Five Best: Quirky holiday rentals

Luxury retreats - with a bit of a twist


Dammusi Santa Teresa, Italy

Dammusi Santa Teresa, Italy

A happy marriage of style and substance, the diminutive dammusi on the Italian island of Pantelleria were originally designed to withstand the fervour of the Mediterranean climate. The name comes from the Arabic for "roofed house" and that's essentially what they are - little stone cubes with thick volcanic walls, small windows and round roofs. If you want to rent your own, the island's Santa Teresa farm has several renovated dammusi available, all with shared use of a swimming-pool and surrounded by fruit trees and olive groves.

Santa Teresa, Siba, Pantelleria, Italy (00 39 0923 916389; www.santateresa.it). One week's rental for two people starts from €1,000 (£714)

The Pineapple, Scotland

One of the most exotic properties on the Landmark Trust's books, the Pineapple was built as a summerhouse for the Fourth Earl of Dunmore in the late 18th century. The earl served as the Governor of Virginia, where it was tradition for sailors to put pineapples on their gateposts to announce they had arrived home safely. When he returned to Scotland he decided to go one better: outside Falkirk he constructed a permanent architectural memento. While the ground floor of the building is conventional, the roof sprouts its prickly hat as a lasting tribute to the masons who worked on it.

The Pineapple, Dunmore, Scotland (01628 825925; www.landmarktrust.org.uk). Four-night mid-week rentals for four people start from £178

Dodo's Tower, Kenya

This gorgeous, pagoda-like structure was built as a folly-cum-lookout on the shore of Lake Naivasha. The romantic eight-storey tower has three bedrooms, a first-floor veranda for wildlife viewing and a top-floor meditation room. It is set on a 500-acre private estate known as Hippo Point. The estate also has an eight-bedroom lodge, Hippo Point House, that boasts a swimming-pool as well as a traditional English garden.

Hippo Point, Oloidien Bay, Kenya (0845 0700618; www.akchapters.com). Weekly rental of Dodo's Tower for six people starts from £8,855

Casa Infinito, Mexico

Overlooking a beach on Mexico's Pacific coast, Casa Infinito has a touch of the artist Frida Kahlo about it - offering a cool blue lookout, a host of modern Mexican artwork and an artist's tower. Guests can chill out in the open-air living area, infinity pool and dramatic tropical gardens, and if you've ever fancied a chukka or two, now's your chance. The local polo club is open from November to April and offers beginners' lessons, while proficient riders can also borrow one of the club's 40-odd ponies. The villa comes fully staffed, although prices do not include meals.

Casa Infinito, Costa Careyes, Mexico (00 52 315 351 0240; www.careyes.com.mx). Minimum three-night rentals for up to six people start from $3,600 (£2,000)

Casa Moinho Da Porto, Portugal

This creaking old mill is in a beautiful setting in northern Portugal, on the banks of a tributary of the river Ave. It has been sensitively converted using original materials, including 18th-century iron lattice from a nearby monastery. There is one very striking modern addition to the building - the living area boasts an unusual glass floor section, allowing guests to watch the water running beneath them. If this has you yearning to take a dip, the villa also has a pool.

Casa Moinho Da Porta, Costa Verde, Portugal (01244 355580; www.itcclassics.co.uk). Seven-night rentals for four people start at £1,000 per week

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links