17 of the most extraordinary properties in the world you can rent
A fairytale Disney-style castle with turrets and a hot tub in Hollywood, a chic converted lighthouse in Italy and a chocolate-box cottage in the Cotswolds.
These are just some of the properties listed by rental platform Plum Guide, which bills itself as a ‘Michelin Guide for holiday homes’. It says ‘we don’t list a lot of homes – just the right ones’.
Scroll down for a peek at 17 of its properties. By the end you might just wonder if it should substitute ‘right’ for ‘extraordinary’…
‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’, Los Angeles, United States
‘Crowned with turrets and illuminated by fairy lights, this Hollywood home comes in the form of a perfect Disney-style castle,’ Plum Guide says.
According to the listing, the 11-bedroom mansion is half castle-themed, half modern house, with guests able to choose whether they sleep in a turret or spacious bedroom.
The rooftop terrace is described as the ‘jewel in the tiara’, with its hot tub, decking, shaded dining area and views over Hollywood Boulevard.
One Upon a Time in Hollywood sleeps 16 and costs from £4,207 ($5,170) per night with a three-night minimum stay.
‘Invisible house’, San Bernardino County, United States
The Invisible House has to be seen to be believed. Its walls are entirely glass, which Plum Guide says brings nature inside in a ‘mesmerising, one-of-a-kind way’.
The surroundings are described as ‘rural, unspoiled, rugged’.
The interiors, meanwhile, are ‘luxurious’ with lots of ‘eye-catching furniture’ and there’s a ‘state-of-the-art kitchen’. The rental also includes a 100ft- (30-metre) long indoor pool, bathrobes and a DVD library.
Plum Guide adds: ‘No expense has been spared. It’s truly luxurious in the most aesthetically pleasing, effortlessly casual way that Joshua Tree does so well.’
The Invisible House sleeps six and costs from around £4,386 ($5,400) per night.
‘Second Sunset’, Los Angeles, United States
Plum Guide describes Second Sunset as a ‘modern masterpiece’ with ‘unobstructed views that stretch from the Hollywood Hills to the Pacific’.
The travel platform adds: ‘Outside, you’ll find a pool table, gym equipment, as well as a massive outdoor entertaining area complete with a beer tap, infinity pool and hot tub.’
According to the listing, guests can rummage through the wine cellar, watch films in the home cinema and relax on the master bedroom’s private balcony with ‘breathtaking views of the LA skyline’.
Second Sunset sleeps six and costs from £9,010 ($11,000) per night with a two-night minimum stay.
‘La Baroque’, Beverly Hills, United States
Described by Plum Guide as ‘dripping in opulence’, La Baroque is an eight-bedroom abode in the style of a French chateau in the exclusive neighbourhood of Beverly Hills.
The home’s ‘incredible’ dual staircase is ‘perfectly suited to making a proper Hollywood entrance to any evening soiree’, the travel site says.
Other ‘imposing features’ include ornate ceilings, tall windows, chandeliers and fireplaces, says the travel platform, while outdoors there’s a ‘beautiful pool and hot tub, surrounded by lush planting’.
Plum Guide adds: ‘Formal entertaining space comes in the form of grand reception rooms, a dining room and a wet bar that opens to the terrace, while a comfy home cinema and outdoor lounge areas make for casual places to hang out as a family or group of friends.’
La Baroque sleeps 15 and costs from £11,273 ($13,880) per night with a 30-night (yes, thirty) minimum stay.
‘Malibu Stacy’, Ventura County, California
With six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a hot tub, Malibu Stacy is described by Plum Guide as ‘not so much a holiday home as a full-blown private resort to enjoy with your friends and family’.
The listing adds: ‘Spread across 51 acres, guests can pass their afternoons paddling about in the swimming pool, getting competitive on the tennis court or simply lounging about on the daybeds with a glorious panorama of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains.’
Inside expect swathes of Italian marble, a home cinema and a grand piano in the living room. Malibu Stacy sleeps 16 and costs from £20,119 ($25,000) per night with a two-night minimum stay.
‘Flight 251’, Rome, Italy
Prepare to take off. This flat in Rome has a mezzanine featuring reclaimed flight seats with seat belts in a mock cabin.
Described as ‘outright eccentric’ by Plum Guide, Flight 251 is adorned with ‘rainbow-bright dinnerware, fire-engine-red cabinets and huge paperclips on the walls’.
The travel platform adds: ‘The bedroom is slightly more subdued, in terms of colour, but no less flamboyant. A vaulted, cathedral-style ceiling and archway optical illusion on the wardrobes gives the feeling of being in an ancient chapel. While the bathroom features a wall of art reminiscent of the Renaissance greats.’
Flight 251 sleeps five and costs from £213 ($260) per night with a two-night minimum stay.
‘The Old Coal Crane’, Copenhagen, Denmark
Based in Copenhagen’s old harbour, The Old Coal Crane is described as ‘an incredibly special place that offers an out-of-this-world experience’.
Across its three levels guests will find a ‘heavenly’ bedroom, ‘huge’ meeting room and twin bathtubs next to gigantic windows that Plum Guide says have the ‘best views we’ve ever come across’.
Elsewhere in the converted crane there is a sauna, rainfall shower with glass ceiling and bikes guests can use to explore the surrounding area. The Old Coal Crane sleeps two and costs from £1,340 ($1,650) per night.
‘The Hot Spot’, Ibiza, Spain
Highlights at this four-bedroom villa in Ibiza include a heated pool, outdoor fire pit, movie theatre and private gym, to name a few.
Described as a ‘modern gem’ by Plum Guide, The Hot Spot‘s floor-to-ceiling glass windows reveal ‘jaw-dropping vistas of the shimmering Med’.
Plum Guide adds: ‘Cool minimalism is the rule at this home, set within two acres of private grounds and yet just a five-minute drive from Ibiza Old Town.’
The Hot Spot sleeps eight and costs from £51,198 ($63,000) per night with a seven-night minimum stay.
‘Beacon of Sardinia’, Capo-Spartivento, Italy
Plum Guide says that this ‘truly unique home’ at the southern tip of Sardinia with not one, but two infinity pools, is thought to be the ‘only Italian lighthouse to offer accommodation’, with the old army barracks behind it helping to create a ‘fabulous and exclusive estate’.
‘The adventure begins,’ says Plum Guide, ‘as you approach the home down unmade roads, where a Humvee will be waiting to ferry you to your destination. Perfectly secluded and surrounded by spectacular panoramic sea views, this place is a real escape from reality.
‘If it’s Sardinia’s perfect beaches that are calling to you, then you’re in the right place – there are four coves to choose from within a half-hour walk (or just ask the staff to drop you at one).’
The property, which dates back to 1854, features rooms that ‘mix rustic features – like the open fireplace, timber ceilings and exposed rock – with chic, modern furnishings’.
Beacon of Sardinia sleeps 22 and costs from £6,809 ($8,375) per night with a seven-night minimum stay.
‘The Guardian Lions’, Paris, France
Expect ‘historic charm and modern comforts’ at this Parisian abode, which Plum Guide says sprawls over more than 7,000 square ft (650 square metres).
According to the listing, highlights include a wrought-iron frame conservatory, a dining room ‘fit for a king’, and a striking neoclassical facade.
The travel platform says: ‘From the living spaces, the charming conservatory is our favourite, while it’s hard to single out a bedroom, given that they’re all uniquely styled and equally sumptuous. A lavish home like this requires a meticulous service to match – your professional host will ensure your every need is attended to.’
The Guardian Lions sleeps 12 and costs from £4,572 ($5,630) per night with a two-night minimum stay.
‘Hollywood Dreaming’, Almancil, Portugal
‘You’ll feel like Hollywood royalty in this luxurious home,’ says the property’s listing.
Located in Portugal near Quinta Do Lago, one of the Algarve’s most prestigious golf resorts, ‘sugar-cube-white’ Hollywood Dreaming is ‘all sleek angles’ with an exterior that ‘looks like the very best of 1960s bold architecture’.
On the outside is a raised terrace that leads to a ‘glorious’ free-form swimming pool, while inside ‘you’ll find a sauna, state-of-the-art kitchen and a home cinema that would make De Niro jealous’.
Plum Guide declares: ‘It really has to be seen to be believed.’
Hollywood Dreaming sleeps 12 and costs from £3,394 ($4,200) with a seven-night minimum stay.
‘The 99 Yew Trees’, Painswick, Gloucestershire, England
The 99 Yew Trees is set in the ‘disarmingly attractive’ town of Painswick, known as the Queen of the Cotswolds, with Plum Guide describing the 16th-century abode as a ‘right royal escape’.
The quaint pad has even hosted television royalty, with Gossip Girl actor Kelly Rutherford singing its praises.
Rutherford said of her stay: ‘My work sees me travel around the world and so I’m always looking for a home away from home. The “matchmaking” team at Plum Guide always find me the most interesting and beautiful homes to stay in. On my recent visit to the UK, with my business Whyzzer, I stayed in The 99 Yew Trees – the most gorgeous chocolate box cottage.
‘I’m actually looking to buy a home in the area and my stay with Plum Guide provided me with the perfect base in which to explore the area.’
The Plum Guide adds: ‘Once inside you’ll feel like a modern-day Henry VII thanks to exposed stonework, regal purple sofas, aged wooden beams and hefty wooden beds.
‘Treat yourself to a luxurious soak in the freestanding, roll-top bath before hunkering down with a glass of red in front of the flickering log fire set in a glorious traditional inglenook fireplace.’
The cottage gets its name from the church opposite, which Plum Guide says has ‘magnificent yew trees’.
The 99 Yew Trees sleeps six and costs from £471 ($580) per night with a two-night minimum stay.
‘Lords and Ladies’, Suffolk, England
Twelve-bedroom ‘Downton-esque’ Somerleyton Hall makes an impression with its eye-popping ‘Tudor-Jacobean and Anglo-Italian architecture’.
Plum Guide adds: ‘Sprawling grounds are home to hedge mazes, lakes, secret woodlands and walled gardens brimming with blossom. Great rooms with grand pianos [and stuffed polar bears], a library with rare gilded books, and dining rooms with long tables are lavish spots for the group to gather.’
What’s more, guests can request a butler service for the full ‘Downton experience’, and a trusted private chef can be hired to prepare delicacies using the estate’s seasonal produce, the rental firm says.
Lords and Ladies sleeps 24 and costs from £8,580 ($10,570) per night with a two-night minimum stay.
‘Hobbit Hole’, East Sussex, England
This ‘majestic’ Hobbit Hole is perfect for those ‘looking to escape the mundane’, says the listing.
According to Plum Guide, Hobbit Hole was hand-built by a craftsman who used local materials to create features such as the domed ceilings and circular doors.
The travel platform adds: ‘Cosy up around the wood-burning stove on the patchwork sofa with a warm cup of tea in hand or relax outside in the private hot tub – knowing there’s heated flooring back inside the house, for when it’s time to get out.’
Hobbit Hole sleeps four and costs £951 ($1,170) per night with a two-night minimum stay.
‘Gilded Glory’, London, England
‘This grand flat promises a unique stay for those exploring the city,’ Plum Guide says of two-bedroom ‘Gilded Glory’ in the heart of Kensington, London.
The travel platform explains that the home’s interiors ‘mirror that of a boutique hotel’, with ‘vibrant’ artwork, ‘snazzy’ bedrooms and eye-catching, playful touches that include a gold-tiled basin.
Gilded Glory sleeps two and costs from £1,339 ($1,650) per night with a three-night minimum stay.
‘Time for Reflection’, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England
This four-bedroom property perched on the edge of Huntsman Lake, just a 10-minute drive from the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is ‘full of luxuries and surprises’, says Plum Guide, from its ‘huge terrace complete with a garden and a sweeping panorama of a further three lakes’ to its basement with ‘nine-seater cinema, bar area, hot tub, sauna and full-size snooker table’.
The interior also includes a staircase made from a 500-year-old tree from Slovenia, while the kitchen – with its pizza and tandoori oven – is described as a ‘thing of beauty’.
Time for Reflection sleeps eight and costs from £987 ($1,215) per night with a four-night minimum stay.
The Norfolk Beacon, Norfolk, England
A former working lighthouse based on the sandy coastline of Winterton-on-Sea, Plum Guide describes The Norfolk Beacon as ‘a peaceful stay with a surreal fairytale quality’.
The holiday lettings company loves the ‘unusual round rooms that stack on top of one another’ that are filled with ‘beautiful furniture and objects’ and notes that the property also includes an ‘impressive library, bunk-bed room for kids, living room, and a lofty viewing-platform bedroom’.
Plum Guide adds: ‘Families in particular will love the easy access to seaside life, including great fish and chips, good local pubs, parks and boat-trips.’
The Norfolk Beacon sleeps eight and costs from £533 ($655) per night with a three-night minimum stay.
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