huatulco oaxaca mexico vacation home rental

Book a stay in a jaw-dropping vacation home like this sprawling villa in Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo: Marriott International)

Beach Travel

Does Your Dream Vacay Home Rock Pool or Beach Vibes? These 9 Stunners Will Help You Decide

Sunrise or sunset hike? Margarita or piña colada? Room service for breakfast or for dinner? Vacation decisions may not be easy, but they sure are fun. As thoughts of warm-weather vacations shift from daydreams to reality, you can make the planning process even more enjoyable. Scope out these nine gorgeous rental homes and discover your answer to the most important question of all: Beach or pool?

As always, check for travel restrictions or closures before planning your trip.


Live Beachside in Mexico

The Pacific Ocean is never out of mind — or out of view — at this lush, four-bedroom villa in Oaxaca. Its sparkling blue water is within sight when you’re sitting on the expansive terrace, floating in the infinity pool or even washing off in the master bedroom’s walk-in shower.

The beach, Playa La Bocana, is known for its surfing and bird-watching. It’s also walking distance from the Copalita Archeological Site, which experts believe was settled around 500 B.C. After your historical outing, your private chef (included in your stay) will prepare a scrumptious meal.

Plan a Couples Getaway in Spain

benahavis spain vacation home rental
(Photo: Marriott International)

For a romantic retreat, look no further than this one-bedroom beach house in southern Spain. The two-story casita’s white walls and inviting but simple design let the views shine: Costa del Sol is just out the back door, through the small private yard.

After splashing in the sea, dry off and unwind on one of the two terraces from which the horizon seems to extend forever. Leave the terrace doors open to let in that fresh salty air.

Take Over a Beachside Estate in Mexico

punta mita vacation home rental
(Photo: Marriott International)

Vacation like royalty at this six-bedroom estate just steps from the ocean. You can borrow the private power boat — yours for a few days — to explore the bay. Divided into four buildings, all connected by covered walkways, the property is dripping in luxury, from the in-house theater to the fountains to the original artwork.

Oh, and did we mention the resident chef and mixologist duo who will keep you satiated, whether you’re lounging by the swimming pool, relaxing in the hot tub or tanning on the beach?

Snorkel Steps from Your Back Door in Hawaii

hawaii vacation home rental
(Photo: Marriott International)

You don’t have to travel far to dive beneath the waves and see stunning coral and turtles and manta rays — the Pacific Ocean is a hop, skip and a jump away from this private, three-bedroom enclave in Kamuela (also known as Waimea), on the northern edge of the Big Island.

Retractable glass doors let the ocean breeze flow through the living room and the home’s three bedrooms, and the kitchen opens to a large, oceanfront lanai. The hammock calls during snorkeling breaks; you can also take a plunge in the unheated lap pool or covered hot tub.


Luxuriate with an In-Pool Neck Massage in Italy

villa dei sogni massa vacation home rental
(Photo: Marriott International)

If a swimming pool could be called an overachiever, this shallow piscina at the four-bedroom Villa dei Sogni in Naples would earn a gold medal. Not only does it overlook the Gulf of Naples, but it comes equipped with a cascade shower and hydromassage corner for a built-in spa moment. It can also be heated, meaning you can enjoy it at any time of year.

The seaside views are jaw-dropping from the three-story villa’s private, furnished terrace. Though the vista is just as breathtaking indoors, standing on the hand-painted Vietrese ceramic floors and gazing through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

When you’re craving traditional fare, enjoy fresh pizza from the wood-fired oven — yes, your very own pizza oven (and chef for hire) are on hand.

For those who do want some time in the sand, Marina della Lobra beach is within walking distance.

Enjoy Family Fun in Greece

crete vacation home rental
(Photo: Marriott International)

Nothing keeps kids busy like splashing around, making waves and dumping pails of water on each other. At this modern, four-bedroom villa in Crete, kiddos can play in their own small pool (and outdoor playground, replete with a slide), leaving the adults to float around the connected larger pool or lounge on the surrounding sun beds in peace. In case you need even more options, a six-seat Jacuzzi awaits.

When the sun begins to lower, enjoy a barbecue dinner on the terrace — with views of seemingly endless olive groves — or unwind in the calming, contemporary interior. (The kids? They’ll be distracted by the PlayStation 4.)

Sunbathe in Privacy in St. Bart’s

st barts vacation home rental
(Photo: Marriott International)

OK, so you may have picked the Caribbean for its pristine beaches. But for the days when you’re seeking privacy and don’t want to deal with sand getting, well, everywhere, this three-bedroom, three-bathroom villa in Grand Fond is a true oasis.

The pièce de résistance is the oval pool, which mimics the motion of the ocean with swimming currents and a sloping beach design. Then there’s the indoor-outdoor aesthetic of the house itself and its expansive al fresco seating areas — and the master bedroom, a minimalist’s dream space.

When you start to crave sand between your toes? Those white sand beaches are just minutes away.

Take a Dip Year-Round in Nevada

lake tahoe vacation home rental
(Photo: Marriott International)

Whether you’re visiting Lake Tahoe to schuss through powder in the winter or to hit the summer trails, a relaxing dip awaits at the end of the day. The highlight of this grand, wood-beamed chalet (eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms) is the indoor heated pool and hot tub — your own private grotto.

Numerous fireplaces, pingpong and pool tables, and a deep soaking tub in the master bedroom are just extra perks. And the views over one of the world’s 20 oldest lakes aren’t half bad, either.


It’s the Best of Both Worlds in Jamaica

ocho rios vacation home rental
(Photo: Marriott International)

Who says you can’t have it all? This beachfront estate is composed of two villas, a tennis court and two ocean-view pools and hot tubs — and (and!) provides access to a private beach cove with loungers at the ready. A boat is available to rent, and there are kayaks, snorkeling gear and fishing equipment on hand. Nearly every bedroom (there are four in each house) has its own Jacuzzi or hot tub, too.

The contemporary design and eye-catching wood elements, from the TV wall to the floating staircase, transform the indoors into a quiet retreat perfect for a relaxing vacation. Another spectacular feature? The cliffside abode has a rope bridge leading off its oversized deck to an ideal bird-watching vista.