It’s no exaggeration to say that Airbnb has revolutionised the way we holiday. Gone are the days of being restricted to a choice of hotels, motels and hol-i-day inns - now we have the choice of staying wherever the hell we want (as long as the place we are staying is on Airbnb not, y’know, just some random house you’ve decided to rock up to before announcing to the startled inhabitants who’ve never met you before: “Well, I’m hitting the hay, see you cats in the morning!”).
And, suddenly, a host of places that were never previously available to us mere mortals are now on the market - and before you know it, you find yourself pushing the price bracket up to £500+ and thinking: ‘yes, let’s spend two nights on a luxury yacht and finally film that hip hop video we’ve been planning all these years’.
But what’s the most expensive place on the entire damn site?
Well, in the US, currently it’s an entire house in Austin, listed as an ‘SXSW Exclusive’, an 8-bedroom, 16-guest luxury pad within walking distance of downtown Austin - perfect for checking out all the acts playing at the festival this year - and yours for a mere £7,534 per night.
But given most of us aren’t planning to fly to Texas to live it up this March, what about splashing the cash closer to home? What’s the most expensive place in good old Blighty?
Well, if that seems like quite a straightforward question, it’s not, because you’ve got things like including catering and things like places being artificially expensive as they’re trying to rip people off who want to go to either the Champions League Final or the Royal Wedding, two events which we’d imagine would have a very similar audience.
So, in my quest, I have arbitrarily decided to ignore the artificially high ones, but keep in the catering-inflated ones. After all, what’s the point in opulent luxury when you have to peel your own spuds?
And the winner?
Yes, it’s a medieval manor in Somerset which, for the princely sum of £3,750 per night, you and 15 other guests can live like lords - and even arrive by helicopter. And there’s even two massive dogs - Coco and Zorro - that you get to hang out with.
Dating from 1235, the property is set in a private manor estate, located at the foot of the Blackdown Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Facilities include the use of gardens, grounds, tennis court, sauna, games room and outdoor heated pool. And the dogs, don’t forget the dogs.
But what else did we find on our quest? Well, we found some great stuff.
How about this ACTUAL CASTLE in Cumbria? Just £3,500 a night to - literally - live like a king.
With 10 bedrooms housing 16 guests, it’s on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, has 15 acres of grounds and has ‘gothic windows, battlements, turrets, stained glass, oak panelling’. Did you read that? TURRETS? Imagine just standing atop your turret and shouting down instructions to the serfs (the rest of your family/friends) below. Amazing.
In third place is the stunning Somerleyton Hall which, by name alone sounds like a cross between Somerset and Leyton aka two of the best places in the world, so it’s no surprise that this is excellent.
Your £2,692 per night gets you access to the Hall, situated in 5000 acres of prime English land, complete with crackling log fires, country walks around Fritton Lake and an ACTUAL MAZE. That’s right, it’s literally a-maze-ing.
Fancy something a bit different? How about Llancayo Windmill in Monmouthshire, just £734 a night. It fits twelve guests and - extremely wisely - there are no stag or hen parties allowed.
A gothic church conversion in East Horrington? You’re in luck! It sleeps 17 and is a snip at £1,114 per night.
Or just pretend you’re a Russian oligarch and rent yourself a six bedroom pad in Chelsea, complete with underground swimming pool. Just £1,650 a night to you guvnor.
Here’s a few other top tier selections that caught our eye - get booking!
(All prices per day)
Polhawn Fort: £1,500
Reforge Retreat: £2,500
Most beautiful house in Suffolk: £2,271
Luxury yacht: £995
Crayke Manor: £750
The Priory, Cosgrove: £943
Victorian Mansion: £1,451
Georgian Townhouse, Bath: £1,071
The Dairy at Burghley: £1400
Devizes Castle: £1500
Country mansion in Ascot: £2,100
Partridge Lodge: £1,574
Hockwold Hall: £1,749
Belle Isle Castle: £1,302
Rafters at Lulworth Cove: £1,986
Contemporary Baronial Castle: £2,000
Boconnoc House: £2,058
Orroland Lodge: £1,940
Ullswater Lakeside house: £1,512
(Main image: Nathan Fertig)