Exotic holiday homes with a dose of coastal cool

It’s that time of year again. You’ve got your sights set on a mind-blowing beach holiday, and you’re adamant you don’t want the “same-old-same-old.” Whether you’re travelling as a couple or with family or friends, you’re in the market for something a bit special and, dare we say it, even a little exotic. We know where you’re coming from. If it’s something adventurous or something luxurious you have in mind—or a dash of both—we’ve uncovered eight stunning holiday homes that will ensure you escape the ordinary and enjoy a unique experience this summer.

Beachside bliss on Bali

Cool interiors combining Indonesian motifs and teak furnishings with high-tech gadgetry make this four-bedroom villa a dreamy retreat—as does the walled garden with its statuary, pool, hot tub, and bale (pavilion with daybeds). But it’s the bathrooms that will truly make your jaw drop—they include a garden bathroom with open rainfall shower and a unique part-outdoor “pond” bathroom with sunken tub. Kids get a stylish bunk-room. Choosing the catered option will have you eating divine dishes courtesy of a local chef, while Sanur’s excellent restaurants are within a few minutes’ walk. All this and a gate opening directly onto the beach.

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Disconnecting in the Dominican Republic

Bring friends or family to this gloriously remote villa and win their unending gratitude: Views of Playa Rinçon Bay from all seven bedrooms and from the pool are not something you’ll ever forget. The interiors have a mellow Caribbean charm, but you’re more likely to be outside amidst the coconut trees and tropical flowers or relaxing on one of several terraces. This is a place to escape the modern world for a week or two, with little to lure you away from the villa itself other than unspoilt local beaches and perhaps a spot of hiking along forest trails. The daily housekeeping service can include delicious Dominican meals by request.

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VIP villa living near Phuket

The white sands of Nai Harn Beach are just a kilometre from this three-bedroom designer villa, but the decked terrace shaded by parasols and palms, overlooking the sparkling pool, makes you think twice about rejoining the rest of humanity. The luxe lifestyle starts with driver pick-up from the airport and continues with the hi-spec interiors, subtly blending ultra-contemporary and traditional local decor using natural materials. Location-wise, you’re on a tranquil street yet only steps away from a tantalising array of restaurants, boutiques, and spas; the amiable owners are normally on hand for insider recommendations.

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Making like movie stars on Mauritius

Swoon at in-your-face Indian Ocean views from your lounger beside the infinity pool of this three-bedroom thatched-roof villa in a calm setting on the beach outside Poste de Flacq. The sleek modern kitchen allows you to make the most of ingredients gathered from forays to the colourful markets, while maid service—included in the price—also offers a daily home-cooked meal. But don’t resist the gastronomic offerings of the luxury resorts nearby. Other reasons to get out and about are excellent golf courses and diving centres, plus boat-trips to the Ile aux Cerfs. The villa also has kayaks so you can potter around at your own pace.

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Gilded getaway on Guadeloupe Grande-Terre Island

Dive into a hammock, unfurl on a lounger, take a cooling dip in the saltwater infinity pool, and round it all off with a soak in the hot tub at this light-flooded three-bedroom villa in lush gardens. A decked area with an alfresco lounge, dining space, and barbecue helps you make the most of the sunshine. Inside, white-walled rooms with cool floor tiles are enlivened by bright modern fabrics and original artworks. If you can drag yourself away from this secluded spot, Saint-François with its marina and Raisins Clairs Beach is a 20-minute stroll away. For the energetic, snorkelling, diving, windsurfing, surfing, and kitesurfing are all at hand.

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Living like kings in Croatia

A sublime setting amidst vineyards, olive groves, and forest plus a beach a five-minute stroll away make this a villa you’ll want to keep secret. Inside is all creamy stone walls and open-plan spaces drenched by light via French windows. The four bedrooms each have private bathrooms and balconies, and there’s a sauna plus massages by request. The vast oleander- and lavender-scented garden has a heated pool and play equipment, plus an outdoor kitchen, grill, and stone dining table for that full-on Mediterranean vibe. You’re within walking distance of the market at Karigador for the freshest local produce with which to cook up a storm, as well as several highly rated restaurants. Bikes are available for exploring the area too.

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