“Remember happiness is a way of travel not a destination.”
– Roy Goodman
I’m often asked why I don’t really cover luxury travel. My answer is simple — I’m not a terribly luxury-oriented person! I’m as comfortable in a yurt as I am in a luxury hotel. And since my travel budget is sometimes limited — and the amount of time I spend in my room is almost always limited — I tend to focus on location over amenities. And my main critique of luxury resorts has been that they tend to sequester travelers away from the action, scheduling them with so many activities that they hardly have time to connect with the friends and family members they’re traveling with, much less see the city or country they’re in.
So I was happy to discover that the trend in luxury travel is moving away from walled resorts and endless activities and into more laid-back, retreat-style vacations, often by offering house rentals that give travelers a home away from home and a more local flavor. Now that’s a travel philosophy I can support! I think traveling is much more enjoyable when we slow down and explore the tastes, sights and sounds of a place at a very human level.
All photos are provided by Luxury Retreats, which sponsored this luxurious interlude of a post.
I love the idea of gathering a group of friends or meeting family members for an easygoing getaway where there’s nothing much on the agenda other than eatings, drinking, relaxing and exploring side streets and countryside around your new digs. And I’m not going to lie, I love doing a little travel daydreaming, imagining trips not yet taken, destinations unknown.
So I when other writers in my travel writing networking group (who are a little better at remembering to treat themselves to the finer things in life than I am!) recommended a site that rents luxury homes in France (and other destinations) for a variety of budgets from “okay, I can swing that with a group” to (for me) purely aspirational, while keeping a firmly local focus and indulging my travel (and home design/architectural) fantasies, I was intrigued. I figured that they’d be better at showing off these properties then I would — which just frees me up for more travel daydreaming. This short holiday week has already brought an endless string of deadlines, so I’m not exactly complaining.
So excuse me while I drift off and imagine dozing in a chalet in the alps, shopping the Champs Élysées and spending quiet afternoons in Provence. I might not be able to afford all of the properties on this list now (or maybe ever) but a girl can dream. And take detailed design notes. Seriously, can I steal all these patio designs and artwork ideas right right now?
Happy travel (and design) daydreaming!
Sitting around the salt-water pool sipping champagne in the sunshine while planning out your next days exploring actives in historic France — these are the moments that life is made of, and sharing them with family and friends will make them all the more enjoyable. There are more beautiful hideaways in the world that you can probably imagine, and you can try them out one luxurious moment at a time while taking in the local cuisine, scenery and everything the region you choose has to offer. Here is a look into six luxury retreats that you should be staying in this year.
Mas Payloubet, French Riviera
A place that is sure to leave you with the scent of satisfaction lingering in your memory for years to come, the beautiful Mas Payloubet sits just outside of Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, an area teaming with flowers and wonderful floral beauty reflective of its reputation. One of many great luxury houses to rent in France, this one also has seven suite-style bedrooms, with five in the main house and two more in the guest house. For a unique taste of the region, try some of the pressed olive oil right from the olives in the back yard, or some of the jams and marmalades that are tastefully created from the figs and oranges that are grown right up the road. An enchanting location perfect to enjoy some close family time, or a lovely setting for an intimate wedding with close friends.
Chateau Ventoux, Provence
An inspirational property that will leave you wondering why you weren’t born into a ninth-generation wine making family, the Chateau Ventoux sits on seventeen-acres of well-maintained land that is embraced by an orchard and vineyards. This eighteenth century countryside getaway boosts nine fabulously decorated bedrooms that each have their own en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning for those warm summer days or heating for those cool fall nights. You can enjoy a family day soaking in the sun in the adult pool, or get wet splashing around in the kids pool, something for all to enjoy. For a nature inspired stroll after dinner, you can walk the property to view some of the collection of wild geese and ducks from across the globe. Or sit and watch the Japanese carp elegantly circling the authentic moat. No family getaway will ever feel the same again.
Chalet Couttet, French Alps
This ski setting will melt you right out of your boots into a Turkish bath. The French Alps are only made more beautiful by a stay in Chalet Couttet, a place inspired by its surroundings and a high interest in guest satisfaction. If you are visiting the area in the winter months you will be welcomed at the airport with your own personal driver, greeted at the property with champagne, and be highly attended to with a personal chef. Your chalet is walking distance from the very heart of Chamonix, placing you with some magnificent skiing options and adventure activities. The property has five private bedrooms that can accommodate up to ten-people, with engaging gathering areas like the heated pool, hot tub, BBQ area, home theater and games room. If you are looking for a place to relax, the take in some quite time in the spa or hammam. Summer trekking or winter skiing, there is a season and space for all to enjoy.
Art de Vivre Elysée, Champs-Elysees, Paris
An elegant home in a charming location, that speaks sophistication and whispers curious French history, the building was constructed in the architecturally inviting era of 1850’s France. This open and airy space was designed with 15-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and is tastefully decorated with a collection of sought after antiques and accented with and outdoor thirty-foot wrought iron balcony to make you feel like you are still part of days gone by. The luxury rental is within walking distance of Champs Élysées, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the Galleries Lafayette, perfect for checking off some of your Paris highlights and then sneaking back home for a mid-afternoon break or epicurean lunch with your house guests. Not entirely set in ancient times, the home has been updated with commonplace amenities like Wi-Fi, satellite TV and an espresso machine to ensure you can keep in touch with the world or enjoy a caffeine-based cup of goodness.
Vigne Vierge, Provence
A location with novel importance, the region was made famous by intellectual author Peter Mayle. Open the pages of this historical setting one delight at a time. With an impressive onsite wine cellar, a well-equipped place to practice your own culinary art, or the option to have a personal chef capture the flavors of the area. Whatever your interests, they can all be satisfied at the Vigne Vierge. The home has been wonderfully restored with each of the five bedrooms brought back to life and seven washrooms so that each guest has their own space to enjoy. If you are looking to keep entertained, you can enjoy the ping pong table, home entertainment system, or get in a round of golf at the nearby eighteen-hole Provence Country Club, just challenging enough to keep you happy and still leave you feeling like you’re on holiday.
Chateau d’Azur, French Riviera
When only the best will do, book yourself into a stay in a Chateau built by a Lord. The Chateau d’Azur was constructed in 1904 by Lord Amherst of London with the high standard and elegant look you would expect of a Lord. The 15-bedroom property can house 30-guests with room for everyone to enjoy a little piece of architectural heaven, the perfect location to host a wedding or mid-scale event, with room for up to 250-guests for dining and events. The home has been outfitted with two-kitchens, one for the main event and another to keep you happily enjoying an intimate lunch while the catering staff work away in the main area. Activities galore, there is a gym onsite to keep you fit, a home theater and games room with billiard table for some enjoyable time with friends.
France is a part of the world that enjoys scenery, history, the arts, and culinary experiences like no other in the world. A place to enjoy the finer moments in life and get to know a region blooming with excitement. Make sure to book your luxury retreat with someone who knows how to help you get what you want and where you want it. Take a luxury get away and savor some of the finer moments life has to offer.
What about you?
What’s the most luxurious trip you’ve ever taken?
If you won the lottery tomorrow, where would you go?
How do you get to know the place you’re staying?
What does the phrase “luxury travel” mean to you?
Would you rather spend your travel budget on lodging or something else? Why?
How you can replicate posh travel experiences in your everyday life?
This is a sponsored post that contains an affiliate link. I do projects like this from time to time when I’m interested in an idea that I don’t feel I’m qualified to cover myself. Thanks for reading along while I play around with new topics and help pay for this site and all my other adventures.
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