Going (Rental) Home for the Holidays?

Photo courtesy of HomeAway.com

Photo courtesy of HomeAway.com

I’ve never been one for spending Christmas at some tropical destination, but then again I’m not sure I could turn down an offer to spend the holidays at one of the places listed among Forbes Magazine’s “20 Most Expensive Holiday Rentals for Christmas and New Year’s” either.

Surveying four vacation rental sites – HomeAway, FlipKey, Airbnb, and VacationHomeRentals.com – Forbes’ staff writer Erin Carlyle identified the 20 priciest properties available for rent this holiday season. Topping the list at number one is the Hacienda Santa Ines, a 10-room, 12-bathroom villa situated on 300 acres in Costa Rica’s Tres Rios mountain range, listed for a cool $192,000 for the holiday week. According to the vice president of FlipKey, 72% of the site’s travelers headed to warm-weather destinations in 2012 for the Christmas travel week.

Third on the list is the Borgo San Pietro, a 17-bedroom, 17-bath villa in Tuscany that rents for just over $146,000 per week. Eight hundred years ago, the 13th century residence was a place for pilgrims to rest on their way to Rome. In the fourth spot is Villa Rockstar, located on the island of St. Barthelemy, which rents for $145,000 per week and comes with a personal butler. Tied for fourth on the list is the Chalet Edelweiss, a 7-floor, 8-bedroom ski chalet situated in the Rhone-Alpes region of France near the famous ski resort, Couchevel 1850. The chalet is the most expensive of the cold weather destinations on the list at $145,000 per week.

For those families looking for more of a bargain, Airbnb and VacationHomeRentals.com may be a better way to go. For $18,760 a week, a family can rent a five-bedroom home in Bangalow, Australia that features floorboards from an old Adelaide Church and beams from a 1918 bridge on VacationHomeRentals.com. The most expensive properties on Airbnb, however, run just about $4,200 a week. What a steal.

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