A DEVOTED dad decided to spend his life building his son a castle – and it is something out of a fairy tale.
Highlands Castle in Upstate New York has royal bedrooms, a library and a music room, along with some amazing lake and mountain views.
The castle was built by John Lavender II, who promised his son he would build him one for the two of them to live in shortly after he got divorced in 1978.
He told Insider: “I made the promise and I said I’m going to show my son that if I speak words to him, I’ll follow through no matter what it takes.”
Four years later, John bought a large plot of land in Bolton Landing with money he raised by starting a fundraising corporation for schools.
He designed and built the castle himself with the help of his friends and some hired hands.
Inside the castle is a music room, library and coat room, as well as the “heart of the castle,” the Great Hall which has views of the nearby Lake George.
There is also the “Royal Bedroom” for two people, with an outdoor terrace, and a second double room, while guests can also make the most of a private kitchen, dining room, family room and bathroom.
One of the best bits is the Romeo and Juliet stained glass door, which is more than 250 years old.
You and seven friends can rent it out on Airbnb for the small sum of £6,223 per night.
John’s dream of living in a castle with his son came true, and both of them have since got married in it.
But after completing Highlands Castle, John wasn’t done so he went on to build two more castles on the same estate.
The estate remained a private home for the Lavender family for almost three decades but has been open to guests since 2010.
John said: “Every guest that stays here will say to me, thank you for opening up your home to us.
“My response now is just, ‘Thank you a hundred times more for finding us and staying here.'”
John and his wife Yvonne still live in a sectioned-off part of Highlands Castle and Jason has since moved out of the castle and into a home with his own family.
If you fancy a stay in a castle a little closer to home, we’ve rounded up the coolest UK castle stays.