Ever wonder what it would be like to be the queen of Jane Seymour's British castle or the master of Mikhail Baryshnikov's Mexican-style Caribbean casa? The fantasy is just a call away, because many stars will rent you their holiday homes. No pesky paparazzi-or mortgage payments.
Les Jolies Eaux, Mustique, the Grenadines, British West Indies
The exclusive and exquisite three mile long caribbean island of Mustique is virtually a private club for the reclusive jet set, where Her Royal Highness princes Margaret, its most exalted regular, is in residence every February in the six bedroom palazzo Les Jolies Eaux("Pretty Waters"). Set on a stunning four acre hillside site above the sea, the house, with pool, gazebo and extensive gardens, now belongs to Princess Margert's son, world class furniture designer Viscount David Linley. When he and his wife Serena, are'nt visiting, the house-filled with family heirlooms such as photographs by Linley's famous father, Lord Snowdon, and furniture by Linley's great uncle, the late stage designer Oliver Messel-can be rented by non-royals. the price: $10,000 a week from December 1 to April 30; $8,000 a week other times; includes the services of a maid, butler-gardener and cook. Call Overseas Connection, 888-728-4552, or fax 516-725-5825.
House on the Hill, Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
More than a decade ago, record mogul, airline executive and ballonist Richard Branson bought a tiny private island in the carribean and created the ultimate spot to unwind from his high-powered and often exhausting life. Boasting several beaches, an extradordinary main house, and two Balinese guest houses, Necker Island, as Bransons hideway property is called, will accomadate as many as 24 guests. Some of the visitors who have sought-and found-seclusion here include Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Peter Gabriel and repeat visitor Princess Diana. Besides the compleate privacy and sheer beauty of necker, the Branson compound offers guests two tennis courts, a gym, an astonishing freshwater swimming pool cut out of coral rock, and a virtual armada of sail and powerboats. Needless to say, the views are divine...and the prices are equally out of this world: from $11,00 a day for one to seven guests, to as much as $16,000 for the maximum of 24. For information, call Overseas Connection, 888-728-4552, or Resorts Management, 800-557-4255.
Maisons Mexicaines, St Barthelemy, French West Indies
When ballet superstar Mikhail Baryshnikov wants to relax, he heads to the oh-so-chic French Caribbean island of St. Barts, where he can hang out, if he wishes, with other island aficionados like Madonna, Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford. A longtime houseguest on the island, which has some of the Caribbean's most beautiful white sand beaches and arguably its best cuisine, Baryshnikov became a part-time St. Barts resident in 1989 when he fell in love with twin hillside villas. His two-bedroom Maisons Mexicaines, designed by a german architect with a fondness for things Mexican, have thick adobe walls, tile floors and distinctive, patterened brick ceilings. Baryshnikov has filled his villas with folksy furnishings from Mexico, the Far East, Europe and North Africa. The property also has a tiled pool with a view. Considering their idyllic St. Barts location, Baryshnikovs Maisons Mexicaines are not outrageously pricey: $3,000 per villa per week in the winter season, $2,000 at other times of the year. For information call 516-725-9308
St Catherine's Court, Bath, England
What could be more fitting for English rose Jane Seymour than an authentic 14th century castle? This fairy-tale realm, which Seymour spent a fortune furnishing with the requisite stately antiques and elegant art objects, sits on 14 acres of close-clipped lawns and formal gardens six miles from the historic city of Bath. Besides eight bedrooms, six and a half baths, nursery and children's bedrooms, and a bevy of baronial halls and elegant salons, St Catherine's Court, which once belonged to Henry VIII, has a ballroom (which has been used as a recording studio by alternative rock groups the Cure and Radiohead), stables, a tennis court and a church-not just a chapel! Seymour, whose current Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman shooting schedule keeps her away most of the year, says, "It's a beautiful home, and beautiful homes deserve to be lived in". Guests pay approximately $13,000 a week for the privelage of staying here, which includes entree to the Beaufort Hunt. Call Overseas Connection, 888-728-4552, or fax 516-725-5825.
Randy Travis Estate, Maui, Hawaii
When a guy has as many platinum records as Randy Travis, he's got to put them somewhere. So don't be surprised to find a collection of the coveted discs hanging on the walls of the country singer's luxerious estate in the old whaling capital of Lahaina, on Maui. the same Hawaiian island is also vacation home to Kris Kristofferson, Magic Johnson and other high-profile players from the world of entertainment. Meanwhile, back at the Travis place, you'll find a vast open-to-the-sky living room with exposed-beam ceiling, a striking free-form swimming pool, a well-equipped fitness center, and a cushy master bedroom with whirlpool tub. The rambling property has seven bedrooms, which are divided among the main house, a guest house and a pool house. The price: from $8,750 a week. Call Overseas Connection, 888-728-4552, or fax 516-725-5825
OTHER VILLAS TO VISIT
Mustique, the Grenadines, Brithish West Indies
Like a rolling stone: for about $10,000 a week in the winter, or $8,000 a week in the summer, you can rock and roll at Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall's Japenese-style six bedroom villa with a swimming pool, hot tub and games pavillion. Satisfaction. Call Overseas Connection, 888-728-4552