Jamaica’s sun-kissed beaches and transparent waters are perfect for a group getaway, and this spacious home gives you easy access to both.

Providing enough space for 12 guests, the villa lets guests enjoy an expansive infinity pool, a luxurious dining area and some seriously stunning scenery. Soak up the Jamaican culture and sunny weather by lounging at the poolside.

Book now

 

Greece

Santorini 23

The best villas worldwide for weddings, family groups or conferences

Offering serene sea views, this Santorini villa will take your breath away. Marble floors and fresh white furnishings decorate the interiors, where you’ll find enough space for up to 24 guests.

Unwind in your infinity pool and overlook the abundance of blue. The blend of clear waters and island views are enough to create the perfect atmosphere for a tranquil trip. Enjoy quality family time, capture the most special moments for your wedding day or simply de-stress, all in this amazing villa rental.

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Saint Martin

Plum Bay 1

luxury worldwide villas for large groups vacations

For a sleepy vacation by the Caribbean Sea, check out this rental in Saint Martin, which sleeps up to 14 guests.

Experience a private beach-entry swimming pool, hillside views of the water, endless relaxation spots and the beaming Saint Martin sunshine. The Caribbean never looked better, so entertain the entire family with the whole host of amenities on offer.

Book now

 

 

Amazing wedding villas around the world

If you’re planning a destination wedding and you seek an outstanding international venue, then take a look at these amazing wedding villas around the world. 

From a fairytale château in France to sprawling Caribbean estates, we’ve rounded up 5 of the most magical vacation rentals to host your special day. These homes boast breathtaking views and beautiful backdrops for your wedding photos.

They also offer top-notch amenities, complete privacy and all the added extras you need, including wedding planners, caterers and car hire.

A fairytale château in southwest France

9 BeDROOMS ◊ Sleeps 26

This exquisite French château is the perfect place for a wedding
Get the royal treatment at this exquisite French château, a perfect example of a fairytale wedding venue.

Imposing, original and full of magic, this stunning property boasts beautiful details and enchanting surprises wherever you look. There are 5 acres of manicured gardens and parkland, making it perfect for an outdoor wedding service. The château also has a huge function room with 25-foot-high ceilings, ideal for an indoor ceremony.

chateau-gardens-1024x687

There are 3 stylish living rooms, 1 with a grand piano and 1 with a bar which can be fully stocked upon request.

There’s also a billiard room with a full-size American pool table. Further highlights include a cinema and a music room, a fully-equipped professional kitchen, a game room, and a large heated swimming pool that’s edged by a sun terrace.

Guests have a choice of 9 fabulous en-suite bedroom suites, with space to sleep up to 26 people in complete comfort.

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A seaview villa in Koh Samui

7 BEDROOMS ◊ SLEEPS 14

pic

Do you imagine getting married on a dreamy tropical island, against a backdrop of blue seas and palm-fringed sands?

Built into the hillside, just a short distance from the beach, this expansive 7-bedroom home is sure to impress even the most discerning wedding guests. The magnificent wedding terrace at this vacation home is an idyllic spot to tie the knot, overlooking a sparkling infinity pool and the Gulf of Thailand beyond. There’s also an outdoor bar and dining deck, with space to cater for large wedding groups.

There's ample space for a wedding party at this vacation home

There’s ample space for a wedding party at this vacation home

As you make your way into the villa itself, you’ll discover the expansive living and dining area with lofty double-height ceilings and open-plan spaces, all impeccably furnished. There’s a large banquet table indoors and another one on the sun deck, while multiple lounge areas are ideal for guests to mingle in. There’s also a game room with its own pool table, a TV room and an outdoor movie theater, perfect for playing video clips of the bride and groom.

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A Florida villa near Disney World

9 BEDROOMS ◊ SLEEPS 24
Say "I do" at this Florida villa just minutes from Disney

Say “I do” at this Florida villa just minutes from Disney

This 9,000 sq ft vacation home in Florida will put the ‘wow factor’ into your wedding.

Located in an award-winning golf resort in Orlando, this grand home is a one-of-a-kind wedding venue, just a stone’s throw from Disney World’s main gates. You can have your wedding service by the peaceful infinity pool, one of the longest pools in the entire resort, with views over woodlands and natural conservation areas. Or have it inside the villa itself, a wedding planner’s dream, with opulent furnishings and sparkling chandeliers lending an air of elegance to the occasion.

reunion-6000-interior

The palatial decor lends an air of elegance

The sweeping staircase is a classic space for the bride’s grand entrance. The home also has multiple living and dining areas, a movie theatre, a game room, a gym, 2 kitchens, a sports bar and several balconies. Guests can enjoy the resort’s 5-star amenities, including a water park and 3 signature golf courses, to name just a few. Did we mention our concierge services? We can arrange wedding planning, caterers and car hire – plus all the added extras you could ever think of.

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A sprawling estate in St. John

9 BEDROOMS ◊ SLEEPS 22
This expansive estate is an once-in-a-lifetime wedding venue

This expansive estate is an once-in-a-lifetime wedding venue

This magnificent estate is set in an oasis of stately palm trees, boasting one of the largest private pools on St. John.

Sat on its own secluded beach, on the cusp of Great Cruz Bay, a wedding here is sure to be the best day of your life. Embraced by an aquamarine pool and bordered by powder-white sands, this vast wedding venue is so beautiful you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in paradise.

The Great Room is just one of the villa's many entertaining spaces

The Great Room is just one of the villa’s many entertaining spaces

The expansive two-story main home features 7 bedroom/bath suites and a beautifully proportioned Great Room with high arched windows and artistic stonework. Adjoining this is the large gourmet kitchen with space for several cooks and caterers, and a convenient pass-through window to the outdoor poolside dining area. There is a cottage to the side of the main home, complete with 2 extra bedrooms, providing the ideal space for the bride or groom to prepare for the big day. Prefer to get wed on the sand? You can do so in a private cabana on the beach.

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A massive Miami mansion

8 BEDROOMS ◊ SLEEPS 18
This magnificent Miami mansion makes a fabulous wedding venue

This magnificent Miami mansion makes a fabulous wedding venue

Get hitched aboard a private yacht at this no-expense-spared Palm Island estate.

This fabulous Mediterranean-style vacation home offers more luxury and amenities than even the most exclusive hotel. Completely unique, the property is a perfect blend of old and new, with the original house meticulously restored and extended with a 12,000 sq ft construction masterpiece. The spacious rooms are perfect for entertaining, while the outside space offers all the allure you’d expect from a high-end Miami mansion.

Palm Island 7 is a great villa to get married in

The home has more than 100 ft of waterfront space, making it ideal for a waterfront wedding, or even a wedding onboard a private yacht. No expense has been spared in renovating this magnificent villa, which comes complete with 8 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a private swimming pool, an elevator and a Jacuzzi – perfect for pre-wedding pampering.

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For more information about our wedding villas and concierge services contact the Top Villas team today.

 

Amazing wedding villas around the world

9 of the best villas in the world

Wherever your travels take you, one thing remains true: having a good place to rest your head at night can make or break a trip. But sometimes, ‘good’ just doesn’t cut it – for a really special vacation, you need a special place to stay.

There are all sorts of incredible hotels and guesthouses around the globe, but few can compete with the world’s best vacation homes, which offer total privacy and the kind of spectacular facilities that you won’t find anywhere else – from bowling alleys and ice-skating rinks to horse-riding stables and indoor pools.

Read on for a virtual tour through some of the best villas in the world.

Aspen 4

7 bedrooms, sleeps 14
Colorado, USA

Aspen has some of the best villas in the world

With Aspen’s hallowed ski slopes right outside the door, this magical 7-bedroom vacation rental is about as far from the ‘rustic cabin’ stereotype as you can get.

Big glass windows let light flood into the mansion’s modern interiors, which stretch across 3 floors and provide an incredible 19,000 sq ft of living space. Beyond the 40-foot-high foyer, you’ll find a bowling alley, a home theater, a gym and a sauna. Even the game room, bar and arcade have a clean, contemporary feel.

Other features include a saline lap pool and – in winter – your very own ice-skating rink. Rooms throughout the house provide views of the surrounding mountains and the nearby cable car, which whizzes skiers to the top of some amazing runs.

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Montego Bay 40

6 bedrooms, sleeps 14
Jamaica

Luxury villa in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Between the mountains and the sparkling Caribbean Sea on Jamaica’s north coast, this lavish vacation rental mixes elements of Asian, European and Caribbean design.

Fronting the villa is a huge outdoor lap pool that’s edged by mature palms. Another pool snakes around the side of the property, passing shaded outdoor seating areas and plush sunloungers. Inside, cool tiled living areas lead to immaculate bedrooms with vaulted ceilings. One has an en-suite bathroom with its own whirlpool tub.

Relaxing in the vacation home’s breezy public areas couldn’t be easier – not least because there are 7 on-site staff members to take care of your needs. Ask the butler to mix you a cold cocktail, or let the chef serve you a meal beside the pool.

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Malibu 1

5 bedrooms, sleeps 12
Florida, USA

Malibu 1 is one of the most luxurious villas in Florida

Wood floors and modern, minimalist interiors add a touch of class to this beachfront villa in beautiful Malibu. It’s slap bang on the oceanfront, just off the legendary Pacific Coast Highway.

Wake up here and you’ll be just steps from sunny Escondido Beach, where glassy waves gnaw at the soft sand. Apart from enjoying the beach, you can spend your days lounging on the villa’s terrace, which has views over the water, or soaking in the private outdoor pool, which is hemmed in by a thick curtain of bamboo and lush green foliage.

Inside you’ll find 5 airy bedrooms plus a small movie theater and a modern gym complete with weights and resistance-training machines.

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Marthon 1

9 bedrooms, sleeps 26
France

This amazing chateau is in southern France

This one-of-a-kind vacation home near Angoulême takes the rustic beauty of a classic French château and blends in bright flashes of modern style.

Set amid 5 acres of rolling parkland and just 500m from the nearest village, the château has sheer stone walls and fairytale turrets, which soar above the surrounding treetops.

Behind the grand facade are chic interiors with herringbone floors, exposed wood beams and standout designer furnishings. There are also specially commissioned artworks and pieces of furniture from the 1960s and 70s. Among the luxurious facilities you’ll find a movie theater, a piano, and a heated outdoor pool.

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Santorini 23

9 bedrooms, sleeps 24
Greece

This incredible villa overlooks Santorini's volcano

Locations don’t get much better than this. Perched on a clifftop overlooking the Aegean Sea and a caldera, this whitewashed luxury villa is a gleaming example of old-meets-new, complete with a panoramic open-air terrace and 9 spectacular bedrooms.

As the sun sets over Santorini, making the sky glow pink like cotton candy, why not slip into the infinity pool with a drink and watch as white yachts sail between the islands just offshore?

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Plum Bay 1

7 bedrooms, sleeps 14
Saint Martin, Caribbean

Saint Martin, in the Caribbean, has some amazing villas

Lush gardens skirt Plum Bay 1, on the northwestern edge of Saint Martin – a small, beach-fringed atoll in the Caribbean. The 7-bedroom home is part of a private community that offers complete privacy, as well as breathtaking views of the azure sea beyond.

Choose to spend your days lounging by the beach-entry pool, where fountains spray fine jets of cool water into the air, or at the villa’s outdoor bar. Step inside the house and the first thing you’ll set eyes on is a tropical reef aquarium. Continue on and you’ll be greeted by bright rooms with interiors by Philippe Starck. There are 7 elegant bedrooms, along with a dining area and a fully equipped gourmet kitchen.

Feeling active? Head to the villa’s gym, petanque court or all-weather tennis pavilion. The Jacuzzi will be waiting for you when you’re done.

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Virgin Gorda 34

6 bedrooms, sleeps 12
British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda 34 is one of the best villas in the world

The clean lines of this ultra-modern villa contrast beautifully with the surrounding coastal scenery, which sees emerald forests leading down to crescents of white sand. Stand on the villa’s veranda and you’ll be able to drink in endless views of Virgin Gorda’s north coast, including two of its most impressive beaches – Pond Bay and Savanna Bay.

Living spaces are spread across 6 interlinked pavilions, which hug the hillside. Start exploring these bright and airy spaces to discover secret gardens, alfresco showers and swimming pools with serene sea views.

The villa has its own air-conditioned gym with an exercise bike, a treadmill and a weight-training machine. If you’re more interested in enjoying the great outdoors, never fear – just borrow the villa’s stand-up paddle boards or ocean kayaks for a day of splashing around. You can also join organized snorkelling and scuba diving trips to some of the coral-edged islands nearby.

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Reunion Resort 4500

10 bedrooms, sleeps 20
Florida, USA

Reunion Resort 4500 is a luxury vacation home in Florida

One of the most extravagant vacation rentals in the whole Orlando area, this vast, 10-bedroom mansion has all the facilities you need for an unforgettable trip to Disney. Set around a huge infinity pool and with grand palm trees flanking its entrance, the villa occupies a private plot of land that backs onto thick woodland.

There’s no shortage of things to do inside the vacation home, whether you fancy watching a movie in the plush home theater, sweating away your stress in the sauna, or playing air hockey in the game room. There’s even a dedicated room for late-night poker sessions.

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Maenam 7044

7 bedrooms, sleeps 14
Koh Samui, Thailand

There are some great villas and vacation homes on the north coast of Koh Samui, Thailand

Right on the beachfront in a sleepy village on Koh Samui’s north coast, Maenam 7044 is a magnificent base for exploring the island. Vaulted ceilings and traditional open-sided salas help to break down the boundaries between inside and outside, allowing guests to move seamlessly from beach to bedroom and back again.

Choose to swim in the warm, shallow waters of the Gulf of Thailand, or take a dip in the private outdoor pool, just steps back from the shoreline. The gas-fired BBQ and huge dining table are perfect for poolside meals with friends and family.

For a memorable round of golf, make the 15-minute trip to the Santiburi Country Club. The 18-hole course is surrounded by lush scenery, and offers views across the water to the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan.

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Solterra Resort – Take an inside look

Introducing Solterra Resort, one of Orlando’s newest communities in the Disney area. Designed to experience a mix of fun and complete relaxation, it’s an ideal spot for a family escape away into the beaming sunshine.

Located only 10 miles from the remarkable land of Walt Disney World Orlando, you’re just moments away from experiencing the true fairytale magic.

Solterra resort clubhouse

Upon arrival to the resort, you’ll instantly feel at ease. With the luscious greenery and water conservation areas surrounding the amenities, it’s a peaceful environment everyone will adore. From a spacious clubhouse, community pool to play area, let’s take a closer look at the resorts features:

Grand clubhouse – Stretching over 6,700 sq.ft, the vast space contains a fitness center, large gathering room, ideal to catch up with an old friend or family member and cyber cafe.

Resort style community pool –  Nestled inby palm trees and bold cabanas, the expansive community pool is situated in the resort’s center. It’s crystal clear blue waters make for a tranquil swim and with a jacuzzi area, you’re able to fully unwind.

Children’s playground – For the younger guests, positioned next to the pool area is an adventurous playground to enjoy. It’s climbing galore with the extended frames and slippery slides!

Sports courts – Take the opportunity to compete with your family at Solterra’s extensive tennis court and volley ball zone.  Either build your tennis skills or enjoy a fun game of volley ball on the immaculate greens.

Solterra Resort clubhouse overhead

If these amenities aren’t enough, this incredible resort showcases a vast range of family friendly vacation rentals. Their homes feature open living spaces, fully equipped kitchens, private pools and are located on conservation areas, providing privacy in the back yards.

Solterra Resort's lazy river

For more information on Solterra Resort or to take a browse at our selection of rentals, click here. If you’d like to book one of the villas or talk to a sales advisor, use the following numbers 1-866-341-8086 (US) or 0800 43 34567 (UK) and our team will assist you.

Behind the scenes at Top Villas – The home owner story

We’ve put our home owners to the test and questioned them for all their inside secrets –  What was it about the location that made them build, what they love most about Orlando, the creation process and much more!

‘The Story Behind Reunion’s Biggest Home’

reunion resort 10000

Why did you choose Orlando, Florida to purchase a vacation rental?

Through the years Gemma, Reunion Resort 10000’s villa owner, experienced numerous family holidays to the prestigious Reunion Resort, Orlando. With it’s 11+ pools, top restaurants, signature golf and nearby Walt Disney World, there’s no wonder some of her favourite memories were made here. From meeting the famous Mickey Mouse, splashing around in Wet N’ Wild water park and screaming with excitement on Universal’s rides, Orlando became a home from home for Gemma.

reunion resort 10000's games room

What was the main thing you wanted to capture when designing the home?

It didn’t take long to convince Gemma to build her own vacation rental in Reunion Resort. Gemma and her family decided to create a fun haven with enough space throughout to make everyone feel at home which includes a bowling alley, private pool, spa room, home theatre and more. The vision was to create a homely environment, packed with luxury appliances and in turn be the best home in Reunion Resort.

After the long creative, building process of designing and choosing the eccentric, plush decor throughout, Reunion Resort 10000 was born! The brand new home, 10000 has made a name for itself. Owners and guests adore the fun filled interior, spending hours at the bowing alley ( Gemma’s favourite feature), swimming in the pool or just absorbing the vast amount of space the villa holds.

Embracing Orlando’s magic, Reunion Resort 10000 is the place to soak up Florida’s beaming sunshine, play an array of games and most importantly enjoy precious family moments. Even though Orlando is known for endless thrills, this home captures the little moments that make a family holiday truly special.

For more information or to book this vacation rental Reunion Resort 10,000, click here

‘Discover the Perfect Family Vacation Home’

reunion resort 1500 exterior

What are your favourite things about the location? 

Owner of Reunion Resort 1500, Sip adored travelling with his family, seeing new destinations and creating unforgettable memories. When it came to the decision of buying his own vacation rental, choosing between the relaxation of a coastal property to the exhilarating Orlando was a tricky one, yet Sip decided with the latter. He thought with many grandchildren on the way, a Disney based location would be the best option. Sip loved the idea of giving his grandchildren the ultimate Disney experience like he did regularly with his own kids growing up.

Through different trips, he developed a love of Orlando, his favourite elements being: the signature golf, Disney location, restaurants and entertainment for ages; it’s versatility. With Sip’s golfing hobby, his wife’s love of shopping and their shared admiration of food, you couldn’t find a better location. The atmosphere of Florida welcomed in every visitor, whether you were a regular goer or newbie; it’s warm climate mixed with friendly locals always made for a happy trip.

What creative vision did you have when designing the home? 

For the property, Sip had a  bright and contemporary vision in mind. Through the creative process, he ensured the decor was packed out with a monochrome theme and bursts of colour in various rooms to give the design a bit of eccentric flair. The finished outcome is the total family holiday home package – filled with a theatre room, games room, massive pool and gym; many of Sip’s family and guests favourite components. Reunion Resort was chosen as the designated community because it featured 3 astounding golf courses Sip adored, one of which the home overlooks plus the proximity to Disney World.

reunion resort 1500 pool

Home to such a collection of amenities, a villa holiday is given a whole new definition. Unleash the true Orlando magic on your family trip, the luxury way, chilling out in the theatre, heading for a dip in the pool and travelling to the nearby Disney parks; soaking up that beaming Florida sun.

 For more information or to book this vacation rental Reunion Resort 1500, click here
If you wanted to bite the bullet and create your dream vacation rental like our home owners did, our realty programme can help you through every step of the way, today!