Travelling with a group of friends can guarantee a few things: endless banter, a range of handy talents (like your bestie’s way with a gin martini) and access to a FOMO-inducing house/yacht/villa you wouldn’t have been able to afford on your own.
But it can also be a logistical nightmare. Read on for the spectacular places that are worth visiting with your crew.
Where: Ostuni, Italy.
Fits: 14 people.
You’ll each fork out: From Rs 6,926 per night.
The vibe: Imagine the ultimate La Piscine-esque retreat to the Italian countryside, and the whitewashed Masseria Moroseta—set among five hectares of green hills and organic olive groves looking out towards the Adriatic Sea—probably comes close.
Come here with: People you’ll happily share every meal with, including an organic breakfast served up each morning with a good dose of Italian hospitality.
When you need some alone time: Book in for an Ayurvedic massage in the spa.
Where: Joadja, Australia.
Fits: Eight people.
You’ll each fork out: From Rs 12,947 per night.
The vibe: Designed by famed Austrian-born architect Harry Seidler and built in 1999 (when it was known as the “Berman House”), this award-winning feat of modernism is perched on a cliffside in the NSW Southern Highlands, just two hours south of Sydney. The two fireplaces, spectacular pool and 60 hectares of private gardens make up for what the wi-fi connection lacks, and the floor-to-ceiling windows are guaranteed to make for a better view than the one through your phone’s screen.
Come here with: People who’ll appreciate the architecture.
When you need some alone time: Trawl through the vintage finds and antique wares at Dirty Janes in nearby Bowral.
Where: Off the coast of south-east Tasmania.
Fits: Eight people.
You’ll each fork out: From Rs 19,249 per night.
The vibe: If you’ve ever dreamt of owning a private island, spending a few nights on this 34-hectare outpost could do the trick. Arrive by ferry, or if you’re really looking to embrace the millionaire lifestyle, opt for a helicopter or private boat from the mainland.
Come here with: Not your seafood-allergic friend. Being able to shuck your own fresh oysters and cooking just-caught fish over the fire with pals is part of the island’s magic.
When you need some alone time: Try some of the region’s best cheeses at Bruny Island Cheese Co, just a short boat trip away.
VILLA LA SEMILLA
Where: Tulum, Mexico.
Fits: 16 people.
You’ll each fork out: From Rs 9,710 per night.
The vibe: The shores of Tulum are the stuff Instagram feeds are made of, and at Villa La Semilla, you’ll have private beach access, plus an infinity pool and private garden. Each of the five suites has a terrace, but hold out for the master suite, which has its own pool.
Come here with: Those happy to hand over the cooking to a private chef, which can be arranged when booking (along with group yoga classes, spa treatments and private tours of the nearby Mayan ruins).
When you need some alone time: Coqui Coqui’s Tulum outpost may have closed, but it’s only a 50-minute drive to Coba, where you’ll still find their spa and divine scents.
Where: Ibiza, Spain.
Fits: 20 people.
You’ll each fork out: From Rs 35,670 per night.
The vibe: For those who’d prefer to steer clear of Ibiza’s party scene (or are just looking for somewhere to ride out your hangovers), the luxe farmstead at La Granja is the perfect solution. The farmhouse, with its nine suites, along with the two-bedroom guesthouse are beautifully rustic and pared back, with the 360-degree views of the island making it the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset.
Come here with: Your Goop-iest friends. The property’s master farmer Andy Szymanowicz is on-site to teach guests about biodynamic agriculture and the slow-food movement between guided meditation and yoga.
When you need some alone time: Head to the hidden swimming spot Es Portitxol for a well-deserved dip at the end of a scenic 30-minute trail.
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fits: 18 people.
You’ll each fork out: From Rs 27,189 per night.
The vibe: Every room in this seven-suite villa makes for some of the best mid-century Pinterest fodder you’re ever likely to experience firsthand, but is still relaxed enough that you and your gang will feel right at home among furniture by masters of the style, such as Nils Jonsson and VB Wilkins.
Come here with: Muso types will love the in-house sound production studio, with most rooms in the villa rigged up to it.
When you need some alone time: Head to the nearby Museum of Modern Art to take in works by Picasso and Rodin as well as Brazilian artists such as sculptor Maria Martins and painter Cândido Portinari.
From: ELLE AUSTRALIA