In The Beauty and The Beast fairy-tale, the prince stayed in an enchanted castle, where the spell could only be lifted when the prince meets his one true love. Fans of the film may have been charmed by the castle interiors, whereby the French Rococo interior style in the films were inspired by a real-life castle, Château de Chambord.
But castles aren’t just reserved for the world of animation. If you’d like to live out your dream of being a prince or princess, you can actually book a castle stay! As vacation accommodation, castles are not as intimidating as you might think. And could you escape any further from the routine life of HDB-MRT-Mall than sleeping in a king bed behind castle walls surrounded by manicured green gardens?? Just the scenery and fresh countryside air surrounding these architectural works of art is enough to make anyone feel invigorated. It’s also a great thing to experience on a family holiday, giving the kids a unique chance to immerse in the wondrous experience of stepping back into bygone eras.
Here’s a handful of castles on Expedia you can actually stay in!
6 Castles You Can Stay In
For history buffs who fantasize about living in the age where counts and countesses hold court, a journey to this ancient Spanish castle is as close as you can time-travel back to the medieval ages.
Formerly the ancestral home of the Spanish aristocratic Álvarez de Toledo family, Parador De Oropesa Toledo was once home to soldiers, religious persons, and nobles. The castle’s strategic location offers inhabitants a breathtaking view of the Campo Arañuelo region, the Oropesa Castle, and the the Sierra de Gredos mountains.
Now refurbished as a hotel chain owned by the government, Paradores is fast gaining a reputation for being a vacation hotspot. There are several routes to consider, from cultural, coastal, heritage, nature, and food and wine. Family activities include zipping around on a 4×4 at the Tablas de Daimiel National Park, entertaining medieval-themed performances by theatre group Escabel, and stargazing at the Parador de Gredos with the guidance of a Starlight certified expert.
If you’re planning to whisk your family away to the countryside where fresh air is more readily accessible than Wi-Fi, consider escaping to this 12th century castle in the French countryside.
Sitting on 20 acres of greenery, this quaint Renaissance-style Castle offers the perfect backdrop to explore the region, strategically located between the lush wineries of Cognac and Bordeaux. You can also do onsite scuba diving, miniature golf, tennis or swim at the indoor and outdoor pools.
Apart from amenities such as the 3,000 square feet full-service spa with sauna and Jacuzzi, fitness centre, tennis courts, and two swimming pools, what’s worth looking forward to is the Michelin-starred cuisine created by Chef Chef Maxine Deschamps.
Opened seasonally from March to November, the balmy weather during summer months makes it a great spot for lazy picnic afternoons and long walks through the sprawling and well kept parkland.
Perched on top of a cliff overlooking the rugged coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, this former fort turned hotel has a certain mysterious appeal to it.
The original fort was built in 1642 by order of King Joã, and subsequently evolved to keep up with modern-day demands.
Another highlight here is the food. Overlooking the dramatic clashing waves is the one Michelin-starred Dungeon Restaurant, led by executive chef Miguel Rocha Vieira who is famous for his Portuguese cuisine. With a bar and terrace overlooking the sea, it is a scenic location for a round of pre-dinner aperitifs, while soaking in the vast expanse of the ocean.
Apart from the well-appointed rooms, the 5-star hotel offers 24-hour room service, babysitting, and picnic box packing upon request. They can also help with spa and golf session bookings.
If you happen to be visiting Europe and stopping over in Germany, this quietly luxurious castle with its own beauty salon is a good place to rest your heels.
Located close to Frankfurt’s city centre with an 18-hole golf course, it offers a good respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, and the and stresses of travelling. It’s also a good opportunity to visit Kronberg, a quaint town filled with half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and fortresses.
Home to Empress Victoria Friedrich, this castle was built in 1893 and is a treasure trove of antiques and artworks owned by the empress. Located near the Opel Zoo, the award-winning castle’s hospitable staff makes it a must-visit for families with young kids.
Accustomed to serving dignitaries from all over the world, this majestic 19th century castle is not only a favourite with the royals, it also makes the effort to take care of its children guests.
Not only does it have a games room and a selection of children’s videos and games to keep the young ones occupied, there is also a playstation, woodland walks, and boat trip to the loch. Other activities such as a trip on the Hogwarts Express, archery, mountain biking, off-road driving, and even whitewater rafting can also be arranged. During winter, the Nevis skiing range is filled with skiers of all ages.
Complimentary baby cots are available upon request, while child-sitting services are available for a fee and require advance booking.
With a title such as “Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle”, Dalhousie’s mystique is enhanced by the fact that the castle has its own falconry of bird species from hawks, falcons, eagles, and owls where private and group tours can be arranged.
Located just eight miles from Edinburgh’s city centre, it is a popular location for exploring the rest of the city. This 13th century castle is decorated with a unique theme that ties back to the Ramsay family’s 700-year history of building and living in the castle.
Apart from activities such as fishing and horse-riding, the hotel also has an aqueous spa including a hydro pool, and an area called Tepidarium, where spa-goers can relax to scenic views of the castle grounds on comfortable lounge beds. Definitely a must-try to relax tired muscles after a day of exploring the historic grounds, advance booking recommended.