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Blog Castle hotels: 10 places you can stay like royalty
Date: 15 June 2020

Castle hotels: 10 places you can stay like royalty

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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.

Reward tip: Earn CashPoints when you book your flights to Norway with Norwegian and your hotel via Norwegian Reward.

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

Bird's-eye view of Ashford Castle and green land and lake around it
Ashford Castle offers a Presidential Suite, and a hideaway cottage. Choose your favorite

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’.

Bedroom Ashford Castle in Ireland
Choose your accommodation from 82 spectacular hotel rooms

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.

Bar, Ashford Castle in Ireland
Ashford is one of Ireland’s most impressive and romantic castle hotels

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

Facade of Dalhouise Castle in Scotland
Dalhousie Castle is Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle

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 visiting this place is a memorable experience in itself.

Dining table with suit of armour in background at Dalhousie Castle, Scotland.
Live like a king or queen at Dalhousie Castle

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 castle hotel as seen from the front, outside Paris
The present château, which was built to replace a medieval castle, dates back to the 16th century

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.

Living room, Château de Bourron
Since 1878, the Château de Bourron has been owned by the Montesquiou family

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

Gstaad Palace Hotel lit up at dusk, with snow-covered mountains and village surrounding it
Discover one of the most luxurious accommodations in Gstaad

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 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.

Gstaad Palace Hotel dining room
Gstaad Palace is one of the most famous resort hotels in Switzerland

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 castle hotel lit up at night with large moon in the background
Parador de Cardona watches over the charming town of Cardona

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.

Tip: Barcelona is just over an hour’s drive from Parador de Cardona, so make sure you fill up on some of the city’s tasty tapas before you heading up to the castle.

6. Hvedholm Slotshotel, Faaborg, Denmark

facade of Hvedholm Castle Hotel in Faaborg with lake and swans in the foreground
Hvedholm is a marvellous castle hotel, with charming interiors

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.

Ornate bedroom at Hvedholm Castle Hotel
Sleep well in a four-poster bed at Hvedholm Castle Hotel

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

Entrance to Amberley Castle, Amberley in the UK
Amberley Castle is a unique luxury hotel located in the picturesque village of Amberley

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.

Guest room Amberley Castle, UK
Sleep in a guest room steeped in over 900 years of history

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

Entrance to Hesselby Castle, Sweden
Hesselby Slott is Sweden’s Castle of Music – a place full of life, movement and music

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.

Modern bedroom at Hesselby Slott castle hotel in Sweden
The historic castle now has modern rooms

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

Facade of Lough Eske Castle in Donegal
Lough Eske Castle lies in the Irish town Donegal, named the ‘Coolest Place on the Planet’ by National Geographic Traveller in 2017

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.

Red drawing room in Lough Eske Castle
There’s an exclusive interior in the red drawing room of Lough Eske Castle

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

Facade of Bårdshaug Herregård against a grey-blue sky
This manor is packed with charm and history and is known for its environmentally-friendly focus. Photo: © Bårdshaug Herregård

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.

Lavish bedroom at Bårdshaug Herregård
The stately and venerable interior of Bårdshaug Herregård. © Bårdshaug Herregård

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.

Want more hotel inspiration? Check these 11 unique hotels to add to your travel bucket list.

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