The upkeep of any royal residence can be stratospheric (just ask the Queen). Fortunately, castles and palaces worthy of fairy tales and daydreams don’t require a noble bloodline these days. Once-upon-a-time castles are now boutique hotels throughout the United Kingdom, with discerning five-star service that will treat you like a royal, if only just for the night.
Fonab Castle Hotel
The sandstone estate was built in 1892 and originally owned by a member of the Sandeman family, whose line of wines, sherries, and ports represent one of the oldest trademarked brands in the world. Nowadays, it’s a 34-room hotel which fancies itself a destination spa. Tucked amongst woodlands and the tranquil Loch Faskaly, it banks on waterside views and its highland-hugging stoop for a dose of serenity.
History buffs find their jewel at Hever Castle, the 13th-century childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Guests can overnight in the castle’s added wing, built in 1903 by the once-owner William Waldorf Astor. The well-appointed bed-and-breakfast offers the ultimate perk: private viewing hours without
Fort William, Scotland
Pre-TripAdvisor, Queen Victoria noted in her diaries that she’d never seen a “lovelier or more romantic spot” after her week at Inverlochy Castle. Now a five-star hotel, the castle has 17 rooms that guests can book. All are furnished with country home flare (heavy on florals), and the area is full of daytime pursuits, from clay-pigeon shooting to whitewater rafting.
West Sussex, UK
There are historical castles, and then there’s Amberley Castle. At more than 900 years old, the estate was even noted in the Doomsday Book. But don’t assume the ancient property is dated. The hotel weaves medieval accents with modern style, meaning that whirlpool bathrooms are accessed through ancient, arched stone doorways, while king size beds offer pretty views through slender, 14th-century lancet windows. The richest pleasure might just be the homemade biscuits.
Built just after the 20th century, the estate was one of Lord Hambleden’s many properties. Eventually sold to the Great Western Railway, the manor house and its rolling greens opened as a hotel and golf retreat in 1930. Today, indulgences are first-rate with blue-blooded pursuits, from fly-fishing to falconry.
North of Glasgow, Barcaldine Castle is
Crossbasket Castle changed hands for centuries, playing residence to a hero slayer, the inventor of raincoats, and even a
In North Wales, the seaside Château Rhianfa was built on the foundation of love; it was a gift from a husband to his wife in 1849. The couple decided upon a not-so-modest château after traveling through France’s Loire Valley. The Lady of the house—or, château—went full-French with the interiors, a commitment honored by the hotel’s current proprietors. Rooms soar all the way up to the turrets, where there’s even a circular shower topping off this peculiar estate.
Eisenhower at Culzean Castle
As if its 100-foot cliffside perch weren't enough stature, Culzean Castle is known as the masterpiece of architect Robert Adams. Construction took 15 years for the commanding, late-18th-century castle, which in 1945 was given in part to the late Dwight D. Eisenhower. His former domain now operates as The Eisenhower at Culzean Castle hotel; guests
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.