We're not sure what's more impressive: the house, or the list of people who've stayed there. Located near Palm Springs, the Bing Crosby Estate is a sprawling single-level ranch, offering six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a theater room with a projector, a chef's kitchen, and tons of indoor and outdoor living space. Rumor has it that President John F. Kennedy spent a weekend here with Marilyn Monroe back in the day; more recently, Daft Punk could be found relaxing poolside before venturing to Coachella to watch the premiere of the one-minute "Get Lucky" preview. Sounds like the perfect getaway spot for those times when you need to bring the whole family with you — or better yet, an ideal venue for a relaxed bachelor's weekend.
Enjoy the history of a 300-year-old home with all the modern comfort you'd expect from a brand-new resort at Casa Olivi. This three-story farmhouse was nearly destroyed in a fire several years ago, but has since been completely restored with modern furnishings that blend perfectly with the existing structure. Features include five bedrooms, indoor and outdoor kitchen and dining areas, a home theater, Phillipe Starck bathrooms, a spacious outdoor terrace, a rectangular infinity pool, and 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. With a host of dining options nearby and the Mediterranean less than 30 miles away, it's an ideal home base for a fantastic vacation. [via]
Why simply tour a lighthouse when you can stay in one? Saugerties Lighthouse offers you a chance to do that in a unique, isolated setting. Built in 1869 at the mouth of Esopus Creek, the lighthouse can only be reached via a half-mile nature trail. Once there, guests will find the house furnished much as it may have looked in its first decades of operation, with a small museum, gift shop, parlor, kitchen, and two guest rooms inside. Panoramic views of the Hudson and Catskill Mountains, available from the 46-foot lighthouse, take the place of your typical hotel's spa, pool, and overall glamour, but those still craving the water can use the small dock for relaxing trips around the grounds.
There's no shortage of great places to stay in South Beach — but if you're looking for the most opulent accommodations, you need to check out The Villa by Barton G. Better known by its former name — Casa Casuarina, or just Versace mansion — this 19,000-square-foot property was recently renovated, and now offers guests 10 unreasonably opulent suites, two private lounges, fantastic ocean views from the rooftop, the Thousand Mosaic pool, and excellent food in the pebble-mosaiced Dining Room. The best part? Its ideal Ocean Drive location that puts you just steps from hundreds of world-class restaurants, bars, clubs, and, of course, the Atlantic.
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When you want the ultimate in privacy, a high-end resort just doesn't cut it — what you really need is a private island. Calivigny Island is available for just that type of thing, featuring an 8,000 square foot beach house, a 3,000 square foot residence with modern Balinese flair, and three two-bedroom beachside cottages — or more than enough room for you and any friends or family you want to bring along. You'll also find jogging paths, a fitness center, a large, heated freshwater swimming pool, and a full-size tennis court on the property. A 44-foot boat is available for self-guided adventures, and should you need anything, they have staff and private chefs on call 24 hours a day — while it's very secluded, this isn't a "stranded on a desert isle" situation.
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Nothing says "tourist" quite like stepping out the doors of a huge chain hotel in a strange new city. Let Urbanauts save you from that fate. Currently operating a single location but planning for many more, this unique business offers street-level lofts — created from abandoned storefronts — in hip neighborhoods as an alternative to traditional hotels. You don't have to do without the amenities of a hotel, however, as their spots offer niceties like TV, music, Internet, a minibar, and free rental bikes. Simply book your room, receive your key code, and enter it at the door — no reception desk or other nonsense necessary.
If you're going to travel to a foreign country, you ought to try and embrace the local culture — and the Dar Darma offers it up in spades. Instead of a common hotel, it's actually a private residence built in the 1700s, with four suites and two apartments, the latter two offering in-room fireplaces. Other features include multiple outdoor terraces, a swimming pool, and a traditional hammam. Oh, and don't worry about the lack of a restaurant, either — the house cook is more than happy to fill your table with traditional dishes like hariri, tajine, and cous cous.
Looking to lord over some commoners for the weekend? We know just the place to do it. Castle Oliver is a privately-owned property that's available when the owners aren't home. Apart from being, you know, a castle, it boasts over 100 rooms, twelve staircases, the largest wine cellar in Ireland with room for over 55,000 bottles, a library, a ballroom, a billiards room, and a candlelit dining room. And it sleeps 16 — in dedicated rooms, which means enough space for you and at least 40 friends.
Plenty of places claim to offer Rat Pack style, but it's tough to compete with somewhere Ol' Blue Eyes actually lived. The Twin Palms Estate was designed in 1947 specifically for Frank Sinatra and his first wife Nancy, and is filled with period-appropriate, mid-century modern furniture. Sinatra memorabilia and art covers the walls of the house, which also offers four bedrooms, sliding glass doors that open the great room to the area around the piano-shaped pool, a pool house with kitchenette, and Frank's original recording studio — but don't go getting any ideas, as it's not connected for use.