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Our little black book of enchanting places


New luxury villa company launches

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Here at Eat, Sleep & Simply Be our raison d’être is to tell you about fabulous places to stay. So we were thrilled when we heard about Annabel Brooks’ new holiday villa company, Avenue.

Launching this month, Avenue will boast a portfolio of more than 300 dream houses in over 35 destinations worldwide, many of which have never been rented out before. From a glamorous villa overlooking Lake Como and a private island in the Bahamas, to a pied-à-terre in New York’s Tribeca and a hillside retreat in a traditional Balinese village, the common denominator is privacy matched with first-class service.

And it gets better. Says Brooks, ‘Some of our owners opt to keep their houses hidden from the public domain and, for this reason, we also have an Avenue Private Collection, which is not visible online. Clients relish the exclusivity of staying in Michael Douglas’ house in Mallorca or David Guetta’s house on Ibiza, for example.’

I’ve seen Douglas’ house near Deia from afar and it is definitely rather special. Meanwhile, here are four from the main website that top our wish list.

Sardinia, Italy

Chic Zisola House (above) is set on a rambling 123-acre estate outside the Baroque town of Noto on the island’s south-east coast. Comprising two ‘baglio’ buildings, the property features seven bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, and pretty gardens bursting with grape vines, olive, citrus and almond trees, bright pink and white bougainvillea, perfumed jasmine and oleanders.The owners are renowned producers of wine, extra virgin olive oil, grappa and almond and will give you a guided tour of the vineyards and the cellar, followed by a tasting of all the Zisola products. From £8,400 per week, sleeps 13.Hampshire Estate, UK 

The house and grounds of this 4,000-acre Hampshire Estate have been owned and tended by the Lymington family since the 15th century. The house, reached by an ancient tree-lined avenue, is the pinnacle of luxury, while the grounds are landscaped as outdoor rooms with secret nooks, making it ideal for large parties, weddings and shooting forays.A boating lake, tennis court, heated swimming pool, croquet lawn and cricket pitch with a pavilion complete the picture. From £6,000 per day (including half board and bar), sleeps 20.Menorca, Spain

Set in 300 acres in an undisturbed UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve on the southern coast of Menorca, Binigaus Nou offers complete privacy. Having direct access to one the most seductive beaches on the Mediterranean is another huge benefit.The century-old villa has seven spacious suites and a glorious pool – though if you need more exercise you can borrow one of the villa’s mountain bikes to explore the estate’s trails, or explore the coast by kayak (the villa has two available for guests’ use). From €10,000 per week, sleeps 14.Costa Verde, Brazil

Located on Brazil’s Costa Verde and just a stone’s throw from the UNESCO town of the same name, Paraty has recently been refurbished to offer gorgeous accommodation. The property has been divided into three separate houses, which makes it perfect for extended families or groups of friends, and there is a small private beach in front of the main terrace and pool. Walled gardens and mature fruit trees ensure absolute seclusion, but if you want to get out and about you can charter a private boat or trek to the waterfalls. From £8,400 per week, sleeps 10.


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