Live like royalty in a castle hotel
There’s a time to budget, and a time to splurge. For a spot of luxury and something a bit different, stay at one of these stunning castle hotels.
Unless you live in a mansion, you’re not likely to be familiar with the sheer splendour that comes with staying the weekend in a grand, luxurious setting. Getting spoilt and pampered, as though you had blue blood in your veins, makes for an unforgettable experience. So dig out your long dress or black suit and prepare yourself for a regal stay.
Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
When you go through the enormous gateway to Ashford Castle, you enter a whole new world. There are 800 years of history in these stone walls, and the castle regularly accommodates royalty and celebrities. You may recognise the castle from the outdoor scenes in the TV series ‘Reign’.
Here, you’re all set for a bona fide castle stay, with horse riding and angling in between rounds of golf and walks in the magnificent gardens.
You can even try the ancient hunting technique of falconry, with the help of gyrfalcons. These magnificent birds of prey are trained to hunt small birds. Ruthless perhaps, but fascinating nonetheless.
Or, should you prefer a more relaxing time indoors, the castle offers its own spa, which was ranked as Ireland’s best in 2017, no less. The hotel itself was voted the second best resort in the UK and Ireland in 2017, so the three-hour drive from Dublin is well worth the effort.
Fly to Dublin, Ireland
Dalhousie Castle Hotel, Edinburgh, UK
Dalshousie Castle Hotel & Spa is situated a mere half an hour’s drive south of Edinburgh. It’s said to be Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle and to have survived a siege by Henry IV in the 1400s. The castle was built in 1280 AD and has towers and secret stairways, so just being there is a memorable experience in itself.
It’s also said that Mary Queen of Scots spent the night here while touring her realm. You can spend the night in the same room, or in one of the other 29 luxurious rooms with views overlooking the Scottish greensward.
Fly to Edinburgh, UK
Château de Bourron, Bourron-Marlotte, France
Château de Bourron is actually a family hotel near Paris where the owners invite you to stay practically in their own home. The boutique-style hotel lies adjacent to a golf course, and is only a 45 minute drive from Paris. It’s also easy to get there by train.
You can play tennis there, take a stroll around the wonderful parks and gardens surrounding the hotel and even order a Shiatsu massage.
Fly to Paris, France
Gstaad Palace, Gstaad, Switzerland
Gstaad Palace is the archetypal princess’s castle with tall towers, located a two-hour drive from Geneva. Naturally, there’s a spa and some excellent restaurants there, but you’ll no doubt want to take advantage of all the amazing ski slopes that can be found close by.
The Swiss Alps form a fantastic backdrop against this charming castle. Wonder what it’s like there right now? Then check out the hotel’s own webcam.
Fly to Geneva, Switzerland
Parador de Cardona, Cardona, Spain
Parador de Cardona takes you on a journey back to the Middle Ages.
Parador de Cardona is situated in a beautiful castle overlooking the Catalonian town of Cardona, where centuries old treasures are retained for safekeeping.
The castle dates back to the 9th century and within its walls you’ll also find a church dating back to the 1100s. The castle offers a panoramic view of the town and the river that flows calmly past.
Fly to Barcelona, Spain
Hvedholm Slotshotel (Castle Hotel), Faaborg, Denmark
Hvedholm Slotshotel offers four-poster beds as the standard in every room and is heated by wood fires. The castle is situated on the outskirts of Faaborg, overlooking the Øhavet archipelago, south of Fyn, and originally dates back to 1587, but was renovated in 1880.
Hvedholm Castle Hotel boasts magnificent halls, stylish rooms and its own wine cellar. Those staying at the hotel can take part in wine tasting events every Saturday.
The easiest way to get to this hotel is to hire a car in Billund.
Fly to Billund, Denmark
Amberley Castle, Amberley, UK
A mere 50-minute drive from Gatwick, you will find the historic gem of Amberley Castle, with its luxurious accommodations within its 900-year-old medieval walls. The beautiful grounds include an 18-hole golf course and no less than two lakes.
The hotel is family-owned and there’s plenty of history in the walls here. The castle offers a wealth of activities for those opting to spend their holidays inside this enchanting castle, or out in the neatly groomed gardens. Afternoon tea is a must, of course.
Fly to London, UK
Hesselby Slott, Vällingby, Sweden
At Hesselby Castle the staff promise to do everything they can to ensure that you’re always satisfied. And the way this is done, is via your stomach. Their top restaurant serves classic dishes and creations by innovative chefs.
They’ll keep you happy with music, too, offering excellent musical events in the same rooms where Carl Mikael Bellman gave concerts.
And naturally enough, they have yet another good card in their hand, having the pleasure of accommodating you in this venerable castle with roots dating back to the Swedish aristocracy of the 1600s.
Fly to Stockholm, Sweden
Lough Eske Castle, Donegal, Ireland
Lough Eske Castle is just short of a three-hour drive from Dublin. However, once you get there, the castle will treat you to five-star, world class, VIP service.
This amazing building is situated near the famous Blue Stack mountains, surrounded by four acres of forest.
The castle’s luxurious rooms are a charming blend of the old and the new.
There’s a spa here, plus a gym and a swimming pool. And should you wish to try your hand at angling, Lough Eske itself is less than a ten minute walk away.
Fly to Dublin, Ireland
Stay in a castle, earn CashPoints
If you book your hotel via Norwegian, you’ll earn 5% CashPoints on your stay, which you can put towards yet another new adventure, while enjoying the exclusive experience of a castle holiday.
Want more hotel inspiration? Check these 11 unique hotels to add to your travel bucket list.