1. Travel and Living

Why Rent A Villa When You Can Book The Entire Hotel?

Booking a full buyout of an entire hotel is not a new thing but in this pandemic summer of social distance there has never been a better time. The idea is taking hold as resorts such as The Point in New York’s Adirondacks report double the buyout bookings since last summer at this time. According to Kenan Simmons, VP Americas for Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which boasts over 550 hotels in 90 countries, “We’re seeing that travelers are itching for a change of scenery and looking predominantly for intimate getaways away from crowds. Our member hotels have just 50 rooms on average, so these boutique luxury properties are ideal for the buyout scenario.”

The rest is only limited to your imagination, whether you want private access to a mountaintop escape or a Spanish monastery, the hospitality world is full of options.

Awasi Patagonia: Remote, rare and special, this Relais & Chateaux property on the edge of the Patagonian steppe, snug in the embrace of the Andes offers only eagles, wide-winged condors, and pumas for company. Each of the only 14 villas comes with a private guide and four-wheel drive vehicle, so this buyout leaves open the opportunity to let each guest explore in their own way. Everything from furnishings to cuisine is locally inspired, and with a ratio of eight staff to each room, luxury is understood. The two other Awasi locations (Atacama and Iguazu) are also available for buyouts, the only challenge will be finding dates that have not yet been booked so plan ahead.  

Cloud Camp is part of the larger Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs. You’ll have access to all of the Broadmoor resort amenities such as golf and tennis but still be able to retreat to your private perch at 9,000 feet. From Cloud Camp you’ll enjoy exclusive views of Pikes Peak, as well as mountainside trail rides (mules only on these tough trails), cooking classes, archery, in-room massages, yoga, pickle ball, frisbee golf, and guided hikes. Dinners in the massive greatroom, flanked by two refrigerator-sized fireplaces, are a three-course affair featuring the freshest and finest in Colorado.

Chablé Maroma sits on a private beach in Mexico’s Riveria Maya and with 70 villas this five-star property is intimate enough to buyout and big enough to host quite the extended family. Each suite enjoys its own private plunge pool Both offer spacious suites, each with its own private pool. Make the visit about wellness, which is the Chable DNA, with spa treatments and experiences founded on Mayan rituals and traditions. The brand’s new “Cleaning For Wellness” artfully blends the necessary cleaning methods—from ozone generators to biodegradable hospital-grade disinfectants—with sustainability.

If you have a big crowd, or just want more space, El Palace Barcelona is one of the largest properties (120 rooms and suites) open to full buyouts—which can be priced and discussed individually. The recently (and very extensively) renovated hotel sits in the heart of Barcelona, one of the city’s most iconic establishments with a history that spans 100 years and a guest list that includes the likes of Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, Sofia Loren, Woody Allen, Salvador Dali and Ronnie Wood. The hotel has recently completed an extensive renovation and restoration of all public areas and its 120 rooms and suites, along with the creation of the Rooftop Garden—- where you’ll find more than fifty species of plants. (Opens in September)

Anticipating the demand for buyouts, the team at Belmond El Encanto in California’s Santa Barbara region, created Exclusive Places, a mini-option for smaller groups looking to isolate within the property. Groups (up to ten) can now reserve an entire building of adjoining suites, and as part of the experience guests will have access to everything from private yoga and mixology experiences to private sailings, alfresco movie screenings on the cottage’s private terrace, private chef service, in-room spa treatments, a designated car, and pretty much anything else you can conceive of.

A restored 1930’s era villa overlooking the Adriatic is on offer at Villa Orsula, located on the edge of Dubrovnik Old Town and perched above the glistening blue sea. The 13-room boutique hotel is ready with five-star accommodations, fine dining and personalized service. Full buyout rates start at 25,000.00 EUR per night and vary by season.

Castle Hot Springs has long been a wellness destination for the jet set. Situated on 1,100 acres you and your guests will have private access to the destination’s thermal hot springs among other things. Just a short 50 miles north of Phoenix, you can escape into activities such as hiking and horseback riding and cap off a day’s hard work with meals prepared from their farm program. The 36 accommodations include rooms, bungalows, cabins and a historic cottage– pricing is upon request.

The Point enjoys stature as North America’s first Relais & Châteaux hotel in North America. Located in New York’s Adirondacks, this ultra-private estate (directions are provided at time of booking) the resort has 11 distinct guest rooms with unfettered access to every aspect of the resort’s 75 acre estate. Special experiences and personalized service remain the top priority—whether it’s a multi-course dinner served on the resort’s Elco boat as it cruises Saranac Lake at sunset or one-on-one guided hikes for guests.

Located in the secluded Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas has access to  miles of pristine shoreline and several hiking and mountain biking trails nearby. With 21 one-bedroom villas, each featuring a private plunge pool, guests can mingle or keep to themselves. A buyout of the entire property can accommodate 42 people with a private staff, full access to the renowned Sentido Norte restaurant and all on property activities. Pricing starts at $12,000 per night (not including tax) for a minimum of three nights.

Situated along the famously nicknamed Billionaire’s Beach off the Pacific Coast Highway is the Malibu Beach Inn, a lovely five-star seaside retreat as well as one of the Leading Hotels of the World and a Virtuoso property. The inn has 47 stylish guestrooms, and all guests enjoy 24-hour access to Carbon Beach Club (CBC), a state-of-the-art gym as well as CURE Spa. Aside from the luxury perks, the seaside perch overlooking the Pacific Ocean along one of America’s most iconic highways is this hotel’s best asset.

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