When you book a house near a lake, you know that a view will be guaranteed



Follow in the footsteps of George and Amal Clooney and wake up to a view of Lake Como. This 18th-century private home has now been transformed into a boutique hotel. The fresco-filled Suite Bellini with its Murano chandeliers and piano takes top billing. But if you want to inch even closer to the lake you can book into Casa Al Lago, which is shaded by pine trees and offers an uninterrupted view of the water. During the day you can play a game of tennis on its clay court, or enjoy a masterclass with the chef, and in the evening you can watch a movie under the stars in its outdoor cinema. A boat is also available for you to take a jaunt on if you want to tour the surrounds. Take a picnic and discover those Hollywood boltholes. However, you don’t have to travel far to see celebrities. Hollywood newlyweds Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were spotted enjoying lunch on the Villa Passalacqua terrace during their honeymoon.



Travel to the shores of Lake Malawi to find a barefoot luxury lodge that you’ll want to return to again and again. The eco-friendly Kaya Mawa is so determined to blend into the landscape that some of its 11 suites and bathrooms are even set into the rocks. It’s the blueprint for getaways that want to think more sustainably. From the sofas made from upcycled old dhows to powered by renewable energy. But this doesn’t mean that it’s missing those little luxuries. Think suites with private plunge pools and private dinners on your terrace. Those looking for adventure take an SUP out onto the lake, ride an electric mountain bike or book a scuba diving adventure. While those who are seeking the quiet life, can book a massage in the al fresco spa or enjoy a picnic of grilled fish and chilled wine on the shoreline.



Throw open the French doors of your villa to be treated to views of Aoraki/Mount Cook’s snow-topped peaks and the crystal-clear water of Lake Pukaki in New Zealand. This is truly a place where you can get away from it all as this 150-acre property is home to just three two-bedroom villas. Those who love to be pampered should book the Ashley Mackenzie Villa, which comes with private use of the Fantail Spa. You can step inside the sauna, enjoy a massage or step into the hot tub that looks over the water. This is a place that likes to embrace its surrounds, and that stretches to the star-filled skies, as the lakeside retreat also has an observatory where you can get the best view of the dark sky reserve. What’s even better is each private stargazing event starts with a tour of the adjoining wine cellar.



Perched on the mountainside overlooking Lake Atitlan is the newly renovated Casa Palopo hotel. However, villa fans should tip-toe 150 steps above it to find the Villa Palopo. This three-bedroom hideaway features mahogany three-poster beds, bathrooms with lake views and a cosy lounge with a fireplace. It also has a kitchen, but you might not ever get to see it as the villa also comes with a chef and butler. When you step out of the doors into the garden, you’ll find an infinity pool and hot tub as well as a terrace where you can enjoy a 180-degree view of the mountains and the lake. When it gets cooler at night and you still don’t want to go indoors, you can relax upon the soft couches in the gazebo and stay warm by the roaring brick fire.



And relax… This Bawa-inspired hideaway can be found on the shores of Koggala Lake in Sri Lanka. Galle, whale watching trips and surfing can be found just a short drive away, but why would you want to leave? The three-bedroom villa set in landscaped grounds includes a sleep pavilion and another pavilion for dining. You will be in no doubt which room is the main bedroom, particularly as it stretches the entire length of the top of the house and contains a bed of Guinness World Record proportions. When you are not relaxing in your suite or upon a lounger by the lake, the villa’s private chef will serve you local dishes in the dining pavilion that looks over the pool. Or if you are looking for something more romantic you can choose to walk to the edge of the palm-tree fringed garden and enjoy dinner under the stars on a floating pontoon.



This sprawling villa on the edge of a lake gives you a front-row seat to nature in the Pantanal, Brazil. See capybaras swimming in the water, hyacinth macaws flying overhead and make sure you keep your camera handy for the Instagram-worthy pink sunsets. This six-bedroom Baizinha Villa, set in the 53,000 hectare private eco reserve of Caiman Lodge, is inspired by the ranches of the area. The villa features a lounge filled with cosy sofas and wooden beams; a dining area decorated with colourful wall hangings and each of the six bedrooms come with an ensuite and a hammock on the balcony. It also has a swimming pool at the end of a winding walkway. When you can tear yourself away from your private villa, you can join 4WD safaris, where you have the chance to spy giant anteaters, tapir and even the elusive jaguar; you can go horseback riding in the Pantanal or take a canoe and paddle along the bay. You can also visit the ground-breaking Hyacinth Macaw Institute, which is helping to save the species. Just make sure that at the end of the day, you don’t forget to hunker around the firepit and spy that sunset.

Suggested Itineraries
Turkana lake, Northern Kenya

From $20,320 pp

Kenya Wildlife & Beaches

Laikipia and Northern Kenya Nairobi Maasai Mara & Southern Kenya Kenya's Coast

  • Fly in an open cockpit with a pilot in Lewa Downs
  • Enjoy game drives in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve
  • Go on a Hot Air Balloon Safari just before dawn
  • Learn about indigenous lifestyles in Amboseli National Park
  • Relax by the beach in the southern part of Mombasa
  • See the Rhino and Gravy Zebra in Lewa
  • Witness the great migration in Maasai Mara

When to go:

ideal length 11 nights
Indonesia batik painting and waxing traditional making process with hand dyed

From $4,600 pp

Ultimate Indonesia

Bali Java Indonesia Asia

  • Explore Bali in a vintage convertible VW Beetle

  • Cruise the Indonesian archipelago on a luxury yacht

  • Snorkel and scuba dive at W Reef, searching for pygmy seahorses

  • Trek through the Nihi Oka valley, then relax with spa treatments

  • Picnic, swim, learn to cook and meet the locals on Sumba Island

When to go:

ideal length 19 nights
Beautiful Beach of Pacific on Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica

From $5,280 pp

Wild Adventure in Costa Rica

San Jose & the Central Valley Costa Rica

  • Enjoy a rafting trip into the heart of the Pacuare Rainforest

  • Explore the Arenal Volcano and surrounding cloud forest

  • Marvel at the diversity of Costa Rican wildlife

  • Sail the Papagayo Gulf on a luxury sailing and snorkelling trip

  • Relax on the beaches of Papagayo Peninsula

When to go:

ideal length 11 nights
Destinations Featured in the Article
Rome, Italy. Papal Basilica Of St. Peter In The Vatican. Aelian Bridge


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