Hosted Villas (formerly HomesAway)
Each of the 125 properties comes with a host who will greet you and help tailor an itinerary as relaxed or intricate as you’d like. The company rents properties in Croatia, France, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Argentina,
and Turks and Caicos.
Best For: Local staff
What We Love: Booking promotions, such as a recent offer for $500 toward a chef’s services in an ivy-covered château in the Dordogne.
Properties From: $12,000 a week
Standout Rental: Le Jardin, a spacious eight-bedroom manor in the Côtes du Rhône wine region, with a shady terrace and Provençal antiques. ($13,400 a week). 800/374-6637; hostedvillas.com.
Ville et Village
Carolyn Grote has a sleuth’s knowledge of both the 250 properties she offers and the towns they’re in (how long it takes to walk there; how good the market is). Listings also include Italian options.
Best For: Local connections
What We Love: Ville et Village is straight with clients, warning when authenticity means no window screens, no microwave, or a gravel patio.
Properties From: $1,250 a week
Standout Rental: A restored three-bedroom farmhouse in the Vaucluse with its own lavender field and views of Mont Ventoux ($3,938 a week). 510/559-8080; villeetvillage.com.