Vacation rental sites are hardly in short supply, but the new UltraVilla stands out with some of the most exclusive and unusual houses on the market. The site connects travelers with top boutique agencies and their highly curated inventory, from a Tuscan farmhouse to a ski chalet in Japan. Think of it as Relais & Châteaux, but for rentals: all companies, even the most obscure, have been thoroughly vetted. It isn’t a booking tool—rather, you filter by destination and submit a request to the individual agency. And if you need more hand-holding, UltraVilla has a team of consultants available at no extra cost—a service you won’t get with the VRBOs of this world. Fair warning though: the offerings, examples of which are below, don't come cheap:
The Urban Apartment: Paris
This Margaux penthouse, three-bedroom rental—exclusive to Paris Perfect—can host up to six guests and has a wraparound terrace complete with Eiffel Tower views. Rates range from $665/night (low season) to $1,236/night (peak season).
The Winter Wonderland: Niseko, Japan
The ski-in, ski-out chalet from Global Nomads is ideal for big groups (up to 30 people) who want to take full advantage of what the “Aspen of Asia” has to offer. It’s got insanely high ceilings, beautiful wood floors and ceilings, and views of the surrounding mountains. Rates in the high season (December to February) are less than $15,000 a week.
The Countryside Getaway: Tuscany
The best place to spend the night in the heart of Chianti? The Renaissance-style Villa di Chiesa Nuova, which comes with a pool and is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. This eight-bedroom pile from Unique Properties and Events sleeps 15, and tennis, golf, and horseback riding are available nearby. Rates from $23,931 a week (high season); $19,372 a week (rest of the year).
The African Escape: South Africa
Set within the De Hoop Nature Reserve, Ocean House—available through Villas and Apartments Abroad—combines coastal views with the chance to see wildlife like zebras, bontebok (antelope), baboons, and more than 260 species of birds. The four-bedroom, four-bathroom rental comes with a private beach and full staff, including a concierge, chef, driver, and guides. Rates in the high season (December to April) are between $45,000 and $60,000 a week.
The Cliff Top Villa: Greece
This five-bedroom, olive tree-lined villa on the west coast cliffs of Paxos comes with a full staff (chef available on request), infinity pool, ample outdoor seating areas, and landscaped gardens. Rates start at $12,000 a week (low season).