My Favourite Places: Jamie Marquis of The Luxury Travel Book

Jamie Maquis of The City Apartment Book chooses some favourite holiday apartments and villas.

The Luxury Travel Book has an impressive portfolio of luxury holiday apartments and villa accommodation in some of the most beautiful cities and destinations in the world. Whether you want to live like a local for a long weekend or somewhere to unwind for a week, you're bound to find something here. With so much choice, what do you choose? Jamie Marquis shares some personal favourites...

SANTORINI, GREECE: Nefeli and Nafsika

Santorini is such an amazing island with its white Cycladic houses lining the cliff tops, and this property is spectacular! It sits in a stunning position in the beautiful village of Imerovigli, with magnificent views over the caldera. Accommodation here works really well for two couples, as it is on two levels consisting of two separate apartments, which can be connected by an internal staircase. Alternatively, if it is just a couple, Nefeli can be rented on its own, with Nafsika remaining closed.The white interiors are very stylish with a ‘cave like’ feel and the property also benefits from two terraces, perfect for enjoying the views, plus an outdoor Jacuzzi on the lower level. Sleeps 2 – 6 people in total. Minimum stay 3 nights. Weekly prices from €3850.

PARIS: Le Bateau

This luxurious and very spacious houseboat on the Seine offers a unique Parisian holiday base. Dating from the early 1900s, it was originally a cargo boat on the canals in Holland. The owner brought it to Paris in the 1970s and has refurbished it beautifully throughout. It is situated in the Port de Suffren on the Left Bank, almost right at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. It is also just a short walk from a great open-air food market and a good choice of restaurants and cafés. Moreover, there is a deck/terrace where you can sit in the sunshine with a morning coffee, or evening drink, while enjoying the views of the Seine. Sleeps 2 - 4. Weekly prices from €1960.

FLORENCE: Signoria Palazzo

We always love going to Florence and this historic palazzo is an ideal place to stay if you are a larger group of friends or family. It is perfect for a special celebration. It is in a wonderful central location, just a few steps from the Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio. Still with many 17th century features, the apartment has been renovated and decorated to an exceptionally high standard. The living/dining room is magnificent with high beamed ceilings, and doors to a furnished terrace/roof garden. Guests will enjoy access to a well-stocked cellar, and a complimentary hamper on arrival from the owner’s Tuscan estate. Sleeps 10 – 11. Weekly prices from €6125.

POSITANO: Palazzo Santa Croce

This villa is one of the most special properties in our entire portfolio. It is situated high in Positano about a 10 – 15 minute walk up from the town and beach, and has the most magnificent views over the town, the coastline and the sea. Dating from the 1700s, the current owners have restored the palazzo to all its former glory and more. Features include a fabulous terrace for dining outdoors, also with a hydro-massage pool, and a heated pool, sauna and spa on a lower level. A really nice touch with this villa is the breakfast - which is served to guests each morning with juice squeezed from the property’s own lemon and orange trees, homemade marmalade and home baked pastries! Sleeps 8. Weekly prices from €13,160.

CAPE TOWN: Bakoven Beach Cottage

I was recently in Cape Town for 6 weeks and it is a truly special place to visit. The scenery, beaches, restaurants (and wine!) are all some of the best I’ve ever experienced. One of my favourite places that I visited on my trip was Bakoven Beach. I viewed this charming beach bungalow, right on the sands of the beach. You can literally just step off the front verandah onto the white sand beach. The verandah also has an outdoor dining area with a BBQ, and there is a furnished upstairs sun terrace where you can relax and enjoy the views. The rooms are beautifully finished in dark and light wood and furnished and fitted to a high standard with an eclectic African twist. There is also a small lawned garden with a Jacuzzi. Sleeps 8. Weekly prices from ZAR 45,000.

TUSCANY: Casole d’Elsa

Located on a wine producing estate, this is one of my favourite Tuscan properties we feature, offering 360 degree views over the surrounding countryside. Close to the village of Casole d’Elsa, and with both Siena and San Gimignano within an easy drive, this villa is a wonderful base to explore these beautiful walled hill towns, and the many other attractions the area has to offer. The interiors have been decorated and furnished with exceptional taste and attention to detail. It has been featured in many interior design magazines, including Elle Décor and Côte Sud. The beautifully maintained garden has a boules court and a fantastic swimming, pool and an outdoor dining area just outside the villa with barbecue and wonderful views over the surrounding San Gimignano countryside. Sleeps 10 – 14 people. Weekly prices from €8260 for 10 people, and €9490 for 14 people.

February 2015