Stay In An Igloo Made for Two

Zermatt, one of the world’s premier vacation destinations, lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. A car-free zone, Zermatt has preserved its original character and offers a wonderland of outdoor adventures, though none perhaps as unique as spending a romantic night or two in an igloo built just for you.

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Ok this isn’t everyone’s vision of their dream vacation to the Swiss Alps though think about it for a sec. Imagine spending a night in a beautifully crafted Igloo in one of the world’s most magnificent vacation destinations? Are you thinking …. “sounds great though sipping wine or hot-chocolate in a hotel is more my style.” I’m with you though Iglu Dorf Zermatt has something that very few people will ever experience and their expedition sleeping bags guarantee a warm night’s sleep.

Their romantic igloos are laid out with lambskins and designed by international artists. Each is different, and perfect for flirting and “special moments.” Depending on the location, a whirlpool or a sauna is also included in the igloo village. You’ll be in good hands and living in the lap of luxury – depending on your definition of eskimo luxury when you stay here as the guides at Iglue Dort ensure your and will pamper you with homemade mulled wine and a traditional cheese fondue. Of course, activities are always dependent upon the respective weather conditions at the time. Overnight stays are possible from 25 December until around the middle of April. Are you game? For details visit Igle Dorf’s website or check out the Zermatt Accommodations on VacationDiggs.

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Trains Converted Into Vacation Diggs

Train buffs know that many converted rail-road  cars are available for rental.  As a kid I loved traveling by train, walking from car to car,  sitting in the dining room and watching the South African landscape pass by.

There were the occasions,  when the train simply would stop for no apparent reason —  sometimes for minutes and other times for hours, though nobody seemed to mind.    It was brilliant fun on these trains.   Now, years later, some of these older trains have been converted into  “non-moving” vacation rentals, leaving no reason to wonder when you’ll arrive at your destination.

Here are a few particularly intriguing and fun rail-way car into vacation accommodation conversions.

1926 C&O Caboose
Vacation Rental at Natural Bridge, VA.

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A rail geek’s dream, this 1926 Caboose has been lovingly restored.  Sitting incongruously amongst Virginia’s hilly farmland,  the caboose’s owner has decorated the interior in cherrywood and outfitted it with a double-bed, satellite TV, and AC.   The patio area is fittingly lit with railroad-style lanterns, and upon arrival a railroad crossing sign flashes.   How cool is that?

The Travelling Post Office – St Germans, Cornwall

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The Travelling Post Office no 841 started off life as a narrow gauge body on broad gauge bogies, with three passenger compartments, a sorting area, gangway, net and four delivery arms. It was numbered 2086. In 1896 the compartments were removed to increase the sorting area, and the vehicle was renumbered 841. In 1904 it made history by being pulled behind the City of Truro when it made its record-breaking 100mph run.   More regularly it was used for the Bristol to Penzance runs until it was taken out of service in 1934, after which for many years it formed part of a house in Wales.

The current owners have combined authenticity with all the comforts one could wish for on a “Travelling Post Office” vacation.   The interior has been designed reflect its original purpose as a mail coach, and includes the “Railholiday touches,” such as our Cornish welcome pack and variety of interesting games and railway books are included.

The railway station at St Germans was built in 1858 and the platform is still in use – served by over 20 stopping trains per day.

Gypsy Caravan ‘Rambling Rose’ near Lostwithiel in Cornwall

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‘Rambling Rose’ Gypsy caravan was built in Penzance in the 1930s and has been wonderfully restored to its former glory by a talented Cornish craftsman using traditional methods passed down through generations.
This Romany caravan contains beautiful authentic features –  including some of the original paintwork on the  pot box at the back of the wagon.  The owners,  talented artists,  have painted the wagon using traditional art techniques to show stunning scroll work.  Located nearby the medieval town of Lostwithiel,  in the Fowey River Valley, a place knee deep in history and home to a lively and vibrant community.  Rambling Rose is the ideal base to explore the breathtaking countryside and discover the many unspoiled beaches of Cornwall.

Redcaboose Getawaym Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula in Sequim

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Experience the “Romance of the Rails” in your own private caboose! Not “just a room in a house” or hotel but your own private luxury railroad car- A CABOOSE.   When staying at Redcaboose you’ll enjoy gourmet breakfasts that are elegantly served in a 1937 Zephyr private dining car.  No worries that this caboose isn’t on the tracks as it’s ideally situated on a shy 3 acres around a central duck pond with short travel distance to the Olympic National Park, Hoh Rain Forest, wild Pacific Coast beaches and only a short ferry ride to Victoria, Canada. As seen on TV’s EVENING MAGAZINE & N.W. BACKROADS, THE FOOD CHANNEL, Published in BEST OF THE NORTHWEST, SEATTLE PI NEWSPAPER, THE LONDON TIMES, NEW YORK TIMES,SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE ,COASTAL LIVING & SUNSET MAGAZINES, & recommended in FODORS GUIDE.

Livingston Junction Cabooses, Eureka Springs, AR

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Spend your vacation in a luxury historic Caboose fashioned from actual rolling stock and furnished in quaint elegance. Romantically nestled on the mountainside with marvelous views of the historic site of railroading as it was in days gone by.  The name, Livingston Junction, combines the name of the “hollow” viewed down below the cabooses and the intersection where the original railroad from Seligman, Missouri headed south to Harrison, Arkansas and beyond. It spurs off to Historic Eureka Springs.

“J.J.” Caboose” bordering Glacier National Park, in Essex, Montana

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Named for James Jerome Hill, the Empire Builder of the Great Northern Railway, Luxury Caboose “J.J.” offers a cozy and inviting Western retreat.   J.J. blends wood, leather and stone to reflect Montana’s rich flora, fauna and landscape. Walls of turquoise aspen and rustic barn wood, accented with recycled chocolate leather, warmly envelope the soothing leather furnishings. The kitchen boasts a full refrigerator, gas range, microwave and copper sink. Lotus granite countertops, glazed hickory cabinetry, and the blue pine eating bar compliment the rich wood interior. The bedroom is walled in spalted birch and barn wood, accented with recycled leather. The queen size bed has a denim duvet adorned with a Glacier Park Pendleton and Hudson Bay pillow shams, echoing the theme of Great Northern’s sleeping cars.   JJ is a truly remarkable way to experience Glacier Park.

“Santos Express”,  Santos Beach, “the Garden Route”, Mossel Bay, South Africa

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What a view?  Known as `The Train` by locals, and situated at Santos beach,  in the heart of South Africa’s gorgeous Garden, Santos Express,  must win the award for a converted train, located in the most beautiful spot.  When you vacation at Santos Express you’ll enjoy the unique and romantic experience of staying on a real train only 30 meters from the magnificent Indian Ocean.   I’m making reservations….

Escape to Mykonos

It’s 37 degrees in Texas and the weather doesn’t look like it’s going to get warmer anytime soon so I really need an escape, even a virtual one.

Here goes ….. a photo-scape to one of the most stunning places on earth ~ Mykonos Island, Greece.

Overlooking gorgeous Panormos Bay sits the private community of Mykonos Panormos Villas and shown below is the main residence, in the community, whose name is Anassa ~  a place that looks like heaven to me right now — with idyllic, traditional whitewashed style,  spectacular water views,  and amazing outdoor areas. Ahhhhhhh! Paradise.

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Discover more about Anassa and the other fabulous at Panormos Bay Villas  or if you’ve already decided and want to rent this incredible home visit Anassa and promise that you’ll send  some photos of your adventure.

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Cheers!

 

Ten Of The World’s Most Extravagant Vacation Rentals

Limit yourself to 10 of the world’s most extravagant vacation rentals and these are certain to be in contention.

1. Villa la Louisiane – Cannes

When you say you’re going to the South of France it means one thing.   Well maybe two?   Style &  Class!  Stay at Villa La Louisiana in Cannes and you’re certain to be the talk of the town.   This is a stunning property filled with charm in a relaxing and elegant environment that is only a few minutes drive to the centre of Cannes and the beach.
 

2) St. Martin Le Chateau des Palmiers Beachfront Estate at Plum Bay

More in the mood for a beach escape?   Le Chateau des Palmiers is  one of a kind beachfront rental that boasts a 5-bedroom ocean side villa and a 4-bedroom garden side villa.    The picture says it all.

3) Villa Penasco, Los Cabos

Looking for more of a Latin fling?   Swing down to Los Cabos, Mexico and the elite community of Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas.    This rental  is perched high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and “Land’s End” where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific. This villa is stunning and is designed to make dreams come true 🙂

4)  April Meadow near London

Taste of London without the traffic.  April Meadow is a magnificent vacation rental located 28 miles from London.  A luxury country house that will cater to the most exclusive guests features an outdoor heated swimming pool,   and a cinema room that provides an authentic big screen experience. This vacation rental is ideal for an escape to the countryside for a long weekend or a family vacation to London.

5)  Frégate Island, Seychelles

For when a house isn’t enough, there’s always an island rental.   Four degrees south of the equator and a 20-minute flight away from Mahé, Frégate is a stunningly beautiful private island. It’s a uniquely peaceful setting of verdant, tropical interiors & abundant nature that is fringed by gorgeous beaches, each a sweep of powdery white sands.

The preservation and nurture of the island’s unique flora and fauna has always been and continues to be a fundamental raison d’être for this island. With only 16 villas and one Presidential Villa, guests are invited to experience the rare luxuries of space, security and seclusion within a tropical island setting of exuberant natural beauty.

6) Philips Ridge, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

This is the spot where nature comes alive. It’s sophisticated and wildly beautiful. Rough looking and welcoming.
Phillips Ridge lodge sits high atop a rocky ridge overlooking Jackson Hole. A long driveway, bordered by streams and shadowy forest, winds its way up to the magnificent Western lodge. The exterior of the lodge is a magical combination of wood, solid stone and ethereal glass.The interior is palatial, sumptuous, and filled with splendid works of art, Phillips Ridge invites you in with a two-story, light-filled entryway. Thick log walls and tree trunk supports contrast with fine antiques and soft, rich fabrics.   Simply the best.

7) Villa Moscaico, Lake Como, Italy

Few places touch the beauty of Lake Come and there is only one Villa Mosaico on the Lake. Ideally located, in the heart of the Lake Como district, close to many of the lake towns Villa Mosaico is one of Italy’s national monuments. It was built in the 1700’s by a famous Count who was granted the property by a Northern Papal family. Many famous residents have passed through including some of Italy’s most renowned opera writers.

The villa was designed by Felica Soave a famous Swiss architect to have a simple symmetrical façade with a richly elaborate interior. The ceilings in both the public rooms and the villa’s bedrooms are ornately decorated and painted. The floors are a beautiful mixture of Cotto from Lombardy, Seminato, and dark antique wood. The villa is filled with beautiful paintings, sculptures, rugs, tapestries, and Venetian chandeliers.

8) Le Bleu Villa, Anguilla

Le Bleu is a 10 bedroom villa with 10 en-suite bathrooms, located within approximately 2.5 acres of beautiful tropical gardens. With a fabulous open style living space in a superbly private location, the villa boasts two swimming pools as well as a small natural beach, beach pavilion, tennis court, gym, personal cinema and beautiful water garden.    Home to celebs and royalty.

9) Ibiza Villa

Perhaps the most beautiful vacation rental in Europe. An estate that is a true haven for seclusion as it is perched on a wide hill overlooking a beautiful bay on the east coast of Ibiza. Tropical garden landscaped with palm trees, 1,000 year old olive trees & three lakes. This Ibiza villa rental boasts a main house that sits directly on the coast-line with infinity pool on the cliff’s edge.

10) Villa Michaela, Tuscany, Italy

Magnificent 18th century villa; whose heritage, assets and raw beauty, all set in the heart of Tuscany, will add the magical touch to your plans; whatever they may be. Located a stones throw from the city of Lucca, 25 mins from Pisa airport and an hour from the heart of the Renaissance, Florence, the experience doesn’t stop at the front door, but will go as far as you’re willing to venture. Start your adventure here and may you make the most of what the birthplace of western civilization has to offer.

Can you top these?

Vacation Rentals save more than Sense

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Wether going on a family vacation or a long term stay a vacation rental can save you a bunch of cash and provide amenities and an experience that you won’t find at a resort.

San Antonio, Texas – VacationDiggs.com is the newest vacation rentals site on the internet though its founder Angelica Alaniz, isn’t new to promoting and renting vacation rentals to travelers looking for a different type of vacation to a traditional resort of hotel.  Alaniz was the founder of 2 of the internets first vacation rental sites, Goin2travel.com and 4BeachNuts.com, sites that she sold early in 2004.  Angie is back in the vacation rental listing site business again with her latest venture, VacationDiggs.com. With a passion for finding travelers great deals and internet promotion it’s not surprise that Alaniz is back in the vacation rental business.

I sat down with Angie a few days ago and asked to discover “why vacation rentals?”

Perhaps this is a common question though I’m curious why would anyway want to stay at a vacation rental rather than a resort?

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“There are numerous benefits of vacation rentals especially during the uncertain economic conditions that we face. Vacation rentals are great for both highly-budget conscious travelers, those on a tight budget or large groups looking to stay in a beautiful villa with incredible amenities — often at far less than the cost of renting hotel rooms.

Yes, a terrific vacation rental is going to require slightly more due diligence than staying at a well known resort, though the internet provides many ways today to ensure that you are getting exactly what the vacation rental owner says you are. With some searching and reading reviews, today’s savvy traveler can find a much better travel experience, nicer accommodations than a hotel room at a fraction of the cost. Nicer is somewhat personal taste though it’s certainly a “slower” and more “real” type of experience.

One of the major benefits of vacation rentals is you get more for your money. Vacation rentals typically provide you with far more privacy than than a single hotel room. For example, in the Caribbean or Hawaii at the same price as a two or three star hotel room, 3 couples can stay at a condo each couple will have the privacy of their own bedroom for what would typically be the cost of one hotel room. Now’s that’s tough to beat especially when you look at all the other amenities that come with vacation rentals.

Vacation rentals, like resorts, come in all shapes and size. They range from small studios in places like Paris and London, where staying at a hotel can be outrageously expensive, to villas that are suitable for royalty though when shared by a large group typically are extremely affordable especially in comparison to a hotel or resort.

Another major benefit of vacation rentals is that you can typically save even more based on longer term price breaks. Almost every vacation rental owner offers a number of price breaks that include weekly and monthly rental rates. For even longer term stays you can typically negotiate an even larger discounted rate, have the owner waive cleaning fees or include extra cleaning.

One of the other considerations for staying at a vacation rental is you get to be part of the “slow” travel movement. Instead of being rushed by the hustle and bustle typically associated with a resort, when you stay at a vacation rental you’ll typically be located in a residential resort community where you can live as the locals and long term residents do – or go into the faster paced lifestyle of the resort area. In Europe, vacation rentals are often located found away from the usual tourist spots, perfect for those trying to get off of the beaten path.

Staying at a vacation rental is also be terrific way for the budget conscious traveler to be able to stay at a better location than they could in a hotel. In places such as Cabo San Lucas or Hawaii, where there is a huge number of condos and villas, you can find great diggs right on, or near the beach, just the kind of location almost all vacationers would love and at far less than the price of a hotel room.

There are also other more obvious benefits of vacation rentals such as a full kitchen (great for saving money by eating in), often your own swimming pool or a shared one, many rooms just for you and your guests and the feeling that this is your home away from home. Typical other benefits of vacation rentals may include free equipment use, such as snorkels, boats, bicycles, surf boards and the extremely important washing machine.

Having stayed at many vacation rentals the experience is something that a traveler should discover :). It’s a wonderful way to travel and really get a feel for the place and save money while there.”

Thanks for sharing I’m definitely going to check out what you have at VacationDiggs.com.