With the growing trend for multi-generational family escapes and combining holidays with landmark celebrations, some of the world’s most luxurious hotels are offering exclusive use of their exceptional abodes, whilst savvy luxury villa rentals are getting in on the act with a host of bespoke arrangements to guarantee those once-in-a-lifetime sojourns.
Spanning far-flung destinations such as Uganda, South Africa, Barbados and Mexico to those a little closer to home in France, Switzerland, Italy and Croatia, here are Mason Rose’s top picks for extraordinary exclusive-use escapes.
What: A Fairy-tale Palace High-Up In The Clouds
Where: Gstaad Palace, Switzerland
Why: In the magical setting of the breath-taking Bernese Alps, mountain adventurers and nature enthusiasts can plan a majestic Swiss escape and experience Gstaad’s most iconic Grand Dame. Often fully booked throughout the year, the inimitable Gstaad Palace can be hired in its entirety during dedicated weeks in the Spring, Summer and Autumn. With 96 bedrooms – inclusive of 26 suites – and five exceptional restaurants offering a myriad of dining options. From traditional fondue to gourmet grills, Gstaad Palace is a place fit for the most discerning of tastes. Whether it be for a special celebratory occasion or a larger-than-life stay with loved ones abroad, the Palace guarantees the ultimate fairy-tale getaway.
Rates: Package price per day from CHF 60,000 (approx. £48,021). Available from 12 – 18 2017, 9-18 June 2017 and 10-16 September 2017. A minimum stay of 2 nights applies.
Bookings: www.palace.ch, +41 33 748 50 00
What: Coastal Villa In Cultural Dubrovnik
Where: Villa Orsula, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Why go: Combining the privacy of a villa with the unrivalled service of the celebrated Adriatic Luxury Hotels group, Villa Orsula offers the best of both worlds for up to 26 people set on the glistening Adriatic coast. Home to one of Dubrovnik’s finest restaurants, surrealist art and boasting awe-inspiring views of the historical Old Town, Villa Orsula is a fitting locale for landmark celebrations for those with a penchant for history and culture.
Exclusive use rate available upon request
Bookings: www.adriaticluxuryhotels.com, + 385 20 300 300
What: A Palm-filled Mexican Escape In A Stylish Beach House
Where: Thompson Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Why go: Comprising 27 ocean view guestrooms overlooking the Caribbean shoreline The Beach House is a mere stroll away from Thompson Playa del Carmen, the destination’s very first luxury lifestyle hotel. Offering a stylish boutique style with private beach club feel, guests can still take advantage of the main hotel offerings – from its 24 hour fitness centre to rooftop pool and lively dining hotspots. A perfect option for those seeking a laid-back abode with the choice to dip into Thompson’s take in the vibrant Playa del Carmen party atmosphere.
Rates: All-inclusive buyout per day from $22,599 (approx. £18,195). Prices based on 27 people additional cost per additional person, some dates may have length stay requirements, normal business hours apply (Restaurants, bars & Pool).
Bookings: thompsonhotels.com/hotels/thompson-playa-del-carmen, +52 (982) 206 4800
What: An Authentic Italian Break In A Magnificent Century-old Masseria
Where: Masseria Trapana, Puglia, Italy
Why Go: Tucked away in sylvan surrounds near Lecce, Masseria Trapana is a recently renovated 16th Century property available for exclusive hire in the winter months. Boasting nine individually designed suites with painstaking attention-to-detail, each one incorporates many original features from authentic fireplaces to vaulted ceilings and frescoes. Inspired by the owner’s travels to Thailand and Bali, many of the suites have their own outdoor bathroom and private courtyard. Closed to individual patrons in the cooler months, Masseria Trapana will open its doors for exclusive hire. Already gleaning recognition for its exceptional Cucina Povera – with cookery classes introduced this Autumn – Masseria Trapana is a striking escape for groups of gourmands seeking an authentic escape to Italy and a unique take on Tuscany.
Low Season – 7th – 30th April & 1st – 31st October 2016 Inclusive
From Euro 25,000 / £17,486 per week
Shoulder Season – 1st May – 15th July & 1st – 30th September 2016 Inclusive
From Euro 35,000 / £24,480 per week
Bookings: http://www.trapana.com/, +39 0832 1832101
What: Beachfront Villas and Converted Heritage Plantations in Barbados
Where: Blue Sky Luxury, Barbados
Why go: With 3,000 hours of sun all year round and direct flights from the UK, Barbados is a welcome escape from Britain’s grey skies. Renowned for their world-class service and deep knowledge of the island, Blue Sky Luxury has perfected the art of connecting people to their picture-perfect holiday house. With holiday home experts on hand, and an enthusiastic ‘Concierge Can’ team who pin point the island’s best-kept local treasures, Blue Sky Luxury can curate all manner of experiences to ensure the most momentous of luxury holidays in the Caribbean.
Rates: Crystal Springs an enchanting 12,000 sq.ft beachfront villa spread across six spacious buildings, set on 1.7 acres of beautiful coastline. This elegant retreat designed by the legendary Oliver Messel and renovated in 2014, offers ten ample en-suite bedrooms, three al-fresco dining areas, a 50 x 20ft infinity pool, in-house cinema, modern gym and access to an 18′ speedboat and water sports equipment. The staff provide consummate five-star service and gourmet delights. Rates from $7,245 (£5, 822 approx) per night
Bookings: www.blueskyluxury.com, 0 800 08 85574
What: A Private Wild Adventure In The Heart Of Africa
Where: Volcanoes Safaris, Uganda & Rwanda, Africa
Why go: Specialists in rare mountain gorilla and chimpanzee safaris in Uganda and Rwanda and leaders in eco-tourism, Volcanoes Safaris can offer its luxury lodges and Bandas on an exclusive hire basis. Located in the ethereal African forest, they are ideal for exceptional celebratory get togethers in the likes of a “wild” wedding, perhaps a landmark birthday or simply for the ultimate private luxury safari experience. Comprising a collection of four lodges, three in Uganda and one in Rwanda, each one is unique to its setting. Offering access to different great ape species, wildlife, a myriad of exotic birds, vibrant communities and a welcoming team who will enhance each group’s stay with their exceptional service, knowledge and bespoke approach.
Rates: Exclusive hire rates start from $1,750 (approx £1,140) per night including all meals, unlimited consumption of all alcoholic and soft drinks, laundry services and one massage per guest.
Bookings: www.volcanoessafaris.com, +44 (0) 870 870 8480
What: St Tropez chic on the French Riviera
Where: Le Beauvallon, St Tropez, France
Why go: Le Beauvallon stands apart as one of the few places on the Riviera both close to the lights and glamour of Saint-Tropez and equally a sanctuary of peace and calm with space to roam. The completely redesigned 44 room historical property with its private beach club, ballroom, dedicated spa treatment rooms and 10 seater limousine boat for private transfers to Saint Tropez ensures its status as the ultimate sophisticated party residence is well and truly cemented.
Rates: Exclusive hire starts from €70,000 (approx. £60,269) per day including staff costs, excluding F&B.
What: Exceptional Bushveld Experience
Where: Shambala Private Game Reserve, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Why go: Home to the “Big Five” and set against the beautiful Waterberg mountain range, Shambala offers eight luxury lodges that make for an unforgettable African bushveld experience for the adventurous traveller. Blending seamlessly into the landscape within 12,000 hectares of wilderness in the Limpopo province, these luxury lodges are the perfect base from which to embark on a magical safari experience. Activities on offer including game drives, guided bush walks, star-gazing, fishing, mountain bike riding, sundowner cruises and bush picnics. Also set in the grounds of Shambala and the most recent addition to The Saxon Collection is the historic Nelson Mandela Centre for reconciliation, built especially for the former President as his personal retreat.
Rates: Exclusive hire starts at £10,915 (195,000 ZAR) for all 8 lodges per day. Inclusive of two game drives, one sunset cruise, breakfast, lunch and dinner, locally sourced alcoholic beverages and mini bar. Excluding spa treatments or round-trip transfers.