Royal treatment

Houston travelers can embark on fairy-tale getaway at this Hill Country castle

Houstonians can embark on fairy-tale getaway at Hill Country castle

Falkstein Castle
Falkenstein Castle is available for rent. Photo courtesy of Vrbo

Are you yearning for the royal treatment during a getaway? If so, you might want to check out a European-style castle — yes, a castle — about five miles from Lake LBJ that’s available for rentals.

You’ll need to pay a princely sum to stay at this regal Hill Country property, though. The average rental rate on Vrbo is $1,979 per night with a minimum two-night reservation. The castle can accommodate 12 overnight guests.

The 14,000-square-foot Falkenstein Castle, about five miles northeast of the Llano County town of Kingsland and roughly 60 miles northwest of Austin, contains six bedrooms, two bathrooms and two half-bathrooms. It sits on a 133-acre site.

Amenities include:

  • Wedding chapel
  • Cast-iron chandeliers
  • Three jacuzzi tubs
  • 40,000-gallon koi pond with waterfall
  • 9,000-gallon-per-hour stream
  • More than 100 pieces of museum-caliber artwork
  • Collection of more than 1,000 DVDs
  • Oculus Quest virtual reality system
  • Balconies with panoramic views of three counties
  • Gazebo with charcoal grill
  • Game room with pool table

“This is a far cry from the drafty, dark castles from Medieval Europe for sure,” Travel + Leisure magazine says in a review of Falkenstein Castle.

Now, if you’re itching to ditch the castle for a while, you can head to nearby Inks Lake and Inks Lake State Park, Lake Buchanan, Lake Marble Falls, Longhorn Cavern State Park, or Hidden Falls Adventure Park, as well as restaurants and wineries.

Falkenstein Castle was inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th century attraction in Germany’s Bavaria region and one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, and patterned after Bavaria’s never-finished Falkenstein Castle. The “fairytale look” of Neuschwanstein Castle served as a model for Disney’s iconic Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty castles.

Terry and Kim Young, owners of Falkenstein Castle, rent out their property for private events, weddings, and lodging. During a 1995 trip to Europe, the Youngs toured King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle. There, the couple learned of Ludwig’s planned but never-built Falkenstein Castle, which spurred the idea to construct their own Falkenstein Castle. The ambitious project began in 1996. The Youngs now make their home at the castle.

“Hundreds of thousands of pounds of limestone, granite, sand, cement, rock, and block were used in the construction of all of the buildings at Falkenstein Castle. The walls are solid stone,” according to the Library of Congress.