You've been there. It's the vacation spot that looks so luxurious and peaceful in the brochures. Your suite is plenty spacious and perfectly cooled. The resort boasts all the amenities you had hoped for. But head to the spa, the pool, or the five-star restaurant, and you're overwhelmed by noisy children, boisterous teens left alone by their parents, or worse. Turns out that the calm and peace you left home and office for has eluded you.
You can't exactly rent the entire hotel and make it into your own private oasis, but you can come close. Increasingly, well-heeled travelers are bypassing mainstream resorts and booking private villas, islands, castles, and estates. Not only do these exclusive retreats offer privacy, but they often come with a full staff, including cooks and housekeepers. For the traveler who spends most days at a demanding job, an escape to one of the following private getaways could be just the ticket to rejuvenation.
By Jennifer Merritt