Best Vacation Rental Homes Around the World
I know a thing or two about vacation rentals because I have been renting them for several years. Right around the time our kids were no longer willing to sleep in the same bed, it stopped being fun to share a single hotel room on vacation. Adding a rollaway into an already crowded hotel room makes everyone feel cramped and cranky. Needing more space, we considered one-bedroom suites or two connecting rooms, but with that price tag, it just made sense to look at renting a home instead.
Cape Cod Oceanfront Home
We have stayed in a lot of Cape Cod vacation home rentals over the years. However, this oceanfront home blows all the other ones away. Owned by a well-known author, it is designed for relaxing and writing. There are several office spaces throughout the home if you are the kind of person that might need to work on vacation.
As you come up the stairs to the top floor of this house, you will know in an instant why you rented it. The views from the floor to ceiling windows are absolutely amazing. On a clear day, you can see the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. As you might imagine, the sunsets are pretty spectacular too.
The top floor has a modern kitchen that overlooks a large dining space with seating for ten. The kitchen has a large butler’s pantry with everything you could possibly need. There are two living spaces, one with a flat-screen TV. You will also find an enclosed office space that looks like a sound booth but is not. However, there is a turntable so bring your favorite albums to spin. You will want for nothing at this house. The three car garage is packed with bikes, boogie boards, golf clubs, beach chairs and more.
The exquisite master bedroom has oceanfront views and a shaded deck. It also includes a large office area that has an additional twin day bed and a trundle. The master bathroom is superb as well with a soaking tub that enjoys ocean views. The entire house is equipped with electronic sun shades that you will need to put down during the day to keep it cool, although the air conditioning works very well.
This house is made for a multi-generational vacation. It sleeps fourteen comfortably. The main house has four bedrooms with a fifth in the guest house which also has an extra king-size Murphy bed in the living room. There is a kitchenette and another gorgeous office space You might just spy some of the owner’s books on the library shelves, along with puzzles and games. Upstairs in the guest house, there is an unfurnished loft space that would fit an air mattress or crib. This space is perfect for a family that needs a little separation from everyone else.
Despite the fact that the home is oceanfront, it has a heated pool and a hot tub. You should know that the home sits high on a bluff. and the beach accessed via a private ten-story staircase. It is worth the climb though as this bayside beach is very calm and great for crabbing at low tide.
Pro tip: Although there is a Stop & Shop in Provincetown, we stopped into the Hillside Farm Stand in Truro almost every day for dinner supplies. They have the best produce, fresh bread, pies, and vegetables. Next door you will find Cape Tip Seafood which sells fresh lobster, fish, shellfish and more. You can even order pre-cooked to go.
Check out our best summer packing tips for a beach vacation.
Lake Como Apartment
The apartment accommodates five people. One bedroom has a queen, the other has twins that can be combined to make a king. In addition to the bedrooms, the couch can be used as a single sleeper sofa. Guests share a common laundry room and sun terrace. In the afternoon, it is a lovely spot for a glass of wine and has stunning lake views.
The home does not come with parking space but there are free public areas close by. Although I wouldn’t recommend a car in Bellagio. Everything you could possibly need is within walking distance.
The Happy Turtle is located halfway between Ka’anapali and Kapalua which is a great location for exploring west Maui. This quiet two-bedroom vacation rental is perfect for a family of four. The home looks just like it does in the photos. We loved the modern decor and updated finishes.
The kitchen has everything you need to make meals. We shopped at the Safeway in Lahaina on the first day, which is nicer than the Times grocery store just down the road. We made breakfast at home every day and packed sandwiches for the beach daily. There are so many nearby that you never have to go to the same one twice. Our two favorites are DT Flemming and Slaughterhouse beaches.
There is a private lanai that has comfortable seating and a dining table for four. The house comes with beach towels, beach chairs, boogie boards and more. There are community tennis courts which are in great shape (bring your own racquets and balls) and a coin-operated laundry facility. The wash and dry cycles are super fast and it taking only about an hour to complete several loads.
The condo is adjacent to the Kahana shopping center. It is easy to walk and has a great coffee shop, mini market, and the Maui Brewing Company. I’d suggest eating there at least once. In the nearby Napili shopping center there is another nice market and a’a Roots vegan cafe with great acai bowls and smoothies.
We loved staying in this loft. Not only is it gorgeous it is all about the location. We were in town for a concert at the Bridgestone Arena which is just a few blocks away. This downtown location is key if you want to be walking distance to Broadway and the Honky Tonk Bars. It also backs up to Printer’s Alley where you’ll find Bourbon Street Blues, a Mardi-Gras style club with live music seven nights a week.
You can also walk to so many Music City sites like the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum and more. Plus there are so many great restaurants all around you. Try Another Broken Egg for breakfast or any of these restaurants in the area.
The loft itself is wonderfully decorated with a shabby chic, modern vibe. The kitchen is awesome, too bad we weren’t there long enough to actually cook. In the bathroom, there are double sinks and a nice big shower. The bed is the master is Tempurpedic and super comfortable. I just loved all the adjustable settings.
Keep in mind this is a renovated loft space. There is exposed ductwork and pipes on the ceiling so you can hear when the people above you shower or flush the toilet, or if they are loud. It didn’t bother us, but if you are a light sleeper you should know that ahead of time. Would happily stay here again.
Killorglin Lake House
With six bedrooms and six bathrooms, this house easily accommodated our three families. It sits right on Caragh lake and the views from every room in the house are majestic. We even got out onto the lake in the kayaks that come with the home.
The location is ideal—close to several outstanding golf courses; quiet, serene setting overlooking the lake; less than 10 minutes to town. Plus, it’s well situated for day trips. Killarney is just twenty minutes away. Additionally, the nearby town of Killorglin maintains the charm and sense of community of an Irish town but also has a very nice choice of restaurants. Our favorite was Giovannelli, a Michelin Bib Gourmand award winner.
Jens and Michelle are wonderful hosts. They even left us a homemade pie and a bottle of wine to welcome us into their home. It helped make a family celebration special—one that will not be soon forgotten.
If you liked these, check out some of the other vacation homes we’ve rented in Scotland, Mexico, Florida and the Bahamas.
Wow! These are incredible places! Staying in an apartment when you travel is such a wonderful way to stay rather than in a hotel as it gives you a better look at local life and more freedom too. I LOVE Lake Como so you have me on that one!!
The house in Bellagio, Lake Como was amazing! The location was absolutely perfect for getting a drink on the lakefront, catching the ferry or just walking all over town.
What a beautiful selection of homes. That apartment on Lake Como looks especially great. Fantastic location!
The one in Lake Como was in an exceptional location. Over the years I have learned a lot about how to select the perfect vacation rental property so that we are not disappointed when we arrive 🙂
Wow, all of these places work for my dream vacation! Are you mainly walking and using public transport when you rent a vacation home? Or do you rent a car as well?
It depends. If we rent an apartment in a city like the Lake Como or Nashville properties, we were able to walk everywhere. In Ireland and Maui, we really wanted to be able to explore the entire region so we rented cars.
I sooo hear you on the kids not wanting to share a bed! You should come to visit us in the NW we have super cool built-in queen size bunk beds so everyone can have their own space!
That is so cool. I will keep it in mind!
I love these beautiful homes! Travelling this way is so much better than just using hotels, you get to meet the locals and you get a so much more personalised experience.
Absolutely. The property managers or homeowners are also an excellent resource. We often find the best restaurants and things to do through them.
Wow, all of these rental homes look fantastic. I’d be really interested in the Liszt home in Lake Como. I agree that renting a home for a trip is a great way to save money on accommodation and food. I also clicked over to your post on vacation rentals with Home Away to get more information. I’m going to look into this.
There are so many amazing properties all over the world on HomeAway to rent. The Liszt was a fantastic find!
I’d love to stay in one of these rental homes, they are too good and comfortable to be true. The fact that staying with locals or their properties is the most sustainable way to travel and I encourage that. Love the post!
It really is a great way to vacation. More space for less money.
This is a great selection! I love the natural lighting of the Cape Cod condo and the cute lamp in Maui.
Great list! I’m not well versed in apartment renting but it looks like you’ve got a nice grip on it. The Lake Como apartment is sensational! Thanks for sharing. I may hit you up if we decide to do some extensive traveling for your expertise. 😉
It might just be the perfect way to travel with your newly expanded family. We have rented apartments, lofts, houses and villas over the years. It is really a great way to travel with a group.
This reminds me of so many great memories visiting Cape Cod. My family owned a home there for my entire childhood, so we always had the experience of being able to stay there. Now that the home has been sold, I’d definitely want to do a rental home when we visit again. The views from the home you shared are epic!
Where was your home? We tend to rent “north of the elbow” in Orleans, Truro, Provincetown and this year Wellfleet.