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Castles and private islands: 7 unforgettable rental properties


If staying at a cheap hostel, a luxury hotel or any standard option in between bores you to death, why not spend a night or two in a more novel kind of place? What about a snow igloo or an American tipi? Below is a list of seven mind-blowing rental properties that will surely present a new adventure in themselves.

1 – Snow igloo

Pelkosenniemi, Finland
£70 per night

According to the host, sleeping in this igloo is a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” and we can’t really say he’s exaggerating. Located in a winter wonderland, the igloo gives travellers the opportunity to see the northern lights if they are lucky enough. Its very humorous and friendly host Antti built the homestead himself and now rents it out for a very fair price indeed.

Snow igloo pelkosenniemi

The igloo accommodates six people with sleeping bags and animal pelts included. Former guests advise to stick to Antti recommendations and wear three layers of clothes instead of six. The igloo is located on the territory of a small horse farm, so a warm apartment with a shower is available at any time if you get cold feet.

2 – Villa Talamone

Tuscany, Italy
£8,500 per week

If you are looking to blast your cash in style, this villa in Italy is the perfect place to do so. It is not just a luxury villa with a private swimming pool, but an ancient watchtower on the coast of Tuscany. The villa was erected to protect the citizens of the town against Saracen invasions, and now it offers spectacular views from every corner out towards the nearest islands.

Villa Talamone Tuscany

The villa has six bedrooms and is suited for 12 adventurous and romantic people. It also boasts its own independent path leading directly down to the sea, with its own private sunbathing deck, which also allows for private boat docking. Treat yourself!

3 – Traditional chalet

Meribel, France
£47,000 per week

This 650 m² beauty is worth splashing out 2-years’ worth of the average salary in just a week, isn’t it? Made of wood, this chalet is located 60 metres from the slope, with Meribel itself having gained the reputation of an outstanding and challenging mountain, whilst also being perfect for most beginners and intermediate skiers. With all its views on offer, coupled with the gorgeous interior design, you will feel like royalty in a winter, mountainside paradise.

Ski Villa Meribel France

This house easily accommodates 15 guests. If you are not a skier: a pool, a hammam spa and a cinema are always at your full disposal. There is also Wi-Fi for those who could not do without posting online numerous pictures of themselves by the stunning fireplace.

4 – De Cornelia, large houseboat

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
£616 per night

“Wanted to visit Amsterdam in a real houseboat which is over a hundred years old? This is your chance,” the boat’s host Paul claims. It is hard to say if anybody ever really cherished this exact idea, but it definitely sounds like fun and off the beaten track. When looking over the more than 50 reviews, what strikes you most is that every traveller mentions the space inside the boat: it appears to be huge!

De Cornelia Houseboat, Holland

There are 14 beds inside and an indoor fireplace. De Cornelia is located next to a park and is just a ten-minute walk from the city centre, making it the perfect place if you want to keep to a traditional tourist route in Amsterdam.

5 – Bird Island

Placencia, Belize
£395 per night

If you want to get-away from it all (and you really mean it), this is the perfect choice for you. This small island on a man-made atoll in Belize guarantees you total privacy. This experience seems so fantastic that travellers have already booked it up 18 months in advance. The island on a coral reef offers unique swimming, snorkelling and kayaking opportunities – just do not forget your swimming suit!

Bird Island, Queensland

The house can accommodate four or six people depending on your group composition. As Fred, its host and creator, says, the best is to stay here for 4-5 days. The price includes a 20-minute boat trip to the island from the village of Placencia. Also, there is good news for bigger groups: by 2018 Fred is going to finish building a second island for larger groups.

6 – Utupoa Lodge

Kaskazini, Zanzibar North, Tanzania
£68 per night

“Utopoa” in Swahili means: “people are fresh” or “humanity is cool” and the choice of this name certainly seems very deliberate since the main rule here is to “respect and understand this paradise.” A very lovely couple, Tim and Joyce, who are the hosts of this place, invite their guests to have breakfast together. They are also willing to organise traditional dinners of fresh seafood, cooked by a (fabulous) Swahili cook, Tano, and bring them straight to your front door.

Utupoa Lodge, Tanzania

This beach bungalow (that is the size of a mansion!) is perfect for singles, couples, or groups of 6-8, but even if you are a larger group, Tim and Joyce will accommodate you. As the hosts say themselves: “We are set up as a place to stretch out, shut down, sail our ngalawa, watch the sea (or DSTV), and leave recharged – as strongly as our solar back-up system!”

7 – Tipi – privacy and mountain views

Lyman, New Hampshire, United States
£120 per night

“Be prepared to meet deer, turkey, partridge, and even moose,” says the description of this property; and what could be better than that for an adventurous traveller? This tipi, which is made of animal skins upon wooden poles, should make you feel like you are amongst the indigenous people of the Great Plains. You will find many fun activities to keep you busy here: hiking to waterfalls and picking mushrooms, getting lost in a corn maze, or swimming in the nearby ponds and lakes.

Tipi, Lyman, New Hampshire

The place is huge: around 22 feet (6.7m) in diameter and 24 (7.3m) feet tall, with four 5-foot-long (1.5m) log “couches” (basically high-end benches). The tipi has a fire pit for an open, crackling fire; long-handled forks for easy marshmallow toasting are included.

Anna Danishek, Tranio

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