#FirstClassFriday: Five luxury holiday homes for the ultimate jetsetter
The good life
Live it up with these five lavish homestays when you plan your next getaway
The glamour of the jetsetting lifestyle extols a particular zest for only the best. When the archetypical five-star hotel just doesn't cut it anymore, where should a stylish out-of-towner spend their nights? This is when you turn your attention to home rentals. No, we're not talking dingy apartments in a congested neighbourhood, but opulent houses straight out of Architectural Digest parked in some of the world's most exotic locales.
Plush and private, these luxurious homes away from home are engineering marvels and a sensorial experience rolled into one. So pack your bags, because your personal slice of paradise awaits.
1. Jagged Edge, Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand may be synonymous with Lord of the Rings, but Jagged Edge is the furthest thing from a Hobbit hovel. Instead, a glass-constructed modern monolith rises from the craggy cliff side, overlooking a 270-degree view of the panoramic vistas surrounding Lake Wakatipu. Equipped with a hot spa pool out front, and an underground wine cellar carved right into the rock, you're more like an overlord suspended in a futuristic manor high up in the hills than a medieval homebody.
2. The Spa House, Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa If you're after a retreat that encompasses the sea, sky and mountains, you can't get more spectacular than The Spa House with its open floor plan that melds into the great outdoors. Designed by an award-winning architect, this oasis sits amidst rolling hills with a magnificent view of the mountains and Hout Bay, although your attention is likely to be captivated by the pool deck and its comfy sun loungers. With your very own lagoon just a hop, skip and jump away from the bed, staying in all day makes just as good an itinerary.
3. Jane Street Townhouse II, West Village, New York Tucked in a quiet idyllic pocket of bustling New York, the Jane Street Townhouse is not your ordinary city-life dwelling. A classic townhouse that echoes a plush contemporary comfort with low-slung velvet sofas, a fireplace, a split-level garden, a terrace and an interior lift that spans its four storeys; this is a veritable urban palace. Stepping out, you'll find yourself in the heart of bohemian West Village, littered with juice bars, quaint cafes and charming boutiques that beckon.
4. Mykonos Villa, Greece The island life calls with this breath-taking villa that borders the glittering blue Aegean Sea. Nestled in the hillside on the Greek island of Mykonos, traditional design meets modern luxury surrounded by picturesque scenery with the gorgeous Lia Bay and Tigani Beach located only minutes away. Work on your tan when you bask under the Grecian sun in several outdoor lounge areas dotting the seaside chateau, or dive into the large infinity pool fed by the sea — one of the sexiest pools in the world, according to Conde Nast Traveller. This is paradise on earth.
5. The Balancing Barn, Suffolk, UK Country living just got upgraded with The Balancing Barn. Like something out of your sci-fi imaginings, this gravity-defying marvel tips the edge of a serene nature reserve near the historic coastal towns of Walberswick and Aldeburgh. A silvered 30-metre stretch of design ingenuity by Dutch firm MVRDV, this award-winning home levels over acres of green with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out into the wooded landscape. More than meets the eye, the centre of the barn opens up a hidden staircase that leads into a garden beneath. Who says reconnecting with nature can't include a space-age roof over your head?