What do you do for vacation when your own home is as spectacular as a palace? That’s the plight (ahem) faced by many of Bravo’s biggest stars, like the casts of Real Housewives and Ladies of London, as well as the Million Dollar Listing agents.
Well, it turns out that a hot travel trend comes right on time to solve this first-world problem once and for all: The chicest trend in holiday lodging? Shacking up an a legit castle! Here are 8 stunning options around the world that will make you want to pack your bags.
1. Villa Sola Cabiati, Italy
Make like Clooney with a visit to this Lake Como manse that dates back to the 1500s. Guests arrive by boat to the pearl grey villa with pale blue shutters, and ascend a double staircase with a stone balustrade to the large wrought-iron gate topped topped with statues of mythical figures and animals. Inside that gate are four flower gardens laid out in the Italian style, a private pool, and the manse with six bedrooms that sleep 12.
2. Chateau Lagorce, France
Castle Lagorce is a family-owned 15th century French castle near Bordeaux in the South of France. It has 21 bedrooms, all of which are en-suite and air-conditioned. Wake up in a four-poster bed, and step onto the terrace for views over the lake and the vine-covered adjoining valley; the property is in a wine region, surrounded by woods and countryside. Have epic dinner parties in a dining room with Louis XIV style fireplace, and a massive oak table for 22. There’s also a medieval French chapel on site for weddings.
3. Saint-Germain-en-Laye Castle, France
This 17th century house was originally the residence of the Duke of Noailles, Marshal of France and Governor of St. Germain under the reign of Louis XIV. NBD, but the architect was also responsible for the design of the Château de Versailles. The present building, as well as the building across the street are the two remaining wings of the estate, which was ravaged by the French Revolution. The mansion is located in prime real estate in Saint Germain en Laye, just outside of the city center: Be at the the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées in 20 minutes. Très pratique!
4. Château de Bagnols, France
This castle dates back to the 13th century and feels like a historical monument with its moat, towers, architectural relics, and original frescoes. A couple years back, the Château de Bagnols joined the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Collection, and offers 22 apartments, all unique and furnished with original antiques. The Château’s Restaurant, Salle des Gardes, overlooks the Beaujolais valley. There’s an outdoor heated Roman swimming pool, and a century-old lime-tree terrace.
5. Castle of Lisheen, Ireland
This nine-bedroom property with eight bathrooms sleeps 16. Standing upon the rolling green hills of Munster since the early 19th century, this historic Irish castle has been painstakingly restored and opened in 2000 for holiday booking. Each room is decorated in a traditional style, with antique furnishings as well as luxe modern conveniences. Formal reception rooms include drawing and dining rooms, both with hand-painted murals on original vaulted Norman ceilings, dripping with chandeliers.
6. East Lothian Castle, Ireland
Fenton Tower is a 16th-century fortified tower located east of Edinburgh near the coastal town of North Berwick. Past visitors to this castle with panoramic views include King James VI of Scotland, son of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley. Fully restored and opened in 2002, the property can now house 12 guests. Golfers will obsess on the proximity to some of the world’s most famous courses. Not into golf? The property can make arrangements for grouse, partridge, and pheasant shooting, as well as fly fishing on the rivers Tweed and Tyne. In all, there are 20 acres of private land.
7. Ashford Castle, Ireland
Ashford Castle and its 350-acre private estate has stood for more than 700 years. Each of the 82 guest rooms is individual, with original features. Dine in the George V Restaurant, have a light snack in the Drawing Room, or linger over a traditional afternoon tea. The castle also has a private nine-hole private course, an equestrian center, and fishing in the lake and rivers on the estate.
8. Château de Challain, France
The 19th century Château de Challain has 13 bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and room to sleep 35—so gather your crew. Each suite has robes, slippers hairdryer, private bath, bath, and tea and coffee accoutrements. Sip coffee or wine on the veranda overlooking the lake and gardens, or enjoy your breakfast over the roaring fire in the property’s original kitchen.
Jet Set is Bravo's launch pad for the most extravagant, luxurious, and unforgettable travel experiences. Ready for takeoff? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.