Finding you the most lavish Airbnb locations across the sea
Airbnb started out in 2008 as nothing more than a glorified couch-surfing site for traveling students. However, since its humble beginnings, the site has grown astronomically, becoming a major disruptor of the hotel industry and completely transforming how we experience travel and approach accommodations. Today, Airbnb boasts more than 4 million listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries. Among these listing are some outrageously spectacular abodes — from veritable palaces to high-design mansions. Airbnb provides the opportunity to call these beautiful properties home for a spell (and for a price). There’s something magical — and enticing — about stepping into someone else’s world, a world that is certainly lavish, but with none of the worry of maintenance, upkeep or the rest of it. Once your stay has come to end, you simply lock up and deposit the key, taking with you memories that cannot be made in a hotel room.
So, if planning a European vacation this year, why not stay in a 16th-century French chateau or a medieval castle in the Scottish Highlands? ELYSIAN uncovers some of the most lavish European listings so you can have an experience all your own.
Villa on the Rocks
Bandol, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
Perched in the hills of Southern France and surrounded by vineyards, this luxurious villa offers more than 10,000 square feet of relaxation. The 91-foot-long lap pool holds true magic as you swim beside the first-floor living areas behind aquarium-style glass. With amazing views and first class amenities, this Rudy Ricciotti design contains five bedrooms and 3 baths, accommodating up to ten guests comfortably.
Florence Dreaming Villa
Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Travel back to the Renaissance when you stay at this dreamy villa that once belonged to the illustrious Medici family in the 15th century. In addition to being surrounded by two-and-a half acres of peaceful gardens, the recently refurbished villa comes fully staffed with maids, cooks and a butler – so you have to do is enjoy yourself. Best of all, its terrace offers the perfect spot to gaze over the beautiful and mysterious city of Florence.
Private Family Chateau in the Loire Valley
Champigné, Pays de la Loire, France
Lived in by the same family for six generations, this incredibly spacious and private villa contains genuine, authentic furnishings and decorations untouched by time. With space enough to accommodate up to 32 guests, the grounds contain all the recreational amenities one can imagine: a heated pool, tennis courts, bicycles – even a sauna in a private cabin lodge.
Windmill near Amsterdam
Abcoude, Utrecht, Netherlands
Built in 1874 and refurbished into a luxury abode, this romantic windmill sits on acres of pasture and farmland. The huge, exposed wooden beams give a rustic feel, while the high-end amenities and plush furnishings make your stay one for the history books.
This 5,000-acre English estate is the home of Lord and Lady Somerleyton, where they stay in a private wing with their children and dogs. The estate features a grand staircase and one of the most beautiful and prestigious gardens in the region. With a village on the estate grounds, you can find farm-to-table meals at its two pubs, showcasing the beef and lamb that was raised within walking distance of your bedroom.
Three apartments fill this architecturally stunning house in the northern Icelandic village of Villa Lola. When you gaze out of your windows in the morning, you take in the breathtaking view of the bay and Akureyri. In winter, you can enjoy the Northern Lights – in the summer, the midnight sun. Within easy distance of horse rentals, hiking trail, golfing, fishing, diving, this is quite the lodging for an adventurer.
Positano, Campania, Italy
A tower hugging the side of a cliff, Torre Trasita showcases a massive circular terrace overlooking the sea of Positano. Being only 300 meters from the beach, the pier and shopping in the village, you can stroll the sites entirely on foot. Furnished with antiques and featuring a piano and romantic wrought iron staircase, this tower is the perfect location for a couple’s getaway.
Capri, Napoli, Italy
With the incredible beauty of Capri surrounding you at every turn, it’s only fitting to find the most exquisite place to lay your head down. With a terrace-view of the famous Faraglioni below and a marble Jacuzzi tub in your bathroom, this villa is the best way to truly experience the peaceful beauty of this Mediterranean island.
Spacious Chalet in Zermatt
The contemporary architecture of this spacious chalet in Zermatt is sure to take your breath away – even before you take the elevator up to the fourth floor to take in the view of the mountains. With six bedrooms and six-and-a-half baths, the house is suited for an even balance of privacy and social time.
5-Star Chalet in Saas-Fee
Saas-Fee, Valais, Switzerland
With 4,800 square feet and five stories, this stunning chalet in “The Pearl of the Alps” offers the most spectacular views through its panoramic windows. While the exterior architecture, the interior of the house features natural wood and earthy tones to embrace a feeling of warmth. Enjoy your time on the slopes and then come back to warm up – soak in the hot tub, relax in the sauna or simply lounge in front of the fireplace.
Sierre, Valais, Switzerland
Built after the turn of the 20th century, Chateau Mercier is a veritable castle with 23 rooms recently renovated and restored to reflect the spirit of its original construction. Boasting a predisposition to act as a wedding location, this space can be put to use by you and your family for any number of events. Be it the stunning mountain views or your dream to explore a real castle, this chateau is sure to charm.
Escape to the heart of Venice, Italy when you stay in this luxury duplex with its own private garden. Located in one of the most peaceful squares, it is a ten-minute stroll to the famous San Marco, the heart of the city, and Rialto, famous for its marketplace and architectural bridge. Whether you stay on the first floor or second, you will experience the exquisiteness of its design using Carrara marble, travertine and black-limba woods.
Private Island in Venice
What better way to have privacy than to rent your own island? This 50-acre private island in the middle of the Venetian lagoon features an adjoining villa with Austrian origins. Not to worry – the keeper of the island has a small dwelling and boat to transport you back and forth, also offering private boat tours.
Meikle Wartle, Scotland
For 800 years, Wardhill Castle has sat perched among hundreds of acres of park- and woodland. Recently modernized, the castle boasts eight bedrooms, an open fireplace and a private, walled garden. Best of all – a short drive will take you to the world-famous malt whiskey trail of Scotland.