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Q: Luxury vacation rentals for large families ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Luxury vacation rentals for large families
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: jude1-ga
List Price: $150.00
Posted: 07 Aug 2006 19:25 PDT
Expires: 06 Sep 2006 19:25 PDT
Question ID: 753649
I'm looking for luxury vacation rentals for a large family for
Dec. 30, 2006 - Jan. 6, 2007. 

Must have 10+ bedrooms.
Must be in one house/villa/castle/building so that the family is all
together and not spread out over different buildings.

DON'T WANT beach-type places or very cold-weather places (sweater
weather is fine but no colder).

DO WANT lots to do such as the Grand Canyon or something similar. Will
consider out of the USA, but would like at least SOME USA options.

Price is around $20,000 for the week, can be lower or a little higher.
Subject: Re: Luxury vacation rentals for large families
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 09 Aug 2006 13:19 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello jude1-ga!

I love this kind of question! I wanted to be a travel agent when I was
younger, so I always enjoy researching vacation spots. I have a lot of
fun answering questions like this on Google Answers and yours is no
exception. It?s a kind of virtual adventure! I?ve found many locations
that will certainly meet your needs, along with some that may fit what
you need depending upon your flexibility.

I can see why you?ve asked a researcher for help with this. It?s
tricky to find one house with 10 bedrooms to accommodate so large a
group, but I was able to find a number of properties that will work! I
found many of these listings at (Vacation Rentals
By Owner). They have an excellent site that lists vacation properties
worldwide. I have checked on all of the properties I have listed and
they are available for the dates you?ve specified. So really, it?s all
set up so you can get started choosing a rental right away. There are
one or two properties where I am waiting to hear back from the owner
in order to know if they are available in December. I will post their
responses as soon as I hear from them. In the meantime, because places
do fill fast, especially around the holidays, I?m getting you what
information I have so far. Here goes!

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Joshua Tree is centrally located in Southern California. This rental
property has 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms and is available during the
week you will be traveling. The owner tells me that the weekly rate
would be $8000. This includes premiums for holiday booking and daily
pool heating.

?Stunning views abound from this high desert luxury retreat centrally
located in Southern California, 20 minutes to downtown Palm Springs,
and 10 minutes to Joshua Tree National Park. 3 hrs to Las Vegas. Live
the royal life in this luxury appointed, 10 bedroom, 10 bathroom,
9,000+ sq. ft. estate. Boasting a theater room, wine closet, billiard
room with wet bar, 6 car garage, RV garage, rock waterfall and pond,
magnificent pool, 2 spas, Lighted tennis court and much more. Enjoy
your castle in the high desert. Staff nearby but not to close to offer
personal services if needed. We can pickup you up from the Airport and
drop you back off for your departure.?

Here is a site with a list of attractions in the Palm Springs area,
about 20 minutes from the property.

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This next property is a 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom ?mini castle? that is
available for the dates you need. Its nightly rate is $2350, so that
is on the pricier side, but still within your stated budget. The
listing mentions that it is only 1 minute from the Las Vegas Strip.

Here is a house with 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. It is close to all
activities in the Las Vegas area. This property did not have an
availability calendar so I contacted the owner. I will post his
response when I receive it.

There is no shortage of things to do in and around Las Vegas. Here are
the ?must sees? according to Incidentally, all of
these are free or fairly inexpensive.

* Bellagio Fountains
* Eiffel Tower Replica
* Viva Las Vegas Show at the Stratosphere
* The Volcano Eruption at the Mirage Hotel
* The Fremont Street Experience
* Treasure Island Battleship Show
* Largest Golden Nugget
* Liberace Museum
* Gaming Classes at the Las Vegas Hilton
* Visit the Strip

Here is a site that lists the top activities for kids under 21, in
case you have anyone in your family that fits into this age group.

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This 10-bedroom bed and breakfast is located in historic Houston,
Texas. You can rent the entire property for less than $5,000 per week.
If you want to do your own cooking this may not work for you, but if
you want a nice ?all-inclusive? getaway, this property could
definitely do the trick. It is available during your requested times.
It is a short walk from restaurants and shopping, including several
antiques dealers. It is also very near the rail station that accesses
downtown Houston.

The Houston Guide has a lot of information about things to do in
Houston. This page has what it considers to be the ?best bets.? There
are brief descriptions of and links to various activities.

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This rental is a ranch outside of Brady, Texas. Brady bills itself as
the geographic center of Texas, located about 3 hours from Austin and
4 hours from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It has 12 bedrooms and 6
bathrooms and is available during the New Year?s holiday this year.

This is a link to the Brady, Texas Chamber of Commerce. It has
information on local history, attractions, and events.

The City of Brady website has similar information available there.

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Moving over to Europe, this chateau/castle is available for the dates
you requested. It has 10 bedrooms and 5 baths. It is located about 1 
hours west of Paris in the French countryside. There are a number of
activities in the immediate area including scenic plane rides,
castles, and casinos. The all-inclusive rate is about 6,000 euros (as
of today-- $7,718.02 USD). Here is an excerpt from its listing.

?Included in your Rental: Exclusive occupancy of the castle for you
and your group of up to 20 guests. Full-time chef and housekeeper
throughout your entire stay. Most groups tend to book for a minimum of
7 nights from Saturday to Saturday but you can book for anytime during
any period if there is availability. Discounted rates maybe available
for last minute bookings. All group rates include the cost of our
fabulous breakfasts and evening meals, linens, utilities, grounds
maintenance, and room cleaning (minimum 3 times per week) and all the
help/assistance you may need from your hosts.?

This link comes from a site called ?France for Families.? It includes
a list of things to do in Normandy with links to many of them. Some of
the attractions in the area include the Palace of Versaille and
Normandy Beach. Plus, Paris itself is not too far away. is a great resource for activities and attractions in
a number of locations around the world. Here is their page for

This site has reviews about various places to visit in Normandy.

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Here is a 10-bedroom, 8.5-bathroom lodge in beautiful Australia. It
will accommodate over 20 people comfortably. It is available for the
December/January holiday. It rents for under $5000 per week.

Here is a site with information on travel and tourism in New South
Wales, Australia. It includes sections on Sydney and other areas in
the province.

Australian Explorer has an excellent site with listings of activities
and attractions in New South Wales.

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This next rental is in Marrakech, Morocco and has 10 bedrooms and 6
bathrooms. It will accommodate 20 people. It is quite near the city
center and numerous attractions. has a page with information on Marrakech, Morocco. It
includes a list of attractions to see in and around the city.

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I did a little research and found that the average December and
January temperature in Tuscany last year was 7 degrees Celsius (about
45 degrees Fahrenheit). Depending on your comfort level this may be a
bit cold, but you can be the judge of that. Getting the chance to
vacation in Tuscany may be worth the weather!

This first rental property is a 10-bedroom, 7-bathroom house. The
rental price is still listed in Italian lire (which apparently do not
exist now) so you will need to ask the owner the current rental price.
Based upon the old listing, it should rent for somewhere around 2000
euros or so (as of today-- $2,572.62 USD).

The next listing is for a villa with 10 bedrooms and 7 baths. It rents
for 3400 euros (as of today-- $4,374.12 USD) per week during the time
you would like to use it. This property is available should you want
to rent it.

?Il Poderuccio is a property merged into the Tuscan countryside,
surrounded by the hills painted in the beautiful golden and green
colours. The house is 4 km only from the medieval town of Cetona, a
centre famous among tourists in search of the more authentic Tuscany.
Its size and internal layout embody the opportunity to spend a
relaxing and comfortable stay for more than one families or parties.

The property has been restored recently and is well decorated with
terracotta tiles, wooden beams and precious, but functional furniture.
The outdoor space has a very nice garden, and the various relaxing
areas scattered around it give the villa a very cozy atmosphere.?

Here is an additional website that the property management group sent me.

This villa has 10 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, sleeping 20-22 guests. It
is a new listing so pricing is not available. This property is
available for the December/January holiday season.

?Superbly situated on a tranquil and panoramic Chianti hills setting,
in the middle of the most famous Tuscan triangle, Florence, Arezzo and
Siena, this beautiful and impressive Villa is surrounded by a large
property of olive groves trees and vineyards. Dating back to the 19th
century, it has just been restored and turned into a charming country
villa full of atmosphere and history with views of the surrounding
hills punctuating the spaces.?

Here are an additional website the owner sent to me.

This Tuscan villa also has 10 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, accommodating
25 people. It rents for $5500-6950 per week. It has a number of
glowing reviews on its site. It is available in December and January.

?If you are looking for a way to see Tuscany but not as a tourist -
this is it! In addition to renting out our villa, every year we
arrange two or three special trips that include the villa rental plus
several organized tours. You will meet local people, learn the local
customs, and feel more a part of the landscape and less like an
outsider looking in.?

This farmhouse has 12 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, sleeping up to 26
guests. It is available in December and January and rents for 3600
euros for the week (as of today-- $4,630.83 USD).

?If the tranquility and beauty of the surrounding area isn't enough,
Villa Cuiano is a perfect base camp from which to explore Tuscany and
Umbria. . . .

The railway station is a similar distance - once on a train you can be
in Florence in an hour or in Rome in two. The nearest village is
Mercatale di Cortona, with facilities including shops, bars, medical
facilities, a restaurant and bank. Cortona is 20 minutes away and in
less than an hour you can be in Siena, Montepulciano, Orvieto or

This next Tuscan villa has 11 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. It rents for
5200 euros for the week you will be there (as of today-- $6,688.97
USD). This rental is available for your requested dates.

?Villa Francesco is a splendid XVIII th century villa, beautifully
restored, taking into account the traditional values and in the mean
time paying attention to the requirements of our modern times. It is
excellently refined and provided with top quality furnishings. In the
middle of a green paradise, the sober-looking Villa Francesco opens
its doors and shows all its splendor to the visitor who will
appreciate the magnificence of its halls, enjoy the elegance of its
furnishings and love all the comforts, fittings and services which the
generous owners offer their guests.

The property is situated in an excellent strategic position, in fact
from Villa Francesco it is very easy to reach Foiano della Chiana, a
historic centre where you can find excellent restaurants,
supermarkets, characteristic local products and all sorts of shops. By
short drive the tourist will enjoy Montepulciano, appreciate the rural
landscapes of Val D?Orcia, and could visit the historic little towns
of Cetona and Chiusi. The nearby motorway allows to reach Florence,
Rome and Siena.?

The property management company sent me this additional website about the property.

Here is one more property that one of the property management groups
sent to me. It has 10 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. For an extra fee the
owner can add sleeper/sofas to allow additional people to sleep there.
It rents for 5700 euros (as of today-- $7,331.50 USD) per week during
the December holiday season. Here is an excerpt from the property

?Villa Anna, a splendid property of about 500 square metres built on
two levels with a tower comprising the third, is located near the
attractive medieval village of Cetona, just an hour?s drive from
important centres such as Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi and
Roma. The property is surrounded by a large park with swimming pool
and the interior has been elegantly restructured maintaining the
original flavour with wooden ceilings and tiled floors. The furniture
is functional and elegant. The farmhouse, which was originally divided
into apartments, offers guests wanting privacy pleasant living rooms
with fireplaces and practical fully equipped kitchenette, as well as a
large, characteristic, living/dining room with fireplace and fully
equipped kitchen. Near the property are to be found many fascinating
and romantic places to visit for never to be forgotten evenings in the
typical restaurants and bars of the area. Villa Anna is the ideal
place for large groups wanting to share a holiday and at the same time
maintain their privacy.? is a site with plenty of information for tourists in
Italy. Here is an excerpt from their site on Tuscany.

?Your visit to Tuscany will help you navigate through its many
world-famed attractions, but it will also introduce you to some of its
lesser-known jewels. Italy's most skilled cowboys, for instance. Or a
host of colorful outdoor food markets. Spectacular natural parks. A
mystery church, an ancient Etruscan mineral spa, a dozen Last Suppers
in Florence . . . and a thousand narrow farm roads waiting patiently
for you to make the wrong turn and find your own secret treasure,
basking happily in the Tuscan sun.?

There are a number of links on the site to activities in the area,
both well-known and off the beaten path.

You guessed it? has a page on Tuscany with links to
hundreds of activities to do and places to go.

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I have spent the better portion of two days looking for vacation
rentals for you and have listed the best I?ve found. Even though the
following properties are not technically under one roof, I thought
they were very interesting. Even though these don?t meet your
particular needs now, you may find that they are worth noting for
future reference depending upon your needs then. That?s why I am
calling this section ?Extras.? I?ve researched local activities for
each as I have for the others.
= = = = = = = = = =


This property is actually 5 luxury rental homes that rent together,
and they are all next to each other (connected by walls). They are a
short drive from downtown San Diego and the freeway is conveniently
accessible. Together there are 16 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms.

Here is a link to the San Diego Visitors? Bureau website. It includes
information on area attractions and a calendar of events for the year.
Some of the popular sites include:

* Sea World
* San Diego Zoo
* San Diego Wildlife Park
* Legoland California

Here is a page with printable coupons and savings to some of these attractions.

= = = = = = = = = =


Only 20 miles from Ventura and 90 miles from Los Angeles, this 3-house
property on a 500+ acre ranch can sleep over 20 people. While this
property is not a single, open floor plan home, the homes are tightly
clustered and there are no surrounding rental properties. I have
contacted the owner and confirmed that it is available for the dates
you need.

Here is a direct link for more information about the property.

This page from has information about things to do in
and around Ventura.

Frommer?s also has an article from their guide that talks about
attractions around Ventura.

If you end up going into Los Angeles, here are the top ten things to
do in Los Angeles according to this guide.

= = = = = = = = = =


This 16th-century chateau has 10 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms in 3
separate houses on the property. It is a secluded estate, but still
with adequate accessibility to local attractions. All together it can
accommodate up to 20 people. Renting all three houses will cost about
5,000 euros (as of today-- $6,431.56 USD). I have contacted the owner
to inquire about availability and will post his response when I
receive it.

?Domaine de la Loubiere is a large estate set in the countryside in
the ten-acre grounds of a 16th century chateau. Aix en Provence is
just 20 minutes away, famous for its art, culture, and thermal spa.
Lying at the foothills of the Luberon National Park, close to the
Durance River, this is an ideal location for hikers and mountain
bikers to enjoy the spectacular countryside and wildlife year round.?

According to ?France for Families,? children ranked Provence as the
best place to visit in France. This link is to the attractions page
for Provence.

= = = = = = = = = =


This property is a villa located in the Roman countryside and
accommodates up to 23 people. It has several separate ?apartments?
within one building that rent for around 800-1100 euros (as of today--
$1,028.98-1,414.85 USD) per week each. This property is available for
the December/January holiday.

Rome has entirely too many attractions to list all that may be of
interest to you. What I have included here are some sites that
highlight some of the more popular ones, some of the free ones, and
some of the ?must see? attractions in the area.

= = = = = = = = = =


I had to include a personal plug for a visit to Portugal. I had the
chance to live in Evora and it?s quaint, rustic, and GORGEOUS!
Portugal is a hidden gem in Europe and I highly recommend visiting
there. The rental available there has only 8 bedrooms, but can sleep
up to 26 people. The separate apartments rent for 500-1000 euros (as
of today-- $643.11-1,286.23 USD) per week. This area of the world is
definitely worth a look.

?The monte/farmhouse is situated on the edge of a little hamlet in the
heart of typical Alentejano countryside, with its ancient olive trees,
corn and sunflower fields. Peace and tranquility is only interrupted
by the sound of birds and goat bells. The nearest village Motrinos is
one km away, a short walk for local shopping, fresh bread, and fresh
goats milk cheeses.?

Here are some recommendations from regarding places to
see in and around Evora.

This site has a brief description of the history of Evora and some of
the things to see there.

Lisbon could be a day trip to consider when staying in Evora. I highly
recommend it, as Lisbon is another beautiful city. Here are some
recommendations of places to see there.

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I found a couple of properties in Central Mexico that really impressed
me, but that were booked for the holidays this year. If you ever need
to do something like this again, I?d be sure to check out these two

?Step out your door and onto the silver trail. This is an Ideal
location for visiting a different colonial town each day, or simply
enjoying the best of Mexico's Bajio region. Shop for beautiful
talavera pottery in Dolores Hidalgo, shop for EVERYTHING in San
Miguel, while you enjoy gourmet restaurants, hot springs, and golf.
Wander the charming streets and cobbled alleys of Guanajuato. Practice
your soccer skills, or invite the locals for a friendly game of
volleyball on your private sand court. Spend a few hours riding our
horses down to the river, and watch the bald eagles. Then return home
for a massage from our private massage therapist. Chauffeur available
for reasonable fee, also very knowledgeable bilingual guide for trail
rides (horse, car, or mountain bike,) and seeing historic silver trail
locations that most tourists NEVER see. Horses and mountain bikes are
complimentary, and included with your rental.?

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I hope that you find this information useful! It sounds like your
family is in for a really exciting New Year?s holiday. Enjoy! Now
you?ve got me thinking about where I?d like to go! I am intrigued! If
you have any need of further clarification, please let me know how I
can help.


Search strategy:

Scan listings at for appropriate locations
Online search

Search terms:

?10 bedroom? vacation rental
San Diego attractions
Ventura attractions
?top things? Los Angeles attractions
?top things? Las Vegas attractions
Brady Texas
Houston attractions
Normandy attractions
Tuscany attractions
Rome attractions
Rome attractions ?must see?
Marrakech attractions
?Palm Springs? attractions
?New South Wales? attractions

Request for Answer Clarification by jude1-ga on 09 Aug 2006 21:32 PDT
This is excellent! I'd like to do some more, please, with added budget
and added money (to the max of $200) to the question. Here are the new

1) Changed dates (very sorry for this): Dec. 27 - Jan. 3

2) Higher budget of up to $50,000 -- let's see what we can get for that.

3) A beach-type property is ok IF, IF, IF there's PLENTY else to do,
especially for kids. (Hey, Mom, this is MY question! ROTFL)

4) Preferably in North America (and Carribean) now.

5) Weather MUST be no colder than sweater weather (no jackets!)

6) Should have lots to do for everybody with some things for very
small children  (3 and 5 years old).

Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 10 Aug 2006 11:19 PDT

I?m so glad to hear that you are pleased with the answer I posted for
you! It?s always a relief to know that a customer is happy with our
research. And, ack!, I can tell the whole family is keeping tabs on my
research. No pressure, right? ;) Seriously, I?m happy to help.

Given that there are so many new aspects to your request, as well as a
new price for the question (you can?t really adjust that once it?s
answered), this really is a new question. The best thing to do is to
go ahead and close this one out and post a brand new question with my
name on it so I can continue working with you. I?ve actually, in my
research for your original question, found several places that I
didn?t post because it didn?t fit in with your original request that I
can go back and look at given your new budget and clarifications.
There are some great vacation homes out there!

Again, I?m glad to know that you?re happy with the research I?ve done
so far. Go ahead and close this one out and post that new question
with my name on it and I can grab it and continue my research for you.

jude1-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
This is excellent, very thourough!

Subject: Re: Luxury vacation rentals for large families
From: nfpolaris-ga on 09 Aug 2006 14:14 PDT
no idea if its available for those dates...but it looks awesome & you
may want to look at luxury link...i've had lots of people use the site
& love it..

Subject: Re: Luxury vacation rentals for large families
From: boquinha-ga on 10 Aug 2006 15:38 PDT
Thanks for the kind words and 5 stars! I've seen the other question
and I'm working on it. Back to the research trenches . . . :)


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