As Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the US, observed: “Fish and visitors smell in three days.”
One way round the problem is to have separate guest accommodation. And if you can offer entertainment in the way of tennis, golf or a boat on site, then hosting at a second home need not be a chore. Below, we offer five of the best houses with guest accommodation.
▲ Golf Villa, Santa Ponsa, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, €15.5m
Where: In a quiet neighbourhood near Santa Ponsa golf course 1, in the south-west part of the island, about 40 minutes from Palma international airport.
What: A seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom property set in about 77,000 sq ft of land, with olive groves as views. The large main residence has a number of entertaining and dining areas, three separate guest houses, all with en-suite facilities and sitting rooms, and mature gardens. The house has private access to the golf course, a tennis court and swimming pool.
Why: The best of the three guest houses is close to the tennis court and overlooks the golf course from its breakfast terrace.
Who: Engel & Volkers, www.engelvolkers.com/mallorca, tel: +34 971 69 90 63
▲ Château de Gueyze, Lot-et-Garonne, south-west France, €2.2m
Where: 4km from the local village, 110km from Toulouse international airport and 75 minutes from Bordeaux.
What: Formerly one of the most important wine-producing châteaux in the area, the 16th-century house has been completely renovated, with five bedrooms and five bathrooms now en suite. Set in 10 hectares, the surrounding vineyards have been sold, although the owner still has the right to the mark “appellation AOC Buzet” if vines are replanted. There are three guest cottages and two swimming pools, one for the main house and one for the cottages.
Why: The cottages have their own parking, pool, barbecue and terrace area, and there is fishing on a lake adjoining the boundary.
Who: Savills, www.savills.co.uk/abroad, tel: + 44 (0)20 7016 3740
Mulberry House, Belchamp, St Paul, Essex, UK, £1.25m ►
Where: North-east of London towards Cambridge, 30 miles from Stansted airport.
What: A Grade II-listed Victorian rectory, set in 4.36 acres, with a detached cottage and outbuildings. There are nine bedrooms, some with en-suite facilities, and a studio, barn and garaging. In the grounds there is a formal garden and kitchen garden, and woodland with country walks from the property.
Why: The guest house, 6ft away from the main house, is a brick and tiled three-bedroom cottage, with sitting room, garden room, kitchen and dining room, and a secret walled garden.
Who: Carter Jonas, www.carterjonas.co.uk, tel: +44 (0)1787 882881
Osprey Estate, Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, US, $34m ►
Where: An exclusive enclave on the eastern North Shore of Lake Tahoe, which borders California and Nevada, and is the largest of the Alpine Lakes in North America, 200 miles east of San Francisco.
What: Designed by architect Roderick Ashley, this eight-acre estate has 690ft of water frontage and an eight-bedroom, seven-bathroom home, with 7,100 sq ft of living space and a guest house and studio/library. Commissioned by the late US inventor Jerome Lemelson, the estate has large entertaining areas and an indoor infinity pool facing the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Why: The guest house and library are linked by a boardwalk. Both pavilions have marble floors, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sculpture garden and lake. There is skiing in winter, sailing and scuba diving in summer.
Who: Chase International, www.chaseinternational.com, tel: +44 (0)20 7467 5330
Winter Dream, Lyford Cay, Bahamas, $39.5m ►
Where: In the exclusive gated community of Lyford Cay, on the tip of New Providence, on the island of Bahamas. International flights into Nassau (15-minute transfer).
What: An eight-acre estate with 12,000 sq ft of accommodation, plus three separate guest suites, staff quarters and two gatehouses. The main house, overlooking the sea, has six bedrooms and six bathrooms, and there is 407ft of beachfront. The large pool deck features an outside bar and barbecue for guests, and the estate is self-sufficient, gated and protected by 6ft walls.
Why: This is a very private retreat, designed for entertaining, with access to a world-class golf club, tennis courts and marina and restaurants at Lyford Cay.
Who: Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty, www.sothebysrealty.com, tel: +1 242 362 4211