If you, like me (aka, an imaginative five-year-old at some point in the nineties), then you likely dreamed of living in your own Disney princess fairy castle. Perhaps you even laid claim to a certain princess’ domain, like Ariel’s under the sea treasure trove, or Belle’s library, or Mulan’s ancestral temple. Now that we’re older, society has forced us to admit that our toddler dreams of royal real estate were only make-believe. But what if society was wrong? What if we DO get to live out our Disney princess fantasies?
That’s right, dreamers: thanks in part to new websites like AirBnB, it’s easier than ever to secure your dream vacation —and this dream vacation can sometimes take place in a real-live version of your favorite Disney princess castle. The tail-end of January is a minor peak season for cheap flights. But let’s be real: every day of the year is a good day to treat yourself like a fairy princess.
The Shell House (Casa Caracol), Isla Mujeres
Take an aquatic load off at the famous “shell house,” where guests can easily imagine a young mermaid girl washing up on land for the first time. Weekly rentals run high (about $1500.00 for a seven day stay), but band together with your shell-sisters and consider the splurge.
Augill Castle, Stephen, United Kingdom
Super-fun fact: renting a whole CASTLE doesn’t have to break your bank —at least, according to some of the fine proprietors at AirBnB. For about $150/night, one can rent this charming palace (capacity 16) in the English countryside. And for free, one could ostensibly put on a big blue ball-gown and run out of the front doors like a charmed servant girl coming home from a ball on time. I can picture Cindy loving the view from these windows.
Jack Sparrow House, Cornwall
This little cabin in Cornwall might be an itty-bitty living space, but for roughly $162/night, you get to live like Snow White! I’m not sure about fitting in her seven friends, though.
The Abbey Tower, Lazio, Italy
And here lies the perfect tower from which to dangle your Rapunzel-length tresses. The medieval Abbey Tower in Italy is available for rent, beginning at $219/night. Let down your hair on this idyllic vacay.
The Belleayre Mountain Estate, Catskills
Though technically quite far from rural France, this estate in the Catskills does a pretty awesome job of echoing the notorious castle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. With plenty of long, wood-paneled hallways and moody lighting, this eight bedroom historic strong-hold is a fairy tale unto itself. Runs toward the pricy end, though, so bring all the friends.*($1200/night.)
*books. These, however, will not save you money.
Villa del Lago, Bali
Though Bali is quite far from where a bad-ass Chinese warrior and her family made their home in Disney’s Mulan, this secluded studio villa is a fair echo of the original casa —as well as an ideal spot for quiet reflection and communing with nature. Refer to the listing for price!
Les Duves in Anhee, Belgium
Though Aurora didn’t really get to enjoy her lengthy castle visit (being asleep and all), that doesn’t mean we can’t draw inspiration from the spires of a similar fortress of solitude. This old palace in Belgium runs at $211/night, and is equipped with a private terrace AND garden —in both of which, one might take long naps.
Villa in Marrakech, Morocco.
One can totally imagine Princess Jasmine and her trusty BFF Rajah roaming around this elegant escape. You and up to six lucky pals can enjoy a chef (along with complimentary Moroccan cooking classes) in addition to beautiful sights for the duration of your stay, which will setcha back $566/night.
Mojo on Bayou St. John, New Orleans
Want to live in riverside luxury, like little Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog? Check out this waterfront villa in downtown New Orleans, whose owners claim that the ancient magic of Marie Laveau is still at work on their skylines. It’s roughly $260/night.
Bad Neustadt Castle, Bavaria, Germany
Live like the Frozen sisters in this Arendelle-esque Bavarian palace, complete with its own moat! It’s not on the super expensive end of the gamut, either —you can discover your superpower in this castle for less than two hundred a night.