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Unique Home Stays


July 2008 

Designer Holiday Pads


Once again, Unique Home Stays brings you some of the most exquisite private holiday homes available to rent from around the globe. Whether it’s the stunning architecture or designer-led interiors, these properties are guaranteed to inspire. Whatever your passion, we’ve houses that range from sleek contemporary to understated antique. And it’s not just here at Unique Home Stays that we think our properties are some of the most exclusive homes in the UK and overseas; our prize pads include the winner of Channel Five’s I Own Britain’s Best Home – Shire Castle. One thing’s for sure, we can guarantee a hedonistic haven that’s top of the league for location, luxury and buckets full of style.

SHIRE CASTLE, Halifax, Yorkshire, UK

What’s so special? You don’t have to take our word that this place is the bees’ knees; an utterly flamboyant house party pad, it was voted the winner of I Own Britain’s Best Home by a huge contingent of the UK public. For setting, think fairytale turrets, a ten-acre deer park, a meandering stream and a watermill. Then inside we’re talking unashamedly plush, contemporary interiors, a heated pool, a giant TV under wood-beamed ceilings and the most sumptuous beds.
What’s on the doorstep? Four minutes from the M62, although you’d never know it from the tranquil grounds where there’s all manner of country pursuits from clay pigeon shooting to quad biking. Stay in for soothing spa treatments or step out and explore the Yorkshire Dales.
Sleeps: Up to 10 guests.
Catering: This is a self catered property with a private chef available at an extra cost.
Cost: From £3,500 to £4,500 per 3-night weekend; from £6,000 to £8,000 weekly.
Find out more:


What’s so special? Owned and hosted by two designers that renovate Riads for a living, this Moorish gem has been expertly created in cool, contemporary style. From the perfect location - at the heart of medina and minutes from a vast sandy beach, to the architecture - ancient sandstone columns, thuya wood ceilings and a traditional courtyard, the interior design is a fusion of retro-chic with a classic Moorish twist, not to mention the plethora of creature comforts.
What’s on the doorstep? The bustling Medina, the local Hammam spa, and a long sandy beach where you can ride camels, kitesurf and feel the sand between your toes.
Sleeps: Up to 8 guests.
Catering: Taken on a self-catering basis with traditional Moroccan cuisine available on request.
Cost: From £900 per week for 3 people, up to £2,400 per week for 8 people.
Find out more:

THE WHITE HOUSE, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK

What’s so special? Chic, sleek and a little bit of kitsch. This classy townhouse has an inspired interior bedecked in black and white, accessorised with stunning photography. There’s even a designer garden to spill out into – complete with fire pits and croquet lawn. From huge plasma screens to a high-tech kitchen, this place is uber-cool with comfort, space and a shed-load of mod cons thrown into the mix.
What’s on the doorstep? Beyond the Philip Nixon-designed garden, there’s the historic Tetbury a stone’s throw away, the Michelin-starred Whatley Manor a short drive away, and the Cotswolds, Bath and Bristol to be explored further afield.
Sleeps: 16 to 30 guests.
Catering: Taken on a self-catered basis, private chefs can be arranged.
Cost: From £3,500 per weekend; £5,500 weekly (based on 16 guests)
Find out more: 

CASA PHOENIX, Almeria, Spain

What’s so special? When you head to Spain you expect the whitewashed walls, the sun terrace for siesta and perhaps even the plunge pool to cool off in. But what you don’t expect – unless you bag this 200 year-old finca renovated by an eccentric Spanish artist – is a domed Arabic-cum-Moorish architectural jewel decked out with an 18-metre pool, a dojo for martial arts and yoga, eco-credentials including solar panels, and lush gardens with citrus orchards. So kickback, let the chef whip up the paella and pop the cork on the bubbly.
What’s on the doorstep? The wild beauty of the Cabo de Gata National Park, the magical Alhambra, and the beaches of Mojacar, Garrucha and Vera.
Sleeps: Up to 15 guests.
Catering: The property is taken on a self-catered basis with a chef available.
Cost: From £5,495 for a 3-night stay; £7,850 weekly.
Find out more:

THE TOWER HOUSE, Lymm, Cheshire, UK

What’s so special? Boasting an interior that takes the art of minimalism to extremes, this uncluttered, super-sleek environment has been created in a circular water tower. On the ground floor a glass-walled extension houses a number of chic living areas, a dining area with a baby grand, and a bright, white, spacious kitchen overlooking a Japanese water feature. Whilst on the sixth floor, with panoramic views to the treetops and the Cheshire countryside, is a roof garden with a hot tub, audio system and seating area.
What’s on the doorstep? In a picturesque location you’re footsteps from the Lymm Dam, the Bridgewater Canal and the countryside village of Lymm. Beyond that there’s Manchester for shopaholics, types and theatres for the culture vultures and the Trans Pennine Trail, horse riding, tennis and golf for active.
Sleeps: 8 to 10 guests on an exclusive hire basis; 1 double B&B room available from Sunday to Thursday at £195.
Catering: Exclusive hire is taken on a self-catered basis.
Cost: From £4,000 per week on an exclusive hire basis during school holidays and New Year.
Find out more:

OCEAN DRIVE, The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

What’s so special? Well, for starters this property is situated beside one of the most scenic parts of the Australian coastline. This private sanctuary of tranquillity and luxury also happens to be a piece of impressive environmental design created by an award-winning architect. Nestled in the eucalyptus forest, this minimalist haven with comes with discreet staff, a resident kangaroo and ocean vistas; so do you really need to know about the sunrise views from each bed, stargazing from the baths and hedonistic levels of comfort, in order to be persuaded that it really does have the
wow factor?
What’s on the doorstep? The Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles – one of the most picturesque areas of Southwest Australia.
Sleeps: Up to 8 guests.
Catering: Taken on a fully catered basis.
Cost: From AUD $3,500 per night (including breakfast, dinner and beverages) based on 8 guests. Weekly stays from AUD $24,500-$35,000.
Find out more:

RIVER HOUSE, Nr Dartmouth, Devon, UK

What’s so special? Elegance goes hand-in-hand with minimalism in this stylish oak-beamed house with towering glass panels that invite the lush countryside and the River Dart inside. Think open-plan living spaces, open fires, vaulted ceilings, spiral staircases and a heated indoor pool. Inside there’s everything from a spa treatment room to a country kitchen, whilst outside, in five acres of Mediterranean gardens and parkland, you’ll find two courtyards, decking and an al fresco dining area.
What’s on the doorstep? Devonshire cream teas in countryside teashops, sailing on the hidden creeks of the River Dart, coastal walking at Start Bay, and bushcraft courses if you want to learn how to live off the land.
Sleeps: Up to 8 adults and 3 children.
Catering: Self-catering with a private chef available.
Cost: From £1,995 for a 2-night stay to £6,250 per week.
Find out more:

SWINBROOK MANOR & ESTATE, Burford, Oxfordshire, UK

What’s so special? Sitting at a long wooden table, tasting fine vintages in the well-stocked wine cellar, it would be hard to find fault in this showcase for the finer things in life. When not subterranean and surrounded by wine, the view is one of undulating hills and streams iconic of the Cotswolds countryside. Also on the outside you’ll find a heated pool, a Zen garden and a fishing lake, whilst inside your opulent abode – a traditional country estate decked out by a designer with an international reputation – there are four poster beds, winding staircases, a Roman Spa room and a farmhouse kitchen.
What’s on the doorstep? Explore the beautiful town of Burford on the river Windrush, visit the Fettiplace Tombs in Swinbrook Church, and head to the Cornbury Music Festival in July.
Sleeps: Up to 12 guests.
Catering: Fully catered with an in-house chef.
Cost: Short breaks from £8,700 per night/£11,200 for 2 nights; around £17,300 per week.
Find out more:

For more information contact Sarah Stanley or Jess Clark
Tel: +44(0)1637 881942


* This is a small selection of our Unique Home Stays Country/Coastal retreats. Please see our website for more ideas and accommodation to suit you. We have properties in the UK, USA, Spain, South Africa, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, India, Greece, France and the Czech Republic.
* Please contact Unique Home Stays in the event of featuring any of our properties.
* A selection of high-resolution images is available.
* We can organize press trips for select journalists and we work alongside a handful of professional journalists who can provide bespoke write-ups if required.
* Launched in 2001, Unique Home Stays offers the creme de la creme of privately hosted accommodation that offers a unique alternative to run-of-the mill hotels. Having travelled the world, MD Sarah Stanley knew what she expected from top quality accommodation: Intimate and luxury hospitality, pristine homes oozing with character, excellent regional cuisine and comfortable bedrooms with all the trimmings. Today Unique Home Stays offers superior accommodation in over 100 homes scattered over 14 different countries. The properties include castles, priories, rectories, windmills, water mills, townhouses, coastal homes and even a house in the sea.