Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

More Top Castle Hotels

An aerial view of Ashford Castle in Ireland

Now that you've had a look at our Top 10 Castle Hotels Worldwide, here are some additional great choices, from properties in Scotland (of course!) to more unexpected settings such as Holland and Namibia.

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DENMARK

Funen
Hvedholm Slot
Built in 1570 and lavishly renovated in the nineteenth century by Count Bille Brahe Selby, Hvedholm Castle...Read the full review.

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FRANCE

Aquitaine
Château du Peyruzel

Dating back to the thirteenth century, this medieval French fortress perches high above the Dordogne River in southwestern...Read the full review.

Bourges
Château de la Verrerie

www.chateauxhotels.com

Château de la Verrerie

This sixteenth-century castle has the distinction of being built by the Stuarts of Scotland. It enjoys a bucolic lakefront setting surrounded by woodland, between the Sancerre vineyards and Loire Valley castles on the Route Jacques Coeur. All of the rooms are elegant, but we suggest requesting one that faces the lake. Focusing on regional market produce, meals are served in La Maison d'Hélène, a half-timbered, seventeenth-century cottage that offers shaded terrace dining in season. There is also a lovely chapel and gentrified pursuits such as horseback riding, fishing, shooting and hunting. The highlight: history coming to life over drinks with the owners, Comte and Comtesse Antoine de Vogüé.

Thouet Valley
Château de Saint-Loup

Surrounded by its own water-filled moat in the southernmost part of the Loire Valley, the Château de Saint-Loup...Read the full review.

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HOLLAND

Maastricht

Château St. Gerlach
www.chateauhotels.nl

Château St. Gerlach in Maastricht, Holland

Rescued from ruins, this pretty castle on the banks of the River Geul received a posh $26 million makeover from hotelier Camille Oostwegel. The transformation was stylish while respecting the castle's heritage, which dates back to the fifteenth century. Enveloped by the Ingendael Wildlife Preserve, the garden-dappled grounds also contain an old farmhouse, convent, granary and Baroque church. The lovely bedrooms are located in the farmhouse, the convent operates as the estate's museum and the castle is home to Les Trois Corbeaux, well known for its French cuisine. Also of note: the onsite Kneipp Wellness Center, with an ornate Roman-style swimming pool that is worth the trip alone.

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IRELAND

Cong, County Mayo

Ashford Castle
www.ashford.ie

Ashford Castle
If you're looking for an exceptional place to say "I do" (Pierce Brosnan tied the knot here in 2001), Ashford Castle is one of Ireland's most romantic escapes. This 350-acre lakeside destination, built in the thirteenth century as a crenellated castle, has also served as the former home of the Guinness family and a fishing and hunting lodge in the nineteenth century. The "horse and hound" spirit is still very much alive here, and guests will enjoy activities such as lessons in falconry, archery and clay shooting, golf and fishing on Ireland's second largest lake, and dining options that include private medieval banquets.

County Limerick

Glin Castle
*Note: This property is no longer available for overnight stays. It is only available for exclusive rentals and private bookings.

Glin Castle

Ireland has no dearth of castles, and choosing just one was difficult. There are castles with golf courses, castles with spas, even castles with state-of-the-art conference centers. But we decided to eschew the bells and whistles for what we feel is the most important aspect of a castle stay: character. We're talking about both atmosphere and inhabitants. A visit here means mingling with the 29th Knight of Glin and his wife, Madame FitzGerald, in a beautiful setting overlooking the River Shannon. The drawing room offers views of a croquet lawn, and the dining room table is presided over by ancestral portraits. Meals are a highlight, incorporating freshly caught fish, locally reared beef and lamb, and veggies and fruit grown in the walled organic garden.


Waterford
Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort

This exquisite property is situated among woodlands on a private 310-acre island on the River Suir. Although the...Read the full review.

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ITALY

Siena, Tuscany
Castello Delle Quattro Torra

Some experts claim that Castello Delle Quattro Torra is depicted in the 1339 fresco "The Allegory of Good...Read the full review.


Venice

The Gritti Palace
www.starwoodhotels.com

The Gritti Palace in Venice, Italy

Certainly the best known of the regal retreats on this list, this intimate palazzo has long been a favorite with royalty, heads of state and film stars. Most notably, both Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham made this their Venetian home away from home. The palace was built in 1525 as the residence for the Doge of Venice, and you can get a taste of the old magistrate's lifestyle in the luxe Doge Suite. The gorgeous guestrooms inspire sighs, but even more impressive is the setting on the Grand Canal. The legendary waterway makes a stunning backdrop for terrace dining and lounging on the balconies in the spacious, much recommended corner rooms.

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NAMIBIA

Windhoek

Hotel Heinitzburg

www.heinitzburg.com

Hotel Heinitzburg in Namibia

There are some parts of the world where you simply don't expect to find castles, and for us Namibia is one of them. This is tented camp and Big Five territory, after all. But it is also a land of romance, which was the inspiration behind this intimate palace. It was built by Count von Schwerin for his fiancée in 1914, and its interiors are matched by its lovely views of Windhoek and the surrounding Khomas Hochland mountains. Accommodations are not as opulent as in most other castles on this list, but they're extremely tasteful. The onsite restaurant serves game dishes and vintages from the country's largest private wine cellar. Dramatic African sunsets and a vista of city lights make this a perfect setting for evening cocktails.

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PORTUGAL

Lisbon

Olissippo Lapa Palace
With its elegant, understated façade and dramatic interiors, the Olissippo Lapa Palace reflects the spirit of the country...Read the full review.

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SCOTLAND

Ayreshire

Glenapp Castle
Live out your ultimate fairytale fantasy in this Scottish castle on the Ayrshire coast, 100 miles southwest of Edinburgh...Read the full review.

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SPAIN

Cuenca

Parador de Alarcon
Situated in the ancient village of Alarcon above the Jucar River, Parador de Alarcon is a spectacular eighth-century...Read the full review.

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UNITED STATES

Lakewood, Washington
Thornewood Castle
Dismantled in England and shipped to the Pacific Northwest, this 400-year-old Elizabethan manor sits on the shores of...Read the full review.

New York
Castle on the Hudson

www.castleonthehudson.com

Castle on the Hudson in New York

Although the United States has never had official royalty, it somehow managed to produce a few royal retreats. Paying homage to the Norman fortifications of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, this sprawling, medieval-style castle resides on the Hudson River just half an hour out of Manhattan — in fact, one of the dining rooms in its Equus restaurant overlooks the New York City skyline. (Another dining room was first owned by Louis XIV and brought to the U.S. when the castle was built 125 years ago by the son of a Civil War general.) While the swimming pool feels a little Vegas à la the Excalibur, the overall atmosphere is majestic. Rooms with wood-burning fireplaces and turret alcoves are recommended.

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