The Big Six: Indian Ocean villas

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From Creole style and contemporary opulence to a five-bedroom villa that is ideal for guests who don't want to share the sand with anyone else...

Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie, Seychelles

Closing the gap between the ultra-luxurious hotels and the simpler holiday rentals in the Seychelles, this collection of villas on the island of La Digue offers a balance of Creole style and contemporary opulence. Spread over two floors, the villas are crafted from wood, thatch and granite and feature a kitchen, dining veranda and partially outdoor bathroom.

Le Domaine de l'Orangeraie, Anse Sévère, La Digue, Seychelles (00 248 234 444; orangeraie.sc ). Weekly rental starts at €1,505 (£1,363); villas sleep up to three.

Ilot Malais, Mauritius

This five-bedroom villa is ideal for guests who don't want to share the sand with anyone else; it's set on a private island circled by white sand beaches off the spectacular west coast of Mauritius. Built in the French colonial style typical of the mainland, it comes with a generous 25m beachside pool set amid luxuriant gardens. Wicker chairs, shutters and a veranda set the tropical tone in the main house, while there's a barbecue and endless snorkelling opportunities in the turquoise water outside.

Ilot Malais, Black River, Mauritius (bookings through sjvillas.co.uk ; 020-7801 4010). Weekly rental starts at €1,750 (£1,584); sleeps 11.

Karang Kembar, Indonesia

Panoramic Indian Ocean views can be enjoyed from almost any part of this stunning Balinese villa, whether it's the cliff-side infinity pool, the floor-to-ceiling windows of the open plan living room, or the bedroom balconies. The design is refreshingly contemporary, with vernacular touches such as Buddhist statues and outdoor bathrooms. There's also a nautical-themed bedroom for kids, a spa treatment room and the services of a chef.

Karang Kembar, Banjar Jabapura, Kecamatan Kuta Selatan, Badung, Bali, Indonesia (00 65 9018 1742; bali-karangkembarestate.com ). Weekly rental starts at US$7,245 (£4,830) with breakfast, soft drinks, transfers and driver; sleeps 10.

Kusini House, Kenya

The island of Lamu, off the Kenyan coast, is seeped in ancient Swahili and Arab culture. On the deserted south coast, Kusini House is decorated in Swahili style, with tropical hardwood furniture, vibrant fabrics, ornate wall reliefs, sunken baths and thatched eaves. There's a private walled garden and pool, too.

Kusini House, Kizingoni Beach, Lamu, Kenya (00 254 733 444 144; kizingonibeach.com ). Weekly rental starts at €2,600 (£2,354); sleeps eight.

Taprobane Island, Sri Lanka

This diminutive island overlooks the idyllic palm-fringed beaches of southern Sri Lanka. There are carved four-poster beds, wrap-around verandas, and a chef who will prepare curries and fresh seafood throughout the day.

Taprobane Island, Weligama, Sri Lanka (00 94 91 4380275; taprobaneisland.com ). Weekly rental starts at US$1,160 (£773); sleeps 10.

True North Ashore, Australia

Built from Kimberley stone and native Marri timbers, True North Ashore overlooks Geographe Bay and features a waterfall, a wood-fired pizza oven and a spa. From September to December, whales can be seen in the bay.

True North Ashore, Lot 9 Wedgetail Views, Eagle Bay, Western Australia, Australia (00 61 409 925 127; truenorthashore.com ). Weekly rental from A$8,000 (£4,520); sleeps eight.

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