Whether you're in your own posh palace or in a bungalow at a resort, these villas are truly a home away from home.
Keep busy on the bay with stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking to a nearby reef for snorkeling, and sailing on the Hobie Cat with the resident certified lifeguard. The rest of the staff, including a butler, chef, and housekeeper, seem to be mind-readers, anticipating your every need. All-inclusive meals are available, or the chef can tailor your weekly menu. Your farewell party includes s'mores and "Irie Mon!" written in the sand with fire. That means "Everything's all right, man," and here, it is all right—and more.
Rates start at $1,360 per night for the main house; yourjamaicanvillas.com.
—Amy Lowe Mitchell
Up a winding staircase, two minimalist bedrooms make the scenery the star. The waist-to-ceiling windows yield awe-inspiring views of the land, sky, and sea. Up another flight of stairs is an open-air terrace, with a dining table for six and cushioned loungers for sunbathing to the soundtrack of the waves crashing below. Outside, stairs lead to the water and huge, smooth-surfaced boulders—the perfect locale for relaxing in the sun with the sea at your feet.
Rates start at $3,130 per week; thinksicily.com.
New this year at Water's Edge: trim two-bedroom villas for rent. At last you can prop your boat shoes on the deck of your own balcony overlooking the calm waters of the Long Island Sound. With beautiful water views, nautical decor, and top-of-the-line kitchen appliances, these gems are a retreat for water-loving, relaxation-seeking folks escaping the bustle of New York. With an on-site formal restaurant (brunch is a hot ticket and needs advance reservations) and a hopping pool right beneath your windows, you have the perks of a hotel plus the comforts of a villa.
Rates start at $750 per night; watersedgeresortandspa.com.
—Antonia van der Meer
Either way, these luxury rentals have all the conveniences of home and then some (45-inch LCD televisions, chromotherapy bathtubs, and remote-controlled, adjustable mattresses complete with massage settings). Visitors also get undisturbed bay views and access to dining at The Beach Club. It's the perfect retreat to get away from it all. (Though you can expect some minor construction as part of the resort's rapid growth.) Ferry service to neighboring islands turns this stretch of the Caribbean into your personal playground.
Rates start at $2,850 per night; oilnutbay.com.
—Brielle M. Ferreira
Each two- and three-bedroom villa has a similar aesthetic, from the blanched, wood-framed fireplace in the living room to the blue-and-white tile backsplash in the kitchenette. Nautical stripes adorn blankets and pillows, and sailor knot--patterned curtains hang in the master bedroom. The ultra-comfy bedding makes it tough to get out of bed—good thing there's room service. Or you can enjoy a meal at the retro-inspired, bubble window banquette, the ultimate perch overlooking the protected seashore.
Rates start at $650 per night; oceanedge.com.
Designed to look like an Italian seaside village, the two-, three-, and four-bedroom villas are terraced along the hillside, ensuring that each of the 128 abodes has an ocean view. The spacious interiors feature hand-hewn wood-beam ceilings, limestone fireplaces, and gourmet kitchens. Each of the large baths have walk-in showers and soaking tubs, and the bedrooms feature fine linens and fluffy beds. Although the large circular pool, available to the entire resort, is the place to see and be seen, villa guests have access to a gorgeous glass-tile pool at an exclusive clubhouse. Pelican Hill's two sought-after golf courses have 18 holes apiece—each one with its own ocean view.
Rates start at $695 per night; pelicanhill.com.
—Kristen Shelton Fielder