Masterwork architectural villas for rent post-lockdown

Architectural villas offer incentive to travel from your sofa. Our edit – from solo retreats to boutique complexes – will also be available to rent once the time comes for freer movement

oaxaca house mexico
Mexico’s La Extraviada is designed by husband-and-wife team architect Ivan Esqueda Martínez and interior designer Gala Sánchez Renero
(Image credit: press)

La Extraviada, Mexico

La Extraviada, Mexico, dining room, kitchen

(Image credit: Nin Solis)

Created by Mexico City based architect Ivan Esqueda Martínez as his private family retreat, La Extraviada is an idyllic getaway on Oaxaca's Mermejita Beach. Set among rich foliage on a hillside overlooking the green scenery and Pacific Ocean, the house features interiors by the architect's wife, Gala Sánchez Renero, and is now available to rent. Engulfed in nature, the house is broken down into three distinct volumes, in order for it to adapt easily to the sloped site. The volumes ‘resemble stones', explains Esqueda Martínez. Large, timber framed windows, terraces at almost every level and natural materials – such as macuil wood for the joinery, guapinol wood for the structural frame, and stone from nearby quarries for the patios and stairs – ensure this retreat is intrinsically connected to its surroundings.

Clifftops, UK

Clifftops, UK, exterior

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

This boutique series of five villas is situated on the Isle of Portland, in Dorset’s Jurassic Heritage coastline. Drawing on its famous UK site, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the design, created by London-based architecture studio Morrow + Lorraine, uses ‘large, rough-cleaved blocks of local Portland stone'. The plot, nestled into a cliffside that overlooks the English Channel, inspired the design team to create a calming, minimalist interior that focuses on the landscape and views. The stone-heavy exterior is complemented by copper panel cladding and window frames. Inside, oak joinery and wall paneling balance the hardness of the stone, while adding warmth and texture, to create a chic, yet cocooning interior.

Costa Elena Bay Villas, Costa Rica

Costa Elena Bay Villas, Costa Rica, poolside and bar

(Image credit: Jack Crosby)

Set on the idyllic coast of Costa Rica, this small group of private, luxury villas has been created as a collaboration between Canadian studio DesignAgency and PDG and El Salvador based architect Eva Hinds. Surrounded by natural scenery and a stone's throw from the Guanacaste Conservation Area, the properties, available to rent and buy, are drawing on their tropical environment. Orientated towards striking views of Nicaragua, the Pacific Ocean and Isla Bolanos, each villa features large openings and ample external space to easily merge indoors and outdoors lifestyles. Decked terraces, swimming pools and outdoors dining options are also included in the design. At the same time, concrete floors, warm teak wood, and neutral furnishings ensure a sharp, contemporary environment.

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).