Rent luxury vacation homes around the world

Exquisite architecture and homes with outstanding style. For example, spend the night in The Watercastle which served as the city of Braavos in Game of Thrones. Among the properties are houses by architects and designers such as Benjamin Cox and Frank Lloyd Wright. Several of the properties have won prestigious awards.

BoutiqueHomes is a small group of friends who love to travel – and on their travels they find places that they love – and that you too can rent!

Beautiful architecture and homes marked with exceptional style that delight, inspire and even change us.

Those are the places they focus on.

They only list the ones they like. Significantly fewer than the big booking giants.

Among the 1,800 properties are houses by architects and designers such as Benjamin Cox, Herbert Kreisler, R.F Schindler, Frank Lloyd Wright, and several of the properties have won prestigious awards.

All price ranges are covered. From expensive luxury homes to houses that cost less than a hotel room – but with room for more…

We start with a couple of wonderful houses in Cisternino, Apulia, and an apartment in Spello, Umbria. Both in Italy. And fills up with more little by little.

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Home with soul – in the heart of Puglia

V & M No. 23 & 25 – Cisternino, Puglia, Italy

Cisternino, a historic town in the Apulia region of southern Italy that is filled with historical landmarks such as churches and baroque buildings with several hundred years behind them.

The town of Cisternino is located on top of a hill, in the middle of the beautiful Murge plateau. The streets here lie almost 400 meters above sea level and are lined with old churches, historic buildings and whitewashed houses. Visit old palaces and churches, explore the countryside around the city and try dishes prepared on butchers’ grills.

Here, BoutiqueHomes has found two historic homes. An art historian, Mariana, and her father invested in a couple of small houses. Built at the end of the 17th century, then owned by the church and originally built to be donated to single mothers.
They started renovating them, which took more than two years, unfortunately Mariana’s father died just as the renovation was finished.

– Fortunately, he had time to see the project completed before he passed away, says Mariana.
She named the houses after both of their first names: V & M.

Thanks to Miriana’s professional training and her father’s passion, the homes have been restored to keep as much as possible and according to all the rules that exist for old houses. As she explains, they embraced the structure’s imperfections and rustic features, adding handcrafted furniture and original objects to preserve their historic feel.

The houses are located on a small street, which is closed to traffic and away from the tourists in the historic city center, giving them a wonderfully intimate setting.

These cute little homes make a good base for visitors who want to experience the atmosphere of Cisternino.

The stone houses that make up this holiday home in Italy are on two levels. No 23 has a living room, kitchen and bathroom on the first floor, and the bed is on the mezzanine where food and olive oil were once stored. No 25 has an old stone stove used for cooking which fills the room with light, vaulted ceilings and the old mouth of a well. Each house has two beds.

The property is only accessible via steep external stone steps. The houses have fully equipped kitchens, washing machines and shower rooms.

Cisternino was founded in the 8th century by Greek Orthodox monks who built a monastery around which the hill town gradually grew. Today it is a complex of whitewashed stone buildings with cave-like interiors. The medieval center, with its large enclosed square Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, radiates outwards in a network of narrow alleys, with arches, flowered balconies, staircases and courtyards.

The streets are filled with cafes and restaurants. Go out for dinner in the evening and order from the macelleria, where you can select your own meat and have it grilled to order. Other local delicacies include fave e cicone selvatiche (beans with wild chicory) and orechiette con braciole e polpette (pasta with tomato sauce, stuffed nut rolls and bread balls).

This region of Italy offers plenty of other great food, with good wine and the beautiful Adriatic coast with cycling, hiking, wine tasting and summer festivals, along with the local shopping – all conveniently close by.

Located just a few kilometers from the famous white town of Ostuni, the property is also ideally located for exploring the Valle d’Itria and the other historic villages of Martina Franca and Locorotondo.

It is only a short drive to some of Puglia’s most beautiful beaches on the Costa Merlata. The charming little fishing port of Savelletri and the beautiful old town of Ceglie Messapica, famous for its excellent cuisine, are both less than half an hour away.

Cisternino, Apulia, Italy.
Airports: Both Bari and Brinidisi can be reached within an hour.

From spring to autumn.

Read more at BoutiqueHomes for prices and booking.

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A charming and elegant apartment in an old Umbrian town

Overlooking the green fields of the countryside in Il Cortile, Spello, Umbria, Italy

With the church of San Severino above, this apartment is a little further down the slope, bordering Spello on one side and the green fields of Umbria on the other.

This compact apartment is a lovely holiday accommodation in Spello, and has one bedroom and one bathroom, making it an ideal house for up to three adults or a family of four.

On the ground floor you will find a large and open living room, beautifully and stylishly designed with cheerful citrus colors, a textured thyme colored wall and woven lamps and rugs. (Owner Andrea has a few other properties in the area that have been featured in design magazines, including Barbanera Villa, part of the BoutiqueHomes collection.)

The living room connects to a smart and simple kitchen unit with open shelving and dishwasher, fridge and stove, and there is a large panoramic window overlooking the rolling Umbrian hills. The open dining room leads to the bedroom, which also has a lovely view of the green Italian expanse, and has a staircase leading to the basement level where there is a shower room with a terrace.

Outside your door you are a stone’s throw from the central square of charming Spello. Come and see the medieval town turn peach in the sunset as the light reflects off the stone buildings, built from the pink marble of the mountain.

And if you are traveling with a larger group, please note that this apartment is in close proximity to the owner’s other houses and apartments. They can therefore be rented out together.

Between Tuscany and Le Marche

Known as the ‘green heart of Italy’, Umbria is one of the most picturesque holiday destinations with largely unspoilt countryside, rolling forested hills, mountains and valleys and of course stunning art and architecture.

Located a two-hour drive from Rome and just a few kilometers from Assisi, the enchanting hillside town of Spello is a quieter and less visited medieval town at the foot of Mount Subasio. Standing on the west side of the city is the magnificent 18th-century Porta Venere gate flanked by two 12-sided towers and fortress walls.

Known for its excellent Umbrian cuisine, fine wines and beautiful antiques, Spello is the perfect base for exploring Umbria. You are within easy reach of the famous neighboring towns of Orvieto (with its legendary cathedral), Todi, Città di Castello, Gubbio, Perugia, Spoleto and the very famous wine producing region of Montefalco.

Spello, Umbria, Italy.
Nearest airport: Perugia “San Francesco d’Assisi” airport (23 km)

Spring and autumn are the most beautiful times to visit Umbria. The summers are pleasant, but the area is then more crowded with tourists.

Read more at BoutiqueHomes for prices and booking.

BoutiqueHomes

Watercastle House

Stay overnight at The Watercastle in Split, Croatia, which served as the city of Braavos in Game of Thrones.

An atmospheric Croatian castle from the 16th century on the Adriatic Sea
Watercastle House, Split, Croatia

A must for all Game of Thrones lovers! This rental property is a restored 16th century Croatian castle that served as the set for the city of Braavos in the beloved HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones.

Dragons may not roam the premises, but this mighty fortress is a sight to behold. Standing imposingly along the Adriatic Sea with picturesque views of nearby Split and the Bay of Kastel, the ancient structure exudes a quiet strength and fairytale charm.

The castle’s stone facade reflects majestically from the surrounding water and shines with a strong history. Its original stone structure has stood the test of time with the authentic arched windows and limestone walls preserved, while the interior has undergone a thoughtful restoration.

Contemporary furniture, decor and amenities fill the cozy yet spacious rooms with a fresh charm. Its white, brown stone and warm wood color palette is playfully punctuated by light blue accents in the form of velvet cushions and decorative vases.

A lovely terrace with potted plants and a shady Tamaris tree just outside the castle’s front door. Guests will be eager to sip their morning coffee from the wicker sofas overlooking the harbor, where charming boats and buoys bob calmly in the sunshine.

Watercastle House is both quaint and wonderful. Its modern makeover manages to honor its past while providing 21st century luxury.

Built in the first half of the 16th century by Benedictine nuns for protection against the Turks who raided the region, this villa for rent in Croatia is right on the water, with the Adriatic Sea beyond.

Donated to the nuns back in 1078 by King Zvonimir, there is still an old church and monastery that share the small island with a perfect view of Kastel Bay and the city.

A fortress of impressive limestone, the exterior has the patina and romance of history, while the interior is warm and welcoming with arched windows, wooden floors and a bright, modern style. The living room has a fireplace and an all-in-one dining area and fully equipped kitchen.

Up a charming staircase are the two double rooms that can accommodate up to four guests, one of which is a mezzanine floor loft.

The blossoming terrace at the water’s edge invites you to enjoy hearty dinners or simply enjoy the atmospheric charm of this historic home.

The castle is ideally located within walking distance of the best sandy beaches and the promenade along the shores of the city’s bay, known for its authenticity and romantic castles.

With the Dalmatian mountains as a backdrop and the sparkling Adriatic Sea in front, UNESCO-designated Split is Croatia’s majestic ‘second city’ located along the Dalmatian archipelago. Along with nearby Trogir, its history and beauty are a must for a visit to the region. Diocletian’s 4th-century palace should be familiar to Game of Thrones fans, and Dominus Cathedral and the bell tower 60 meters above the city are the site of breathtaking views.

Croatia and the Dalmatian coast have quickly become a hot destination, offering over 1,200 islands, three cosmopolitan city centers and great natural beauty to explore.

The ferries and water taxis are the best way to explore the maze of islands and coastal roads (there are many yacht services too). The tours are mainly arranged to accommodate the native islanders but run more frequently during the summer months.

Hvar is a compact town on an even smaller island outside that is full of historical character and remnants of fortifications and invasions long ago. With traffic-free marble streets and wide promenades, it’s the perfect city to stroll and enjoy the sparkling harbour.

WiFi throughout, Smart TV with Netflix, kitchen and bath amenities, laundry facilities, parking nearby, private mooring for small boats.

Split, Croatia.
Nearest airport: Split Airport (7 km)

During the summer high season many local and international tourists go here to the Riviera but the low season allows for quieter exploration.

The months of May and September are a good time to visit the castle with a pleasant climate, sunny skies and fewer tourists.

Read more at BoutiqueHomes for prices and booking.

BoutiqueHomes

A large beautiful house at the top of a hill

With a large and luxurious patio and fantastic views and infinity pool.
The Infinite, Rethymno, Crete, Greece

The villa for rent in Crete belies its simple, elegant interior, but there’s nothing subtle about the huge infinity pool that overlooks Rethymno and the coastal beaches.

This beautiful neoclassical villa sits on top of a hill above Rethymno, on the Greek island of Crete, overlooking the vast beaches and Almirou Bay beyond.

It is an excellent property for large groups, accommodating up to 14 guests in two autonomous units under one roof.

The interiors have been carefully designed by the home’s owner in earth tones, with clean lines, colorful accents and simple wooden furniture.

The garden is a lovely space, with a large infinity pool making the most of the view, and a 100-year-old fig tree sheltering a patio and a fully functional kitchen with a wood-burning oven, grill, gas ovens, a concrete sink, plus all the basic appliances. This, the owners say, is the true heart of the home, made for spending hours creating food and then enjoying the end results under the twinkling stars and overlooking one of the best views on the island.

Other fantastic garden features blend beautifully into the home’s natural surroundings. These include an old wine press that has been converted into an outdoor shower, the stone remains of an olive press on the far side of the pool, plus a 100-year-old tree trunk at the entrance.

This villa for rent in Crete is a great place for families and large groups traveling together.

Set on a 1.1 hectare site, the villa contains two self-contained units within its imposing structure – both of equal size, one on the raised ground floor and the other on the first floor. There are seven bedrooms (and six bathrooms) in total, including one with twin beds that is perfect for children. In addition, there are two fully equipped kitchens and two living rooms.

The outdoor area includes a 100 square meter infinity pool with panoramic sea views, an outdoor lounge with cushioned sunbeds, deck chairs, white umbrellas and a gazebo, as well as a well-equipped outdoor kitchen.

The villa is located in a quiet residential area just 10 minutes from Rethymno, a well-preserved Venetian town on the northern coast of Crete. Rethymno is known for its elegant architecture, picturesque harbor, lively markets and restaurants. There are also supermarkets, local grocery stores and bakeries within a five minute drive from the house.

The long sandy beach at Rethymno is about 1 km from the villa, and there are several other beaches along the northern coast (Bali, Georgioupoli, Episkopi, Petres), all of which can be reached within half an hour by car. The beaches of Preveli, Souda/Plakias, Ammoudi, Liggres and Triopetra in the south of the island are half an hour to an hour away.

There are many places worth visiting in the region such as the monasteries at Preveli and Arkadi, the Ideon cave on Mount Ida (known as the birthplace of Zeus) and many natural wonders, including the green gorge of Muloi and the spectacular cliffs of the Prasses gorge.

This villa for rent in Crete is an excellent home for families. The pool includes a 14 square meter section just for children, plus cots and a high chair are available on request. There is a table tennis table, portable football goal posts and a small herb garden which children are encouraged to water. Babysitting is available on request.

Yoga and Pilates sessions can be booked, usually at dawn and sunset. Massages, facials and other beauty treatments can be arranged by the pool or in the room. Tailor-made culinary experiences (for both adults and little chefs) are available, and private chef services can be provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Daily cleaning is offered at an additional cost. The owners are also happy to help with food and travel tips.

Near Rethymno, Crete, Greece.
Nearest airport: The Infinite is 1 hour’s drive from Chania International Airport and slightly more from Heraklion International Airport.

From spring to autumn.

Read more at BoutiqueHomes for prices and booking.

BoutiqueHomes

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