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Inside the posh version of Airbnb: Chauffeur? Of course. Private chef? Goes without saying. HARRIET SIME jets to Ibiza to stay in an uber-luxurious villa

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It’s a Monday morning and I’m sipping a flat white alfresco in my pyjamas as the scent of freshly baked croissants drifts through the villa. We – a family of four adults and two children – could have chosen to spend a week in an Airbnb in Ibiza Town or a decent hotel in the north of the island.

But as travellers seek authentic experiences, a new type of holiday accommodation has emerged. This one combines a stay in one of the world’s best and most charming homes with top-notch hotel-style service (think private chefs, daily cleaners, concierge service).

Onefinestay is one of the first companies to respond to this emerging trend. It started renting posh people’s pads in London in 2010 and now has 4,500 homes in more than 30 destinations.

Onefinestay is beloved by numerous celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow has given it the thumbs-up on her website, Goop) and well-known actors who offer their homes up to guests while filming abroad.

In the weeks leading up to the trip I’m contacted by a concierge, Ariela. She emails various pre-stocking options for groceries and drinks. We opt for the ‘extended pantry’ which includes wine, fruit, fresh bread, vegetables, pasta.

Harriet Sime checks into Anima Chiara (pictured), a rental property in Ibiza that comes with 'top-notch' hotel-style service

Harriet Sime checks into Anima Chiara (pictured), a rental property in Ibiza that comes with ‘top-notch’ hotel-style service 

Cala Poring, pictured here, is 'a pebbled beach with pine trees clinging to the rocks and charmingly dishevelled fishing huts', says Harriet

Cala Poring, pictured here, is ‘a pebbled beach with pine trees clinging to the rocks and charmingly dishevelled fishing huts’, says Harriet

'You can go from a rocky cove and sparkling sea to a rural farm with goats roaming the olive groves to an unspoiled Catalan village or a thrumming super club,' says Harriet. Above - Dalt Vila, the old city centre of Ibiza

‘You can go from a rocky cove and sparkling sea to a rural farm with goats roaming the olive groves to an unspoiled Catalan village or a thrumming super club,’ says Harriet. Above – Dalt Vila, the old city centre of Ibiza 

A-list fan: Harriet rents her villa through Onefinestay, which Gwyneth Paltrow (above) has given the thumbs-up

A-list fan: Harriet rents her villa through Onefinestay, which Gwyneth Paltrow (above) has given the thumbs-up

We arrive at Ibiza airport, where a black Mercedes is waiting to whisk us along the coastline to the sparkling Porroig peninsular.

An electric gate to our villa opens and we’re met by our ‘greeter’ Melissa who shows us around our villa, Anima Chiara, which sleeps 12. ‘Welcome home,’ she beams as she walks us up the steps and into the huge kitchen where chefs Santiago and Alex are whipping up lunch. After a quick introduction to the house and local area, Melissa hands over the keys.

None of this comes cheap. A week costs from £6,916 – but that’s just £82 per person per night.

‘Who lives in a place like this?’ my mother says as she checks out the six bedrooms. Each is kitted out in cream linen and dark wood, with huge double beds, en suites with Aesop and Rituals toiletries and terraces. There’s a gym, an infinity pool and rooftop bar for cocktails. So far, so very luxurious.

That afternoon, we stroll five minutes down the road to Cala Poring, a pebbled beach with pine trees clinging to the rocks and charmingly dishevelled fishing huts. The beach is empty apart from a few locals – a world away from the island’s stereotype of sunburnt, drunk British teenagers and a coastline scarred by high-rise package hotels.

Harriet's villa for the week is located near to Ibiza's sparkling Porroig peninsula

Harriet’s villa for the week is located near to Ibiza’s sparkling Porroig peninsula 

Tuck in: The villa's private chef, Santiago, was a hit with Harriet's nephews

Tuck in: The villa’s private chef, Santiago, was a hit with Harriet’s nephews

The family take a six-hour private boat trip to Formentera (above), Ibiza’s little sister

The family take a six-hour private boat trip to Formentera (above), Ibiza’s little sister

Next morning we wake to Santiago and Alex’s eggs Florentine, fluffy omelettes and pancakes, served on the terrace. A team of cleaners arrive each morning and leave our rooms gleaming.

Onefinestay guests are offered excursions. We go for the six-hour private boat trip which takes us to Formentera, Ibiza’s little sister, and surrounding islands. Our captain, Marius, drops anchor at different coves and sandy bays with Caribbean-blue waters, each somehow more beautiful than the last.

‘During high summer there can be 100 boats in this area,’ he says as he drops anchor near Espalmador and gulls circle overhead. We’re the only ones here.

Ibiza’s hybrid charms are undeniable from on board a boat. You can go from a rocky cove and sparkling sea to a rural farm with goats roaming the olive groves to an unspoiled Catalan village or a thrumming super club where the world’s top DJs play. And that’s all part of the island’s appeal.

The verdict?

Staying at a home like this makes you feel more a part of a place’s make-up rather than an intruder. And that’s worth paying a little extra for.

TRAVEL FACTS

Villa Anima Chiara costs from £988 per night (onefinestay.com). London Luton to Ibiza returns from £33.98 (easyjet.com).

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