7 Design-Forward Vacation Home Rental Sites That Aren’t Airbnb
Architects, parents, and digital nomads have signed off on these stays.
Published May 24, 2023 1:33 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Sure, you can check the ratings on a vacation rental, but the only real way to know if it will live up to your expectations is a recommendation from someone you trust. In Homes Away From Home, we round up the best spots according to the coolest creatives; our favorite designer-owned stays; and more.
It says a lot when a brand is so representative of its industry it becomes a verb. We Uber to parties, we Google our burning questions, and if we’re not booking a hotel, we’re Airbnb-ing it. We’re hearing the latter a lot lately as everyone starts dreaming up summer plans, but the mega-home-sharing platform isn’t the only one worth poring over. Whether you want to curl up in a cabin, lay under the sun at a beachfront villa, or lock in an actually chic but still kid-friendly stay, here are our editor-approved vacation home rental sites to bookmark.
What we love: With a collection of B&Bs, villas, and luxury holiday spots around the world, no two stays are the same. The common thread between them all? Dedication to style. You can even pick exclusively from its collection of Design & Architecture properties to easily sort through those that pass a design lover’s standards, from glass-walled cabins to dramatically wallpapered apartments.
Where we’d stay: This two-bedroom home away from home in Lisbon, Portugal.
Rate: $230 per night
What we love: You won’t be overwhelmed by millions of listings here. From beachside estates to cozy ski chalets, the brand’s 4,500 homes are handpicked for character and comfort. As a bonus, they’re under the Accor umbrella, so you can still rack up your hotel loyalty points.
Where we’d stay: This charming flat in central London.
Rate: $1,423 per night
What we love: The plans that matter most on this site are the blueprints. Every property on the platform is vetted by the cofounders—a husband-and-wife team who met in architecture school—to guarantee they’ve been created by world-class architects, like Frank Lloyd Wright, for example.
Where we’d stay: This tiny house on Mirror Lake, Wisconsin.
Rate: $250 per night
What we love: Real insight from local moms and dads gives prospective guests the lowdown on how to get the best out of their visit. Features like the Play List (things to do that month) and City Scout (a by-parents-for-parents destination guidebook) for each booking ensure little ones won’t be bored. Plus you can search by kid-approved collections, from Best Stays for Toddlers to Houses With Pools.
Where we’d stay: This pretty-in-pink bungalow in Palm Springs, California.
Rate: $645 per night
What we love: One of the more exclusive of the bunch, this site only approves 3 percent of the homes sent its way. You can expect to find everything from Art Deco apartments and treehouses to stately manors and palaces. Though the portfolio is largely European based, there are a few spots in Africa and the Caribbean peppered in there, too.
Where we’d stay: This seaside villa in Costa Rica.
Rate: $17,200 per week
What we love: For those who like to mix work and play, this collection of smart homes is curated with the digital nomad in mind. Every house is equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi, dedicated workstations, and a Tesla Model Y. As an extra perk, they’re also all pet-friendly, in case your fur baby is coming along for the job, er, journey.
Where we’d stay: This Southern beauty in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.
Rate: $1,175 per night
What we love: This is a bit niche, but if you’re looking for a stylish stay in South Korea, Japan, or Southeast Asia, you’ll want to land in one of these. From traditional hanoks to modern lofts, Stayfolio caters to different tastes without compromising an authentic cultural experience. Dive into the Journal section of the site to get an editorially immersive peek at a few featured properties before you check in.
Where we’d stay: This stylish villa in a Seoul hanok. https://www.stayfolio.com/en/findstay/habre/gallery
Rate: $275 per night