Dalmatian Coast: Tapped as the new Côte d'Azur, the olive grove–lined region is steadily gaining ground in the global villa-rental market. U.K.-based Croatian Villas (croatianvillas.com) specializes in stone houses with character—such as a spectacular location or a fireplace—off the Adriatic, from the Istrian Peninsula to Dubrovnik.
Top property: BC024 On a cobblestoned path in the small town of Milna, on Brac Island, the four-bedroom villa has its own pool and a konoba (converted wine cellar). From $1,547/night.
United States and Canada
okanagan valley: The Napa of the Northwest, south central British Columbia claims more than 70 wineries in a 155-mile-long basin between mountains. Vacation Rentals by Owner (vrbo.com) provides comprehensive coverage, with dozens of rentals in the region.
Top Property: Number 119997 Just 50 feet from Woods Lake in Kelowna, this four-bedroom villa has Italian stonework, a Jacuzzi, and an antique stone fireplace. From $6,500/week.
bequia: This unspoiled tiny island in the Grenadines has always been slightly off the radar as a destination. However, a recent real estate boom has placed it squarely on the villa rental map. Caribbean Way (caribbeanway.com) recently added a handful of Bequia properties to its large collection.
Top Property: Windsong A sunny three-bedroom villa on the side of a hill, with a pool and sea views. From $3,200/week.
Mexico and Central and South America
Bahia : Clusters of villas are cropping up in this northeastern state of Brazil. Texas-based HomeAway (homeaway.com) lists 30 properties along the coconut grove–lined coast, and its "rent with confidence" guarantee refunds unsatisfied guests up to $5,000 per booking.
Top Property: Number 77813 A one-bedroom chalet in the village of Trancoso, furnished with banana-fiber chairs and tatajuba-wood floors. From $146 per night.