Have you ever dreamed about being a king or a queen just to have a room as big as your entire house, and a home that reminds you of the fairytales you used to read as a child? The good news is you don’t even have to have royal blood anymore just to sleep in a castle. You can simply flip through the catalogues and choose among a wide myriad of castle lodgings around the globe. Below are our very top picks.
Château de la Bourdaisière
If you watch a lot of TV and you’ve come across the reality show Joe Millionaire, which just made your heart beat faster, this castle is going to look very familiar to you. This was a Fox hit in 2003, and now, you don’t even have to get into the show to wine, dine, and spend the night in the property. For as low as 120 euros a night, you get the full lodging experience at the Château de la Bourdaisière.
Sitting at the countryside of France, only a little more than an hour from Paris, this castle was built in the 15th century, infamously for the king’s royal mistress. The monarch during that time was King Francois I. Today, it remains one of the most popular destinations for couples who are spending their honeymoon. Just because you’re single, though, doesn’t mean you should skip out on paying the place a visit.
In fact, single ladies who spend their breaks in this castle might just find their own Prince Charming. The property is currently being managed by two of the most eligible bachelors, the Broglie princes. If you’re lucky enough, something romantic might just happen.
The place is highly conducive for love affairs because aside from its elegant structure, the palace is also surrounded by an “enchanted” forest—enchanting because the colors just seem to jump off the canvass during autumn and spring. There are 11 rooms in the castle, tennis courts, a pool, and other amenities. If you prefer to explore the grounds outside the property, you can always go to the Loire Valley, which is a great place for air ballooning. You may also visit its vineyards and taste good wine.
If you’re wondering what Queen Elizabeth I’s lodgings looked like, you would want to book a room at the Amberley Castle. The Queen owned this castle between 1588 and 1603. Charles II is said to have visited the castle frequently, and you’ll also get snippets of the civil war, tour the same walls which Cromwell attacked at that time.
How do you get to the castle? You need to cross it the old-fashioned way, using a drawbridge. The castle’s portcullis is said to still be lowered every night. The property is surrounded by a 60-foot curtain wall which encloses its rose gardens. The best part of all is that this isn’t just a garden filled with roses. There are live peacocks here, too.
When you enter it, you’ll still feel that grand, medieval vibe. Inside, the walls are lined with old armory, tapestries, and arched stone doorways. You can choose among 19 of its rooms, sleep in royal four-poster beds, absorb the intricate designs of its wall hangings, and enjoy modern additions like Jacuzzis in the suites, television sets and VCRs.
Château de Castel Novel
In the secluded countryside of France sits the Château de Castel Novel. Not only does this castle give its guests highly refined accommodations, it’s also a refuge from the fast-paced city life. If you’ve been frequenting France for quite a while, too, you’ll find the views here refreshing. It’s definitely off-beat, if anything else.
Here, you’ll find a fine mix of gastronomic and historical delights. In between these activities, you can be one with nature while taking leisurely walks. The castle sits in the Limousine city of France. The property was built in the 14th century, and was originally constructed as a fortified castle on top of the hill. Certain changes in the design in the 19th century, though, softened the architecture of the castle with some Renaissance additions.
You’ll definitely be in awe of its sweeping balconies, spacious terraces, and manicured rose gardens. The castle’s past residents also added character to the property. Legend has it that the castle was home to star-crossed lovers: the lady and the troubadour.
More recently, Colette, a French writer, composed several novels inside one of its rooms. The castle has a total of twenty-seven rooms, all of them elegant suites which are open for lodging and viewing.
Tired of your boring life? The Waterford Castle, which sits at a secluded area in Southern Ireland. It is surrounded by the River Suir, and sits at the heart of a 310-acre island. This castle can only be accessed through a private ferry, and if you’re looking for the perfect refuge, this is the place you should be staying in. Of course, no one wants to be cooped up in a room for the duration of their stay.
There’s also an 18 hole golf course, and trails for horseback rides. You can also take part in a number of water sports, or go fishing by yourself or with your travel companions. The stone castle has been around since the 16th century, and has retained most of its Norman design elements. Aside from the location of the castle, you’ll also like the gargoyles, towers and turrets.
Its nineteen guestrooms and all of its main rooms are lined with regal tapestries, period décor and antiques. For five centuries it was owned by the Fitzgerald family before it was turned into a luxury hotel in 1988.
Kasbah du Toubkal
Now, on the other side of the world, where there are no cars, limousines, and ferries, there’s also a castle that’s accessible only by a donkey ride. We’re talking about the Kasbah du Toubkal which is in Morocco. If you don’t like donkeys, you can also access the castle by hiking, but that’s such a drag when you’re carrying your luggage. How will you admire the sight as you climb up the peak of Atlas?
Roughly sixty minutes from Markesh, the palatial property is a little on the rustic side, with eight rooms overlooking the views from the mountain. It also has a pretty rich history. From the 1940s to 1956, this castle was the summer home of the French caid. Today, it’s one of the most prominent eco-tourism destinations.
For the film buffs out there, you may recognize the palace as the Tibetan Monastery in Kundun (1997). The palace is popular among those who love to hike specifically because of its location and the good food they serve at the castle-cum-hotel.
Castle on the Hudson
Are you from Manhattan and just dying to escape the crowded city and the smog? If you take a subway, just 25 miles away from the city, off north and across Hudson River, you’ll find the Castle on the Hudson. While this property may lack the royal history that most castles have, it certainly makes up for it with its tall stone walls and palatial trimmings. It’s still kingly in its own right.
The Castle on the Hudson was constructed between 1897 and 1910. If you enter its Oak Rooms, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with its pannelings. While no royal figure actually resided here for years, the panels are from the Parisian home of James II from Louis XIV. This Parisian house was where James II spent his years as an exile.
There are five rooms in the castle, and they’re certainly fit for royalty. Each one has a fireplace, a four poster bet, impressive furnishings and turret alcoves. If you’re hungry, just go to the Equus restaurant which is also located within the palatial lodgings. While dining, enjoy the view of New York’s skyline across the Hudson River.
If you like castles because of their historic value, then the Palacio Belmonte is a must-see. This architectural grandeur is surrounded by Moorish and Roman walls. This is, by far, the oldest structure in Lisbon, so it’s seen quite a lot. The castle has been there since 130 BC, and it sits on top of a hill which gives its guests a great view of the river and the city made from cobblestones.
For a while, it was uninhabitable, but since its restoration as a hotel which took six years and several million dollars, it got back its royal stature. Before the hotel was restored, though, it was owned privately by the descendants of the Earls of Belmonte. It was the royal family’s home for about 500 years.
Today, there is a total of eight suites you can spend the night in. Inside, they’re decorated with colorful and luxurious silk, but what you’re going to be very impressed with are their spacious terraces. Within the property, you can also use a big swimming pool made from elegant black marble. There are African and Japanese artifacts adorning the place, and Roman fountains outside which makes your short walks around the property extra legal.
Look up and you’ll see brick ceilings which date back to the 7th century, marble bathrooms themed in black, and roughly 30,000 Portugese tiles which date back to the 18th century. All of these with the imported antiques are bound to give the guests a refined, luxurious vibe.
A few of the best castles around the world can be found in Scotland. One of them is the Balfour Castle. This property sits at the heart of the Orkney Island, and romantics would be happy to see the whole island surrounded by mist especially in the colder seasons. The island is in Shapinsay, Scotland. If you’re holding a map, look north and you should be able to spot its exact location.
Because it’s at the edge of Europe, though, the castle’s a bit challenging to reach. You need to bring yourself to Kirkwall, and then take a 25-minute ferry ride to reach the island. To say that it’s secluded is an understatement. Ten whole miles of rolling hills and forests surround the property. This royal fortress, which was built in 1848, is definitely Victorian.
Once you’re inside, you’ll be amazed by its old library, turrets, stuffed owls, and old paintings. The castle has six rooms, each one with wood-carved poster beds. There are also canopy beds, if you prefer that style, and of course, oriental rugs. Being so near the sea, all of the rooms also have the best vantage points of the coastline. Only four of these six rooms, though, have their own baths.
Just like the Amberley Castle, the Balfour Castle also has impressive grounds. There are walled gardens, and just in case you want to explore the sea, you can borrow any of the two boats and sail to the island’s spooky caverns and dramatic cliff walls.
This castle was built in 1525. It was originally supposed to serve as the home of the Doge of Venice. Since then, it has been playing the gracious host to a number of VIPs, including Greta Garbo, Winston Churchhill, Ernest Hemingway, and numerous heads-of-state all over the world. It is already 500 years old, so it’s not surprising to hear some people say it’s seen prettier days.
Fans of the palace insist that its age just gives it character. Today, it represents the historical richness of Venice. It overlooks the Grand Canal, which makes it one of the best lodgings to stay in if you want to see the waterscape of the city. The best view is probably from the terrace of the property’s restaurant. Like the other palaces we’ve discussed earlier, this one is also furnished with a lot of antiques.
There are more than 82 guest houses in this palace. They’re all proudly Venetian.
Lake Palace in Jaipur
Have you ever wanted to live like a maharajah? Then the castle you should spend your summers in is the Lake Palace. This palatial property is made from white marble. It’s located in India and was built as a retreat for the country’s ruler in the 1700s. Most visitors describe it with one word: ethereal. This was never the official home of India’s ruler as it was constructed purely for his summer breaks.
Now that it’s a hotel, the same principle applies. Guests here will feel nothing but restful. The 83-room property has 17 suites you can choose from if you really want to live it up. The walls have impressive murals and furnishings made from rich wood. A lot of distinguished guests have frequented the palace including Queen Elizabeth II, the King of Nepal, the Shah of Iran, and Jackie O.
A lot of distinguished guests have frequented the palace including Queen Elizabeth II, the King of Nepal, the Shah of Iran, and Jackie O.
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