Alyssa Coscarelli and More Share the Best Vacation Rentals They’ve Ever Booked

From an upstate cabin to a desert hideaway.
Desert living room with Homes Away From Homes logo

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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.

We all know that you can ask a wide audience for the best Airbnbs in Arizona or coolest Vrbos in New York, but only the most stylish people know where to find an actually chic stay with the most homelike amenities. Here, we asked a select group of travelers where they’ve booked recently. Spoiler alert: One involves hand-delivered croissants.

Terracasa, Yucca Valley, California

Adobe home in the Yucca Valley
Photo Courtesy of Hi-Desert Dwellings

Recommended by: Alyssa Coscarelli, founder of Infinite

When I stayed there: November 2021, for four days.

What made me feel at home: The hot tub was such a highlight—lounging there and looking up at the stars made the whole stay worth it. Plus the entire place was just so beautifully decorated.

The feature I wish all vacation rentals had: Every item in the house was shoppable online! So if I really liked the sheets or a certain candle—I was tempted by the towels and soaps—I could easily purchase it. 

Favorite memory from my time there: The sunsets were just to die for, and there was so much land surrounding the house to take gorgeous sunset walks among the Joshua trees.

Historic Cape-Style House, Provincetown, Massachusetts

Cozy living room with dark red walls
Photo Courtesy of Gary Marotta

Recommended by: Dan Pelosi, food personality and cookbook author

When I stayed there: April 2022, for a week.

What made me feel at home: It was full of one-of-a-kind art and objects that each felt special and had a story to tell. I felt so comfortable there that I almost didn’t want to leave and explore all my favorite spots in P-town.

The feature I wish all vacation rentals had: It’s always going to be a big bathtub. In the apartment I have lived in for the past eight years, my bathtub sadly fits me and about 3 cups of water! A good soaking tub on vacation is the ultimate luxury.

Favorite memory from my time there: I rented this house to test recipes for my cookbook. My time spent in the kitchen, which was open to the rest of the house, will be the thing I will always remember. This kitchen was adorably small and ridiculously chic. It combined industrial open shelving with European appliances, and the kitchen table doubled as a workspace for cooking, which reminded me of the way my grandparents would cook. There were no kitchen “islands” in their home, just one amazing table that could do it all.

The Monarch, Upstate New York

Sleek wooden home in Upstate New York
Photo Courtesy of Hudson River Homes

Recommended by: Aya Kanai, head of creative and editorial at Google Shopping

When I stayed there: Over spring break 2023 with my family of three and another family who has a 5-year-old daughter. 

What made me feel at home: It was the perfect mix of modern and woodsy, and it had the most incredible soaking tub inside and an outdoor hot tub. There were windows everywhere and lots of woods where the kids could enjoy country life. We went skiing and even visited the world’s largest kaleidoscope—oh yes we did!

The feature I wish all vacation rentals had: The host made a detailed binder of everything to know about the house and the surrounding area (hikes, restaurants, things to do). We didn’t feel like we needed to figure anything out.

Can Lluisso, Majorca, Spain

Photo Courtesy of the Airbnb Photographer Community

Recommended by: Jessica Walsh, designer, illustrator, and art director 

When I stayed there: My husband is a director of photography, and he was filming a movie in Majorca in summer 2022. Most [of the work] took place in Palma, but we managed to escape for a week to the countryside, where our friends met up with us.

What made me feel at home: I’m a sucker for modern, rustic farmhouses. Everything in this house was beautifully renovated while maintaining the character and simple charm. 

The feature I wish all vacation rentals had: Most Airbnbs skimp out on high-quality pillows and a great mattress; I think those are key for a great stay. This bed was super-comfortable, plus the house offered daily housekeeping, which made it feel relaxing, like a hotel.

Favorite memory from my time there: Waking up to the sounds of farm animals.

Secluded Bastide, Provence, France

Exterior of a pink building with garden trellises
Photo Courtesy of Vrbo

Recommended by: Ajiri Aki, author

When I stayed there: I was there last summer with my friend Genny Cortinovis, who is an assistant curator of decorative arts and design at the St. Louis Art Museum. We studied the decorative arts and love traveling together, so we tend to want houses that have beautiful interiors but also work for the five small children between our two families. We stayed for a week.

What made me feel at home: We chose it because it featured typical Provincial architecture; we could spread out across the different little houses, the kids could run free through the garden, and the owner clearly shares our love of the decorative arts and interiors. The host also left us rosé in the fridge, and the property manager dropped off croissants for the kids one morning. 

The feature I wish all vacation rentals had: I wish more [of them] cared about the living room furniture! So many rentals have black leather couches, which gives me bachelor pad vibes.