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Sure, you can check the ratings on a vacation rental, but the only real way to know if it will live up to your expectations is a recommendation from someone you trust. In Homes Away From Home, we round up the best spots according to the coolest creatives; our favorite designer-owned stays; and more.

From the courtyard, there isn’t an Airbnb castle that doesn’t impress. What’s not to like about medieval stone, soaring turrets, and acres of land to explore? The interiors, however, are a different story. Many are surprisingly dark and cramped or have suffered from jarring 20th-century updates that stop your travel back in time at the front door. You could devote hours sifting through listings—there are 15 pages of castles in Europe alone—to finding the most beautiful, transportive options inside and out…or you could simply read on for our curated list of the six best-designed Airbnb castles, which all happen to be in France and Italy. We’re guessing that was a pretty easy decision.

Château of Servigny, Normandy, France

Courtesy of Airbnb Community

Rate: $1,460 per night

Hosts: 15

Why we love it: The castle has been owned by the same family for 500 years and has an impressive collection of artwork and furnishings to show for it. Think: huge Aubusson tapestries on the walls, vibrant textiles from circa-1700s brands Zuber & Cie and Rubelli (the wallpapers are especially good), and Murano glass aplenty.

Or take it from a reviewer: “We were all impressed by the splendor of the château, its furnishings, its accommodations, and most of all the history. Its historical connection to General Collins, who led the Utah Beach forces on D-Day, was a special treat for all of us.”

botanical wallpapered bedroom in castle
D’Day Luxury Chateau With Pool, Airbnb ($1,460)

Les Estournels Castle, Occitanie, France

Courtesy of Airbnb Community

Rate: $844 per night

Hosts: 10

Why we love it: This castle might have been built in 1776, but we’d happily steal a number of details for our homes in 2023. If we were you, we’d ask the host for the scoop on the soothing pale pink and dusty blue paint colors in two of the bedrooms and the dreamy cobblestone patio complete with outdoor-friendly wicker pendant light.

Or take it from a reviewer: “Very well equipped and decorated in a sublime way with beautiful marble bathrooms, a dining room with exotic wallpaper, antique furniture, and overmantels. You really feel like you’re in a mix of palace and aristocratic mansion.” 

blue bedroom in castle
Les Estournels Castle, Airbnb ($844)

Casale di SantAndrea, Arezzo, Italy

Courtesy of Airbnb Community

Rate: $3,187 per night

Hosts: 12

Why we love it: Plush skirted sofas and overflowing pots of herbs, tiled floors and mint green window frames—this property is a celebration of the laid-back side of luxury, fitting given it sits on 70 olive tree–dotted acres in Tuscany.

Or take it from a reviewer: “The villa is bordered with beautiful and fragrant landscaping.”

sofas in front of large fireplace in castle
Casale di Sant’ Andrea, Airbnb ($3,187)

Château XVIIeme, Burgundy, France

Courtesy of Airbnb Community

Rate: $165 per night

Hosts: 2

Why we love it: The three suites available to rent—Verte (shown here), Bleue, and Renaissance—are packed full of eye-level treasures, from Louis XVI beds to a fireplace you could easily fit inside, but the real can’t-miss moments are overhead. Each of the exposed-beam ceilings boasts intricate painted scenes, and one dates back to the 17th century.

Or take it from a reviewer: “Airbnb host Bernard is passionate about the artwork, architecture, and history of the castle and the Burgundy region—over breakfast he happily shared the story of the castle from when it was built until the present day, as well as the histories of the various barons and marquis who owned it.”

red and green bedroom in castle
Chambre “Verte” at Château XVIIeme, Airbnb ($165)

Château de Chalmazel, Rhône-Alpes, France

Courtesy of Airbnb Community

Rate: $1,043 per night

Hosts: 16

Why we love it: Sure, there’s a whole medieval castle to explore, but we’d happily post up in the sitting room, where a fringe-trimmed golden yellow sofa is surrounded by more than a dozen landscape paintings. Gallery wall inspiration—found.

Or take it from a reviewer: “Our group occupied all the bedrooms, and everyone was very satisfied with the quality of the bedding and bathrooms. In this house, change of scenery is guaranteed.”

ornate bedroom in castle
Château de Chalmazel, Airbnb ($1,043)

Castello Claves, Sicily

Courtesy of Airbnb Community

Rate: $533 per night

Hosts: 10

Why we love it: Everyone will be calling dibs on the two turret bedrooms, where you can gaze out at the sea or Mount Etna, depending on the elegantly arched window. We can’t decide what charms us more inside: the burgundy-and-white–checkered floors or one space’s precariously perched, extra-long wood ladder, nowadays shelving for artwork.

Or take it from a reviewer: “Large, elegant rooms, a terrace for sun-soaked lunches, and a fabulous pool in which any children will stay for a week.”

four-poster bed in castle turret
Castle With Pool & Park by the Sea, Airbnb ($533)