The World's Most Luxurious Country Estates
Collected by Jen Murphy , AFAR Contributor
Get away from it all at one of these country estates set amidst vineyards and rolling hills. Each of these hotels will transport you to another time with their unique histories, yet they have all of the modern amenities to make your stay incredibly comfortable. Activities range from cooking classes to horseback rides. Afternoons are best spent indulging in great food and wine.
Biltmore Estate Dr, North Carolina, USA
A self-guided tour of the Vanderbilt family’s 8,000-acre estate in Asheville, North Carolina, takes you through gardens bursting with roses and azaleas, and past pools filled with koi and pineapple-scented water lilies. The centerpiece is...
Shanagarry, Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland
Myrtle Allen is Ireland’s answer to Alice Waters: The centenarian chef has lobbied the Irish parliament for better food policies, earned some Michelin stars, and, 50 years ago, opened a restaurant called the Yeats Room in the town of...
Ashford Castle Estate, Leaf Island, Cong, Co. Mayo, F31 CA48, Ireland
What trip to Ireland is complete without a stay in a castle hotel? Ashford fulfills even the wildest castle fantasies with its crenellated towers, medieval-looking canopy beds, and esteemed falconry program that lets guests explore its 350...
Castello di Poggio alle Mura, 53024 Montalcino SI, Italy
For nearly three centuries, workers serving the nobility at Castello Banfi in Tuscany lived in a small hamlet within the castle grounds. In 2007, however, the stone houses within their tiny village were completely renovated under the direction of...
Newmarket, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare, Ireland
Among the best of Ireland’s castle hotels for its ambience and location—convenient to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren’s dreamy landscapes in county Clare—the 1830s-era Dromoland Castle was the home of the O’Brien family, who descended from...
Località San Felice, 53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga SI, Italy
This wonderful wine estate ticks all the right boxes. Set in a timeless landscape of gently rolling hills and vines, olives and cypresses in the southernmost part of the Chianti wine producing area, Borgo San Felice is a stone hamlet that once...
118 Montgomerie Rd, Mangere, Manukau 2022, New Zealand
Perhaps one of the country's most famous wine brands, Villa Maria wines are amongst the most awarded in New Zealand. In the last international competition they took away five Golds for five different varietals proving that there's more to Kiwi...
Douro, 3260 Figueiró dos Vinhos, Portugal
I have visited Napa and Sonoma, and have been to Tuscany, and Bordeaux, but no wine region of the world has surprised me with its beauty as much as the Douro. If your find yourself in Porto, it is well worth renting a car (or better yet, hiring a...
17 4th Ave, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa
The tony suburb of Houghton, whose best-known resident was Nelson Mandela, is home to leafy lanes lined with stately estates. Not too far from the Mandela family manse is the Residence, a stylish boutique property that lives up to its name,...
Upper Blaauwklippen Rd, Helderberg Rural, 7600, South Africa
On the outdoor patio at Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, guests can relax while tasting South African wines with help from the knowledgable staff. For those with a sweet tooth, the “Wine & Chocolate Experience” is particularly...
Carrer Arraval, 41, 07430 Llubí, Illes Balears, Spain
Son Net’s mansion rooms, suites, and estate cottages are matched in splendor by its cavernous bar, where wines include six from the hotel’s vineyards. Arrange a wine tour of the area in a vintage car. From $208. C/Castillo de Sonnet s/n,...
RN144, Mendoza, Argentina
Travelers who think heaven should include golf, tennis, horseback riding, mountains, vineyards, and mouthwatering food and wine all in one place should book a stay at Algodon Wine Estates. The property rolls across 2,000 acres of picturesque...
Caves Rd & Tom Cullity Drive, Margaret River WA 6284, Australia
Vasse Felix is the original, and oldest, of the Margaret River wineries. However, it isn't just the wine which should propel you to meander up the long, tree-lined drive to the main building to spend an afternoon enjoying the fruit of Founder Tom...
Pass Road, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
There are several good reasons to make a special trip to this winery, not least that its sauvignon, pinot noir and shiraz regularly win major awards. The most obvious, however, hits you as soon as you walk through the restaurant and onto the...
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