Many individuals do not have the means to purchase a French chateau. This should not prevent you from wanting to enjoy the luxuries that come with chateau ownership, however. There are options for those of us who want to experience chateau life, but do not want to spend a couple million Euros on buying one.
There are two main ways of experiencing the luxurious chateau lifestyle. The first and cheapest of these options is to stay in a chateau that is used as a bed and breakfast or hotel.
Many chateau owners have converted their chateaux into a place for travelers and guests to stay as they visit France or are passing through. These hotels allow you to experience the chateau life for a time that you see fit. Purchasing a hotel room for a week is going to be much less than purchasing a chateau outright, obviously. This is also a good idea if you are seriously considering buying a chateau because it will allow you to see if this type of lifestyle is right for you.
A second option is to rent out a chateau from its owners. Some chateaux can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis and will allow you to stay in the chateau as long as you wish without having to worry about the stressors of ownership, such as property taxes and property maintenance. These headaches are left to the owner while you get to experience all of the joys of living within the chateau's confines. Renting a chateau can be costly over a long period of time, but it is still more cost effective than ownership.
A third option involves buying a share within a chateau. This can work like a time share would, where you would have the entire property for yourself for a specified amount of time each year.
Whether you want to buy a French chateau outright, or you would like to just live the life of a king for a week, you should not let money get in the way. You owe it to yourself to fulfill your dreams. If this means renting a castle for a week rather than staying in a cheap motel, you should fulfill that desire, as long as it makes sense financially. There is nothing like staying in a French chateau where so much history has been made.