Whether you're a big money traveler who really wants to get to know the wealthiest parts of every metropolis or island paradise—call it aristocratic Airbnb—or a big-money tenant playing his or her part in fueling the absurdly high-end urban rental market, there are plenty of places willing to let you pay top dollar without making a long-term commitment. While there are numerous apartments and villas across the Curbed network, here are some outstanding properties for rent a little further afield that are worth a visit.
Contemporary Scottish Castle—Loch Ossian, Scotland
Rent: Available upon request
A commanding, Gehry-esque spin on the castle archetype in the center of a 57,000 acre Scottish estate, this Moshe Safdie-designed home doesn't look like anything else in the Highlands. The Braveheart-blue exterior plays with the traditional turret style.
Coral Penthouse—Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rent: Roughly $1,000 per night/varies by date
A virtual building to yourself suspended above Copacabana, this penthouse suite in Brazil's party city offers seven bedrooms and balconies within walking distance of the city's famous beaches. Imagine candlelit al fresco dining at a cozy, private table 11 stories above the street; then, imagine it three more times, since this rental offers four separate garden terraces.
San Martín de Tours 2800—Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rent: Available upon request
While the price is a mystery, there's nothing secret about the attraction of this garden penthouse, which includes a full covered kitchen amid the green foliage and commanding views.
Rock House—Cape Town, South Africa
Rent: From $5,200 per week
You can stay elsewhere in the South African city, but when offered the opportunity to sit in a jacuzzi and gaze at Table Mountain, can you really pass it up? This luxe bungalow build on an outcropping into the ocean provides exemplary indoor-outdoor living; just roll open the doors and let the sound of the surf fill the space.
Unfurnished Penthouse at La Reve—Dubai, United Arab Emirates
It's not easy to impress in town with indoor ski hills and the tallest building in the world, but this unfurnished, half floor penthouse on the 39th floor of La Reve ("the dream") provides a view of the city skyline. Guests can even catch a glimpse of your yacht parked in the marina down below.
5-Bedroom Apartment at One Hyde Park—London England
The London press went into a tizzy last year when it was revealed that the penthouse at One Hyde Park, considered to toniest address in town, was being rented for £45,000 (or ~$68,000) a week. Granted, this isn't your average development, with the Mandarin Oriental stepping in for building management. But still, that's a steep price for Premier League players. This 5-bedroom, 9,307-square-foot apartment, currently the largest unit for rent in the complex, boasts 180-degree views of the city.
Stokkøya Sjøsenter—Stokkøy, Norway
Rent: Up to $1,200 a week
Located on an island off the Southern coast of Norway, this series of small vacation cottages exemplifies Scandinavian design, with imported furniture from Denmark and a series of compact, well-designed rooms facing out towards the sea.
Movie Loft—Paris, France
Rent: ~$36,000/month and up
Paris overflows with cute pied-à-terres and balconies made for a bottle of wine, but we were drawn to this converted, 18th century printing warehouse turned massive loft space. There's plenty of possibility with 4,500 square feet and 27-foot tall ceilings. While the private courtyard is a plus, the realtor-babble about the "mezzanine in the style of Gustave Eiffel" might be a little overkill.
Piazza dei Mercanti—Milan, Italy
An exquisite property near the Italian city's main cathedral, the restrained exterior belies the wildly colorful interior, a series of gilded set pieces perfect for posing for your new portrait.
Red Sea Villa—Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
If part of the excitement of travel is exploring a new location, then this waterfront villa on the Red Sea offers exclusive bragging rights. Located within a larger 5-star resort on the Sinai beachfront, the three-bedroom villa includes this particularly picturesque spot for cocktails, as well as a manicured garden and private pool.
Forodhani House—Lamu, Kenya
Rent: Up to ~$4,700 a week
The name of the seaside home on the Indian ocean means "look-out" tower in Swahili, and it exemplifies various strains of vernacular architecture, from the Arabic arches to the custom woodwork.
∙ More Vacation rentals [Curbed]