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7 Top Private Pads (that aren’t on Airbnb)

These days it seems like just about every jet-setting Jenny is ditching hotels for unique, private stays. 

And while most Airbnb bucket lists feature many a top treehouse and hip houseboat, there are also plenty of swish pied-à-terres that you won’t find on any of their listings. Here, seven picks where you can live like a (very lucky) local.

Residenza Napoleone III, Rome

What’s better than a room in Rome? Your very own perfecto palazzo! The gold leaf-loving French emperor and namesake built this exquisitely lavish apartment privé in the C.16th. And with antique busts, original tapestries, hand-stencilled walls and a marble-ous bathroom (hidden behind an oil painting), the one-bed, two-reception room suite will certainly have you feeling like royalty. There’s the spare Blue Room too, just in case some of your courtly companions are coming with. Magnifico!

Residenza Napoleone III, Via della Fontanella di Borghese, 56, Spagna, Rome. +39 347 733 7098,

Ca’ Salvioni, Venice

Live like the Venetian aristocracy of old in this palace that served as the humble home of the Cubli family back in the 1550s. Three bedrooms each boast their own mod ensuite, chandeliers and antique furnishings, but the real showstopper is the salon with soaring, crown-molded ceilings, original frescos by Paolo Pagani, and balconies overlooking the canal and garden.

Ca’ Salvioni, Ramo Salvioni, Castello 3463, Venice. +39 041 522 3046,

El Palauet, Barcelona

The privacy of your own place, plus the service of a luxury hotel. This white n’ bright Art Deco dolly, right on Passeig de Gràcia, melds the best of both with six sweet, fully-equipped, two-bed abodes. You get your own kitchen, access to the rooftop spa, and all the stained glass windows and carved cornices a baroque buff could dream off, plus your very own personal assistant to tailor-plan your jaunts around the barrios, dinner reservations and in-room salon treatments.

El Palauet, Passeig de Gràcia, 113, Barcelona. +34 93 218 0050,

Rue Lhomond, Paris

The most perfectly Parisian of pied-à-terres with a treasure trove of vintage finds (the owners are antique dealers) dotted across four bedrooms. The book-lined living room and diner with original beams are both charmante, but the pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the sunny conservatory and cobble-stoned courtyard. Trop belle!

Bookable on

Rika Maison, Amsterdam

The style-child of Ulrika Lundgren (the force behind fash label Rika Studios), this chic guesthouse in the dam’s hip ‘Nine Streets’ district is a masterclass in minimalist, mod-Dutch design. Two lofty bedrooms rep a simple black and cream palette, with custom furnishings and wide windows overlooking the canal. And if you’re inspired to take the aesthetic home with you, Lundgren’s lifestyle concept store and local art-repping gallery are just downstairs.

Rika Maison, Oude Spiegelstraat 12, Nine Streets, Amsterdam. +31 20 330 1112,

Cast Iron Loft II, New York

Is there any form of accommodation more Manhattan than a loft in Soho? This glassy two-bed beauty is crammed like the subway at rush hour with industri-cool elements, from a copper tub in the master ensuite to vintage tiles in the kitchen and antique decor accents throughout. And while the High Line is but a brisk stroll away, you might not even need to bother when you’ve got your own rooftop terrace and plant-filled sunroom to lounge about in.

Bookable on

Hotel Be Angkor, Siem Reap

Yes, technically this is a hotel, but with only three bedrooms it hardly fits in the same category as your Hyatts and Hiltons. Sitting pretty in a colonial row house, the exclusive abode homes the golden-hued Saffron suite, but we say spring for the bi-level Bamboo or Sepia complete with roof patio and Siem Reap sunset panoramas. More like Aaah-ngkor.Hotel Be Angkor, The Passage, Old Market, Siem Reap. +855 12 755 311,

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