To coincide with the cinematic release of British period drama Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, which served as the setting for the series and film, will open its doors to two guests for one night only.
In partnership with Airbnb, the castle made famous by the Crawleys will prepare a guest room for two fans who will be able to live like British aristocracy, eating in rooms that have their own names (State Dining Room), being waited on by a butler, and “retiring” to their bedrooms at the end of the day.
During their stay, winners will be guests of the real-life Crawley family, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, who call the castle home.
After being received in the Saloon for cocktails, guests will withdraw to the State Dining Room for a traditional English dinner. Coffee will be served in the Library for a final nightcap before guests retire to their bedroom.
After breakfast the next day, guests will be given a private tour of the grounds – the property covers 9,290sq m – and the castle, which has 300 rooms. Reservations open Oct 1 at noon (UK time) for a stay on Nov 26 for two guests.
The one-time rate is £150 (RM783); Airbnb will make a donation to The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. – AFP Relaxnews
5 other castles you can stay in
1. Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux – Mdina, Malta
Five-star luxury in a 17th century building. The starting price for a one-night stay at Xara Palace, which features antique furniture and original paintings, is about RM900. The palace once served as a mess hall for Allied officers during the World War II. It has gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea, and is close to some of Mdina’s top attractions.
2. Ashford Castle – County Mayo, Ireland
If “staying in a luxurious castle” is on your bucket list, then you may want to consider a night here. The award-winning castle and is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. It is both a Victorian and medieval castle, that was first built in 1228; it underwent several renovations in the years after that. Ashford Castle, which used to be owned by the Guinness family, goes for RM2,500 a night.
3. Kasteel Huis Berg – ‘S-Hereenberg, The Netherlands
This 12th century castle is located on an ancient fortified island and is mainly an art gallery and museum today. The guest suites are located in two old towers, and each one is spread over two floors. Price starts from RM1,100.
4. Hotel Schloss Thannegg – Grobming, Austria
This unique medieval castle has been renovated and fitted with more modern furnishings, though it does have a few of the original rooms like the Knights’ Hall. This award-winning hotel is also family-friendly. Room rates start at RM550.
5. Castello di Pavone – Torino, Italy
This is an ancient castle in Italy that’s surrounded by a tropical garden. Each room here is decorated differently (with a good mix of modern and traditional furnishings), while the common rooms and dining area offer a glimpse into the olden days. Average room rate: RM670 a night. – Melody L. Goh