August 8, 2022

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Enter the New Zealand fold The Shepherd’s Cottage at Annandale on the Bank Peninsula, New...

Enter the New Zealand fold

The Shepherd’s Cottage at Annandale on the Bank Peninsula, New Zealand

You won’t lack for room to roam at Annandale, the working farm/rural retreat on a far slope of the Banks Peninsula in New Zealand. On its 4,000 acres of coastline, plains and woodland, there are only four villas (though each is supremely catered for by a staff of chefs, housekeepers, and experience organisers). The extremes of high design and Antipodean luxury are on display here, but the winning accommodation, for our money, is the Shepherd’s Cottage, set atop one of the highest points on the property. Dating to the late-1800s, it has a downstairs sitting room and kitchen of ultra-cosy dimensions – but also a huge open fireplace and a cast-iron bath out on the patio. Upstairs, under steeply pitched eaves, is what has to be one of the most inviting bedrooms on the South Island, not least for the landscape that fills the windows – and it’s one of otherworldly beauty, any season of the year – while you nestle under layers of down. Don’t even think of coming as anything other than a couple. annandale.com, from NZ$1,495 (about £762)

The bedroom sits under steeply pitched eaves with a view across the slopes

Sweet home Caledonia

“Spare and light-saturated”: Kyle House in Scotland

Wildland has become the go-to resource in Scotland for beautifully renovated properties of all sizes that toe the sustainability line in quantifiable, laudable ways. Over the last few years, old cottages across its various estates (which total over 220,000 acres) have been rehabilitated, and new ones constructed. On the shores of the Kyle of Tongue, in the remote northernmost reaches of the country, is Kyle House, which sleeps just two. The traditional stone-and-lime exterior belies the sleek Danish-inflected delightfulness of the interiors – a series of unfinished-oak “boxes” housing a living room, bespoke kitchen and bathroom. Upstairs is a single, open-plan, gorgeous space, incorporating a sleeping zone, a wet room with a free-standing bath, and a small library. Spare and light-saturated, it invites the severely lovely outdoors in through multiple windows. wildland.scot, from £1,900

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The cottage sits on the remote shores of the Kyle of Tongue

Lilliput via Brazil

The lean-to bathroom – the tub sits on its own wooden deck

“Brazil” and “cabin” aren’t necessarily the most intuitive pairing in the lexicon of fantasy travel planning. But Comuna do Ibitipoca, the estate set in the 3,000-hectare nature reserve of the same name in the rolling interior of Minas Gerais, is anything but typical. The 18th-century homestead’s various houses and buildings have been elaborated on in quietly stylish ways for decades by owner Renato Machado. In a place that’s got magic in spades, we’d say the most magical accommodation is Isgoné Loft – the Eagle’s Nest, a one bedroom weathered-wood cabin of truly Lilliputian proportions, raised on stone plinths, just big enough for a big old sexy bed, a table for two, and a wee kitchen corner with a wood stove. (The bathroom’s in a lean-to right next door; the claw-footed tub is on its own wood deck with views to put myriad five-star resorts to shame.) It’s you, the stars, and empty native wilderness for days. Enquire for prices and availability through Plan South America, plansouthamerica.com

Isgoné Loft is a one-bedroom cabin in Minas Gerais, Brazil

Home on the ranch

The private hot tub and deck at Triple Creek Ranch’s Chipmunk Cottage

There are dude ranches (hardcore), and dude ranches for tourists (turndown service, underfloor heating, probably little in the way of cowboy credibility). And then there is Triple Creek Ranch, hidden deep in the Bitterroot mountains 80 miles from the closest airport at Missoula. It’s one of America’s finest iterations of the guest-centric ranch genre, where the helipads co-exist with the cattle drives (yes, guests opt in – in fact travel thousands of miles for them), and there’s a nice art collection but nothing feels too done. The accommodations range accordingly; but consider the Chipmunk Cottage, one of just three buildings at some remove from the rest of the ranch. An actual log cabin, of the sturdy sort a child would draw, it’s surrounded by evergreens, with a big deck with a hot tub (private enough to wear whatever you want to – or don’t – when you soak). A wood-burning stove next to the bed, along with a loft sitting area, round out the picture. triplecreekranch.com, $1,400

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The cabin aesthetic is rounded off by a wood-burning stove beside the bed

Cornish cream

Driftwood-faded plank walls at Sundance in Cornwall

And finally to the north Cornwall coast, where near the shore of Watergate Bay you can channel your inner Danny, the Champion of the World and sleep for a night (or several) in a caravan. Sundance is an adorable wood wagon that has been cleverly upcycled into a vacation bolthole that’s perfect for one or two. The driftwood-faded plank walls, meandering cottage garden, and quaint tin roof meet with a well-integrated extension holding a full-sized bedroom (note the sweet cast-iron bed) and bathroom, complete with roll-top tub and shower. The decor is Cornish-country perfect; the kitchen alcove has everything you need; the wood-burner begs to be curled up next to on chilly winter evenings. A year-rounder worth bookmarking, whether you’re UK-based or not. uniquehomestays.com, from £950 for three nights

The “Cornish-country perfect” decor includes a wood-burner for chilly evenings

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