Live Like Royalty (If Only for a Visit) at These Grand Castle Hotels

Vacation like a king or queen at these posh hideaways.

castle-hotels
Ashford Castle

Who doesn't want to be treated like royalty? Make it a reality by overnighting in a gorgeous castle hotel. Throughout Europe and elsewhere, manor homes, grand estates, and turreted castles have been turned into exclusive hotels with elegant drawing rooms, top-notch service, and gourmet cuisine. Here are some of the most luxurious, splurge-worthy castle hotels where you can live out your Downton Abbey fantasies.

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Inverlochy-Castle-Hotel
Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Inverlochy Castle Hotel — Fort William, Scotland

If you're a fan of the Starz series Outlander, you've no doubt noticed the gorgeous Scottish Highlands landscapes. You'll find similar scenery during your stay at the posh 19th-century Inverlochy Castle in Fort William. Hike around Ben Nevis, enjoy local lamb at the Albert and Michel Roux Jr restaurant, then have a wee dram of whiskey by the fire in the Great Hall before heading up to your room, overlooking a loch.

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Ashford Castle — Cong, Ireland
Ashford Castle
Ashford Castle — Cong, Ireland

Ashford Castle, dating back to the 12th century, was once owned by the Guinness family. Today, it's an exclusive Irish resort with 83 antique-filled rooms and country pursuits like archery and falconry. Don't miss afternoon tea and a cocktail in the wood-paneled bar. Plus, the George V Dining Room, adorned with Waterford crystal chandeliers, is one of the country's most elegant restaurants.

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Castello-Monterone
Castello di Monterone
Castello di Monterone — Perugia, Italy

Castello di Monterone, located on a scenic hillside outside the city of Perugia (two hours from Rome), is said to have been built in the 13th century. Rooms feature stone walls, wood-beamed ceilings, and medieval-inspired chairs (some even feature fragments of ancient frescoes). Enjoy Umbrian pasta in the restaurant, and during the day explore the nearby hill town of Assisi and attractions like beautiful Lake Trasimeno.

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Dromoland Castle — Newmarket-on-Fergus, Ireland
Dromoland Castle
Dromoland Castle — Newmarket-on-Fergus, Ireland

Dromoland Castle, a neo-Gothic structure, is seemingly straight out of an Irish fairytale. You'll marvel at the plush interiors featuring crystal chandeliers and gilt-framed oil paintings. Spend your days golfing or clay-pigeon shooting, then unwind with a massage or an Irish coffee by a crackling fire before dressing for dinner (perhaps Irish beef or roasted sea scallops) in the Earl of Thomond restaurant.

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Amberley Castle — Arundel, England 
Amberley Castle
Amberley Castle — Arundel, England

In West Sussex (less than a two-hour drive from London) is 900-year-old Amberley Castle, originally built as a manor house for the Bishop of Chichester. Over the years, crenelations and a (still-working) portcullis gate were added. You'll find medieval accents in the 19 bedrooms and in the Great Room restaurant, such as oak-paneled floors, tapestries on the walls, arched windows, and stone fireplaces.

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castle hotels 
Adare Manor
Adare Manor — Adare, Ireland

After a head-to-toe makeover, Adare Manor, on 840 acres in County Limerick, is once again among Ireland's top luxury castle hotels. A new building (linked to the original manor house) was built, and all interiors were beautifully redone. Amenities include a full-service spa, activities like fishing and falconry, golf, and the Oak Room, where you can indulge in a five-course candlelight dinner of local specialties, including wild Irish salmon and venison.

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castle hotels
Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate
Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate — Long Island, New York

Located on Long Island's fabled Gold Coast, where the Rockefellers built summer mansions, Oheka outshines them all. Built in 1919 by financier Otto Hermann Kahn, the 117-room estate was inspired by French chateaux. There are 32 hotel rooms and suites, and during your stay, you can take a mansion tour, stroll the formal gardens, sip North Fork wines in the bar, and dine in the elegant restaurant.

More: Planning a Hamptons Visit? These Are the Best Things to Do!

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castle hotels
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac — Québec, Canada

Though not a historic castle, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is one of Canada's most iconic buildings. Located on a hilltop inside the walls of Old Québec, this grand castle-like hotel was built in 1893 as a stopover for guests traveling on the Canadian Pacific Railway. There are 611 rooms, a spa, and multiple dining venues, including the fine dining Champlain Restaurant and the more casual 1608 - Wine & Cheese Bar.

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Glenapp-Castle
Glenapp Castle
Glenapp Castle — Ballantrae, Scotland

Experience Scottish baronial splendor during a stay at 19th-century Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire, complete with ivy-covered sandstone walls and turreted towers. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, from croquet to fishing, but be sure to simply stroll the castle's gardens and woodlands. In the evening, have a pre-dinner single-malt whiskey, then head into the restaurant to tuck into a six-course tasting menu.

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Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa — Salzburg, Austria 
Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa
Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa — Salzburg, Austria

You may know Salzburg from The Sound of Music, and Schloss Fuschl, overlooking Lake Fuschl, would fit right in with the glorious alpine vistas seen in the beloved movie. Built as a hunting lodge in 1450, highlights of the hotel include a private dock where you can take a scenic boat ride around the lake, the Schloss restaurant specializing in local seafood, and a collection of Old Master paintings on display.

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Ballynahinch-Castle-Hotel
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel — Recess, Ireland

Set on 450 acres in County Galway, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, an 18th-century crenellated mansion, is the perfect perch to take in the rugged, windswept landscapes of the West of Ireland, especially around Connemara. Aside from activities like salmon fishing and guided hikes, there are plenty of elegant parlors for reading and relaxing, plus a cozy bar where you can enjoy a post-dinner pint of Guinness.

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castle hotels
Chateau Herálec
Chateau Herálec — Herálec, Czech Republic

Chateau Herálec, an hour's drive from Prague, dates back to the 12th century. Today, the castle is a boutique hotel with 19 rooms and expansive parkland. One of the castle hotel's main draws is its Spa by L'Occitane, which features a swimming pool beneath historic arches, a Jacuzzi in the castle turret, and a Finnish sauna. After being pampered in the spa, dine on modern Czech dishes in Restaurant Honoria, located in the oldest part of the castle.

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