Save or Splurge: 14 of the Best Airbnbs in Wine Country
As travel restrictions shift, some people are eager to get back on the open road. In February, The New York Times reported that travel agents and operators have seen a “significant increase in bookings” for the spring and summer seasons. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) “projects that travel and tourism in the United States will reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022.”
If you’re among those planning a trip, or would like to be, consider these rentals in seven wine regions worldwide. Here, we identify 14 potential Airbnb bookings using budgets defined as “save,” at less than $250/night, and “splurge,” ranging from $400 to $4,000, spanning the globe from Margaret River, Australia to the Loire Valley, France.
This Greek Island heaves with tourists during the summer months but still oozes charm. From the deep-blue caldera, to the sugar-cube villages painted white and blue, to the famous sunsets of Oia, to the Assyrtiko vines trained into basket-shaped koulourai, even the most cynical traveler can’t help but fall in love.
Luxury Villa with Breathtaking View, $892/night
As tourists elbow each other for prime position at sunset, you and a few friends can open a bottle of Assyrtiko and kick back with a 270° expanse in this two-bedroom, two-floor luxury villa in Oia. Even the top-floor bedroom has a private balcony, so you can wake up to views of the serene caldera from bed. This listing’s stylish interior, living room, dining room and fully equipped kitchen may entice you to extend your stay.
White Cave Villa in Oia, $224/night
Even affordable lodging in Oia has stunning views and chic furnishings, if less palatial floor plans. This recently renovated one bedroom in a cliffside village blends modern conveniences with traditional architectural lines, punctuated by pops of color. A private patio overlooks the caldera and, yes, views of that famous sun drop. A five-minute walk brings you to the main square, restaurants and other attractions.
Margaret River, Australia
Margaret River makes a lasting impression on anyone who makes the trek. Among the delights of this Western Australian wine region are world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, wineries with garden-to-table dining and a spectacular coastline that sparkles with the rich blue of the Indian Ocean. Once light on lodging, the area now has excellent hotels as well as private homes for rent.
Alouarn House, $1,360/night
Whether you’re traveling with friends, family or just want an over-the-top romantic experience, this stunning home filled with natural light ticks all the boxes. The main house has five bedrooms, and there’s another two in the pavilion. There’s also a large saltwater swimming pool, gardens and multiple decks to blend indoor and outdoor living. Don’t miss the kangaroos snacking on the cricket pitch at dawn.
Architect-Designed Luxury Residence in Gnarabup, $242/night
Close to beaches and wineries, this contemporary home designed by Fremantle architect Sean Gorman has a near-perfect guest review score of 4.97. Offering two beds, two and a half baths and a spacious kitchen, this home is all clean lines, glass and light finished in terrazzo-style floors. A patio and outdoor rain shower complete the relaxing Margaret River experience.
Nineteenth-century architecture buffs should book a trip to Spain’s Sherry Triangle, with a few nights dedicated to the old town of Jerez de la Frontera. Rich with Sherry bodegas, plazas, churches and murals, Jerez has held on tightly to its history, a point that hits home when visiting during the annual horse fair or Feria del Caballo (May 7–14, 2022). Traditional costumes, horsemanship, bullfights and rebujitos, drinks of fino sherry and soda over ice, will transport you to another era.
Casa del Gobernador de Cuba—XVIII Century Palace, $447/night
Go all in by booking a historic home. This 18th-century palace in the medieval heart of Jerez de la Frontera has over 10,000 square feet of antiques across six bedrooms and six bathrooms. Built by General Sánchez Mira, former governor of Cuba, the home was recently refurbished and has two kitchens, a saloon, library, meeting room, pool and courtyard with a garden.
Sherry Loft, $228/night
Located in a renovated 18th-century winery, this one-bedroom, one-bathroom loft residence retains its historical character with touches like original stone arches and exposed stone walls. A fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, smart TV and more will make your visit comfortable. At night, do as the locals do and relax in the courtyard with a bowl of Marcona almonds, slices of jamón Serrano and glass of fino Sherry.
This Mediterranean island off Italy’s western coast feels a world away from the mainland. Indeed, its culture, food and language traditions developed independently over centuries. Spanish rulers during the 15th-century age of Aragon left a lasting mark, as did the many seafaring peoples who passed through. Today, travelers visit for the beaches, local cuisine and luscious, salt-tinged white wines made with Vermentino.
Villa Li Graniti, $3,779/night
With glass walls and minimalist modern furnishings, this home aims to complement the area’s sweeping views—especially from the seafront infinity pool. Inside, there are four bedrooms, four ensuite bathrooms, a chef’s kitchen and a living space perfect for lounging while listening to music over the Sonos system. If you’re in need of a stroll, a five-minute walk brings you to the small seaside village of Porto Rafael.
Cottage ASPHODELO X4, $197/night
If the interior of this cottage looks sweet but modest, it’s because the indoor-outdoor living spaces are spectacular, and that’s where you’ll likely spend your time. This two-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage with a private pool sits in the hills of the countryside of Gallura, a granitic landscape where Vermentino di Gallura DOCG grows. A touch of elevation helps cool the property down at night, so you can sleep with windows open to the fresh evening breeze.
Central Otago, New Zealand
High on any wine lover’s itinerary to New Zealand should be Central Otago, famous for its sensuous Pinot Noirs crafted in a jaw-dropping landscape of lakes and mountain peaks. Queenstown, a lively city with great restaurants in a lakeside setting, serves as a hub for the region.
Part of Airbnb’s recently acquired Luxury Retreats collection, this home’s five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms can accommodate 12 people, making it perfect for group trips or family reunions. If your travel companions are active, take advantage of the private tennis court and petanque pitch, or visit the surrounding vineyards and Queenstown. For nights at home, cook up a feast in the generous kitchen or outside on the gas barbecue.
Lakefront Tranquility Central Otago, $139/night
Walk to the wineries in Cromwell from this three-bedroom, two-bathroom lakefront retreat. The light-filled contemporary home has an open floor plan, bifold windows that open to the deck and views of the lake and mountains. Shop for dinner at the local farmer’s market or head out to cafes and restaurants in Old Town Cromwell.
Punta del Este, Uruguay
A Punta del Este holiday offers a rare combination of barefoot beach luxury with world-class wineries. Those familiar with Uruguay may know its flagship variety, Tannat, but wineries of the country’s José Ignacio region also produce Bordeaux-style reds, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Ojo de Mar, $4,000/night
Part of Airbnb’s Luxury Retreats, Ojo de Mar is a beachfront retreat with five bedrooms and six and a half baths. Ocean views from multiple rooms, including a circular common area and several terraces, fade into dramatic sunsets come night. The heart of the home is a large deck with a pool, while the bar and kitchen are fully stocked for entertaining. For nights out, the town of Punta del Este is 17 miles away.
Spectacular Beach Walk Home, $170/night
In the quiet neighborhood of Ocean Park, this four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home sits 500 feet from the ocean amid towering pine trees. The modern exterior, wrapped in black steel and floor-to-ceiling glass, makes the most of the natural light and provides views of the surrounding scenery. In the main house, you’ll find living, kitchen and dining rooms, while the second building has another two bedrooms. You’ll want a car for groceries, exploring the nearby towns and visiting the region’s wineries.
Loire Valley, France
Known for its gardens, orchards and castles, the Loire Valley spans a 170-mile stretch of the Loire River that concludes at the Atlantic Ocean. Wine lovers will be familiar with the region’s Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Melon de Bourgogne, also known as Muscadet. A wide range of home rentals encompasses everything from medieval turrets to expansive, 18th-century manors.
Petite Ville Estate, $758/night
With a big budget, the Loire Valley is your oyster. This property outside the town of Romorantin-Lanthenay has a central Loire position equidistant from the vineyards of Tours and Sancerre. However, you might find it hard to leave this six-bedroom, six-bathroom compound with a private pool and tennis courts. The historic façade has been lovingly maintained while the interiors underwent a recent renovation. The modern bathrooms are a rare treat in this corner of France.
Do you love Cabernet Franc? How about staying in a turreted wing of a 15th-century château in the heart of Chinon country? Access this one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment from your private stone staircase with views of orchards on the way up. Within the living space, you’ll find a claw-foot tub in this quirky circular bedroom but no kitchen, so expect to eat out in the surrounding villages. Feeling the Rapunzel vibe? Let down your pandemic hair and hoist up a bottle of wine to sip on the terrace.
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