Bye, Airbnb. Hello, luxury Home Exchange from the Bay Area to beyond
This three-bedroom, beachfront home on Spain's Costa Blanca is perfectly located for exploring Valencia and Alicante. (Courtesy of Home Exchange Collection)

Bye, Airbnb. Hello, luxury Home Exchange from the Bay Area to beyond

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"I'm done with vacation rentals" was my recent declaration upon checking out of a Wine Country house that didn't remotely live up to the photos. You know the ones: "spacious" rooms thanks to a fishbowl lens, the right cast of sunset that conceals the cracked tile on the pool and the green water in the hot tub, the non-existent pictures of the broken everything.

There must be a better way to get a homey vibe and a full kitchen while on vacation than in an untended rental with mysterious Scotch tape on the ceiling. And there is: It's called Home Exchange.


Anyone who saw Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz trade homes (and love interests) in The Holiday knows that house swapping isn't new, but just because someone is willing to open their bedrooms, bathrooms, and drawers to you doesn't mean you really want to stay there. Enter Home Exchange Collection, the 30-year-old platform's just-launched offering of highly curated luxury homes flung across the globe (and also right here at home).

The high-end collection currently features around 300 homes in more than 35 countries on five continents. There are posh urban penthouses, whitewashed beach houses, and pastoral estates—and every single one of them has been vetted by the Home Exchange team. What's more, every member of the platform—including, according to a press release, "notable sustainable and ecological fashion designers, international consultants, interior designers, scientists, architects, artists, and engineers"—is paying a $1,000 annual fee for the privilege of participation, so maybe this means you won't have to run out to replace a broken coffee pot; these are homeowners of means, which also gives us faith that they'll take care of our own Nespresso machines etc. when it does come time to swap.

Below, get a gander at some of the collection's lovelies vacation homes in Europe, the Indian Ocean, and here in the Bay Area.

A Seaside Escape on Spain's Costa Blanca

(Courtesy of Home Exchange Collection)

Named for the fair sands that hug the aquamarine sea, southeastern Spain's Costa Blanca, in the region of Alicante, is a breezy enclave for soaking up that Mediterranean life.

This three-bedroom home near the charming artist village of Altea is well situated for day trips to Valencia or Alicante. But with its own gardens and infinity pool overlooking the sea— plus comfy modern furnishings and access to a spa, tennis court, and gym—you may not be in a hurry to leave your home away from home.

Walk to the beach or to the marina for restaurants, a supermarket, and the local bakery.

The Chic Loft Life in Paris' 11th Arrondissement

(Courtesy of Home Exchange Collection)

A chance to live in modern luxury on one of Paris' liveliest streets, surrounded by galleries, bars, and restaurants? Oh la la.

Just off Rue de la Roquette and near the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery (hi, Jim Morrison and Gertrude Stein!), this 5,500-square-foot Bastille district is architecturally stunning with soaring window walls, industrial elements, and a serene garden for a balanced vibe.

The amenities will also pass the muster of even the most upturned nose: The loft houses a stylish art collection, a piano and theater, and a 30-foot indoor swimming pool.

A Launch Pad to Adventure on Réunion Island

(Courtesy of Home Exchange Collection)

Floating among the sapphire waves of the Indian Ocean is the French republic of Saint Gilles Les Bains on Réunion Island, east of Madagascar and southwest of Mauritius. Here, an intimate two-bedroom villa awaits those who seek authentic vibes and leisurely days at the beach.

Just five minutes from the sea, this sweet home is outfitted with local furnishings, natural materials, and bohemian prints. High ceilings and sliding glass doors easily connect the interior to the outside where there's an infinity pool and garden with panoramic views.

Adventurers and ecotourists, however, won't remain cooped up: Réunion Island teems with coral reefs, a lush forest interior, rare flora and fauna, abundant waterfalls, and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It's a paradise for hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, surfers, and divers alike.

A Diverse Bay Area Offering

This posh one-bedroom condo on the 26th floor of The Summit in Russian Hill has sweeping views of San Francisco and the bay. (Courtesy of Home Exchange Collection)

Wondering whether your Bay Area home qualifies for a place in the Home Exchange Collection? Above are three local residences enjoying the benefits of membership.

// For more information on the Home Exchange Collection, visit homeexchange.com/collection.

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