Summer is here and with it the perfect excuse to seek Vitamin D and Aperol spritzes at new luxury villas in Europe. Whether you like the idea of a sleekly converted Puglian masseria or a chic-as-you-like hideaway in Corsica, these striking retreats have something for everyone. Here’s our edit of the most beautiful new luxury villas to rent in Europe.
luxury villas in Europe to book now
FOR SUN-DRENCHED GLITZ
Super Cannes, France
As you’d expect from the glittering Côte d’Azur, Villa Palmira is five-star escapism and easily makes its way onto the finest new luxury villas in Europe list. Set within the ultra-exclusive hills of Super Cannes (which isn’t in Cannes but above neighbouring Vallauris), the villa has a panorama of the majestic Les Alpes-Maritimes and, of course, the Med. The huge open-plan living area on the upper floor, with its floor to ceiling windows and expansive terrace, capitalises on the view and is the perfect place to sip ice-cold rosé whilst watching the super yachts bobbing on the water. The pool and gardens are equally conducive to soaking up the French Riviera sunshine.
The villa is part of the Mandarin Oriental Exclusive Home portfolio (which sees MO collaborate with StayOne on a collection of ultra-luxurious homes offering MO service and standards), so attention to detail is on-point. The five ensuite bedrooms include the master, with its own terrace, dressing room and bathroom with a freestanding tub.
Staff – comprising a chef, dedicated concierge, housekeeping and villa manager – are on hand to cater to your every desire. Looking to charter a yacht or go on a helicopter tour? Or perhaps a spot of wine-tasting, a cooking class or a round of golf? Pas de problème. Alternatively, channel your inner Jane Birkin or Brigitte Bardot on the nearby La Croisette; the iconic boulevard is home to a food market, designer shops and the famous cocktail bar at Carlton Beach Club.
FOR NATURAL VIBES
Eliamos Villas Hotel & Spa
Kefalonia, the largest of Greece’s westerly archipelago, is an island of hidden coves and white-washed villages. It now has a new five-star boutique hotel, Eliamos Villas Hotel & Spa, perched above the shoreline on the south coast, with views stretching across the Ionian Sea. The retreat comprises a dozen villas, designed by London-based interior architect Maike Gruna to echo the island’s earthy character, with local stone and woods beautifully incorporated into the discreet-luxury aesthetic. Villas range from one-bedroom for romantic escapes to three-bedroom for family adventures, each with its own saltwater pool or Jacuzzi, outdoor dining area and garden.
While the properties are wonderfully private, the public spaces – available to villa residents – are divine. With an emphasis on nature-based relaxation and wellness, there’s an al fresco gym complete with wooden Pilates reformers; a pretty infinity pool surrounded by wildflowers; Pilates, yoga and meditation sessions; and a spa – plus pretty-as-a-picture gardens, which wind down to the secluded beach.
The more energetic might want to borrow one of the hotel’s e-bikes, or take a stroll through the surrounding olive groves. The restaurant serves homegrown Mediterranean fare, with ingredients sourced from local farmers and organic producers. Do spend a morning genning up on Greek history in the nearby town of Argostoli, with its churches, museums and bustling port.
FOR ROOMS WITH A VIEW
Casa Di Macine
There are villas with incredible views and then there is Casa di Macine. Perched atop the forest-cloaked mountains of the Porto-Vecchio region, on the south east of Corsica, this villa offers panoramas you can only dream of. And they can be enjoyed from pretty much any angle: from the heated infinity pool, the expansive pergola-style terrace, the outdoor Jacuzzi, the yoga deck, the huge glass sliding doors from the master bedroom… There are endless spots to soak up the wild, fragrant beauty of this rugged Mediterranean island.
Tear yourself away from the scenery and you’ll discover that this property, with its helipad, indoor gym and sauna, means business. The high-spec kitchen, living area, five bedrooms (most with their own terraces) and six bathrooms are immaculately designed, fusing modern-luxe with a natural aesthetic – think thick stone walls, exposed beams, earthy tones and quirky design touches throughout (the lighting is particularly standout). Nearby Porto-Vecchio – once a hilltop fortress town – is well worth a visit; head straight for the old centre, which is a maze of narrow cobbled streets and local restaurants, while the coast with its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters is a short drive away.
FOR A RURAL IDYLL
Masseria Pistola is a stunning ten-bedroom family home in the heart of a 30-hectare estate, overlooking the valley of the Canale Di Pirro in Puglia. There are some big names behind the renovation of this 18th century farmstead, including James Thurstan Waterworth, ex-European Design Director for Soho House, so expect every nook and cranny to be as photogenic as the next. Original architectural features – including the soaring vaulted ceilings – have been meticulously renovated, while furniture and furnishings have been handpicked from antique shops and markets across Italy, France and Spain.
The main house, the Cumersa, has a large living space with a bar, a well-equipped kitchen and four double ensuite bedrooms. Then there’s Pagliano, sleeping two; plus, three trulli (meaning little Masseria); each with their own double bedroom; and the Trulli Cottage comes with two double bedrooms, a kitchen and garden with its own plunge pool.
And yet, despite these pockets of privacy, there is ample communal space including picturesque al fresco set-ups for feasting on chef Luciano’s imaginative creations and organic wine from the estate’s vineyards. Afterwards, lie supine around the swimming pool or wander through the private gardens, not least Giardini Pistola, five hectares designed by Chelsea designers Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt, where the scent of hibiscus, lavender and bougainvillaea hangs heavy in the air and bees buzz in the warm sunshine. The team at Masseria Pistola offer a level of service you’d expect from five-star hotels and can organise anything from wine tasting to stargazing, ensuring that any stay is Puglian perfection.
FOR SLOW LIVING
Villa Punta Paloma
The Marbella Club is one of the Mediterranean’s grande dames, welcoming a glamorous clientele since it was founded in 1954. The legendary Andalusian resort unveils its next chapter with the launch of Villa Punta Paloma, one of the most luxurious new villas in Europe; an hour’s drive from the hotel, it’s set in the wilds of Tarifa, against the backdrop of the El Estrecho Natural Reserve.
Private access to the beach means there’s swimming, surfing and windsurfing on the doorstep; there’s also hiking, rock-climbing and horse riding, and your dedicated villa host can organise anything from birdwatching (Tarifa is famed for its birdlife) to whale-watching. That said, you might not want to venture too far from this villa. Its landscaped gardens offer many shady spots for long, languorous afternoons, plus there’s an outdoor kitchen, infinity pool, fitness deck and a double treatment room with experts on hand for Pilates to massages.
Inside is as impressive, with a big open-plan lounge and five bedrooms spread across a trio of traditional low-lying stone buildings. Beds have been cleverly positioned in each to afford guests uninterrupted views of the rolling Atlantic Ocean. Decor throughout mirrors that at the Marbella Club – rustic charm meets slow living – with a calming palette, giant basket lamps, handcrafted pottery and traditional mosaic tiles adding to the vibe.
FOR COASTAL CHARM
Villa Ponta Melagrana
Montenegro is having a moment with many in the travel industry predicting that this small Balkan country with its charming towns, forest-cloaked mountains and pink sand beaches is going to be a hotspot for 2023. See for yourself with a stay at Villa Ponta Melagrana. Perched above the enticingly named Pomegranate cliff, near the fishing village of Pržno, and just walking distance from the stunning Sveti Stefan peninsula and the Milocer Forest, it certainly has location on its side (this stretch was once a popular holiday destination for the likes of Sophia Loren and Princess Margaret).
Sleeping 22 people across eleven bedrooms, the villa is undoubtedly one of the largest and most luxurious in the area. The design is immersed in the surrounding scenery, not least the central staircase made of stone carved from the surrounding cliffs, while huge windows give a front row seat to the turquoise expanse of the Adriatic Sea (there’s a private pier, should you wish to take to the waters). Expect elegant, well-appointed bedrooms and well-manicured gardens. There’s an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, as well as a full-service spa, a sauna, gym, beauty and massage room. The chefs and concierge team have one aim: to make your stay as comfortable as possible, with a nothing-is-too-much-trouble attitude and bespoke service.