And the neighbors keep trippin’, I’m like “I’m in a castle … f*ck your condo.”
– Macklemore, “Castles”
IT’S BEEN A DREAM of mine to stay in a real castle since I was a young kid. My parents would break the mundane summers indoors in Vegas by taking my little brother and me to the arcade at the Excalibur Hotel. Let me tell you, it’s a powerful thing being in a themed hotel as a kid, and the Excalibur, with its enormous animatronic dragons and knight-staff in full suits of armor, was my absolute favorite.
So, when I found out I could stay abroad in my dream castle for $163 dollars a night, you can imagine how stoked I was. Turns out, there’s quite a handful of castles and manors around the world you can rent. Here’s a list of 29 of the best from Airbnb.
$8921/night • Castle Road, Clevedon, Avon, United Kingdom
At the top end of the list, this castle is ideal for those looking for a remote citadel to retreat to. From the golf course on the surrounding property grounds, to the suites in the outlying turrets, to their ability to hold weddings with their new wedding license, this castle is a one-stop, full-service fortress.
$8621/night • Golspie, Sutherland, United Kingdom
This is pretty much the real-life equivalent of the Disney Castle, a real fairytale destination. The attention to detail is superb, and from my searches it really doesn’t get any better than this in terms of exterior look. I will say, however, that I find the lack of interior photos and ability to accommodate 16+ inhabitants in one bedroom/one bathroom highly suspect.
$5603/night • Old Military Rd, Perth and Kinross, PH10, United Kingdom
A kickass castle and one of Scotland’s most romantic hideaways, this place is perfect. Its 17 rooms are large and luxurious, for the laird (lord) the mansion was originally designed for. The property also boasts a golf course — because the ability to play golf is intrinsic to having the ability to pay $5603 a night to stay somewhere.
$4680/night • N, Cloghaun, County Galway, Ireland
Yep, it’s a castle. Despite the questionably few photos of the interior, this place looks as authentic as it gets. Though, at almost $5,000 a night, not only should it be authentic, but it should also come with some incredibly rare gilded dessert, which I did not see in the listing.
$3949/night • Shaw Lane, Holywell Green, Halifax, Calderdale, United Kingdom
Modern castle + indoor pool = drool. Oh my god you guys, this is the most epic castle I have ever seen (and at almost four Gs a day, it probably should be). Winner of “Britain’s best home, 2008,” this place is pretty much ideal if you’ve got the money. Plus, they have a swimming instructor and academic tutor, so if you’ve got kids, they’ll be plenty occupied while you enjoy everything about Nicola’s castle.
$1854/night • Dirleton, EH39 5EQ, United Kingdom
Halberds over the fireplace, Batman — look at this freakin’ castle! Polished copper tubs, stone fireplaces in the bathroom, and a suit of armor in the dining room make this the absolute complete package. Fortunately for Fenton Tower, few competitors have a fireworks show, so this castle really stands out as an incredible all-around destination, should you find yourself in the UK.
$1276/night • Unnamed Rd, Durhamstown, County Meath, Ireland
From the strange placement of the pink couch in the master bedroom, to the fuzzy wreath separating the two very different beds in the guest room, to the purple tub and “moody purple” dining room, this castle is unusual. In fact, every single room is starkly different from the last, and perhaps that can provide the dozen different experiences necessary to justify the $1276 price tag.
$1085/night • Lisheen, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
Though we’re approaching the midrange price, this castle is nonetheless a proper castle, as you’d expect when being asked to pay upwards of a grand a night. This castle is gorgeous and just makes me want to hop on a horse and ride around hunting pheasants for leisure-sport. The dining room is flawlessly iconic, and nothing says luxury like statues in the bathroom.
$1030/night • Dairsie Mains, Cupar, Fife, United Kingdom
This castle is serving up some storybook realness. Considering the exterior, the castle grounds (and the fact that you can call the surroundings the “castle grounds” in the first place), the paintings, the banister busts, the weird totem pole things, and the kickass bedroom décor, this is a legitimate castle through and through. The icing on this delicious kitsch-cake for me has to be the bathtub, which has been painted with The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
$708/night • Rue du Château, Saint-Hippolyte-de-Caton, Languedoc-Roussillon 30360, France
Now, when you have an enormous place like the Château de la Condamine, if it’s not overstuffed with décor and curios, it’s probably going to look a little sparse. Sadly, it does look a little sparse, but you’re really not paying for the interior. This park-facing 14th-century mansion with blessedly updated bathrooms is a bit on the pricey end of mid-range, but with the amount of history this building has seen (and a writing room bizarrely reminiscent of the Oval Office) it’s pretty easy to overlook that.
$300/night • Bangor, BT19 1RN, United Kingdom
Now this is what I’m talking about. This tower has a novel of a description, including two poems written about it from separate authors. Its exterior is iconic, and its interior is pretty much exactly what I’d hope for from a castle interior. It even has an octagonal period room, spiral staircase, and rooftop reading room.
$262/night • Route d’Isdes, Brinon-sur-Sauldre, Centre 18410, France
The price is the same whether you have a party of two or people. Wait, $262 divided by eight — that, my friends, is a castle at a potential $32.75 a night (though, to be fair, that’s more of a big-ass manor than a castle, but who’s counting?). I’ve stayed at Motel 6s that were twice as expensive and 1⁄16 as nice.
$232/night • Rue D’Arbre, Anhée, Région Wallonne 5537, Belgium
There are two things I can’t help but find endlessly amusing about many of these castle listings. The first is the inclusion of wifi, as somehow I imagine routers were never designed to turn stone fortresses into hotspots. The second is the occasional “house rules” tab, as if the people who can afford to stay in your castle (and have the lust to stay in a castle at all) can be reined in and told not to run down the spacious hallways, make the house echo, or play with the swords on the walls. Though this might just be my particular brand of juvenile.
$206/night • Melville Gate Rd, Midlothian, EH22 3NL, United Kingdom
This castle, though a tad square for my tastes, apparently served as the hunting seat for Mary Queen of Scots, which means you’re not only walking in the footsteps of royalty, you’re sleeping in the beds of historic royalty. That’s like taking a nap in George Washington’s cabin or something.
$169/night • Barnay, Saône-et-Loire, Bourgogne, France
This incredibly French castle, adorned with Templar seals above the fireplace, is a bizarre fusion of past and present. If you want to feel like suburbanite medieval French royalty, or if you feel like you need to be eased into staying at a place that’s older than your parents’ parents, this place would be ideal.
$163/night • South Stainmore, Kirkby Stephen, CA17, United Kingdom
Here she is, my pick for best ‘cheap’ castle on Airbnb. It’s perfect — seriously, King Arthur status. The colors are sick, the rooms are sick (especially the bar), and there’s a goddamn movie theatre in the castle. In the immortal words of Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there,” and when I do, expect an elated recap.
$163/night • Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle, Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland
Combination castle and school of stonemasonry? Yes, please. On a more serious note, this place looks awesome, particularly from the inside. Though still not quite my perfect castle, I’d happily settle for a moment to read in that library, underneath that incredible crown-post roof.
$141/night • Galway, Galway, Ireland
Have you ever thought, “Gee, what I’m really looking for in a castle accommodation is a hammock swing in the bedroom and a hideaway bathtub in the living room?” Thank goodness host Peter was on that same wavelength and made sure to outfit his reasonably priced castle with those amenities. Yes, the “homemade limestone-carved toilet” scares me a little, but for a stereotypical castle, it’s a step up from the hole in the floor I expected.
$133/night • Chandpol Bazar Rd, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
When I think of castles, this isn’t exactly what comes to mind. Then again, I don’t really think of castles as being in India, either, so I may just have to add “stay in a castle in India” to my bucket list. This castle offers amenities typical of a luxury hotel — and, of course, bragging rights — so, for the price, this is a pretty killer deal.
$120/night • Le Moulin de Granjou, Montferrand-du-Périgord, Aquitania 24440, France
Admittedly, this listing makes me a little dubious. The photos are pretty grainy and few and far between, and there are no reviews and not a whole lot of information about the mysterious host Raphael. However, it is a castle that accommodates up to 5 at no extra charge, which means you and your crew could stay there for $14 a night each.
$5151/night • Hillfoots Road, Causewayhead, Stirling, United Kingdom
You can’t even stay here, which is a shame because look at that tower! It’s got a sword in the museum and knightly statues! Knightly statues! It’s a shame that such a location is being wasted for weddings only, but it was too perfect not to include.
$3679/night • Carrer del Xarel·lo, St Pere de Ribes, Cataluña 08810, Spain
This is the intersection between modern resort and the Addams Family home. I don’t find it particularly spooky per se, but I do find it really bizarre that a place can be so modern on the inside that you completely forget that you’re in a place that considers itself a castle. It just defeats the purpose.
$1552/night • The Clumps, Suffolk, England IP12, United Kingdom
Sure, it comes up when you use the castle filter, but this is no castle. In fact, looking at the façade, I’m not entirely sure what you’d call it. Other than, of course, really freaking cool. The inside, however, tells a different story. Somewhere between a mansion and a church, the architecture of the archways and stonework could have had me fooled.
$1347/night • D, Plaigne, Languedoc-Roussillon 11420, France
Though the price is a bit steep for a manor-looking castle, the interior is absolutely incredible. From the library dining room to the pool, this place has all the features but, for me, just doesn’t quite have the look.
$1060/night • Lautrec, Midi-Pyrénées 81440, France
It’s the surroundings, rather than the actual accommodations, that earned this place a spot on the list. From the sunflower field to the plains in the distance, this place is incredible. You could probably find a cheaper way to put yourself into that scene, however, and since it’s not really a castle, there’s almost no advantage to staying at the Château Brametourte.
$304/night • Poligné, Bretagne, France
More of a château than a castle, the house-ish-ness of this place is the main reason it didn’t qualify for the main list. That said, it’s a massive manor, and just look at the interior! The colors and the décor could almost convince me not to go outside and instead enjoy the illusion of thinking I was in a castle.
$300/night • Benderloch, Oban, Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom
It’s really not this castle’s fault for looking a bit blocky on the outside — it was just born that way. At least the interior is stellar, and the location looks incredible, but at $300 a night, there are probably better options.
$163/night • Crossmichael, DG7 3BB, United Kingdom
According to the listing, this bucolic retreat was originally gifted to the Duchess of Grafton Culgruff on her birthday. Constructed in 1889, late in England’s Victorian Gothic Revival movement, the house features Jacobean interiors with a 40-foot-high ceiling and original wooden chandeliers. The duchess had some serious style.
$114/night • Main Street, Cork, Cork, Ireland
Though this place looks like the very corner of a full castle in isolation, at $114 a night (and with a decent interior), it was enough to qualify for an honorable mention. Built in 1683, this tower house surrounded by woods and a nearby beach might just be ideal for your castle-esque experience.