I always liked castles. About them, there is a strong sense of imagination laced with a world populated by knights, dungeons, fairies, mysteries and everything else you might have read or heard about in popular folk culture. The towering, intimidating presence of these creations that stood and still stand as a symbol of strength and resistance have always fascinated me. Not just that, they are aesthetic. There is no way you can pass by them without admiring, even for a second, their architectural grandness. Piqued your interest already? How about I tell you that you can actually stay in castles while vacationing?
It is time to treat yourself like a royalty and book a place in a castle. While there are quite a few options to choose from, it is best to start with the best. In my pursuit of the world’s most scenic and coziest castles, I have read enough and heard enough to give you a good idea of how you should start. Here are 5 castles that will assure you a memorable stay.
- Ashford Castle, Ireland
Address: Ashford Castle Estate, Cong, Co. Mayo, F31 CA48, Ireland
County Galway is where the Irish lifestyle breaks all rules and draws you into a world of sheer excitement, communal harmony, and merriment. Everything about Galway is nearly perfect: from picturesque landscape to an attractive local culture, there is hardly anything you would find boring here.
Imagine staying in a castle now turned into a 5-star hotel in this dazzling place! Ashford Castle is a Victorian castle dating back to the 13th century and is an esteemed member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World organization. It has been voted as among the best in the world in 2015. Recently, it underwent extensive refurbishment, and a lot of money was thrown into this task. People like Oscar Wilde, President Ronald Reagan, and Brad Pitt have stayed here.
- Kasteel Huis Berg, the Netherlands
Address: Hof van Bergh 8, 7041 AC ‘s-Heerenberg, Netherlands
The world is already smitten by the ubiquity of the Netherlands’ reputation as some of the finest places on this planet. If you want to step up your whole Dutch experience, then you should consider Kasteel Huis Berg. Despite having been built in the 12th century, the castle has withstood more share of disasters than it deserved.
It has seen the country rise, fall, and rise again and it stands as a symbol of perseverance. Also, it serves as an excellent retreat to those looking forward to a luxuriously comfortable vacation. From a museum to late-night parties, you will not find any dearth of activities to participate in.
- Dalhousie Castle Hotel, Scotland
Address: Edinburgh EH19 3JB, United Kingdom
Drown yourself in the exquisiteness of Scottish hospitality during your stay at the formidable yet elegant Dalhousie Castle Hotel. Built-in the 13th century, the castle, like many on this list, has survived centuries of unpredictability and managed to retain its magnificence nevertheless.
It is the oldest inhabited castle here and, even after a massive renovation, retains its old-world charm. For example, there are 29 rooms and suites across 4 floors all of which feature antique furniture that accentuate the very innate charm of the castle. Forget the rooms, the very entrance hall of the place will be an object of awe and instant dazzle—no exaggeration here! Just make sure you have the heart to spend generously if you wish to explore the brilliance of this gigantic establishment.
- Castello di Pavone, Italy
Address: Via Dietro Castello snc, Pavone Canavese, Torino, 10018, Italy
The grandeur of this castle needs no telling. The moment your eyes see it, you will be drifted in a fantastical world of knights, damsels in distress, and conspiratorial meetings. This Italian castle, located in Torino, is a medieval marvel you will not get enough of. Every nook and corner—I mean, everything—reeks of a regal aura.
Its occupants changed with time but what remains the same was its glorious existence. It underwent a major renovation process by the hands of a famous architect yet it is what it was in its early days of origin. However, keeping in mind the contemporary necessities of the time, many modern-day incorporations have been made. But, that does not overwhelm the fairytale-like vibe of this fine place.
- Chateau De La Caze, France
Address: Route des Gorges du Tarn, 48210 Sainte-Énimie, France
The French Royalty has had a long-standing, inseparable infatuation with castles. To boast of their hold on the kingdom, they wanted everything about them nothing short of impressive in scale and symbolism. Their castles are among the most well-made ones in the world—and there is one where you can stay like the King/Queen you are.
Chateau de la Caze is nestled between a hill and the Tam river, making it a perfect fit for a world-class painting. This Medieval castle retains its antique décor and majestic atmosphere and has accommodated contemporary additions to make it extra comfortable for its occupants. You can enjoy the natural bounties around it or involve yourself in modern-day luxuries such as a heated swimming pool.
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