Scouting out your perfect summer playhouse? The options might be endless, but choose well, and the fun you’ll have could be too. That’s why we’ve put together our top picks for your ultra-chill retreat or your ultimate sun-kissed sanctuary, wherever you might be jetting off to.
THE PACKING EDIT
Nafsika Estate Santorini, Greece
A hyper-modern hideaway up in the breezy heights of clifftop Santorini, Nafiska Estate is a sun-drenched spot of dreams for a group getaway. Land to the private helipad then make your way over to the sweeping terrace for epic views over the sparkling bay and maybe even some light Mediterranean bites rustled up by your private chef. This place is fit for the gods.
Joya Villas Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
At Joya Villas, clean lines and minimalist design have never looked sexier against the unruly jungle backdrop. Make this your base for a far-flung tropical adventure on the sun-kissed shores of Costa Rica’s surf-chic Santa Teresa. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Giselle Bündchen who has a home in the neighbourhood, and a whole host of cooler-than-cool locals.
Dar El Sadaka Marrakech, Morocco
Just 20 minutes from the Marrakech madness, Dar el Sadaka is a quirky little palm paradise brought to life by the playful French artist Jean-François Fourtou. Complete with nine bedrooms and staff, this Moroccan palace is packed with personality and a real sense of place. Expect life-sized animal artwork, themed suites with views of the Atlas Mountains, a hammam, and plenty of divine fireplaces for evenings in with a bottle of Moroccan wine.
La Maison de Constance La Bastide de Gordes Provence, France
A mere 20km from St Tropez and a quicker 6-minute walk to the beach, this private 5-bedroom Provençal home is a chic little farmhouse-meets-oceanfront escape. Nuzzled away amidst pretty French gardens and understated in style, you’ll feel quite at home but with all the luxuries of a hotel, including a beautiful pool and a dedicated butler service from May to September. And if you like an ocean view, you’ll find it here too – from just about every balcony and terrace. Warm a pain au chocolat and pull up a wicker chair at sunrise to catch a glimpse of dolphins on the horizon. This is Provençal perfection.
Samujana Villas Koh Samui, Thailand
Set on one of Asia’s most enchanting islands, the architecturally stunning Samujana Villas are all about framing the badass views. Each of the 23 villas overlooks a coral cove and enjoys private beach access plus those all-important uninterrupted panoramas of Samui, best soaked up from the oversized private infinity pools need we add. The villas come in all shapes and sizes, from intimate 1 and 2-bed pads to 8-bed playhouses complete with their own cinemas. And should the mood be right, there’s also a private fleet of sailboats and catamarans on hand for days out sunbathing at sea.
Galboka Residence Lošinj, Croatia
Nestled in the evergreen island of Lošinj, Galboka features 15 oh-so Mediterranean residences, each with its own courtyard or large terrace for you to flounce around with a divine ocean or mountain view. Breezy outdoor kitchens provide the perfect spot for entertaining, while the resort’s herb and vegetable gardens yield all the fragrant ingredients you’ll need to whip up a summery feast. As far as amenities go, there’s a shared pool for cooling off, concierge and spa services for your every whim, and mountain bikes, SUPs and kayaks for complimentary use. Welcome to resort living with every freedom in the world.
Villa Pippa Bali, Indonesia
Located in the Oberoi area of Seminyak – aka a stone’s throw from all your favourite restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques – Villa Pippa is a modern mix of Balinese meets beach-chic. Comprising just 3 bedrooms for up to 6 people, local antiques, wicker and wood set the scene for a dreamy tropical getaway with your nearest and dearest, where days are well spent lounging poolside, sipping coconut water and chowing down nasi goreng. Pick this staffed intimate oasis as your gal-pad and you might just find that staying in seems even more appealing than hitting the town.
Sea Rock & Sky Private Residence Collection Mykonos, Greece
A mere hop, skip and jump from a practically private beach, Sea Rock & Sky is a lux little complex of just 8 residences that has Mykonos written all over it. Traditional Cycladic architecture and unobstructed, sparkling sea views provide the idyllic backdrop for a sweet escape to this island pearl, with modern abodes for up to 8 people. Shared amenities include a pool, a restaurant and bar, spa services, a sun terrace and plenty of outdoor furniture for you to happily bask in the warm golden rays of this Greek isle from dawn to dusk. Should you choose to emerge, you’ll only ever be a short cab ride from wherever you want to go.
Camin Villa Crete, Greece
If you’re more about the bucolic than the beach, you’ll no doubt fall head over heels for Camin. Located 5km inland and up on a hill in Chania, Crete, guests of this village villa are rewarded with sweeping views of the Bay of Souda to the north and the White Mountains to the south as well as plenty of Cretan countryside. Views aside, stays here are far more epic than the quaint cottage vibe you might be envisioning. A villa you’d more likely discover in a double spread of Architectural Digest than in Homes & Gardens, you and up to 7 lucky guests can expect an ultra-lux Greek escape ft. an infinity pool and all the glass walls you’ll need to soak up the scenery.
Villa Sunyata Phuket, Thailand
Looking for the ultimate private Phuket hideaway? We’ve found you one with a 15m infinity pool, a prime hillside spot overlooking the Andaman, and even its own private cove. The slice of tropical heaven we’re talking about goes by the name of Villa Sunyata in Kata Beach, and there’s no staffed sanctuary more sophisticated for a group getaway. Here, Thai traditional design and contemporary luxury living meld across 8 spacious ensuites, multiple lounge areas and dining pavilions – in other words, there’s endless space to kick back and yacht-spot all day long. Gather the squad and go find paradise.
Le Petit Moulin Charente Maritime, France
Sitting amongst the farms and vineyards that produce the aperitif Pineau des Charentes, Le Petit Moulin is all you could ever wish for in a French countryside escape. As the name suggests, Le Petit Moulin was once a functioning watermill producing flour, and even today as a 9-bedroom home for up to 20 guests, it maintains all its historic charm. Perfect for indoor-outdoor living, you’ll find a 12m saltwater pool, an 8-person hot tub, two barbecue areas and multiple spacious lounge areas for sipping French vin to your heart’s content alongside your fellow vacationers.
Villa Elia Gallipoli, Puglia
This refurbished masseria feels like the country home of an eccentric and well-traveled bohemian friend, with vaulted ceilings, a mix of antiques, woven rugs, and rustic rattan furniture—even a private cinema. Surrounded by acres of fruit and olive trees, Villa Elia is just a short drive from the historic beaches of Gallipoli. It’s as if you’ve seen it in a painting. In fact, you may well have done. Villa Elia inspired works by contemporary artist Henry Hudson, in his ‘Pellegrino’ Exhibition.