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Casona Don Carlos, Mukul Resort, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is on everyone’s travel hot list of late, due in no small part to the debut of this luxury resort near the surf town of San Juan del Sur. When he’s not in residence, owner Carlos Pellas shares his family’s private compound, which has six gorgeously appointed bedrooms in side-by-side villas. The preferred hangout spot is the elegant palapa-style living room, with open walls, a dramatic thatched-roof cathedral ceiling, and a wraparound infinity-edge pool overlooking the Pacific. From $6,000/night;


Casa Tres Soles, Punta Mita, Mexico

The more the merrier at this villa compound, with nine en suite bedrooms (seven in the main house and two more in an adjacent casita) decked out with Mexican textiles and artwork. The breezy thatched-roof pavilion overlooks the infinity pool and ocean. And if it happens to rain, settle into the 16-seat theater for a movie night. From $9,000/night;


Makaloa Villa, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii

This standalone three-bedroom bungalow at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Hualalai offers the privacy of a residence with all the services of a five-star hotel. Local materials such as bamboo and tropical hardwood and an outdoor lava-rock shower in the master bath contribute to the property’s strong sense of place. From $12,495/night;


Villa Manzu, Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

Inside this 30,000-square-foot estate designed by local architect Abraham Valenzuela are eight stylish en suite bedrooms, plus a bar, gym, and garage stocked with surfboards and kayaks. Outside are two swimming pools and a private point overlooking the Pacific—an ideal spot for sunset cocktails. From $16,500/night (all inclusive);


Owner’s Cottage at Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand

There’s no better place to enjoy views of Lake Wakatipu than from the private balcony at this four-bedroom cottage. The villa also boasts an airy lounge, a deckside hot tub, and local furnishings such as wool carpets created by the costumers for The Lord of the Rings, which was filmed nearby. From $6,819/night;


Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Bigger is better at this floating estate, said to be the world’s largest overwater villa. Accessible only by boat, the three-bedroom playground has a freshwater pool, two outdoor dining areas, a private cinema, and a rooftop deck perfect for stargazing. From $11,000/night;