First up, we'll hit the slopes in Whistler, Canada, and check out one of the world's most luxurious ski chalets. Known as Akasha - this 5,000-square-foot mountain top aerie combines rustic log cabin elements with Indian-inspired touches. Spread out over four levels, the home is centered around a spiral staircase, anchored by a 48-foot ancient red cedar. There's also a cozy two-story great room, luxurious master suite, and top floor cupola with 360-degree panoramic views. But head down to the base of the tree and you'll discover Akasha's star attraction - a 30-foot indoor lap pool with a cascading waterfall. Then we'll jet off to Italy's romantic Amalfi Coast and visit Positano's Torre di Clavel - an ancient stone fortress built into the side of a cliff. Built as a 12th century watchtower, the tower rises straight out of the sea on a promontory and includes eight bedrooms and over 10,000 square feet of indoor living space - a labyrinth of winding staircases, open-air hallways and sun-soaked terraces. Sitting on nearly five acres of land, the complex is made up of three separate living quarters over a total twelve levels. Explore the properties secrets - hidden nooks, ancient mosaics, and even an ancient subterranean grotto, accessible via a series of small staircases. Next up, we'll explore Jamaica's bustling resort town of Montego Bay and discover the one-of-a-kind Bambu Villa - a 10,000-square foot compound built in the 1960s on the site of an old plantation. Made up of interconnecting pavilions, Bambu has six bedrooms, lush tropical gardens, and sweeping views of the Caribbean. Its style combines classic Caribbean architecture with old-world Venetian glamour. From the classical archways and Italian sculptures to the dramatic swimming pool and sweeping central staircase, Bambu's old world influences are pretty obvious. Finally, we'll take a ferry to remote Orcas Island - one of the San Juans just off the coast of Washington state - and check out a mountainside EVH that's built to blend in. Located on a sloping 11-acre lot with stunning panoramic views, this ultra-modern, steel framed house was designed to fit into the landscape, only touching the ground via two slender concrete supports. Seeming to hover over the ground, the house opens up on both sides via broad multi-slide doors to facilitate maximum indoor-outdoor living. Just kick back, relax and watch the eagles soar right over the balcony.
From a Miami castle complete with its own moat to a Caribbean oasis fit for a Bond villain, a Hampton's hideaway you've got to see to believe to a California mansion steeped in old Hollywood lore, we'll explore some of the world's most extreme vacation homes.
First up, we'll explore the ancient Thai city Chiang Mai and check out an EVH nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. Built by an American expat, the sprawling Villa Mae Rim was designed by the renowned architect Bill Bensley and built by local master craftsmen in a traditional Thai style. Built from locally sourced materials, the five-bedroom home is made up of seven interconnected pavilions interspersed with lush gardens and dramatic water features, including an enormous swimming pool. If you want to experience Villa Mae Rim first hand, rent out the Teak Pavilion, which serves as a private guest suite starting at about $6700 for an all-inclusive weeklong stay. Then we'll head into the hills of Laguna Beach, California and discover an unassuming EVH that's hiding some major secrets. Built in the early '90s by the Hanna family - of Hanna-Barbera cartoon fame - the 6,600-square-foot home has five bedrooms and six and a half baths spread out over four levels - all with fabulous views of the Pacific coast. With its whitewashed walls, high ceilings, and sleek wood floors, not to mention its major deck space, this house was designed to take advantage of the fabulous coastal vistas. But it was also built with a few secrets - namely two suites of hidden rooms accessible via secret panels in the pantry and master closet. Next up, we'll visit picturesque Mukilteo, Washington and check out a truly unusual EVH that you've got to see to believe. Located on a wooded bluff overlooking the Puget Sound, this notorious glass-walled home was designed in the late 1970s by architect Robert Champion to take advantage of the gorgeous natural surroundings. The five-bedroom home has an open floor plan topped off with a 145-foot vaulted skylight running the length of the home and a series of trippy stained glass windows. Check out the view from the master bath or settle into the cozy Jacuzzi and watch the sun go down. Finally, we'll explore the ancient British isle of Jersey and tour the historic Fort Leicester - a 19th century British fortress turned extreme vacation rental. Perched on a lonely cliff overlooking the picturesque Bouley Bay, this venerable castle was built to guard against potential French invasion, offering distant views of the Normandy coast. The three-level structure includes a kitchen, dining room and bedrooms, in what were once the guardroom and ammunitions store. Also visible is a converted cement bunker dating from the German occupation of the Jersey during World War II. Booked up to a year in advance through Jersey Heritage trust, prices start around $2500 a week.
Tour a Miami mansion on the beach, a Whistler estate nestled in the mountains, a hidden retreat in the jungles of Thailand and more!
Discover a 50 million dollar Tuscan estate, a lavish Caribbean castle and more!
Take a tour of an Italian villa, a Montauk home, a Key West bungalow and more!
Explore an Italian oasis, a Thai treehouse, a Caribbean cave house and more!
Discover an over-the-top Caribbean castle, a swanky Hong Kong penthouse and more!