Once summer comes along, it seems as though everyone you know is running off to a fantastic rental that they lucked upon via a friend of a friend. You want in. But with all the online clutter, it’s hard to zero in on that rustic Cape Cod beach shack or chic Parisian pied-à-terre of your dreams.
Here at Remodelista we’ve done our share of vacation renting, from shoestring to more luxe. We look for places with local character that are thoughtfully pulled together inside and out. It’s a combination that’s elusive but not impossible to come by, if you know where to look (and if you’re careful to scrutinize the photos and details before signing on). Here are the rental sites that we turn to most often.
1. The Thinking Traveler
3. Unique Home Stays
5. Haven In
6. Boutique Homes
7. Welcome Beyond
8. Landmark Trust
9. Crabtree & Crabtree
For rental reccs, Margot goes to her friend Laura Jones, who lives York, England with her British husband (see her kitchen here) and “rents a roomy, well-situated house, every summer, for their far-flung family to gather,” according to Margot. Laura turned her on to Crabtree & Crabtree, good for holiday lets in the north of England. (“They have some lovely places,” Laura reports. “One of them, Milne Graden, is a collection of cottages on a riverside estate which is very present on Instagram.”)
10. Kip Hideaways
11. One Fine Stay
Our group is of divided opinion about One Fine Stay (some of us have had good experiences, others not so great). That said, the site offers a wide range of luxury vacation stays in the main cities of New York, Colorado, California, Wyoming, and Hawaii, plus globally in France, Italy, Thailand, Spain, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
12. Kid & Coe
13. Luci Stays
14. Destination BCN
15. Living Architecture
N.B.: This post is a favorite from our archives; it originally ran on July 7, 2014, and we’re republishing it here with our new additions and updates for 2023.
Frequently asked questions
What are some vacation rental house websites recommended by Remodelista editors?
Remodelista editors recommend the following vacation rental house websites: Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Kid & Coe, One Fine Stay, Boutique Homes, Plum Guide, Oliver's Travels, The Plum Guide, Landmark Trust, and Domus Stay.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a popular vacation rental platform that allows individuals to rent out their homes, apartments, or rooms to travelers. It offers a wide range of accommodation options in various locations around the world.
What is VRBO?
VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) is another vacation rental website that connects travelers with property owners. It offers a diverse selection of vacation homes, cabins, condos, and more.
What is HomeAway?
HomeAway is a vacation rental platform that is now part of the VRBO network. It offers a large inventory of rental properties for travelers to choose from.
What is Kid & Coe?
Kid & Coe is a vacation rental website specifically designed for families. It offers family-friendly homes and accommodations with amenities catered towards children.
What is One Fine Stay?
One Fine Stay is a luxury vacation rental website that offers high-end, curated homes and apartments in various cities around the world. It focuses on providing a premium experience to its guests.
What is Boutique Homes?
Boutique Homes is a vacation rental platform that features unique and design-focused properties. It showcases a collection of aesthetically appealing and architecturally interesting homes.
What is Plum Guide?
Plum Guide is a vacation rental website that offers a selection of meticulously tested and reviewed homes. It strives to provide a curated and high-quality experience for travelers.
What is Oliver's Travels?
Oliver's Travels is a vacation rental website specializing in luxury villas, chateaux, and large holiday homes. It offers unique and extravagant properties for travelers seeking a memorable experience.
What is The Plum Guide?
The Plum Guide is a vacation rental platform that features homes personally vetted by a team of hospitality experts. It ensures the quality and comfort of its accommodations.
What is Landmark Trust?
Landmark Trust is a vacation rental organization that focuses on preserving historic and unique buildings. It offers stays in castles, cottages, and other significant landmarks.
What is Domus Stay?
Domus Stay is a vacation rental website that features a collection of hand-picked properties in different destinations. It offers a range of accommodation types to suit various travel preferences.