Every little girl at one point in her life wishes that she could become a princess and live in a beautiful castle (no need for Prince Charming, a pony will suffice thank you very much). Well, we are here to tell you that that dream can now become a reality.
There are hundreds of incredible castles around the world that have been transformed into amazing hotels, allowing their guests to have an authentic castle experience whilst indulging in a spot of luxury. After some long and hard research, we have managed to wrangle the list down (an extremely difficult task) to ten fantastic destinations.
So whip out your tiara and find those glass slippers, because your visit will be nothing short of stepping into a fairytale.
1) Amberley Castle, England
Amberley Castle is situated in West Sussex, only 60 miles from London and 22 from Brighton. The castle has a rich 900 year old history, with the current stone building dating as far back as 1140. The incredible castle retains much of its original medieval architecture, including the surrounding 60 foot high curtain wall which is flanked by two magnificent gatehouse towers.
Each of the nineteen rooms boasts a wonderful blend of history and luxury, and the castle grounds are both stunning and tranquil, making this castle fit for any wannabe king or queen.
Rooms start from £165 per night.
2) Dornröschenschloss Sababurg, Germany
For any fan of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, this is the castle for you. The Brothers Grimm were frequent guests of the 650 year old landmark, and modelled the castle in Sleeping Beauty on the Sababurg. Nestled in the heart of the Reinhardswald Forest, the enchanted castle’s twin turrets rising amongst the trees resemble an illustration from a fairytale.
The 17 room hotel mixes heritage and modernity, and with incredible views of the surrounding forest and rolling hills, your stay will definitely end with a happily ever after.
Rooms start from £135 per night.
3) Ashford Castle, Ireland
This medieval castle was first built in 1228 by the de Burgo family on the shore of Lough Corrib, one of Ireland’s largest lakes. Since the first stones were laid, eight centuries worth of inhabitants have passed through its doors, including the famous brewing family, Guinness. The castle features original turrets, armour, oak panelling, chandeliers and gilt mirrors, transporting its guests back to medieval times. Ashford Castle is a truly stunning building in a truly stunning setting.
Rooms start from £152 per night.
4) Château de Mirambeau, France
This beautiful château was built on the site of an old medieval fortress with a history dating back to the 11th century. The castle is located between the vineyards of Bordeaux and Cognac, making it a remarkable region to discover.
The Renaissance-style château sits on an eight-hectare private park and looks over the Gironde estuary, with each of the 22 luxurious rooms offering an amazing view. The Château de Mirambeau expressed sophisticated French elegance and glamour, and is the ideal place to go if you enjoy the crème de la crème of French wine.
Rooms start from £184 per night.
5) Neemrana Fort Palace, India
This incredible heritage site is both visually beautiful and steeped in history. Constructed in 1464 in Rajasthan, the palace is built on a hillside which allowed the former king to view over his kingdom. The palace became the third capital of the descendants of Prithviraj Chauhan III, King of the Rajput Chauhan dynasty. After being completely restored in 1986, the fort is now listed as one of the world’s most unique destinations.
The palace also has India’s first ever zip lining tour, which allows you to experience the incredible views of the Neemrana Fort from a bird’s eye view. The original charm of the property is still intact in the modern five-star resort, wonderfully mixing the fort’s rich history with its luxurious present. Furthermore, with rooms starting at a mere £50 a night, anyone can live like a Maharaja!
Rooms start from £50 per night.
6) Thornbury Castle, England
Thornbury Castle has a long and rich history spanning over 500 years. The present castle was built by Edward Stafford, the 3rd Duke of Buckingham in 1508. Before this point, Thornbury had only been a manor, with the earliest account dating as far back as A.D. 925. However, Henry VII granted Stafford a licence to castellate the property, and the building was transformed into the magnificent castle you see today.
When you visit this beautiful Tudor castle, you will walk through the same corridors and gardens that Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn once explored, or you may find yourself sleeping in the same chambers as Mary Tudor did when she was a princess. Located in the South West of England close to the historic city of Bath, this historic and tranquil setting is perfect for a weekend break away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If it is good enough for Henry VIII, it is definitely good enough for us.
Rooms start from £175 per night.
7) Castel di Luco, Italy
What makes Castel di Luco so extraordinary is the fact that castle has barely been altered since the time of its construction in the 1400s. The remarkably well preserved building is also extremely special as it is still owned and managed by the descendants of the original family, which means a lot of pride and love go into maintaining this incredible piece of architecture.
Castel di Luco is nestled in the beautiful Province of Ascoli Piceno in the Italian region of Marche, and the guest suites in the hamlet just below the main castle are all still the original structures which date back to the middle ages. Do not be put off by not staying in the castle itself, as the stunning wood-beamed ceilings and antique beds in the guesthouses provide a thoroughly medieval experience in a wonderfully unique setting.
All suites are £124 per night.
8) Lobanov Rostovsky Palace, Russia
The grand ‘Lion Palace’ was originally built in 1820 in St. Petersburg, and was the residence of the Prince A.Y. Lobanov-Rostovsky, before becoming a state ministry. Situated next to the beautiful Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, the Aleksandrovsky Garden and the Admiralty landmark, the Four Season Hotel chain snapped up this regal piece of architecture to become their premier five-star luxury hotel in Russia.
Making sure to remain true to the palace’s original neoclassical features, the hotel evokes Russia’s romantic past whilst cementing its position in the world of luxury hospitality. If it was fit for a Tsar, it is fit for us.
Rooms start from £169 per night.
9) Parador de Sigüenza, Spain
The trapezoidal castle was built in the 12th century and is situated in an Arab fortress atop a Roman settlement. From this alone, Parador de Sigüenza is a medieval castle bursting at the seams with history. If the castle itself is not enough to quench your historical thirst, then the ancient town of Sigüenza is just below the castle, waiting to be explored.
The interior medieval furnishings coupled with the incredible architectural structure of the castle have led Parador de Sigüenza to be classified as a Spanish National Monument – making it an even more appealing as your next ancient castle short break.
Rooms start from £84 per night.
10) Schönburg Castle, Germany
This is the second German castle to make our list, and frankly for good reason. Boasting an absolutely breathtaking view overlooking the Rhine Valley, this castle was first mentioned around the 10th century and has enjoyed a long and illustrious history. Situated above the medieval town of Oberwesel in the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Schönburg Castle should be at the top of your ‘The Castles I Am Going To Stay In’ list.
Rooms start at £176 per night.
Words: Natalie Clark