Featured Villa

The History and Rebirth of Aynhoe Park

The view of Aynhoe Park, when you first pass through its lavish gates, fills you with pride and admiration. “Good morning Madam” greeted the butler as we arrived at the front door of this stunning country home. Aynhoe Park is a party home to celebrate life with family and friends with stunning venues and accommodation in 16 one-of-a-kind bedrooms; with the option for 6 apartments with 12 additional bedrooms.

Aynhoe Park is so special, compared to many other country estates in Britain. It’s a real home, full of warmth, dedication and surprises. The interiors are creative, fascinating and exciting; filled with taxidermy, amazing pieces of art and a great warm atmosphere. The owner, a passionate collector of the historic, the unusual and beautiful has made Aynhoe Park a delightful wonderland full of stories told through objects and artworks. 

Just 50 minutes from London, Aynhoe Park with its 250 acres of Capability Brown Oxfordshire countryside, sits in the medieval village of Aynho on the edge of the Cotswolds. 

Aynhoe Park was originally built in 1615 by the Cartwright family and has been updated over the years as each generation adds their touches. In 1707 Cartwright’s grandson engaged Architect Thomas Archer to enlarge his Jacobean home and include fine touches such as the grand main staircase. Further embellishments followed, introduced by Sir John Soane who remodelled Aynhoe in 1798.

In 2003, James Perkins bough Aynhoe after the dissolution of the Country Houses Association which had converted the building into flats. James has undertook the challenge of restoring Aynhoe, remaining true to the creative vision of Archer and Soane whilst bringing it up to date with his stylish personal touch. Today this Grade 1 listed country house hosts prestigious guests, weddings and parties.

After visiting the property, we noted the most unforgettable traits of this unique estate:

  • A grand Palladian house with rural views
  • Large private collection of plaster corbels, modern sculptures and eclectic taxidermy
  • The passion, vision and hospitality of the present owner
  • Hollywood Regency style salon with theatrical flourishes
  • The grand dining room, a stunning venue for a celebration
  • The vast gallery-like space of the Orangery
  • The privileged archives in the owner’s private library
  • The secret spaces and cubiholes to explore
  • The opulent, creative and welcoming bedrooms
  • The support of the personal butler and their team
  • The tailor made menus, locally sourced and farm fresh
  • The fine English country house tea
  • The memorabilia-decorated games room with yellow baise billiard table
  • The outdoor wooden deck entertainment area with BBQ and hot tub

Aynhoe Park is one of our British Country Estates for rental. Somewhere to discover the country pursuits and history of the Oxfordshire countryside and within a short distance from the quaint villages and antique shops of the Cotswolds.

This year Aynhoe Park is celebrating being on the doorstep of the home of british racing, opening their doors for the 2016 Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, hosting the ultimate in luxurious stays.

For more information about Aynhoe Park's offering and our other country homes, please get in touch.

Luxury and Simplicity at North Island Seychelles

North Island in the Seychelles is an oasis of calm, offering each guest a private villa to call their own.

In 1998, Cape Town architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens first visited North Island and by 2001 they lived on site with their two children; designing and creating the staff and sample villa. Their design celebrates nature with small details like the outdoor showers allowing guests to feel the night air or dining on the beach with feet in the sand. North Island was finished in July 2003. It has hosted many prestigious guest including Prince William and Kate for their honeymoon in 2011.

Materials

The original island buildings, originally a coconut plantation and copra furnace, were renovated to make the library and dive centre. Indigenous Takamaka trees were used to create the villas structure and smaller details such as handrails, showers, screens and root pergolas. Casuarina trees, an invasive species to the Seychelles were removed during construction and used to make furniture. The decks were made from sandblasted pine from South Africa and Banuas a chunky hardwood was used for the upright columns in the bedrooms. Other materials include Rosewood, Teak, Giant Bamboo as well as copper and brass. The materials of North Island’s construction have so much texture and natural synergy, such as the beachrock curtains that create privacy at the outdoor showers, the ylang ylang roofing grass, sandstone in the kitchenettes and the extensive use of Seychelles granite rock.

Villa Design

The essence of luxury is captured in the sheer indulgence of abundant volume - space is life’s big luxury. Each villa is a private domain allowing guests to surround themselves with all the features and experiences that they are acquainted to. Guests enter via a ramp at the rear and are immediately greeted by the panoramic view of the ocean. This outdoor room contains a comfortable couch and dining table as well as sandstone hanging drinks tables. The main bedroom has a small lounge area, dressing room and the a locally hand-crafted bed. The bathroom is more of a bathhouse with a large bath for two, huge vanity area and two large mirrors. We love the sala for relaxing next to the plunge pool and the outdoor shower pours out of a log instead of a shower head.

Interior Design

Understated elegance and authenticity is the hallmark of South African interior design firm LIFE, who texture the interiors of North Island with mindful creativity. Textures are tactile - rock, cork, sandstone, silk, cadiz shell, velvet, cotton and copper. Raw nature appears throughout, such as weathered wood, smoothed rock, granite walls and mother of pearl chandeliers. Tones and hues are subtle; sage, beige, stone, chalk, coral, sand, turquoise and aqua.

North Island is one of the finest private island in our new Private Islands Collection. It is available for exclusive use as well as partial rental; a naturally crafted paradise, fully staffed and featuring plenty of luxury facilities and experiences. We look forward to arranging your North Island stay, please do get in touch.

James Bond's Top International Villas

James Bond knows a thing or two about the high life. With box office smash Spectre seeing Bond travelling the globe once again, we take a look at the villas that would most please the silver screen’s most stylish secret agent.

 

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SPECTRE
CASA TRES SOLES, MEXICO

One of the most talked about scenes in Spectre is the action-packed opening sequence set at the Dia de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico City. Bond has a hard time in the film, barely getting a chance to soak up the scenery. But if he did, we are sure he’d feel right at home at Casa Tres Soles. Situated just an hour and a half’s flight from the capital by private jet, Casa Tres Soles is the kind of beautiful, secluded villa that meets all the needs of the original international man of mystery. There are endless coves nearby to explore by boat, and a wraparound pool for soaking up the sun with martini in hand. When Dia de los Muertos comes around, make sure you have a mask ready.

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DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
LEOBO OBSERVATORY VILLA, SOUTH AFRICA

Sean Connery’s final official appearance as 007 saw him jetting off to South Africa to stop Ernst Stavro Blofeld building a giant laser out of diamonds. If you want to follow in Connery’s footsteps, Leobo Observatory Villa might be the place for you. Built into the bush, Leobo Observatory is full of genius design that would make even Q proud. On top of the research-quality observatory for midnight stargazing, Leobo Reserve offers countless Bond-style activities to engage in. Sky diving, helicopter flying, rock climbing and quad bike safari are all readily available for those who want to live fast and die another day.

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GOLDENEYE
VILLA C-VIEW, COTE D’AZUR

In GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan can be seen spending time in the luxury casinos of Monte-Carlo, and surveying the port of Monaco after dark. If you would like to pull up in this port and try your hand at baccarat, Villa C-View is the perfect place for you to retreat to. With minimalist modern decor and unrivalled views of the Riviera, this villa is a contemporary spin on the traditional James Bond glamour.

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THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
INIALA BEACH HOUSE RESIDENCE, THAILAND

The Man with the Golden Gun saw Roger Moore facing off with Christopher Lee in several Asian locations. The film takes place primarily in Thailand, which is also the location of the wonderful Iniala Beach House Residence. This complex is a collection of three villas and one utterly unique penthouse. Designed by people almost as well-travelled as Bond himself, the complex features a gourmet restaurant, a fantastic bar/games room and, of course, brilliant views of the Thai coast. It is right on the beach, after all.

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ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE
CHALET ZERMATT PEAK, SWITZERLAND

George Lazenby only played James Bond once, but he still managed to appear in one of the most iconic scenes in the entire franchise: the Alpine ski chase in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The ski chase has since become a staple of the Bond film, with several subsequent entries in the series (including this year’s Spectre) seeing 007 get into various ski-related scrapes. For those who want to create their own ski chase, Chalet Zermatt Peak in Switzerland is the perfect place to stay. Built into the side of a mountain with private tunnel access, walk-in wine cellar and luxurious wellness spa, Chalet Zermatt Peak has everything you need after an edge-of-your-seat ski scenario.

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THUNDERBALL
VILLA TAGOMAGO, PRIVATE ISLAND, THE BALEARICS

A lot of the action in Thunderball takes place on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. This island has its own appeal, but for a real island paradise of your own, Villa Tagomago is the place to go. Perhaps the most Bond-like villa in our collection, Tagomago is close to the glamour of Ibiza’s exclusive private bars, but entirely secluded at the same time. Reachable by its own private mooring, the island comes with access to two boats and two jetskis. Several more ‘toys’ are available, including the Mangusta 108 yacht that can reach 40 knots; and a Boston Whaler 320 with an electric grill.

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THE NEXT BOND FILM
VILLA AQUA, AUSTRALIA

Whether or not Daniel Craig reprises his role, we are promised in the end credits of Spectre that JAMES BOND WILL RETURN. But where will he go this time? Our suggestion is a country that, surprisingly, 007 has never visited: Australia. Specifically, he should go to the Great Barrier Reef, where no doubt he can find some nefarious underwater activity on a scuba diving expedition. If you want to beat Bond to it, you should consider staying in Villa Aqua. With its own helipad, library, cinema and private marina, this villa is truly fit for a globe-trotting super-spy.

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If much like James Bond, you are all about the details, you can read further information on our Worldwide Villas, European Villas and Alpine Chalets. When it comes to experiencing James Bond-level glamour for your stay, nobody does it better than Art de Vivre.

 

Introducing our Australia and New Zealand Villas

We are proud to announce the addition of four beautiful properties for rental in Australasia, including an oceanfront villa, a lakeside architectural masterpiece, an elegant sydney harbour apartment and a chateau with a vineyard.

Interested in renting a designer property in Australia or New Zealand? Please feel free to send us an email on [email protected] or make an enquiry.

Oceanfront Corfu Estate, Greek Island Villa near Kassiopi

Villa Corfu 237, Kassiopi
Oceanfront location with sandy coves, Near Avlaki Beach & close to Kassiopi, Designed with village feel in mind

A glorious waterfront estate in Corfu set in 30,000 m² of land, with 180 m of waterfront including two sandy coves. The main house and guest house are set in beautifully landscaped gardens with lavender, mature olive trees and shrubs.

The property was designed to have a village feel, with rooms and areas set slightly apart from each other and joined by pergola-covered walkways planted with wisteria and climbing shrubs.

The estate has two pools, one of which is a stunning 40 metres running along the front of the villa. There is also a tennis court, wonderful views over the channel to Albania, and it is in the best location on Corfu, near Avlaki Beach, just a few minutes from sought-after Kassiopi.

The villa enjoys high specifications with individually controlled underfloor integral air-cooling and heating system, beautiful bathrooms, and clever use of courtyards to flood the lower floors with  light. With spacious living spaces and many areas to dine al fresco, this luxury villa is perfect for family holidays and celebrations.
 

Key Facts

  • Corfu Private Estate set in 30,000 m² of land
  • Sleeps 16
  • 180m of waterfront including two sandy coves
  • Designer Corfu Villa near Avlaki Beach
  • 40m Infinity Pool
  • Luxury Greek Island Villa for rental
  • Main House & Guest House
  • Spacious Family Villa in Corfu for rental

Classical French Design in Cote d'Azur: Country Villa for Rental

Villa Côte d'Azur 226, Terre Blanche
Located in Large Country Estate
Close to Terre Blanche Golf Resort
Stunning Landscaped Gardens

This classical country villa nestled in the Terre Blanche estate lets you live in grand French style through its manicured gardens and beautifully spacious and airy rooms. The furnishings and artwork throughout the property are a subtle blend of the contemporary and the antique.

Despite its new construction, the fully serviced villa has been able to reuse the stone from a pre-existing ruin of an early 18th century sheep barn in the outside living areas and wine cellar to a stunning effect. In the past, the estate was owned by Louis Sauveur, Marquis de Villeneuve and French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and is now home to Terre Blanche Golf Resort & Spa.

The villa has a dramatic two-story entrance in which the decor fuses contemporary and antique design and furnishings in muted tones. A well conceived pool house with barbecue kitchen and expansive outdoor living and dining areas surround the spacious swimming pool.

Highlights of the interior design are the owner’s wine cellar, private cinema and the spacious, superbly equipped kitchen. The property houses the owner's art collection, including works by Bernard Saint, Arina Gordienko, Lisa Lindqvist, Alexis Gorodine, Didier Caudron, Bella Pieroni and Jef Aerosol.

 

Key facts

  • French Country Villa in Cote d'Azur for rental
  • Sleeps 12 adults and 4 children
  • 6 Bedrooms ensuite
  • Beaches of Cannes & St Tropez, 30 mins
  • 1000m² of living space including cinema room
  • Spacious outdoor living & dining areas surrounding magnificent swimming pool
  • Pool House
  • Dedicated Concierge
  • Live in chef, two live in hostesses & daily housekeeping included
  • Set in 1.4 hectares of beautiful gardens
  • Large Provence Villa for rental
  •  Perfect for Privacy & Security
  • Within the estate of The Terre Blanche Golf Resort with spa, kids club and golf

Restored Fortress in Majorca: Pollensa Bay Castell for Rental

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Villa Majorca 222, Pollensa Bay
Located by the sea with sea views
Restored Old Fortress from 1715
Italian Interior Designer

The exclusive private estate is located in the beautiful bay of Pollensa in the North of the island of Majorca. The old fortress dates from 1715 and has been restored to form the main house.

Influences of the Italian interior designer ensure a contemporary and stylish design. The property has a high-tech sound system from Bang & Olufsen, LED light system as well as designer kitchen with professional Gaggenau equipment

The estate is 150,000 m² and guests can enjoy 1km of coastline with all other buildings offering absolute privacy and breathtaking views over the Mediterranean and the surrounding countryside.

Five other historical buildings including an old finca, a bird sanctuary and a fisherman’s house, have been completely re-built and individually refurbished offering further guest accommodation as well as staff quarters. 

 

Key facts

  • Restored Castle for rental

  • Sleeps 16 guests

  • 8 bedrooms

  • Private estate of approx. 150,000 m²

  • Around one kilometre of coastline

  • Personal butler/concierge, housekeeper, private chef, kitchen staff

  • Boat Excursions in a private “Boston Whaler” moored in the marina of “Puerto de Cocodrillo”

  • Swimming pool 20 m x 4 m

  • Luxury Majorca Villa for rental

  • Watersports, sauna, tennis court, jogging course, horse riding, nature walks and hiking paths

Modern Design in Dubrovnik: Oceanfront Lozica Villa

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Villa Dubrovnik 239, Croatia, Lozica
Modern Design White Cube Villa
Sliding Glass Walls with Ocean Views
Private Outdoor Pool with Deck

Located in the area of Dubrovnik called Lozica, this modern villa in Croatia is highlighted by its open plan design, floor to ceiling windows, pure lines and white stone.

Situated on the rocks, the villa benefits from an unobstructed picture view of the sea from almost every room thanks to its large glass design surrounding the property. The roll back windows and glass walls ensure the visitor can always be at one with nature.

Built on different levels, the villa's entrance and sleeping accommodation is located on the top level with the split level living space below. The living space is full of natural light and the warmth of wooden interiors, most notably in the kitchen and staircases. The wooden decked terrace with the stunning outdoor pool is connected by a stone staircase to the beach.

 

Key facts

  • Waterfront Villa in Dubrovnik for rental

  • Access to Sea

  • Sleeps 8 guests

  • 4.5 km from the Old Town of Dubrovnik

  • 4 Bedrooms ensuite

  • Outdoor swimming pool with deck

  • Luxury Oceanfront Croatian Villa

  • Modern Villa for rental in Lozica

Elegance in the Cote d'Azur: Designer Oceanfront Villa

Villa Côte d'Azur 232,
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Stunning views across golden islands
Restored elegance & beautiful garden
Classical French interior desig

With its maritime pines backdrop, perfectly manicured garden and prime location overlooking the Mediterranean, the villa is a great location for a family holiday or special celebration. Just 25km from St Tropez, this restored villa has pride of place in an exceptional setting across from the Golden Islands, Levant, Porquerolles and Port Cros.

The owner and his wife have lovingly restored the elegant villa with style and refinement.  The interior is classically French with soft neutral fabrics and antique-style furnishings.

Most of the rooms face the bay and most have their own sea-facing outdoor terrace or balcony. The four bedrooms in the main house (with an additional 4 bedrooms in the guest wing) are furnished with an eclectic mix of period and modern classics. They are decorated with a light and airy touch and each room is unique in style and ambiance, featuring eye catching furnishings and striking art.

A great selection of dining areas are available from the formal dining room, to the alfresco dining by the pool house or more informal spaces on the terraces or courtyard. There is a relaxed family kitchen with a beautiful island piece, top quality equipment with subzero fridge, four oven aga and large Gaggenau oven.

The pool house is a highlight with its natural Burgundy stone floors and its open exposure. Its fully equipped kitchen is perfect for entertaining alfresco-style. An island bar separates the kitchen from the living area with its large open log fireplace, oversized cushions and a music system. This opens out with a large dining table & chairs for 20 people.

The grounds are across an acre of walled garden of rose bushes, plants and shrubs. Local plants include extensive areas of Lavender, an agapanthi walk and beds of iceberg roses with Arboussier and Mimosa trees. An ideal villa for you to spend quality time with family and friends for birthday celebrations, special dinners, wedding anniversaries and family reunions.

 

Key Facts

  • Elegant French Villa for rental
  • Sleeps 20 guests
  • 8 Bedrooms
  • Main House + Guest Wing
  • An Acre of Private Manicured Gardens
  • Cote d'Azur Villa with exceptional sea views
  • South of France Villa for rental
  • Beautiful Ocean Vista Villa with Private Chef
  • Beach Nearby

Glamour in the Alps: Zermatt Designer Chalet

Glamour in the Alps: Zermatt Designer Chalet

Tunnelled into the rock and lit with torches, live out your own Bond film as you enter this one of a kind luxury chalet.