I don't know if you've ever rented a vacation house before but it's one of my very favorite ways to travel with a large group. Joe and I love exploring with family and friends and one of the best ways to do it, is to all stay in the same house or condo. It allows for a less structured trip - you don't have to make specific plans for every single outing - and you can cook meals and have cocktail hour without having to go out for every single thing. It's home away from home and often, a very luxurious version of home.
With sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, Vacasa and Luxury Retreats, booking some of the most unique, properties on Earth has never been easier. From modern treehouses to a seashell-shaped beach house, some of my faves are below and you can believe that they have all been added to my bucket list.
Conch Shell Casita in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
For a truly unique getaway, this seashell house on the Isla Mujeres might be just what you're looking for. The project of architect Eduardo Ocampo and his artist brother Octavio, the property offers guests a magnificent view of the Caribbean and easy access to the island's most beautiful beaches. From $265 per night. More information on Airbnb here.
Modern Apartment in Akureyri, Iceland
For a quiet break, truly in the middle of nowhere, rent one of three apartments in this beautiful setting, located just a 10-minute drive away from Akureyri – the Capital of North Iceland. If you're feeling adventurous, rent a horse for a ride under the midnight sun during the summer time, or go sledging with huskies in the winter. From $85 per night. More information here.
Malibu Barbie's Airstream
There’s an element of magic in this one. Maybe it’s the “couldn’t be anywhere but Southern California” sun-kissed photos or the fact that someone was genius enough to park this classic Airstream up in the hills of Malibu with a spectacular view of the great Pacific. What better way to take in one of the most beautiful views in the world? From $650 per night. More information here.
Absurdly Chic Treehouse in Tuscany
This modern treehouse comes with a tennis court, swimming pool, and garden - not bad for a one-room abode. casaBARTHEL's huge modern windows overlook the Tuscan landscape near the town of Galluzzo. With only WiFi in the communal courtyard, the owners suggest their guests use their time to fully decompress. From $291 per night. More information here.
Old Smock Windmill in Kent
This insanely adorable residence is literally inside a windmill. It is surrounded by the lovely English countryside where you can roam and refresh yourself by ending the day in one of the great local pubs. From $229 per night. More information here.