It seems just a few short years ago that Airbnb was a scrappy little startup for budget travelers. While plenty of couch-surfing deals can still be had, the site is also home to some of the swankiest crashpads. Here are four of the most ridiculously over-the-top villas you can rent on Airbnb.
The South of France
You’d be hard-pressed to find a bad spot to bed down in the South of France. Villa on the Rocks is no exception. The four-bed, 10-guest luxury villa is a beautiful architectural masterwork of modern and natural design. The centerpiece is a 91-foot outdoor lap pool that runs the entire length of the four-story house. Aquarium-style sides ensure indoor guests can easily keep an eye on swimmers. Immediately adjacent is a wide rooftop deck overlooking some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world.
In Hawaii, every oceanfront villa seems grander and more luxurious than the last. Hualalai’s Top Villa rises above most — literally. The 6,300-square-foot, five-bedroom, 5.5-bath rental features a custom design that stays out of its own way to ensure the natural Hawaiian landscape is the real centerpiece. Outdoor rain showers, cornerless walls, and an ocean-view hot tub all ensure most guests will never need to leave. Inside is a stunning chef’s kitchen, four master suites, a state-of-the-art media room, and a curated fine art collection. What’s more, guests have access to a personal concierge to customize their vacation itinerary, plus access to all the amenities at the adjacent Four Seasons Resort. Sure, the all-in price is more than five grand per night, but who cares? Two words: Hawaiian sunset.
It’s fitting that Orlando — home of the classic, over-the-top, family-friendly, all-American vacation — would be home to one of the largest vacation rentals in Florida. Reunion Zero is a 25,000-square-foot behemoth of a villa. In fact, with room for up to 34 guests spread throughout 14 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, it feels more like a boutique hotel. Add to that amusement-park-worthy amenities, and it’s a wonder guests would ever want to leave. Outside is a large, lazy-river-style swimming pool with two bridges, illuminated fountains, and a sunken pool bar, plus a large spa and a second, rooftop pool. Inside lies a gourmet chef’s kitchen, a home theater, a bowling alley, a multi-sports court, and several game rooms. That the garish contemporary decor borders on “Modern Willy Wonka” only adds to the charm.
It’s hard to stand out at South by Southwest. The iconic Austin event brings together some of the brightest, most creative, most interesting people in the world. You might just be able to buy your way into the event’s elite social circle, provided you’re cool with splashing out on a nearly $10,000-per-night villa. The SXSW Exclusive Villa is exactly what it sounds like: a sprawling, three-property estate with every imaginable amenity all within walking distance of the festival. The pictures tell the whole story. Suffice to say, you won’t be wanting for much while you and your 15 closest friends are crashing here. Think multiple gourmet kitchens, media rooms, fur-lined chairs, Roman pillars, and a stunning outdoor party pool.
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