Why book just a hotel room when you can rent an entire European village?
Local accommodation-finder Airbnb and Rent
a Village by Xnet have made it possible by putting nine villages across
Austria, Switzerland and Germany up for grabs.
Of course, the deep pockets necessary to afford such a thing mean the
typical clientele is corporate giants like Hyundai and Siemens that host their
company retreats in the village-wide venue, forgoing a banal conference centre.
The $50,000 to $65,000 a night price tag
covers room and board for about 150 people, as well as some basic branding. A
little more cash can buy branded street signs, logo-embossed currency, or a
custom theatre performance based on the founding of the company. Locals earn a
living providing all of the above, and the program brings money to tourism-driven
towns, said Rent a Village CEO Karl
The first village to participate in the
concept in 1996 was the appropriately named Brand,
Austria in the eastern Alps,
and it has remained the most popular rental among all the villages. Visitors
can ski, golf and even attempt an obstacle course on snowshoes. Want to have your
wedding in a town nearly all to yourself? Schwärzler recommends
the romantic Goldegg am See
Salzburg countryside, complete with a medieval castle on a lake and traditional
Austrian entertainment . One couple did book their 25th
wedding anniversary celebration in a village, but split up before the big day.
Find the full list of towns at Airbnb, but start early: the booking
and planning process takes at least six months and can take up to a year for a
very large group.