Around the world in 11 ways. From Brazil to Zanzibar via Nantucket, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and beyond, here are some of the most spectacular Listings where living like a local takes you to a whole new level of discovery.
Whether casual tourists or active adventurers, starry-eyed honeymooners or GoPro-toting families, travelers share a common desire. They’re looking for places and experiences that immerse them in something different. It’s easy to find great destinations with museums and cafes aplenty…but maybe it’s also time to explore the utterly unique and exceedingly extraordinary.
From exotic lands with sun-drenched beaches to lofty aeries with open vistas, here are 11 amazing Listings where lucky Members of HomeExchange have certainly found what they are seeking…and perhaps much, much more.
In a sleepy fishing village, on a white sand beach…
…there’s a thatch-roofed house overlooking the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. At this serene, elegantly outfitted, three-bedroom villa, the location upstages all else. Guests relax on an open terrace mesmerized by rustling palms and dazzling blue waters dotted with dancing outriggers. When it’s time to stir, they’re just steps to one of several restaurants and cafes for fresh local dishes and drinks. Jambiani is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the southeast coast of Zanzibar and is a mere 56 kilometers from Stone Town, the capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 6 Listings in Tanzania
Against the vivid green rainforest canopy, the red flash of a parrot tail seems inches away…
…and it is. This Puntarenas treehouse is 30-40 feet above ground, built between two large tropical trees. Its walls, enclosing an open-plan kitchen and living room, are practically all screens, blurring the line between lodging and rainforest. The airy spaciousness of this place is at once blissful and energizing, perfect for romance and yet ideal for family adventure – as is the 20-minute jungle walk to the treehouse. Of note: there’s no television and dicey internet. Instead, there’s birdsong, the burble of the nearby river, and the flutter of butterflies.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 200+ Listings in Costa Rica.
Golden moments and Northern Lights in a floating house…
…on Yellowknife Bay in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Yellowknife was founded when gold was discovered here in 1934, but the diamond industry has spurred the modern economy. Of course other things – most notably the spectacular Northern Lights – draw star-gazers to this floating two-level, two-bedroom wonder. Picture lounging on a private upstairs patio, beverage in hand, as colors burst and trail across the sky! Enjoy full amenities in this urban-style residence, as well as nearby outdoor activities for all tastes: skating, hiking, nightly bands and dancing in the Snow Castle, and even midnight golf.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 4,000+ Listings in Canada.
A luxury villa with a 270-degree view of tropical ocean paradise…
…is perched on the sunset-facing coast of Phuket, Thailand. This exclusive and highly sought-after, seven-building complex called Baan Lom Talay is a one-of-a-kind travel fantasy, complete with a 50-foot infinity pool, heated Jacuzzi, swim-up pool bar facing the Andaman Sea, and four magazine-perfect master bedrooms (each with lavish indoor and outdoor tubs). The rainforest and mountainous surroundings add to the villa’s grandeur and exotic intimacy. Yes, there are also magnificent beaches nearby, and many distractions, but what could be better than basking on the huge deck of a luxury villa with a private view of heaven?
Find more of the extraordinary with our 150+ Listings in Thailand.
Between Mt. Kenya’s rose and wheat farms, and vast wildlife spaces…
…is a chalet where elephants amble right up to the front door. Located on a 120-acre horse farm that borders millions of acres of wildlife conservancies, it is deeply adored by its owners, who are delighted to arrange rides, hikes, forest walks, croquet, and even visits to local schools or a rhinoceros sanctuary. From an elevated deck below the forest canopy, animals can be seen drinking at the river – maybe even a leopard or lion! ‘Sundowners’ with a cocktail of choice offer visitors one more way to commune with the nature and wildlife of northern Kenya.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 16 Listings in Kenya.
Maori legend says the beating of a monster’s heart causes the tides at Lake Wakatipu…
…but no one who cruises the lake on the steamships visible from the penthouse at 25 on The Terrace is worried. They’re simply stunned by the calm magnificence of the glacier-created harbor. While only a 12-minute walk from Queenstown, this hilltop four-bedroom penthouse with floor-to-ceiling windows is a lofty, luxury aerie from which to take in the dramatic panorama. Newly built and with great amenities, the sun-filled home comes with a barbecue and two vast terraces perfect for entertaining guests with local wines (a Central Otago Pinot is highly recommended) and foods.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 900+ Listings in New Zealand.
Float your boat on the river De Vecht…
…in the quintessential Dutch village of Vreeland, the ‘green heart’ of Holland. This modern, luxury houseboat has three bedrooms, a balcony, terrace, open kitchen, and living room with river views. And what a charming river, lined with 18th-century houses and even castles. Only 18 kilometers from Amsterdam, this region is Holland in a nutshell: beautiful beaches, picturesque farms, windmills, dykes, locks, and peaceful cud-chewing cows. Enjoy hiking and biking along the waterway and blooming bulb-fields in springtime. Time for a little Edam and some pale lager in the sun-bathed serenity of a perfect private houseboat.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 2,500+ Listing in the Netherlands.
In a green valley where legends about mystical rock formations were born…
…is a sportsman’s paradise called Koosharem, home to Koosh Cabins. This unique rural retreat in southern Utah is an ideal base for exploring adjacent Bryce Canyon National Park’s colorful hoodoo rock pillars and Capitol Reef National Park’s vast Waterfold Pocket. With a vintage trailer, covered wagon, bunk room and Blue Ponderosa Pine-finished cabins, Koosh is the authentic West. Hiking, fishing, and hunting are top pastimes, as is sharing legends and lore in camp at night. The history of the parks and the indigenous Paiute Indians is a treasured thread in the fabric of the American Southwest.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 200+ Listings in Utah.
Wake up and smell the Brazilian coffee in privileged luxury…
…on a working coffee plantation. The seven-bedroom manor house – a spectacular restored Colonial home from 1813 – is perched by a lake and surrounded by 100+ fruit trees and 500,000 coffee plants. If not for the swimming pool, large wet and dry saunas, coffee bar, rattan-appointed cocktail bar, fireplaces, private gym, and other modern amenities, it would be like stepping back in time. Imagine reclining on the terrace, a planter’s rum in hand as the warm afternoon breeze ripples loose white linen clothes. Then a night marked by rustling palm fronds and random bird calls.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 500+ Listings in Brazil.
At the historical center of this UNESCO World Heritage Site…
…is a boutique home built inside the 13th-century Church of San Giovanni Battista, a medieval architectural gem. That’s already irresistible to many travelers, but there’s more: This lodging has a view of the ‘Sassi’ center, an ancient town where cavern-like dwellings were literally dug out of rock. World-famous Matera di Sassi is thought to be among the first human settlements in (Stone Age) Italy. The warmly lit rooms with their graceful golden stone arches and carved niches convey a sense of peace and history. One can almost hear the chants of centuries past.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 3,000+ listings in Italy.
Off New England’s wind-swept coast, whaling ships’ sea captains dreamed of returning…
…to their homes in port towns like Nantucket. Such is the story of the pre-1790, Quaker/Federal-style Captain Isiah Folger house. This 2.5-story, four-bedroom architectural beauty has been lovingly restored with period details and antique décor, such as a ship’s figurehead in the kitchen garden. The house is situated in a lush garden on a tree-lined street in the old historic district. Explore windswept beaches and rolling dunes, surf Atlantic waters, warm the soul with a bowl of Quahog chowder, browse the myriad boutiques – and then return to the plush beds of a cozy captain’s home.
Find more of the extraordinary with our 11 Listings on Nantucket Island.
Fascinated by the variety of extraordinary Listings on HomeExchange?