Whoever said castles are only for queens and kings? Because a castle requires a lot of upkeep which costs a lot of money, castles owners have wised up and have opened their properties to guests. Turned from castles into hotels, these places are far from being drafty old fortresses and have modern amenities while still maintaining their unique stories. And the best part is you can afford a royal-style holiday.
1. Situated in a remote place along Tarn River in Sainte-Enimie, France, Chateu de la Caze is a gorgeous castle built in the 15th century as a honeymoon home for a French noblewoman. The best rooms of the chateau are on the top floor. Tapestries, antiques, and artwork adorn the rooms and halls. When the weather allows it you can dine at the terrace restaurant which has a spectacular view of the river on one side and the impressive cliffs on the other.
2. Dalhousie Castle Hotel located in Edinburgh, Scotland and set among lovely grounds overlooking the River Esk, this castle was built in 1450. Openings in the parapets from where defenders poured boiling oil on intruders are still visible. Dalhousie’s wood paneled library is a popular gathering spot before dining in the castle’s restaurant which is set in the barrel vaulted dungeon.
3. Castel Pergine located in Trentino, Italy, is perched on a hill in the rugged western Dolomites, with dramatic views over the upper Sugana Valley and Lake Caldonazzo. Castel Pergine is the closest one could get to a authentic medieval castle experience. It was built in the 13th century on an important Roman road and although the rooms are modest looking, they are extremely comfortable.
4. Talabgaon Castle set in the rural heart of Rajasthan in Dausa, India, was built in 1818 and it is still owned by the same family today. Gleaming white walls, the interior of the castle recalls the area’s past as the “land of kings”. The rooms are spacious and airy and the Heritage Room offers access to a traditional Rajasthani enclosed balcony overlooking a garden.
5. Schloss Kapfenstein located in Kapfenstein, Austria, was built atop an extinct volcano with sweeping views of the vineyards of Southern Styria and it dates back to the 11th century. Contained with a fortress originally built to keep out the invading Huns and Turks, this distinctively decorated in local rustic style castle has bright-airy rooms with great views over the vineyards and the village bellow.
6. Parador de Oropesa situated in Spain was built in 1402 and it is not only one of the oldest of the 93 Spanish paradors but also the very first opened as a hotel in 1930. Paradors are structures of historical notes that the government has been running as hotels for the past 85 years. The rooms at Parador de Oropesa are spacious with beautiful views over the valley and the nearby village.
7. Markree Castle in Collooney, Sligo County, Ireland dates back to 1802 though its history starts centuries before that. Now operated by the 10th generation of the Cooper family, this massive five-story castle is situated on 500 acres or surrounding green parkland. Antique furniture and modern bathrooms make of Markree Castle a very comfortable resort.
8. Schloss Sommersdorf situated in Burgoberbatch, Germany is a 14th century castle. While technically is not a hotel, the owner, Dr. Manfred Baron von Crailsheim who grew up there, enjoys sharing the estate with guests. This small, renovated castle is the perfect base to explore the walled villages of Bavaria and it offers self-catering apartments and guest rooms, as well as common rooms where you can soak up the old world charm.
9. Castelo Ri Ripa D’Orcia is a 13th century family-owned castle, set on a hilltop that requires a dusty three-mile drive off the main road and located in Castiglione d’Orcia, Italy. Despite its cold appearance, once you enter the walls that encircle the castle you’ll be rewarded with comfort and privacy and sweeping views of the vineyard and olive orchards that the Piccolominis, who have owned the property since the 1400s, owns and operates.
10. Kasteel Wittem located on eight acres of parkland in South Limburg, Netherlands, was approximately 300 years ago. The very homey atmosphere is part of the castle’s charm. You can rent bicycles to explore the area, including the historical cities of Maastricht, Aachen and Liege. In the nearby village of Margraten, you can also tour the 65-acre Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands.