A 15th-century tower in Co Galway is the most visited private room listing in Airbnb’s history, the company has revealed.
Cahercastle in Co Galway sleeps up to four people and boasts a master bedroom with access to the turret, among other facilities.
And the price? You can live like a king from €160 per night.
“It’s crazy, isn’t it?” said Peter Hayes, who sounds as surprised as anyone at the news that his ‘Burke’ tower is Airbnb’s busiest private listing.
Hayes, a former fashion designer, first bought the East Galway pile in 1996, and has spent years restoring the place using traditional materials like limestone and oak beams, together with mod cons like solar water heating.
“I fell in love, hook line and sinker, with a pile of stones,” he says.
The most booked single room on Airbnb is in a house in Bruges, but a greater number of guests have stayed at Cahercastle, the room-sharing giant says.
“The most-visited private room in Airbnb history is in a castle in Ireland hosted by Peter, who has spent over a decade restoring his 600 year-old home,” the company confirmed to the Irish Independent.
It would not release the exact number of visitors, but Hayes reckons thousands of guests have stayed since the first rental in 2013.
“Most probably. I’ve lost count,” he laughs.
“After the first review, my phone started to go ping, ping, ping… if I don’t block off nights, it would be booked out.”
Hayes lives with his partner and sons at the 15th-century castle, a fact he believes is crucial to its supervision… and success.
“I think Airbnbs should only be owner-occupied,” he says. “We take either one couple or a group of up to four, and we give them our undivided attention… If people have a smile on their face and a bit of craic, then I don’t mind who stays.”
Airbnb revealed its most visited listings this week as it announced that hosts have welcomed over 500 million guests since the site launched in 2008.
Almost half of those guests visit Europe, the company says – more than North America and Asia combined.
As with all Airbnbs, guests should read Cahercastle’s listing carefully so that they know what to expect of their overnight adventure.
As well as thick stone walls and roaring fires, the tower features eccentric touches like a bath in the living room, dozens of spiral steps and the odd cobweb and coating of dust.
“Castles are hard work,” he adds. “They’re not easy places to run… but doing Airbnb has given us the opportunity to finish the place.”
“Well, it’s never finished. But it’s nearly there!”