One vacation choice that has consistently gained the favor of discriminating travelers in recent years is the rental villa in Mexico.
This is a concept that can offer privacy and convenient location, the homelike amenities that appeal especially to large family groups, and usually significant luxury to boot.
"People like having all the comforts of home, plus the privacy of their own space to relax in and share time with family and friends," says Pascal Jesus de Santana, director of Acapulco-based Acapulco Luxury Villas.
Throughout Mexico, rentals are available in the center of the most popular resort towns, or far from the madding crowd on private estates. Stays can be as brief as two nights or last for weeks, and amenities may be as simple or lavish as you wish. But "don't assume a villa has something if it's not listed," cautions Caroline Griffee, owner of Cabo San Lucas-based Cabo Villa Rentals. "Always ask to ensure you'll have the experience you expect."
Here's a small sampling of the exclusive "homes away from home" you can enjoy in a few of Mexico's top tourist destinations.
Acapulco Bay is the backdrop for the infinity pool and large terrace of Villa Alfin, an elegant six-bedroom, seven-bath home at the top of the exclusive gated Las Brisas residential area. Amenities include a chef and a professional Paddle Tennis court. The rate is $1,200 per night. Visit www.acapulcoluxuryvillas.com or
call (877) 225-9197.
In the bustling Condesa district, the 10-bedroom, 18,000-square-foot multilevel Mexico Mansion features two swimming pools (one of which boasts a 15-person bar) with Acapulco Bay views, four Jacuzzis, and a steam room. Rates begin at $1,795 per night. Visit www.acapulcoluxuryvillas.com or call (877) 225-9197.
Cabo San Lucas
A prime perch on the cliffs of Pedregal and a pool cantilevered over the beach gives the guests of Villa Stein unparalleled views of Lands End, the Pacific Ocean, and the Sea of Cortez. A palapa-covered swim up bar and Jacuzzi, spacious living and dining rooms, two bedroom suites, and a guest house make it fun for two to eight people. Rates range from $700 to $1,000 per night. Visit www.villasteincabo.com or call (866) 783-0518.
Between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, The Beach House offers six bedrooms and baths; family, living, and dining rooms; and an infinity pool on the beach inside the gated Costa Brava development. Rates range from $1,800 to $2,000 per night and $12,600 to $14,000 per week. Visit www.bajasurvacationrentals.com or call (888) 332-8477.
For a cozy hideaway, Villa Violeta, just 40 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta, features two bedrooms in a striking, palapa-covered, cliffside setting. The master suite includes an outdoor shower. A railway elevator and private steps lead to the beach.
A four-wheel drive ATV and a 13-foot boat are included in the rate, which starts at $500 per night. Visit puertovallartavillas.com or call (888) 867-2723.
For an in-town romance, Hacienda San Angel includes four 3-bedroom villas on the cobblestone streets behind the city's landmark church. Once owned by Richard Burton, the open-air master suite overlooks the city and Banderas Bay. Visit www.haciendasanangel.com for rates or call (415) 738-8220.
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