Europe’s Top Castle Hotels Offer Unique Lodging Experiences

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-auf-schonburg-image20616187Whether you’re a total castle fanatic or just curious about what it would be like to spend a night or two inside such a magnificent structure, we’re convinced you’ll at least love reading about the unique options offered in a castle hotel stay. So we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite European castle hotels. Ones you might want to consider including on your next trip to The Old Country. Check these out!

·         Hotel de la Cite, Carcassonne, France – Nestled within the Citadel of Carcassonne is this magnificent castle hotel, truly one of the best in Europe and one you’ll certainly want to ponder if you’re visiting this wonderful city and its surrounding regions. It was built in 1909, so it’s not medieval, but you’ll still be immersed in history. It’s one of only three 5-star hotels in the region and offers not only amazing guest rooms but also top-notch restaurants, a breathtaking pool, and easy access to vineyards and other attractions in the area.

·         Castle Hotel auf Schonburg, Oberwesel, Germany – The original Schonburg Castle burnt to the ground in the late 17th century and remained in ruins until a wealthy American rescued it towards the end of the 1800s and completed refurbishing in 1914. The town council purchased it about 40 years later and converted it to a 24-room hotel. Today, the castle hotel – smack in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the Upper Middle Rhine Valley) – offers lovely rooms, picturesque gardens, a small library, and a chance to visit the old prison tower. The restaurant and banquet rooms are beautiful, but you’ll definitely want to enjoy a meal out on the terrace overlooking Oberwesel.

·         Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland – Expansive Ashford Castle is breathtaking! The history is rich and the peaceful setting amidst the woodlands is just what you’ll need for a relaxing and magical vacation. And, truly, you’ll never have to leave once you arrive to begin Ireland your adventure. There’s so much to do onsite, the food is tremendous, and the staff is extra special. Activities include golf, fishing, falconry, clay shooting and archery, kayaking, cycling, and much more. Ashford Castle is especially ideal for those traveling with children. They’ll never get bored!

·         Castello Della Quattro Torra, near Siena, Italy – Continuously lauded as one of the best accommodation options in this part of Tuscany, the Castello Della Quattro Torra boasts four towers, as the name suggests, and dates back to the 15th century. Today, it’s dubbed a Bed and Breakfast/Apartment and includes just a handful of lovely rooms, so getting a reservation can be tough unless you plan ahead. There’s no restaurant onsite but there are plenty within just a short distance of the hotel. The garden is great for long walks or just some peace and quiet.

·         Schlosshotel Igls, near Innsbruck, Austria – This beautiful castle hotel in the heart of Tryol includes lush accommodations, a spa, excellent dining that features themed dinner buffets, grounds for a picnic lunch, and much more. The area around the Schlosshotel Igls is ideal for active pursuits like golf, hiking, skiing and other winter sports, fishing, climbing, and horseback riding. There’s also an onsite indoor pool with an outside sunning area. Weddings are popular here, too.

·         Pousada di Obidos, near Lisbon, Portugal – Installed in the medieval Castle of Obidos, about 50 miles from Lisbon, Pousade di Obidos is located in the village of the same name. The castle is considered one of the “7 Marvels of Portugal” and is awaiting UNESCO World Heritage Site status. For visitors, sometimes the history in this place is more than enough to truly make this a spectacular place to stay, but the 17 rooms there are fit for royalty, furnished with spectacular yet comfortable pieces that’ll knock your socks off. The bathrooms are a masterpiece, especially in the suites. The restaurant features regional cuisine and excellent Portuguese wine. If you’re looking for high-energy activities here, you won’t find them (board games are about all that’s offered) but there’s plenty to do just outside the village.

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