If you lead a busy lifestyle, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as getting away for a well-earned break in your vacation home, where everything is set up exactly as you like it. The perfect vacation home not only enjoys a beautiful location but offers every luxury you could want conveniently on hand, from gourmet food to soothing spa treatments – and when it comes to luxury, these four great locations are hard to beat.
Sometimes the most luxurious places are close to home. California offers some of the world’s most spectacular real estate, from sprawling ranch homes to oceanfront villas and secluded mountain getaways. Pasadena homes for sale are priced lower than in many larger cities and you have the advantage of lighter traffic and you’re perfectly situated for the Rose Bowl. Kenny Slaught, the founder of Investec Real Estate Companies, has been involved in the property market there for years and recommends Santa Barbara as one of the best areas to buy. It is home to fine restaurants like Bouchon and Miró, designer boutiques like Kitson and Blaec Clothing, and luxury spas like Bacara and Qi Si Bella. Try Wine Cask or Carpinteria for the state’s finest wines (and a few nice imports) and Tino’s Italian Grocery for the perfect foods to complement them, then spend the evening on the beach watching the sun set over the Pacific.
Hot weather, exotic surroundings and meticulous attention to detail make Thailand an excellent spot for a vacation home, whether you choose the vibrant life of Bangkok with its thriving ex-pat community or a spacious retreat somewhere like Phuket. There are some truly stunning old colonial homes in the country, and you’ll have no trouble finding staff who take great pride in the service they provide. The country boasts some of the best spa resorts and most beautiful beaches in the world, along with elegant restaurants and an increasing variety of sophisticated entertainments. If you enjoy the active life, you can go climbing on towering island cliffs, swim around colorful reefs in crystal clear waters, or ride an elephant through jungles teeming with fantastic wildlife.
For lovers of skiing and mountain scenery nowhere is as thrilling as Switzerland, and there is some superb luxury real estate available in this cosmopolitan nation. You can choose from modern villas with glass frontage overlooking the slopes, traditional ski lodges with elegantly painted façades, and cozy but spacious log cabins where roaring fires welcome you when you come in from the cold. Staying near Zurich gives you access to world-class restaurants, boutiques, galleries and opera, and the opportunity to mingle with high society. Not far away, you can enjoy winter sports at any time of year, and the Swiss really know how to relax with saunas, hot tubs, and spas.
The destination of choice for many of the world’s super-rich, including Hollywood celebrities, Bermuda offers some stunning properties in beautiful beachfront locations, with some even on their own islets. It may be small, but it offers an impressive repertoire of luxuries. The boutiques in the Fairmont Southampton are guaranteed to satisfy high-end shoppers and afterward you can relax with soothing spa treatments at Siam Thai, the oceanfront La Serena or the unforgettable Natura in its stunning stalactite-filled cave with a crystal clear lake. There are numerous superb restaurants to choose from, such as the long-established Italian Little Venice and local favorite Bouchée, whose breakfasts are not to be missed.
Owning a home in a location like these is an excellent long term investment, and it enables you to get established and make friends in a place where all your time is your own. For lovers the finer things in life, these are destinations deserving of some serious attention.