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Got a couple of million to spare? If so, it could get you a few weeks of rest in a wealthy location.
Summer vacation season is at hand, which means millions of Americans are preparing to decamp for scenic locations around the country and the world. That said, there are at least a few places some travelers won't find listed on Airbnb — and with good reason.
Florida, South Carolina and California are popular destinations for the budget-conscious, TripAdvisor data recently showed, with rentals for the top 20 cities falling anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 per week. Yet some luxury travelers are known to shell out top dollar for a few weeks of downtime in ritzy locales — sometimes paying $1 million or more for the privilege.
"The rental market in the Caribbean has remained fairly strong. This is being fueled mainly by multigenerational travel," said Neal Sroka, a broker of high-end real estate at firm Douglas Elliman, which sells luxury homes in places like the Hamptons, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, among others.
"Grandparents are taking their children and grandchildren, and like the fact that they can all be in one house," he said. "Many destinations such as Rosewood Mayakoba [in Mexico], Four Season Nevis and Amanera [in the D.R.], gives you the luxury of a home along with the amenities of a five-star hotel."
Sroka said that summer is considered "offseason" in the Caribbean and Mexico, so vacation bargain hunters can score a Mexican or Dominican villa for the relatively reasonable price of $2,000-$2,500 per night. That compares to up to $10,000 per night during off season, however, which Sroka said paled in comparison to other markets. "That's inexpensive compared to certain places [like] Anguilla, where villas trade between $25,000-$30,000 per night."
Although recent figures suggest a cooling in the ultra-wealthy Atlantic Coast enclave, vacationers still appear willing to shell out lots of money in order to frolic in the Hamptons.
Sotheby's Homes has a Southampton, New York, property that will cost a cool $1 million to rent from August until Labor Day. For the more budget-minded, however, the firm lists other Hamptons rental properties that range for a comparatively modest $300,000-$375,000 to rent during the latter part of August.
For high-end markets, those staggering sums are multiples higher than the average going rate for weekly rentals in vacation hot spots. While far from typical, some luxury rentals even dwarf the asking price on a brand-new home.
Many of the requests come from wealthy families traveling with large entourages, or for a special event such as a wedding. Still, what's the rationale behind paying so much for a few weeks (or days) in a property that's not even considered a homestead?
For some vacationers, "it's an experience to be in a property of that magnitude," Cody Vichinsky, co-founder of luxury firm Bespoke Real Estate explained to CNBC in a recent interview. "It's the most valuable because it's the rarest ... and you create an atmosphere of unparalleled setting that's worth the memory."
And at the top end of the Hamptons — a playground for the wealthy where eight figure homes are the norm — those memories can cost a pretty penny.
Bespoke brokers summer rentals that can go for $1.5 million for two months of occupancy, and rented a "stunning" 43-acre property at a price of $1.7 million, which Vichinsky said was a near record for the summer season.
Another waterfront property — a Bespoke specialty — offers more than 20,000 of square footage, 13 rooms and includes a spa, home movie theater and a gym.
"It's a fantastic summer in a setting that you just can't duplicate," Vichinsky said.