Gone are the days when you needed a royal title to spend the night in a castle. Nowadays, even the masses can stay in a storied, turreted keep, as residences of bygone kings and rulers are converted into premier hotels in Europe and beyond. We’ve rounded up our in France, the United Kingdom, Africa, India, and even the United States (the only one on our list to lack official regal lineage), to help you get the royal treatment, at home and abroad. With accommodations befitting a king, and fairytale-worthy dungeons, moats, drawbridges, and towers, you'll be feeling like royalty in no time. The only thing missing will be your own crown and scepter – those, you’ll have to bring from home.
England’s 900-year-old Amberley Castle has a legendary history, including ownership by Queen Elizabeth I from 1588 to 1603; visits from Charles II; and a bout in the civil war, when Cromwell attacked its walls.
Nestled on the misty island of Orkney in Scotland, Balfour Castle is the most northerly castle in the world, lying at the very edge of Europe, and only reached via 20-minute ferry ride from Kirkwall.
Manhattanites sick of cramped quarters, smog, and subways can head just 25 miles north, across the Hudson, and don their very own crowns at this US-based castle.
Tucked away in a serene pocket of the French countryside, the elegant Château de Castel-Novel offers its guests not only refined accommodations, but an escape into off-the-beaten path France, where an exquisite combination of history, gastronomy, and nature converge.
If the fairytale castle that played host to Fox’s hit 2003 reality show, Joe Millionaire, sets your heart aflutter, you can court and dine your significant other here for as little as €115 a night.
While other castle hotels on this list are accessible by chauffeured car or ferry, guests at Morocco's Kasbah du Toubkal usually arrive on the back of a donkey – or on foot.
If you want to feel like a maharajah, there’s no better place to do it than the white-marble Lake Palace, afloat on India’s Lake Pichola, in Rajasthan.
Built atop fortified Roman and Moorish walls, the Palácio Belmonte is the oldest building in Lisbon and the oldest palace on our list
Commissioned as the residence of the Doge of Venice in 1525, the swank Gritti Palace has hosted a long list of VIPs since, providing luxurious accommodations for numerous heads of state, international royalty, literary bigwigs, and film and rock stars, including the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo, and Winston Churchill.
Offering an extraordinary escape from the mundane, the secluded and majestic Waterford Castle Hotel is situated on a sprawling 310-acre island, encircled by the flowing waters of the River Suir, in southern Ireland.
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