Best of est | Holiday Villas

  • The year is well and truly in full swing, and with that our holiday break fades further into the background. As the Christmas downtime becomes a distant memory, we can’t help but begin to plot our next escape away – this time trading the celebrations at home for something a little further afield. Having revisited favourite boutique hotels not so long ago, this time we cast our sites on something more autonomous, seeking out space for the whole family. In our latest collection feature, we collate the top choices for holiday villas from est hq, from rustic Italian homes to bright and breezy Caribbean hotspots.

    A master of minimalist style, Piet Boon recently lent an expert touch to this small collection of holiday villas on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. To say the five villas are situated on the beachfront would be an understatement – they are quite literally on the sand to the beach. When you’ve soaked up all the sun you can muster, the generous entertaining and communal spaces make for plenty of room to relax together or individually.

    Photography courtesy of Piet Boon

    Designed by React Architects from Athens, this Greek island villa is a modern day reinterpretation of Cycladic architecture with its cubic, minimalist exterior. Blessed with views from the surrounding hillside landscape to the nearby ocean, Maison Kamari comes with ample accommodation space, including a seperate guest house that could perhaps play host to a parent’s retreat.

    Photography by Damien De Medeiros


    Located smack-bang in the midst of one of our favourite places to visit, this beachfront hideaway on the Mexican coast is so much more than a simple beach shack. A fully staffed, self-sufficient home designed by the team at Specht Architects, the four-bedroom villa opens up to the coastal surrounds, maximising indoor to outdoor spaces and embracing the bayside vista below. The home is also sustainably-minded, with its photovoltaic canopy drawing on water collecting and filtering rainwater. Because luxury you can feel good about is undoubtedly our favourite kind of luxury.


    We’ll admit we had to include a second Greek island option as who could pass up the stunning Villas Kalos on Ithaca? To categorise this home as a holiday villa doesn’t do its sheer scale and history justice – with extensive terraced gardens and over 6000 square metres of property, this guest house exudes being on ‘holiday time’. Throw in an interior design that smartly keeps things natural, peaceful and timeless (and the salt water pool waiting outside) and picking just seven guests to accompany you will surely be the most difficult part of your stay.

    Photography by Robert Koene

    While we’d argue they’re worth the trip, many of our favourite holiday villas require a little legwork to get there. The newly unveiled Retreat at Pumphouse Point may feel like it’s in the remote wilderness, but instead is a very agreeable domestic flight from est hq. Looking out on the ethereal Lake St Clair, the Retreat has been thoughtfully and simply put together by Jaws Architects, emphasising reflection and relaxation. Simply sink into the outdoor bath and you’ll feel as far from home as it gets.

    Photography by Adam Gibson

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