Plum Guide: The World’s Best Vacation Rentals from Florence to Joshua Tree

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Founded in 2016 by British entrepreneur Doron Meyassed, Plum Guide claims to offer the world’s best holiday homes, in fact the top three percent. And judging by the extraordinary lists, this seems a fair claim. Plum Guide represents properties in more than 500 locations, in 29 countries and this is growing. Each time a new destination is added to the directory, a database is created of all available properties from 25 different rental sites. Then each home is carefully reviewed to shortlist those with great design, reviews, and locations. Plum Guide’s home reviewers visit thousands of potential vacation homes, spend at least two hours vetting each one, checking every detail, from the Wi-Fi speed to the decibel levels in the bedrooms. Here are seven of the most interesting and luxurious entries in Plum Guide.

1. Duomo Dream, Florence offers a view of the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) and the rooftops of the city from the cute, sunny roof terrace. The chic, art-filled apartment has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a spacious living room with super-high ceilings. The well-equipped, modern kitchen has everything you need to cook at home. Aside from the stylish interior, the location is definitely a top selling point of this property. It is in the heart of the Piazza San Marco area with many bars and restaurants and many of the best cultural attractions. Nearby, the Accademia Gallery houses Michelangelo’s original David and many of the famous Italian painters who were members of the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence.

2. Queen of the Cotswolds, a quaint cottage in Painswick, Gloucestershire, is the ultimate Cotswolds hideaway. Roses and honeysuckle creep along the quintessential golden limestone walls of the Cotswolds, while inside the exposed brickwork and wooden beams have been carefully preserved. Chic mid-century furnishings, rattan rugs, and a classic roll top bath in the master bedroom add to its charms. Nearby is the pretty village of Painswick, with a Rococo garden, a lovely place to wander, complete with a maze, blooming flowers and 18th-century architecture.

3.Crete Dreams, situated on the side of a cliff overlooking the coastline, offers expansive views and beautiful sunsets. From the infinity pool you have a view of the bay below, where yachts sail past and small fishing boats bob in the distance. The poolside terrace has plenty of seating and the pergola provides shade over the outside dining table. There is a barbecue and an outdoor kitchen for cooking. There are numerous beaches within easy reach of the villa. Drive six minutes to Koutalas for a quiet day on the sand or for a more action packed beach trip, Almyrida is just eight minutes away.

4. The Invisible House, in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, has walls made entirely of glass. The 5,600-square-foot super-modern home has three bedrooms, four bathrooms and a 100-foot indoor pool.

5. Second Sunset in Los Angeles, designed by renowned American architect Paul McClean, is a modernist masterpiece minutes from Sunset Strip. The three-bedroom, four-bathroom home impresses with its unobstructed views stretching from the Hollywood Hills to the Pacific Ocean. The design is stunning from high ceilings, gloss black walk in closet, marble kitchen and home cinema. Outside you’ll find a pool table, fitness equipment and a huge outdoor entertainment area complete with a beer tap, infinity pool and hot tub.

6. One-bedroom Rome Flight 251 looks like the inside of an airplane. Without the old stone walls, you’d think you’ve stepped into an adults-only Wendy home in this unique apartment. Eccentric details include airplane seats (complete with seat belts and fuselage interior) in front of the projection screen, and the small, quirky details like rainbow-bright crockery, fire-engine-red cabinets and huge paper clips on the walls. The bedroom is a bit more subdued in color, but no less flamboyant. A cathedral-style vaulted ceiling and optical illusion of an arch on the cabinets gives the feeling of being in an old chapel. Located in an ancient park where the she-wolf found Romulus and Remus, you are a short walk from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. The streets around are lined with trattoria and ice cream shops and there is a historical monument almost everywhere, including the grounds of this apartment.

7.The Guardian Lions in Paris is a six-bedroom villa with a striking conservatory. This imposing ‘Hôtel Particulier’ is packed with historic charm and modern comfort on more than 7,000 square meters. Behind an immaculate lawn and a beautiful neoclassical facade you will find several living areas and six stylish bedrooms.