The words “luxury holidays” conjure up pictures of secluded beaches and lush vegetation away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. But it’s harder and harder to get off the beaten track nowadays, especially if you’re looking for a place that’s both exotic and has good plumbing. Luckily, there are still some great destinations that have both these qualities without the swarms of street sellers and one-dollar shots. Here are Tranio’s top five exclusive destinations to rent or buy elite property around the world.
1. The Americas – Cabo San Lucas (Mexico)
- Rent: $2,000 – 5,000 per night
- Buy: $1.0 – $3.5 million
Set against a stunning backdrop of craggy limestone cliffs rising out of the sea is Cabo San Lucas. Found at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, the local atmosphere is as unique as the location. Celebrities and spring-breakers rub shoulders indiscriminately during daytime water sports and tequila-drenched evenings, because “mi casa es su casa” in Cabo San Lucas. This destination brings the bling in Mexico: Gwyneth Paltrow spent her honeymoon here and Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp, as well as Adam Sandler, are just some names on the long A-list of visitors.
Popular travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler named local “Lovers’ Beach” (Playa del Amor) one of the ten best beaches in Mexico. Together with El Arco rock, it is the most photographed location by tourists in the resort. Cabo San Lucas is one of the best places in the world for competitive sea fishing, with hundreds of species, including giant marlins and tuna. And if fishing doesn’t rock your boat, you can watch whales, swim with dolphins, dive and snorkel. To buy luxury lodgings, head to Pedregal, a stunning hillside enclave. If you just want to whet your appetite first, you’ll find options to rent along Medano Beach.
An exclusive 5–6 bedroom luxury villa rental can cost from $2,000–5,000 per night. Upper-class luxury homes for sale have price tags ranging from $1.0 to $3.5 million.
2. Europe – Reykjavik (Iceland)
- Rent: $300 – $500 per night
- Buy: $750,000
Iceland is a land filled with fairy tales, legends, stunning views and unique culinary traditions. It’s a top bucket list destination for many; those who have the funds definitely shouldn’t wait that long! Thanks to the amazing wealth of incredible panoramas, many movies have been filmed in this northerly paradise, including Noah, Oblivion and Thor 2. It’s the ideal destination for adventurers who long for untouched landscapes, breathtaking views and volcanic springs, followed by evenings in front of a big log fire with a bottle of 1988 Tokaji.
Some of the famous sites are the geyser valley of Haukadalur, famous lagoons with healing geothermal springs, beaches with white and black sand, hundreds of waterfalls, volcanoes and giant ice flows. The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, is recognized by many ratings as the most ecologically pristine city in the world, and its primary energy source comes from the geothermal springs. 90% of the 323,000 inhabitants are Islanders, and visitors tend to be athletes and scientists.
A 100 sq m apartment in Reykjavik costs about $235,000 to purchase, and a similar rental apartment costs approximately $1,500 per month. A 120–140 sq m upmarket apartment with an old city view costs $750,000 on average.
3. Africa – Marrakesh (Morocco)
- Rent: $500 – $700 per night
- Buy: $1.5 – $6.5 million
The market town-turned-city of Marrakesh has been a crossroads for culture and trade for nearly ten centuries. Oriental architecture, captivating smells and beguiling colours are mesmerizing and enthralling. Meander through street bazars wedged between ancient mosques and magnificent palaces, taste luxurious pastries dripping with honey while drinking sweet mint tea and wrap up the evening with some bewitching belly dancing – this is a typical day in Marrakesh. It’s all there, on your doorstep.
This city is a perfect weekend getaway or residence for those who want to work remotely. It has all the amenities of a big European city, just with better weather, sexier architecture and sumptuous food. Especially since pampering is almost enshrined in Moroccan law, and there are many elite hammams (Turkish baths) experiences with professional staff to scrub away a hard week’s work. Marrakesh offers a wide range of luxurious holiday properties, including one of the world’s most expensive hotels, the Royal Mansour, owned by the Moroccan king.
Suites in the Royal Mansour cost from $2,000 to $50,000 per night. Luxury villas with a terrace and a swimming pool for purchase in Marrakesh can cost between $1.5 – $6.5 million.
4. Asia – Nusa Dua (Bali – Indonesia)
- Rent: $300 – $500 per night
- Buy: $1.0 – $2.0 million
Bali is famous for its nightlife and Eat, Pray, Love, but this island has far more to offer than encounters with Julia Roberts and heart-broken backpackers. Luxury travel insiders go to Nusa Dua in South Kuta, one of Bali’s most lavish resorts. Think tropical fruit, sunshine and the sea gently lapping your toes as you relax on a sun lounger while people bring you cocktails. Now, remember that your only plan today is a massage at 3 p.m. This is the Nusa Dua experience.
In this idyllic place, memories of everyday life melt away, and it becomes okay to be completely unproductive. After all, isn’t that what holidays are for? But the more active should not worry; Bali is jam-packed with things to do that don’t include cycling through rice paddies. Visit the Uluwatu Temple, for example: according to legend, it guards the island from evil spirits. It might also play a role in the wonderful seclusion and restful atmosphere. Villas on cliffs and hills have the best views in Bali.
There are plenty of luxury villas from $500 per night. A villa for purchase with an ocean view costs about $1.0 – $2.0 million and comes with all the frills.
5. Oceania – Queenstown (New Zealand)
- Rent: $500 – $1,500 per night
- Buy: $1.0 – $2.0 million
New Zealand is the land of glaciers, vineyards and, of course, the world-famous All Black haka war dance. Many consider it the trip of a lifetime, yet one visit is not enough for most. Queenstown, located on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, has some of the best skiing slopes around, but waking up in the morning is just as spectacular. It is surrounded by mountains like The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, and Walter Peak, which make it the perfect starting point for adrenaline-fuelled adventures.
Queenstown is the world’s capital of extreme entertainment: rafting, jet boating, bungee jumping, skydiving, hiking down the volcano crater… You name it, Queenstown’s got it. It also has plenty to do on Sunday too: helicopter tours, horse trekking, lake cruises or golf. The town has a large variety of modern apartments with views over Wakatipu.
Flat rentals for prime property range from $500 – $1,500 per night on average. A townhouse with lake views costs approximately $1.0 – $2.0 million to purchase.