Non-hotel holidays for the perfect break

private swimming pool

Summer awaits – but who wants a hotel pool?

If you’re dreaming of your next escape, but are fed up with the restrictions of hotels and bored with packages, a private holiday home could be the perfect answer. That doesn’t mean goodbye to luxury, however: these days there’s a fabulous range of home-from-homes available, from chic urban apartments to gorgeous beachfront mansions.

You don’t even have to self-cater. Local chefs, high-quality delivery services, or nearby restaurants (and babysitters) can take away any stress, while still leaving you with the flexibility to eat what you want, when you want, and wearing whatever you’re most comfortable in.

Holiday homes and apartments are also infinitely flexible. Whether you want to stay for a weekend or a couple of months, you can travel alone or with family, and you’ll be at home within hours.

Need any more persuading? Here are our top 5 reasons we’ll be booking holiday homes this year.

1. Indulge in urban chic

holiday San Francisco

Nip out for a coffee from a San Francisco apartment

There’s no better way to experience a city than to live right in its centre. An apartment gives you all flexibility you want to make cappucino at 11am in your pyjamas after a fabulous night out, or settle the kids on comfy sofas in front of the TV for an hour to get a break from activities. Pop downstairs to a local diner in San Francisco for breakfast, or a street cafe in Lisbon for a late-night drink. Walk home from the jazz bar or the open-air concert (and make toast when you get in), or watch the sun set over Istanbul from your living room balcony. Cities are full of hidden places to stay, from chic designer penthouses to characterful old apartments. Get the best of city life with none of the stress.

2. Live the rural dream

Lake District holiday

Walk out of your home and up a hill in the Lake District

Pick up your boots from the hearth, grab your day-sack and walk out of your gate up the next mountain. Or let the kids run free, climb trees, explore woods, take out a canoe or ride a horse. The country life isn’t practical for many of us, tied to commuting routes and tight schedules, but it’s the perfect switch-off for a week or two. There’s plenty of choice, too – you might want traditional style and dark inglenook fireplaces, or bright, modern, décor. You could stay in an ancient olive grove in Greece, or a medieval farm in Norway. Bring your whole extended family, or escape from them all.

3. Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do

Whether it’s wine-making, golf, hill-running, languages or theatre, you can base yourself perfectly to indulge as often as you want, without the pressure of living on-site in a hotel or of imposing it on everyone else. Learn to tango in Buenos Aires, or to beachcomb in Cornwall; practice singing in the Alps or yoga in Sydney. You could book a short course, find a personal coach, or simply turn up and follow your passion without distractions. If you’ve got family with you, a home rather than a hotel makes everyone more relaxed, and you can divide your time more easily.

4. Give everyone more space

Ponies on the moors - not your average city day

Ponies on the moors – not your average city day

A hotel might be fine when you’re out and about, but there’s a time when everyone wants to relax. Kids can struggle to cope with restaurants, and a suite with enough space for them to play can pressurise the healthiest credit card. They’ll settle much more easily into a home-like environment, where they can find their usual snacks in the fridge and not have to worry about being on their best behaviour 24 hours a day. Add a garden or local energetic activities and they’ll be in heaven.

If you have young children, there are terrific companies who specialise in finding luxury cottages and apartments properly set up to give parents a real break. Their services can include stress-free transfers, regular cleaning, buggies, child-friendly crockery and cutlery, babysitters, and a great selection of appropriate toys and games.

5. Live in the style to which you’d like to be accustomed

House in Norway

Long days by the water in Norway

If you’ve always hankered after living in the most stylish part of Manhattan, with the latest kitchen gadgets and designer living space, this is your chance. How about waking up in the Georgian rectory surrounded by misty fields of grazing sheep? Maybe you picture yourself in a whitewashed villa on the Italian coast, kids running in and out barefoot, or on a farm in the Brazilian hills, horses roaming outside. If it’s there, it’s possible. It’s also a great way of deciding whether you might actually want to live like that, one day.

Dream it, then do it. When you don’t have to worry about the practicalities of daily life and work, anything is possible.

 

If you love the idea of a cottage or apartment holiday, but don’t have the time to organise it, get in touch. We’ll find you the ideal place for a break that’s perfect for how you’d like to live, and organise your babysitters, theatre tickets, golf classes or travel. Whether you want 6 weeks in the Hamptons, a fortnight in Corsica or a long weekend in Scotland, call us now to make sure you have the perfect holiday this year.

 

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