Cover Desert Skies, a modernist home in Palm Beach can be booked through the Plum Guide (Courtesy of Plum Guide)

Move over, Airbnb—these websites offer a tightly curated selection of vacation homes in the world's most stunning destinations

Travel experts predict that the desire to take longer trips and travel with bigger groups will result in a higher preference for self-contained accommodation. That unshakable demand for holiday rentals just goes to show why Airbnb, the world’s largest home-sharing platform, still plans to go public in a pandemic year.

But even with its massive portfolio of homes and the expansion of Airbnb experiences, it's certainly not the only home rental booking service out there. Here are some websites that are a joy to browse as you search for your next vacation home or even if you're only looking for design inspiration. 

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Plum Guide

The Plum Guide markets itself as one of the few holiday home-booking platforms that truly vet its selections, claiming that only 3 per cent of the properties that apply pass the rigorous inspection of its home critics. The properties that do pass muster are often spacious homes with sumptuous interiors—from a former carpentry workshop turned chic loft in Madrid to a seven-room cottage with an outdoor wooden tub in the Cotswolds, England. The playful writing and stylish pictures on the website make it a pleasure to browse even if you’re only after decorating ideas.

plumguide.com

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Le Collectionist

Once you enter the Le Collectionist website, you’ll notice that almost every third entry is labelled as exclusive. That’s because the team has worked hard to ensure that only the best vacation homes are listed—they only accept those that elicit what they mysteriously describe as a “love at first sight” feeling. More than 1,000 homes in 150 destinations have made the cut, among them sprawling villas set in the drool-worthy locations of France’s Cap Ferret and Comporta in Portugal.

Le Collectionist can also arrange details of your stay, be it as simple as booking a masseuse or private chef or as extravagant as a once-in-a-lifetime day out, like a skiing lesson on the slopes of Courchevel with an Olympic ski cross champion.

lecollectionist.com

Related: Home Tour: A Minimalist Apartment Designed In The Style Of A Modern Ryokan

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The Luxe Nomad

There’s a growing demand for properties that can cater to multigenerational travellers, especially in Asia. Start-up The Luxe Nomad features a wide range of expansive homes that are perfect for extended family gatherings. Whether you’re after a beachfront villa in Canggu, a cliffside house in Phuket or a cosy chalet in Niseko, you’re bound to find something that suits your fancy.

theluxenomad.com

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Domus Stay

London-based real estate firm Domus Nova has parlayed their property expertise into a new venture called Domus Stay, which offers luxury homes for short-term rental. Those who book via Domus Stay are in for a true residential experience, with the upside of having a guest services specialist on speed dial. Travellers can also avail of experiences created only for Domus Stay such as an arts workshop with illustrator John Booth, who has worked with Paul Smith and Fendi.

Homeowners, on the other hand, enjoy a hassle-free rental experience. “The Domus Stay team takes care of everything: from housekeeping, thorough insurance, maintenance and security; and always with a personal touch. With our understanding of how our clients today want to live and travel, both homeowner and guests can be assured they are in safe hands,” says Rachel Angell, COO of Domus Stay. The service is initially available in London and will slowly expand to Europe; they’re also currently exploring opportunities in Asia.

domusstay.com

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