5 Unusually Decadent European Stays Outside A Typical Guidebook

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Sure, you can stay at one of your favorite decadent and luxurious chain hotels or resorts around the world, like the St. Regis, a Four Seasons or a Ritz Carlton (and we love them all), but when you want something highly unusual and decadent and luxurious and creative and way off-the-beaten path, here are some great options for romantic or luxe family travel getaways when planning your next trip to Europe.

Headfort House, Ireland

Let’s now move to Kells Meath, Ireland where you can rent out a ten bedroom, eight bathroom estate, a great option for family getaways or for businesses wanting to whole facility for themselves. Other ideas? Weddings or big deal anniversary celebrations where you want to invite others along. In that regard, you can take advantage of their formal ballroom that fits one hundred twenty individuals — imagine having a dance here?

The house has a whole bunch of fun features as well, such as a sports field, swimming pools, a theater, and stables, which is lovely for those who like to go horseback riding. The other nice thing about this property is that it is less than an hour’s drive from Dublin — you can rent it out via AirBNB actually and it’s under $1500 a night for the whole property.

Headfort House

St Pancras Clock Tower Guest Suite

Imagine sleeping in a British clock tower? This apartment which can sleep up to four (2 beds) has an ensuite bathroom and a connecting kitchen and is in the heart of London at St. Pancras Station.  It is a part of St Pancras Chambers, the name given by British Rail to the building formerly known as the Midland Grand Hotel.

The building was originally constructed between 1868 and 1873 as the flagship hotel for the Midland Railway Company. Designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott as the accompaniment to the railway station shed by Henry Barlow, the hotel operated only until 1935 before being turned into railway offices and allowed to enter a general state of degradation. On the very top of the Tower, stands the statue of Britannia, the only statue on the building. Curiously, stone niches adorn the rest of the building, appearing to await the addition of dozens of missing statues, abandoned as part of the railway’s cost-cutting measures.

The building is remarkable for being constructed largely from materials brought by rail from the Midlands, including the sandstone, red brick and the ironwork of the station roof and staircases. Carved stone capitals and bosses show a remarkable variety of high quality work, with granite columns gracing many of the arches. Taking inspiration from such buildings as the Cloth Hall at Ypres, Scott’s work harked back to a medley of periods in gothic architecture.

The original mechanical winding mechanism was so large it needed its own winding room half-way up inside the Tower Room, from which a pulley system drew the weights up inside a tall box (still preserved) running the height of the room. The need for a long weights box seems the only practical excuse for the height. The room benefits from secondary glazing to minimise any external noise and keep the room warm in winter. As well as the Tower Room, the apartment consists of a Kitchen/Dining Room and two double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. The bedrooms are available to rent on an individual basis through Airbnb, although most s need to be made at least three months in advance.

Clock Tower Guest Suite


 Villa San Gennariello B&B

At the foot of Mt. Vesuvius, this bed-and-breakfast in an 18th-century villa with a garden is 11 km from both the Naples National Archaeological Museum and the Royal Palace of Naples. This lovely villa is located in Portici, Campania and is a must for historians who love classic architecture and old antiques. Think B&B more than large resort which means that the owner is on-site and can help with recommendations for things to do in the area. Oh so authentic and oh so Italian.

I haven’t been to Naples in two decades so it’s on the list to try out on the next trip to Italy due to its closeness to the city as well as the Herculaneum and Pompeii excavations. This would also be a great choice for families as it sleeps up to nine people with private bathrooms and WiFi and the price is a steal at under $100 a night.

Italian Villa

This property is a splendid eighteenth-century villa set in leafy grounds with palms, rare plants and trees over a hundred years old. This remarkable place, which was once part of the old Bourbon pheasant-shooting retreat connected to the Royal Palace in Portici, is still as beautiful and impressive today as it was when Portici was the favourite destination of eighteenth-century noblemen. Today the town is attractive in itself and also a good starting-point for those wishing to explore the area and visit sites of archaeological interest and great natural beauty. The coast, dominated by the brooding Vesuvius, looks across to the enchanting islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida.

More info here: http://www.villasangennariello.com/engl/.

Houseboats in Paris

You can stay in a houseboat on the Seine in the heart of Paris, such as the renovated Houseboat Concorde, a spacious floating home with hardwood floors, sundeck, three bedrooms, 2 baths, office space and fully appointed kitchen area.  There’s not much missing in this houseboat with high speed internet, flat screen TV, and washer dryer.  Another option is Houseboat Louise situated in the heart of Paris on the Seine within walking distance of the Jardin des Tuileries, the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Élysées complete with sundeck and two bedroom with sleeping room for up to 5 persons.  This houseboat is over one hundred years old and is located right under the Eiffel Tower. It has a good bit of space and has a private deck overlooking the Seine river and the Eiffel Tower. The facility features a bunk bed for two people and a private bathroom and shower. There is also a great pedestrian path leading right to the houseboat. A great romantic getaway, the price ranges are oh so reasonable at around $200 or less per night and can actually be booked on AirBNB or France Homestyle Rentals.

Saint Antoine Eiffel Tower

Aegean Island Villa in Greece

Nestled on a Hillside With a Breathtaking Aegean Sea and Village Views, this villa combines character, history and modern comfort, with antique furniture of mid-19th century in 4 bedrooms where sleeps up to 8 (4 Bedrooms). There’s a private Swimming Pool with Jacuzzi and the Spacious Areas with Sunloungers and Parasols.

You can enjoy alfresco dining and Barbecue outside, on their large wooden deck Terrace, a complete living area, with a dining table. Villa Molova is a Traditional Rental Self-catering House in two levels, which has a tranquil and relaxing feel, situated above the fishing picturesque Port of Molyvos Village on Greek Island of Lesvos – within a short walking distance to local taverns, beach and amenities. The setting offers breathtaking views of the glistening waters of the Aegean Sea. In the distance the medieval Byzantine Castle is situated on the top of a rocky hill, and in summers varied cultural events take place in its inner yard.

There are striking views of the Aegean Sea and there is also a barn conversion that sleeps up to eight additional guests. This villa rents for roughly $600 a night.
Aegean Villa




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