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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;


Lazy Lizard, Jumby Bay, Antigua

This private-island Caribbean resort from Rosewood is a favorite of high-profile guests seeking quiet relaxation. The six-bedroom estate was designed with friends in mind, with the suites set around the master living area, which features a teal-and-white scheme punctuated by Asian accents. The centerpiece is the freeform swimming pool with a “floating” diving pavilion, where meals are served by your private chef and staff. From $11,250/night;


Villa Rockstar, Eden Rock Hotel, St. Barts

The tri-level villa has four en suite master bedrooms on the top floor (the choicest room has a circular tub accented with white-gold tiles), and two singles cabins on the ground floor, with separate entrances. Get creative in the on-site recording studio (complete with guitars, drums, and a Neve mixing board), or hit the game room for pool, darts, or table tennis. Just beyond the swimming pool and hot tub is a gate that opens onto St. Jean Beach. From $18,000/night;


Royal Villa, The Oberoi, Bali, Indonesia

Privacy is the premium at this 4,305-square-foot retreat in Seminyak. The standalone thatched-roof master suite has its own private garden (viewable from the sunken tub) and a separate living area with an open-air dining room and kitchenette. A 20-foot swimming pool lined with frangipani trees reinforces the exotic appeal. From $1,250/night;


Villa 33, Amanyara, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Serenity awaits at Amanyara’s premier villa, a five-bedroom estate with its own stretch of beach. The master bedroom pavilion commands a prime setting overlooking the sea, while four additional standalone sleeping pavilions accommodate family and friends. Additional amenities include expansive sea-facing terraces and patios, a dramatic living space decorated with Indonesian carvings and Thai silks, and a 106-foot volcanic-rock infinity pool. From $12,900/night;



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