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Luxe Home Swap
Five elite homes in unexpected places and an exclusive offer for CH readers
by Graham Hiemstra
on 30 March 2011

Even the most opulent hotels can't replace the comforts of home, where decor and amenities truly speak to your interests. While plenty of alternatives exist in the form of apartment swapping and rental sites, few tailor their offerings to the style-minded and are as affordable as the membership-based Luxe Home Swap.

The site allows users to browse thousands of homes from around the world to find a retreat specific to their holiday desires. Fans of mid-century Danish design can choose a contemporary flat in NYC or a historical apartment in Copenhagen, with quality assured by the membership-based model. The concept also means that you don't have to do a direct swap, but can visit any home that's available.

Even more tempting, Luxe Home Swap lists several options in locations so far-flung that there's no hotel for miles even if you wanted one. Below are our some of our favorites, each the perfect place—from houses in nature preserves to cliffside pools—to really get away from it all.

And if all that's not enough for you, Cool Hunting readers now get a Luxe Home Swap membership for $125—that's 20% off the annual fee.

Contemporary living a world away in Waikato, New Zealand
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Nestled deep in the forests, this beauty has won awards for both sustainability and design. Achieving complete isolation is no chore here.

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The house itself is as carefully put together as you could imagine, offering the ultimate wilderness retreat without losing any comforts of home.

Thoughtful design between land and sea in Brittany, France
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With 26,000 square feet of open property to explore, a gorgeous indoor pool and a manicured Japanese garden, this architect-designed house is a perfect rural refuge.

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The house is also located close to the Bay of Saint-Brieuc nature reserve, which has two rivers flowing through it and is known as "a paradise for bird watchers."

A modern house on the prairie in Kerry, Ireland
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A modern holiday home only minutes from town and local entertainment. Surrounded by rolling hills and overlooking the Beara Peninsula, it's an ideal place for the family to discover Ireland's natural beauty and rich history.

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The house is also great for the adventurist. It comes equipped with four bicycles, is located near two 18-hole golf courses—one of which is the century-old world class Kenmare Golf Club. For more rustic activities, the house is also near the sea, which offers great trout and salmon fishing.

A home as stunning as its view in Cape Town, South Africa
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Four stories of pure luxury and 180° breathtaking views put this home in a class of its own. Swim in one of two pools, relax in the jacuzzi or walk to Clifton Beach—a laid-back riviera with beachside cafes perfect for sipping cocktails while the sun sets.

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The house also comes with a manager on call to handle all of your requests, such as transportation to the heart of Cape Town or further out to the beautiful wine country.

A floating flat on the river in Vecht, Netherlands
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This quaint houseboat has a contemporary feel. Collect yourself in the serenity of the garden or cruise the canals in the 21-foot motorboat that's also at your disposal.

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The historic village of Loenen aan de Vecht is only a half-mile away, and both Amsterdam and the bohemian town of Utrecht are just 20 minutes away.

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