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Ultimate Villa Vacations: One for the Generations

Compiled by Lori Bryan, Jennifer Hall, Michael Schulze, and Oliver Slosser

An extended family—two grandparents, three couples, and four young children—travels from Chicago to Corfu, Greece, their base for a two-week yachting trip in the Greek islands.

Providers. Air travel by Sentient Flight Group (781.763.0380, www.sentientflight.com); yacht charter by Camper & Nicholsons International (954.524.4250, www.cnconnect.com); villa available through Five Star Greece Ltd. (+44.20.8422.4885, www.fivestargreece.com).

Getting There. At the Atlantic Aviation facility at Chicago Midway Airport, the family boards a chartered Bombardier Global Express from Sentient Flight Group, an aviation-management, charter, and jet-card company based in Weymouth, Mass. ?“The Global Express is a perfect jet for this trip,” says Sentient CEO Steve Hankin, because it is “comfortable as well as capable of flying the distance in one shot.” The Chicago-to-Corfu flight takes about 10 hours, and the round-trip fare is approximately $250,000. The family clears customs with the help of a Sentient representative, and a stretch limo sent by Five Star Greece takes the group to its home base, 17 miles away.

Villa. Of the more than 100 properties she represents in the Greek islands, Five Star Greece director Ileana von Hirsch recommends Corfu’s Bay Estate, situated on five acres overlooking the bay of Kaminaki, for this family’s vacation. ?“Above all,” she explains, “[they want] a venue for a family holiday where all ages will have something to do.” The estate’s three houses—Mustique, Java, and Provence—are the dream home of an Englishman who fell in love with Corfu, says von Hirsch. The property accommodates as many as 28 people and rents in the high season (July and August) for about $100,000 per week, which covers concierge service, a hostess, a chef, maid service, a gardener, and a pool attendant. ?“The villa’s charming hostess, or our own concierge service, can help guests with most requests,” says von Hirsch, including arranging “a top-quality tour guide to escort them on Corfu or farther afield.”

Experience. Other Greek isles are well within the family’s reach, thanks to the 188-foot Abeking & Rasmussen yacht Excellence III, available from Camper & Nicholsons International for about $585,000 per week. “With its master suite, four king-size cabins, and two additional cabins, Excellence III is ideal for a large group,” says Camper & Nicholsons CEO Jillian Montgomery. ?“And kids will enjoy the cinema room as well as the water toys.” When the yacht returns to the villa—the vessel can dock in either of the bays flanking the estate—the family finds equally enticing options on land. “For Mom there is a yoga pavilion with a Jacuzzi and a massage area, daybeds in shady corners, and staff to take care of the details,” says von Hirsch. “For Dad, an air-conditioned gym, a pool bar, a tennis court, and a wooden jetty for the speedboat he might want to charter. ?And for the grandparents, wide verandas and comfortable furniture for lounging while the grandchildren play by the pool.”

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Photo by Ellen Jaskol
Photo by Vincent Zanzouri
Copyright by Adriaan Louw