Always a fun surprise in my inbox when I receive a holiday challenge (remember you can submit yours too). This time it’s Margie from the USA who is looking to book a house for 5 to 7 families next March. Direct flights from New York and near the beach are key criteria. The budget is 10,000 and it can be anywhere in the world !
Well, my area of expertise is more Europe than the whole world so that’s where I focused my search. I also went for a selection of holiday houses for large groups that can accommodate between 14 to 24 people as it seems that the final party composition is not decided yet.
Oh and the final criteria was it had to be “high end” ! So here we go, my five finds in the UK, France, Italy and Portugal.
A beautifully styled house in Dorset with an indoor pool.
- Fly to London Heathrow then drive 2h25.
- Sleeps 20 in the main estate plus 8 in the beach house
- From £7500 a week
This is a beautiful house nestled in a valley 2 miles outside the Dorset seaside town of Bridport. As they say themselves “Set in 14 acres with the Mangerton River running through the grounds, the house offers elegant accommodation for up to 20 people with the option of daily housekeeping and a variety of catering options.” You can also rent the beach house in the domain and best of all, you get an indoor pool ! Kids can have fun in the playroom and in the tee pee island with trampolines, rope bridge and swings.
A 17th old house with several appartments in a picturesque Provence village
- Fly to Nice with Delta or Air France (8h40) then drive 1h.
- Sleeps 16 in 6 apartments
- 3850 Euros in March
For a true Provençal village experience, the families could try Number One Mons. “Perched on an outcrop of rock, the views from the main square extend over the hills to the sea and, on a clear day, to the snow-capped mountains of Corsica‘. The 17th century house has been redesigned by a French architect into a series of 6 minimalist appartments with a mix of modern and antique furniture which can be rented separately or all together. Some appartments have sofabeds, allowing to get to the desired number.
A luxury villa near Saint Tropez with entertainment for children
- Fly to Nice with Delta or Air France (8h40) then drive 1h30.
- Sleeps 16
- Price on request but March is low season there
I chose the pool picture but if you look at the site, you’ll see that the house has nice modern decoration. You’ll also realise that there is an amazing view towards the village of St Tropez and the sea. But what really made it interesting for me was the tree house in the garden, the billiard and games room, the feeling of a family home which is not too stuffy and showing off as houses near St Tropez can sometimes be !
Living la Dolce Vita in Umbria in a serene former abbey
- Fly to Rome then drive for 2h.
- Sleeps 12 people plus children and babies
- 10,000 in low season
This one caught my eye while reading the Times last week. It is not strictly near the beach but about one hour from it; You can even use a yacht to explore the Adriatic sea. Back to the house, it has wonderful rooms, elegant living rooms but above all amazing grounds with balinese decoration, a pool and of course, an abbey. You’re at the heart of Italy and can easily go to so many wonderful cultural cities such as Florence or San Fransisco d’Assise.
Not your usual beach resort in Portugal
- Fly to Lisbon (7h30 with TAP, United, US Airways) then drive for 2h.
- Combination of villas and apartments to suit all group sizes
- 10,000 in low season
There are 23 villas with several bedrooms (from 2 to 5 bedrooms) and you can therefore do a lot of combinations. The resort has regularly received good reviews and I have considered it many times but didn’t get to book it yet. Pools, beach, restaurant, clubs for kids, enough to entertain the whole family.