What could be more fun than getting away with friends and family to somewhere luxurious? There are numerous advantages to staying with a group – you’ll have more spacious accommodation and get better value for money. The trick is in finding the right place to stay that fits your group’s taste, size and budget. We’ve teamed up with The Big Domain to come up with the 10 best worldwide destinations for group getaways to give you some inspiration.
The Big Domain are specialized in letting large villas and houses and have a fantastic variety of properties. Whether you’re looking for a wedding venue, a group holiday with friends or family or the right place for a corporate event, they’ll be able to help. I particularly like their selection of quirky houses, spa properties, ski chalets and party pads. They’ve also come up with a whole host of family and pet friendly properties as well as easily accessible houses for those with reduced mobility, so no one need miss out on the fun!
We’re kicking off the celebrations in style with a virtual visit to Anguilla in the Caribbean. With stunning white sand beaches, palm trees and turquoise water, it’s a perfect place to relax. The more active members of your group should enjoy the diving, kitesurfing and paddle boarding. One of the most charming places to stay is Island Villa, which can be hired together with nearby Anguilla Villa or separately. Nestled in Little Harbour in the south side of the island, the sea views are fabulous and there’s even a cinema room.
For a taste of quintessentially British countryside, you can’t beat the Cotswolds. This designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has a central location, ideal if you have guests travelling from different parts of the country. There’s so much to see in the area, like the stunning village of Bibury pictured below, and Berkeley House in Tetbury makes an excellent base. It’s a sizeable Georgian Townhouse with a modern interior and a garden designed by Philip Nixon, a three-time Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner. It sleeps up to 16 and you can also rent The Chipping Apartment across the square, taking the total up to 20 people.
Beloved for its picturesque castles and villages, not to mention its incredible food, the Dordogne is not to be missed. It has some of the best prehistoric cave art in France, making for some interesting excursions. Stay in historic Chateau de la Couronne which has welcomed some of the biggest Hollywood stars with its contemporary decor. The Guardian calls it “One of the five best houses to rent in France”. It’s great for children, with a football pitch, table tennis, swimming pool, cinema and piano salon.
The party island hardly needs any introduction, and is a wonderful destination for the young or young at heart. However, head into the hills and you’ll discover a hidden side to the island with rustic restaurants and an old-school charm. Casa Ibiza would be my pick here, being located 10 minutes from Ibiza Town and 5 minutes from the beach. It’s not only used for family get togethers but also for yoga retreats, fashion shoots and corporate meetings.
MARINE FORT, SOLENT, UK
Now how about something truly unique? Marine Fort in The Solent, near Portsmouth has its own helipad and will be sure to impress your guests. Brimming with history, it has 22 bedrooms and can sleep up to 44 with entertaining space for up to 200, so it’s perfect for larger groups. As for the views, they’re out of this world!
For a taste of exoticism, with a huge range of activities, Morocco is an excellent choice. From hiking trails to surfing in the Atlantic Ocean or skiing in the Winter months at Oukaimeden, there’s something for everyone. Marrakech is one of the most attractive towns, known as “The Red City” due to its clay walls. Immerse yourself in the local culture by staying somewhere such as Riad Marrakech.
If you’re looking for a relaxing destination that offers cultural activities galore, then Thailand could be right for you. From the pristine white beaches to the numerous temples and national parks, there’s much to enjoy. In Phuket itself, visit the Big Buddha, the old town, and of course Koh Ta-pu which featured in ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. Villa Saengootsa fits perfectly into its surroundings, with a double-height lounge that you can slide open to the outdoor dining area and pool terrace.
ROMAN RETREAT, ITALY
Italy never goes out of style and is ideal for families who will always feel welcome in restaurants here. Rome, the eternal city, is a must-see though the heat and crowds can get a bit much in high season. Take refuge in a villa such as this one which hosted the X Factor UK in 2015 with Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Jess Glynne and contestants. It’s a good base from which to visit Rome’s hidden gems such as the Villa Medici, pictured here, from where you can get one of the best views over the city.
ST KITTS & NEVIS, CARIBBEAN
One of the most luxurious destinations in the Caribbean, St Kitts and Nevis are both blessed with abundant wildlife and spectacular corals. Nevis is something of a hidden gem, with a laid back atmosphere and a strong sense of ecology. Construction is forbidden one thousand feet above sea level and active guests will enjoy hiking through the rain forest or scuba diving. Five star Nevis Beach Villas is the only private villa resort that is steps away from the beach. There are panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea towards Mount Nevis volcano.
Towards the end of the 1960s, the Italian film director Luchino Visconti came upon Villa di Ulignano whilst looking for film locations, and fell in love with the place, subsequently filming a movie called Sandra here. The producer of the film was Franco Cristaldi, married to the actress Claudia Cardinale at the time, and he became the new owner of Villa di Ulignano. The villa is still owned by the Cristaldi family today and groups of up to 30 can book it to experience the dolce vita for themselves. It has its own private chapel, and a reception room that will accommodate up to 90 for a sit down meal. It’s superbly located between the hilltop towns of Volterra, which features in the Twilight series and equally picturesque San Gimignano.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these suggestions for group getaways and that it’s given you some ideas of where to travel. What are your favourite destinations for a dream group holiday and who would you travel with?
In collaboration with Big Domain Villas