VILLA VACATIONS

Come September, the crowds are gone and Europe still has its finest season ahead. So plan a trip there now. And plan to do it like a local — a highborn local, anyway — by renting one of Abercrombie & Kent’s new Concierge Villas. By staffing each manse and lending the upscale outfitter’s stamp of approval to the private residences, A&K takes the mystery out of renting abroad. In addition to a cook and groundskeeper, a concierge will secure tee times, arrange tours, charter yachts, and generally acquaint guests with the neighborhood. The châteaux include chanteuse Edith Piaf’s former French Riviera escape, a castle on an 1,100-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands, and a 19th-century Tuscan villa. What price nobility? About $20,000 to $30,000 per week for up to 23 guests. (800) 323-7308, www.abercrombiekent.com