The Great Escape: 5 Private Vacation Residences To Socially Distance In Style

Claire Harper and Elizabeth Harper | November 11, 2020 |

From wine country getaways to oceanfront retreats, discover five grandiose vacation destinations to call your home away from home.

Great Escape Vacation Destinations Image FullIn Healdsburg, California, 4,362 square feet of interiors includes this den that allows nature in.

Montage Residences Healdsburg

Healdsburg, California

Estate Home Exterior California Vacation FullThe exterior of Estate Home E, which celebrates natural materials and features 1,510 square feet of outdoor space, including a swimming pool and hot tub.

Mix one part Northern California countryside, one part vineyard views and one part world-renowned wine, and the resulting blend is Montage Residences Healdsburg—the luxury hotel group’s first Northern California offering. Located in northern Sonoma County, the homes—of which there are 25 Harvest and 15 Estate homesites—sit adjacent to the Alexander and Russian River valleys, among the private rolling vineyards of Aperture Cellars and within reach of all a Montage property has to offer: Spa Montage; on-site dining; pools; and outdoor activities like archery, cycling and pickleball. Plus, residence owners have exclusive access to special estate wine releases, private tours and a row of grapes named for the first 10 homeowners. “Montage Healdsburg offers the ultimate connection to the landscape, outdoors, wellness, culinary and wine experiences,” says Tina Necrason, executive vice president, residential for Montage International.

Designed by San Diego-based architecture firm Delawie, the Harvest homes are a generous 4,500 square feet of intelligently planned indoor-outdoor living spaces. The Estate homes, courtesy of San Francisco-based BAR Architects, offer ample privacy, with homes up to 5,580 square feet, five bedroom suites, media rooms, swimming pools and expansive terraces from which you can gaze onto the vineyards. “When envisioning the interior design of each home, inspiration was taken from the region’s distinctive architectural character as well as the terrain of Healdsburg—the sprawling vineyards, rolling hillsides and verdant countryside,” says Neil Johnson, managing director of residential real estate for Ohana Realty.

Northern California Master Bedroom Vacation FullThe home has four bedrooms and 4 1⁄2 bathrooms. The private master suite is separate from the main home.

“We wanted to invite the outdoors in, using restrained color, natural materials and luxurious textures.” Each homeowner, however, has the freedom to personalize the home and decor to their individual needs. Says Necrason, “The architecture of both the resort and the custom residential enclave authentically embrace the views and vistas of rolling vineyards and tree groves among the perfect setting to embrace the natural beauty of Northern California’s Sonoma wine country.”

Residences from $915,000 to $1,400,000

The Residences at Rancho La Puerta

Tecate, Baja California, Mexico

Casa exterior Baja California Mexico FullA Casa exterior

Nestled in Baja California, near the Valle de Guadalupe wine region, Rancho La Puerta—the first fitness and wellness resort in North America—has been serving up luxury for 80 years. In honor of its milestone anniversary, the property announces its latest development, The Residences at Rancho La Puerta. “For many years at Rancho La Puerta we have nurtured the dream of creating a residential community—a village rooted in our traditions of living in harmony with the natural world,” says Sarah Livia Brightwood Szekely, president of Rancho La Puerta. “This village is dedicated to your wellness; it is a place where you can draw strength and become your most resilient self."

Rancho La Puerto Residence Bedroom View FullThe primary bedroom, with calming, neutral tones and stunning views beyond

Living area Tecate Baja California Mexico FullA cozy living area, which showcases the works of local artists and artisans, furthering the connection with the community of Tecate

The new builds will feature three home types: Casitas at two bedrooms and 2 1⁄2 baths; Casas with three bedrooms and 3 1⁄2 baths; and Villas featuring four bedrooms, 4 1⁄2 baths and a spacious 4,299 square feet. Each home is equipped with Darwin home wellness technology; advanced water purication systems; extensive outdoor space; and available designer-curated, turnkey furniture packages. “As part of the plans for The Residences lifestyle, we will create spaces that could be open to the public and become a bridge between the local community of Tecate and our residents,” says Alejandro Chion, head architect of Grupo Espíritu, which worked alongside Szekely in master planning the community.

Swimming Pool at Rancho La Puerta Tecate FullEach Villa has a swimming pool, while Casas haves a dipping pool and serene fountain

The Villas are standouts, with an emphasis on privacy, views of Mount Kuchumaa, a pool, a wine cellar, and 24-hour concierge and security services, among other notables. Homeowners also have access to amenities (some of which require a resort day pass) such as guided hikes, a meditation room, pickleball and tennis courts, the Winery and its tasting rooms, on-site dining and the spa. “We want this place to be a celebration of life,” Chion says.

Villas from $1,692,600



Patio Area Kiawah South Carolina Vacation FullThe four-bedroom penthouse’s patio area is 1,626 square feet.

There’s a particular genre of calm that takes over as you drive down the long stretch of Spanish moss-draped oak trees on the trip to Kiawah. Forty-five minutes from downtown Charleston, its history-laden streets, and vibrant food and bev scene, Timbers Kiawah is putting its own luxury stamp on the Lowcountry. Recently opened by Timbers Resorts—which boasts properties in Kauai, Aspen, Cabo San Lucas and Tuscany, among others—the newest residences are steps from the ocean and oceanfront pool, with panoramic views, spacious living quarters, a laundry list of amenities and concierge conveniences, and impeccable design courtesy of J. Banks Design Group. “The interiors,” says firm founder and President Joni Vanderslice, “were designed to flow seamlessly from interior to exterior in color and texture, reflecting the sea grass, sand, sky and water that is the focal point from the moment you walk into the space. The furnishings were selected to reflect luxury without pretense, inviting you to linger, gather and reflect. The art, baskets and accessories include work from local artists and artisans, adding to the sense of place that is the Lowcountry.”

Clubhouse Kiawah South Carolina Vacation FullThe Club House, where residents can gather and handmade cocktail mixes await in the fridge

A penthouse kitchen in Timbers KiawahA penthouse kitchen

With one-ninth deeded ownership (penthouses are one-sixth deeded ownership), each resident is guaranteed four weeks per year in the three-bedroom residences or four-bedroom penthouses of beachside relaxation, unctuous lunches and dinners at the Beach Club, family-friendly activities, a wine club and supremely customized services. Case in point: As you return to your South Carolina home away from home, staff will set out your family photos, rearrange the home according to your preference, round up the groceries and even restore your favorite cast iron to its rightful place in the kitchen—all before you step foot in the door.

living area with pops of blue Timbers KiawahThe living area draws from the ocean with calming tones and pops of blue.

“The goal,” says Chris Burden, the property’s chief development officer, “when crafting the Timbers Kiawah experience was to offer our owners a fresh, carefree approach to the nest Lowcountry lifestyle with locally inspired coastal interiors, specially curated cuisine and thoughtful programming showcasing the best of what the region has to offer.”

From $569,000

Rock House Providenciales

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos Rockhouse bedroomThe interiors have a Scandinavian design influence and natural, organic hues.

Cascading down dramatic limestone cliffs on the northern coast of Providenciales, Grace Bay Resorts recently unveiled Rock House, an exclusive resort and residential development spanning more than 14 acres and with 600 feet of secluded ocean frontage. Builder Projetech Ltd., Coast Architects and interior designer Shawn Henderson were tapped for the resort’s 40 single-family abodes. To blend the homes into the rugged landscape, the architect team called on local artisans to handcut and lay stone cladding sourced from the cliffs for both the exteriors and interiors. “It really gives the homes a true local identity and sense of belonging,” says Simon Nicholls, an architect on the project.

Turks and Caicos Rock House living roomThe limestone cladding used for the exterior continues inside the living room, which reveals 13-foot-plus vaulted ceilings with bleached hardwood teak.

Turks and Caicos Rock House bathroomEach well-appointed bathroom has access to a lush outdoor shower and a soaking tub with stunning water views.

Once inside, a grand living space gives way to soaring 13-foot-plus timber-clad vaulted ceilings with bleached hardwood teak, nearly 16-foot-by-10-foot German Schüco sliding glass doors and Italian-designed windows to showcase unobstructed Atlantic Ocean and Providenciales views. Complementing the textured design, Henderson—who drew inspiration from coastal resorts like Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, and Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa in Rome—selected furnishings with a nod to Scandinavian design and a neutral palette to allow the views to be the focus.

Turks and Caicos Rock House pool viewAll Rock House homes include a private pool and outdoor terrace with unobstructed ocean views.

Each modern ridge home also features an expansive private pool, 10-foot terraces, lush outdoor shower gardens, top-of-the-line Waterworks and Sub-Zero appliances, plus spalike master bathrooms equipped with Caesarstone countertops and custom bleached hardwood teak cabinets (also used for the kitchen cabinets). Apart from the private accommodations, homebuyers have access to the resort’s shared luxuries, including the largest oceanfront infinity pool ever built in Turks and Caicos— which rests beautifully atop a 25-foot cliff peppered with ancient indigenous trees—a private beach at the base of the cliff, a 100-foot beach club jetty, on-site restaurants, a full-service spa and more.

Private residences $600,000-$2.3 million

Four Seasons Private Beachfront Villas at Costa Palmas

La Ribera, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Four Seasons Beachfront Villa pool areaThe Pavilion Villa layout highlights the surrounding landscape by incorporating gardens, terraces and water features around the home’s outdoor living spaces.

Situated on 1,000 secluded acres on the East Cape of the Baja peninsula sits Four Seasons Private Beachfront Villas, a real estate offering within private resort and residential community Costa Palmas. Ranging in size from 9,268 square feet to nearly 17,000 square feet (with 6,588 square feet of exterior living), the 16 bespoke residences feature five open layouts, including the Pavilion Villa floor plan of Villa No. 11, mere steps from the Sea of Cortez.

Four Seasons Beachfront Villa bathroomThe private villa has two master bedrooms with luxe soaking tubs and expansive windows in the bathrooms.

The custom project, helmed by Jon Brent Design, Guerin Glass Architects and Costa Palmas Home, reveals a six-bedroom, six-bath, 10,000-square-foot masterpiece that juxtaposes the surrounding regional landscape with modern, organic design elements. “The home’s spaces are organized to reflect specific qualities of the site: sea, mountains, dunes and farmland,” says principal architect Scott Glass. “A series of pavilions are tied together through plantings and water features, tuning the scale of a generous house so it blends quietly with the land. It’s a place of calm familial connection with the environment.” Along with securing total creative control over custom villas, homeowners have the resort’s many comforts at their disposal—think access to the Oasis Spa and Wellness Center; multiple pools; and five restaurants, including the famed Estiatorio Milos, among others.

Four Seasons Beachfront Villa living roomFor Villa No. 11, designer JB Campise honored Mexico’s rich design history by using a mix of authentic period furnishings, vintage pieces and textiles, and modern curated goods.

Come 2022, owners will also have select access to the new Amanvari resort and all of the amenities that come with it: a Robert Trent Jones II-designed golf club and course, 18 acres of beautiful orchards and a farm, and a spa with yoga and Pilates studios, to name a few. Between the resort’s endless indulgences and the grandeur of a custom-designed villa, life at Costa Palmas is a never-ending respite.

Lots $5 million-$20 million

Tags: vacation

Photography by: Montage Residences Healdsburg photos by Jeff Brink; The Residences at Rancho La Puerta photos courtesy of Rancho La Puerta; Timbers Kiawah photos courtesy of Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences; Rock House Providenciales photos courtesy of Grace Bay Resorts; Four Seasons Private Beachfront Villas photos courtesy of Costa Palmas