Castle hotels: 10 places you can stay like royalty
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 a truly unforgettable experience.
So dig out your cocktail dress, pack some dinner jackets and prepare yourself for a regal stay at these stunning castle hotels.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the availability of the hotels could be affected. Remember to check current travel restrictions before booking travel.
1. 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, this castle hotel has its own spa, which has been ranked as Ireland’s best for several years running. The hotel itself was voted the third best resort in the UK and Ireland in 2019, so the three-hour drive from Dublin is well worth it.
2. Dalhousie Castle Hotel, Edinburgh, UK
The castle was built in 1280 AD and has towers and secret stairways, so just visiting this place 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.
What’s more, if you’re a fan of ghost stories, the castle is rumoured to be home to the Lady Catherine, aka, the Grey Lady. You can read her story in our post on the ten of the world’s most haunted hotels.
Tip: If you’re visiting the Scottish capital for a few days, get yourself clued-up before your trip with these fun facts about Edinburgh you probably didn’t know.
3. 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.
4. Gstaad Palace, Gstaad, Switzerland
Naturally, there’s a spa and some excellent restaurants here, but if you’re visiting in winter, 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.
5. Parador de Cardona, Cardona, Spain
Parador de Cardona takes you on a journey back to the Middle Ages.
This medieval castle hotel is situated on top of a hill 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.
6. Hvedholm Slotshotel, 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 and drive for around two hours.
7. Amberley Castle, Amberley, UK
A mere 50-minute drive from London Gatwick airport, 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, a tennis court, and no less than two lakes.
The hotel is family-owned and there’s plenty of history in the walls here with suits of armour standing to attention, coats of arms telling tales of previous owners and beautiful antiques decorating the lounges of the hotel.
The drawing rooms have log fires in the cooler months giving them a cosy feel, while in the summer, guests can enjoy a stroll in the 12 acres of neatly groomed gardens. Afternoon tea is a must, of course.
8. Hesselby Slott, Vällingby, Sweden
At Hesselby Castle, just 30 minutes outside Stockholm, 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.
While the castle hotel has roots dating back to the Swedish aristocracy of the 1600s, the rooms today are modern and updated. Some are even themed, with decoration inspired by Sweden’s most beloved artists.
9. Lough Eske Castle, Donegal, Ireland
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.
10. Bårdshaug Herregård, Trondheim, Norway
Ok, so technically Bårdshaug Herregård, or Bårdshaug Manor, isn’t a castle, but it’s certainly castle-like and plenty of royals have stayed here in the past, including Oscar II of Sweden, The Prince of Monaco, King Leopold of Belgium and Norway’s King Olav V.
This lavish manor house is located in the small town of Orkanger, a 30-minute drive outside Trondheim.
It’s been a family-owned hotel for three generations, and has a fascinating history, which you can read more about in our post on incredible hotels in Norway for a unique stay.
The hotel comprises buildings dating all the way from 1890 to 2010. It has 89 rooms, a game hunting-themed bar and a restaurant serving dishes made with locally-sourced produce from the Trøndelag region’s forest, mountain and sea.
There are plenty of fun activities to take part in during a stay at Bårdshaug, including wine tasting, salmon fishing, archery, climbing and clay pigeon shooting.
Tip: Looking for more activities in this area? Check out our post on the top things to do in Trondheim.
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.