Believe it or not, there exists an entire segment of society that arranges items by ‘price: highest to lowest’. These people are called rich people. Rich people do not have time to book an Airbnb and painstakingly remind their friends to send them the $182 and 58 cents they’re owed. No! When the wealthy go on vacation, they (or their assistants) book things with a twist of opulence.
Luckily, when you’re far too rich for Airbnb, you have a host of ritzy options for your travels. From sleek, contemporary apartments in the world’s capital cities and palatial countryside villas, to lavish super yachts cruising the Mediterranean and entire, spun-from-gold Caribbean islands, you can book a truly spectacular luxury vacation rental. With Michelin-starred chefs, holistic spas, unlimited champagne and a small army of staff to tend to every need, this is how the rich travel.
Our luxurious list kicks off with an apartment in the capital of chic: Paris. Clean, modern and flooded with light, this four-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment can host up to eight guests. Situated on the top floor of – what we presume is – a regal, Parisian building, the apartment’s terrace provides panoramic views of the “dynamic” Marais neighborhood.
Guests can enjoy a large, open-plan living space and full kitchen, where they can find plates to put their croissants on. The apartment also has an Italian shower, whatever that means.
How much? From $1,250 per night.
Luxe rating: 3.7/5. Decor looks a little…boxy.
The mystery of how Hell’s Kitchen got its name has finally been solved: somebody saw this advert on HomeAway and, in a fit of overwhelmed confusion, shouted the first cuss-sounding phrase that came to mind.
For a mere $14,600 per night (yes, you read that right), you can rent this incredible five-bedroom townhouse. Set over six floors, the property is a dizzying combination of rich wood, luxurious marble and glass. Lots of glass.
Hosting up to 10 people, the house has something for everyone: a Jacuzzi tub; a “capacious” walk-in closet for your “leather goods,” and an entertainment floor with pinball machines and loads of bottles of Coca Cola.
How much? From $14,600 per night.
Luxe rating: 4.2/5. The arcade machines are a bit incongruous.
If you want to luxuriate along the western Mediterranean with 16 friends, the Boadecia yacht may be the yacht for you. Fitted with more shiny wood and impossibly soft dressing gowns than the set of a Bond movie, the Boadecia boasts a cinema room, hot swimming pool, hydromassage hot tub and “dramatic atrium.”
In terms of arrival, guests are offered two options: limousine or helicopter.
How much? During the summer, $600,000 per week. In winter, also $600,000 per week.
Luxe rating: A solid 4.3. Sparking surfaces? Check. Gold leaf? Check. Cayman Islands flag? CHECK.
If $600,000 is mere pocket change for you, why not double the price and charter the ‘Here Comes the Sun’? Hosting up to 16 guests, this epic superyacht boasts a “breathtaking retreat” in “majestic elegance.” It even has three VIP cabins, so you can emulate the structure of your daily life offshore, too. With 1.5 staff members to each guest, you’ll be so bathed in opulence you might just pass out.
Plus, you’ll probably end up in a Vice magazine expose about outrageous behavior on superyachts.
How much? $1.2 million per week.
Luxe rating: Five. Just outrageous.
The idea of one human being owning an entire island is fairly mind-blowing, but Richard Branson is no regular human being. The British billionaire owns Necker Island, a slice of Caribbean heaven so perfectly preserved it looks like a screensaver.
When Branson isn’t there, you can rent Necker Island. Provided you are the kind of person who has a wealth manager, for example. For 30 guests, one night on the island starts at $77,500. But don’t worry, the price includes food, drinks, water sports, and living the lifestyle of a 17th century feudal Baron.
How much? From $77,500 per night.
Luxe rating: 4.6. Spa treatments aren’t included.
The island of Calala is located off Nicaragua’s balmy Caribbean coast. An “ideal retreat for small groups,” Calala can host up to eight guests in its sprinkling of beachfront villas. By day, it boasts azure skies and sparkling water, and by night, a clear and twinkling vista for stargazing. With local chefs to hand and a host of water activities, Calala promises access to “unspoilt paradise.”
The exact cost of renting Calala isn’t listed (money! how gauche!). Instead, it’s expressed by five dollar signs. That’s five more dollar signs than I’m ever likely to spend on renting a private island.
How much? Probably in the one-year-of-Ivy-League-tuition range.
Luxe rating: 4. Charming and rustic.
If your selection criteria for a vacation rental includes the glitziness of its past guests, I have a treat for you. Sitting just east of The Bahamas, this seven-bedroom mega villa has hosted billionaires and Hollywood celebrities like Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ronda Rousey, Kyle Richards, David James Elliot, Nanci Chambers, Maury Povich and Glenn Close. While I only know who three of those people are, I’m still impressed. The property was also used as a shooting location for a 2016 Sports Illustrated cover.
Sitting right on top of a creamy, white sand beach, Bougainvillea is certainly luxurious. And while you’re there, you might as well visit Nicholas Cage’s Iguana Island (Nicholas Cage owns an iguana island???). Tours start from $175 pp.
How much? At just $2233 per night, this place feels like a steal.
Luxe rating: 4.2.
While it sounds more like a Chinese takeaway than a five-star villa, Lucky House is – I’m assured – the pinnacle of luxury vacation rental. Located in the northern Caribbean’s “pre-eminent private island,” Turks and Caicos, Lucky House is owned by the ever-young Christine Brinkley.
Six lucky guests can enjoy access to a holistic spa and fine dining that focuses on “energizing and organic food.” There are also three plush bedrooms, an infinity pool, and a butler.
How much? Prices start at $7,500 per night.
Luxe rating: 4. Minus points for the sofa bed.
Situated off the Caribbean coast of Belize, Royal Belize Island is a little piece of paradise for those who can afford it. Royal Belize invites guests to “cross the threshold to a world free from constraints where imagination flows with creativity,” offering undersea adventures, culinary delights, and beach-side lounging.
Royal Belize’s management team believes in “experiences over things.” That’s lucky, as the type of rich person who would spend $7,000 per night on renting their own island probably harbors a similar anti-materialist sentiment.
How much? Between $6,000 and $7,600 per night.
Luxe rating: 4.5. Bonus points for the aspirational brochure.
If you’re a movie star and want to escape the LA heat, why not head to a hotter, drier place with the same type of people? Enter 432 Hermosa, a luxury estate in Old Las Palmas, Palm Springs’ “most sought-after neighborhood." Hollywood celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor have all vacationed in the area.
With six bedrooms, seven-and-a-half bathrooms, a pool and spa, tennis court and daily maid service, the elegantly decorated property is an oasis in the desert.
How much? Rates start at $3,750 per night.
Luxe rating: 4.5. Quirky decor and a grand piano ooze understated opulence.
Located in the tropical St Vincent and the Grenadines, it’s rumored that Stargroves is owned by legendary rock and roll star Mick Jagger. Sitting amongst lofty coconut palms, the Japanese-inspired villa is as verdant as it is luxurious.
Fit for 10 people, Stargroves has a living room, dining room, office, den, and games room. To provide daily service and hospitality, its chef, butler, and gardeners live on site. What’s more, Mick is even throwing in use of a Pathfinder Jeep.
How much? Rates are between $17,000 and $30,000 per week, excluding food and drink.
Luxe rating: 4. Beautifully decorated. Let down by non-inclusive food.
If grand homes in acres of greenery make you feel all Marie Antoinette, this 10-bedroom mansion is for you. A modern-day Parisian palace, the property has a host of romantic features: shutters, balconies and delicate strings of ivy adorn the facade, with original chequered flooring and period furniture inside.
With space for up to 25 people, this mansion could even become somewhat affordable for us mere mortals.
How much? From $1000 per night.
Luxe rating: 3. Picturesque and historical, but lacking in catering and spa facilities.
If you’re going to spend $50,000 per night on renting a private island, I assume you’re not going to be flying there with Spirit Airlines. Why not splash out on an Airbus 319CJ private jet, which comes equipped with a shower, bed, office and VIP cabin (is flying in a private jet not VIP enough already??).
While I can’t picture what it’s like to fly on a plane that has soft cream carpeting and leather upholstery instead of back-breaking seats and lurid plastic accessories, I’m sure that this jet’s hourly price is absolutely worth it.
How much? Chartering the Airbus 319CJ jet costs $21,000 per hour. Yes, per hour.
Luxe rating: 10000000.
If you’re a rich parent, the kid from the movie Richie Rich, or a general rich person who wants to get back in touch with their silly, juvenile side, why not hire an entire theme park? Queue jump passes only get you so far, after all.
According to the Daily Mail, for the small sum of $24 per person, you can rent the entirety of British park Alton Towers. This means you can go on the roller coasters as many times as you like and throw up in the company of good friends, rather than judgemental strangers.
How much? $24 per person, but you have to bring at least 5000 people. So that’s $120,000.
Luxe rating: 3.5 for the Willy Wonka-esque gesture.
Yes, I'll admit that this one is cheating because it's on Airbnb, but that just goes to show that no one is too rich for Airbnb because even though looking to blow some cash on a luxury accommodation can find one for upwards of 4K a night. This Dominican Republic villa has 11 rooms for 26 guests, a gym, hot tub, and pool, along with a full staff to dote on guests. As the host describes, "You can truly relax knowing we are taking care of all of your needs."
How much? $4,500 per night
Luxe rating: 4.5