One of my favorite ways for a more authentic yet luxurious experience of Spain is to rent a villa or apartment instead of a hotel especially if you are traveling in a family group or just a group of friends. I think it gives a greater opportunity to relax while setting the tone for a more intimate experience of Spain. Finding the right villa is not always easy, there are thousands and thousands of villas to choose from all across Spain. No matter the budget trying to pick one can be quite overwhelming especially if you have never visited Spain before. The good news there is something for everyone no matter what your preferences are. On the low end of the scale I have found small house or apartments for 1000 per week and all the way up to the very top end at 20,000 euro per day. When choosing a villa or apartment you really need to know what kind of experience you are looking for. Do you want to be in the center of everything or a re you looking to get away from it all and relax and never really leave a property? Do you want service in the house like a chef or are you looking for complete uninterrupted privacy?
When I do a search there are three top considerations; location, value, and service (service being the most important for me personally) The following villas and apartment are by no means the only properties I would consider but they are a selection of the best in Spain, each having a different requisite of location, value and service.
I will start with the only apartment out of this selection of properties. Sitting within the Spanish capital’s most elegant neighborhood, this three-bedroom luxury apartment makes a perfect base for enjoying Madrid. From the design to comfort, everything has been well thought out in the luxury apartment. In the neighborhood of Salamanca is off the main tourist trail so street traffic is low giving you quiet at night but also great shopping during the day. The space itself is very spacious even for north american standards. As for value, a similar sized suite in a hotel would cost three times the daily rate and honestly there just are not that many suites in Madrid hotels that are that size. If you are worried about not having any service the management company, Spain Select, makes themselves available so you are never left on your own. www.spain-select.com
Probably my favorite type of location, mountain side with a sea view. In-between Malaga and Granada, Cortijo El Carligto is an oasis perched on a hilltop with views over the Mediterranean to the Moroccan coast with an additional hunting lodge that is nestled at the intersection of three mountain ranges. This ten acre estate is great for a big family or a special event like a wedding. Privacy and service are top on the list here. Here you will have access to everything from massage to chefs and you will feel like you are the most important guests that have ever stayed here. What I love about Cortigo El Carligto is that you have access to the city and great monuments like the Alhambra while maintaining a sense of seclusion while on property.
Masia Pairal is a historical Catalan manor house built more than 250 years ago. The property has very private feel to it but is only a five minute drive from the beaches of Sitges. The villa is spread out with plenty of space so you do not feel like you are on top of each other. Design wise it is a fine balance of original antique elements combined with modern comforts. The garden is enormous and has a relaxing Mediterranean atmosphere. Again, service is big with this property, the owners are near by and run it very much like a private hotel. The staff is knowledgeable and most importantly available you all of your needs. If you are up for seeing the sites, Barcelona is less than an hour drive up the coast making for an easy day trip.
What I love about Villa Ranta is its off the beaten path location on the atlantic coast, not far from Cadiz and Tarifa. Situated just 500 meters from the gorgeous Bahia de la Plata Bay, you will be able to enjoy some of Spain best unspoiled beaches. Cadiz is a corner of Spain that is very laid back and perfect for a stay centered around beach and nature. This does not mean you will be sacrificing quality or service.
How much value do you put Probably one of the most exclusive properties available for rent in the entire Mediterranean. Staying here is like owning your very own island, Tago Mago in not only a villa but a private island of 600,000 square meters just of the coast of Ibiza. A contemporary villa with support staff on site (in separate housing), this villa offers complete exclusivity, there are no other homes on the island, the ultimate private retreat. Here the staff is dedicated to you with no distractions, they are available as much or as little as you require. What struck me most during my visit to Tago Mago was the energy of the island. Upon arrival walking up to the villa from the boat I noticed a special vibe, peaceful yet exciting at the same time. It is truly a magical place.
Ron Otto is Onwer of Best in Spain.