13 Incredible Castles You Can Stay In for a Royal Vacation

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From ancient castles in Ireland to sprawling estates in England and Scotland, these castles you can stay in will make any traveler feel like royalty.

And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to spend a vacation living like true royalty?

All over the world guests can spend the night in Castles that have stood through centuries of war, invasions, and a lineage of heirs.

Built to house former Kings and Queens, these beautiful Castle Hotels can be toured and stayed in. You can see where some of the richest and most powerful people in history resided.

Walk the stone halls, explore the beautiful gardens, and sleep where ancient world leaders once rested their weary heads.

Stay in these incredible stone monuments and experience history first hand.

Can you stay in a castle in USA?

Yes, you can! You’ll want to check out our section below on Thornewood Castle – Lakewood, WA.

It sits on the shore of the American Lake and looks out to the majestic Mount Rainier.

Thornewood Castle has been designated a historical sight and has been featured in movies including There will be Blood, Rose Red, and The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer.

Our 13 Favorite Castles You Can Stay In

Staying in a castle seems like something out of a fairy tale complete with spectacular views, English Queens, canopied beds and spiral staircases. But what if you could stay in one for real?

These are the top destinations for an overnight stay in a castle’s towers or palace.

Maybe, one of these ancient castles may even serve as the site for your own fairytale wedding

Ashford Castle – Cong, Ireland

The spectacular Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland dates back to 1228, and it is the oldest castle in Ireland!

Its long history has included many residents including the Guinness family.

In 1939, it opened its doors as a grand hotel and has become a wonderful vacation spot especially for those that enjoy outdoor activity.

Ashford Castle - Cong, Ireland  Castles you can stay in
Ashford Castle

Guests can play rounds of golf on the beautiful greens, go fly-fishing, or take a horseback ride.

The castle is surrounded by the beautiful waters of Lough Corrib and guests can take a traditional boat tour to explore the waters as well as the neighboring islands.

Among the many fine dining areas, there is also incredible dining including Cullen’s at the Cottage, a thatched roof cottage just a short stroll from the castle.

Standard rooms start as low as $200 per night and go up depending on the room selection.  

Ackergill Tower – Scotland 

The exact date of its construction is unknown but Ackergill Tower‘s architectural style has led historians to believe that this castle was built around 1475.

It bears the marks of history including the fateful suicide of Helen Gunn, the Beauty of Braemore, who was abducted on her wedding night by Dugald Keith and held captive in the Tower.

Ackergill Tower
Ackergill Tower

Instead of giving into the demands of Dugald Keith and marrying him, she leapt to her death from the tower.

The castles has only had six owners total and the most recent were John and Arlette Banister in 1988. It took them two years to restore the castles to its original beauty.

(Update: this property was purchased in 2019 for $5.1 Million and is no longer being used as a hotel.)   

Culzean Castle – Ayrshire, Scotland

In Scotland, the Kennedy family is one of the oldest families and over centuries they turned a medieval tower house into their own enormous estate.

During the 1770s, the tenth Earl commissioned Robert Adam, a well know Scottish Architect, to construct a castle that reflected his powerful political status.

Over the years, it blossomed into a supremely extravagant residence that has been well preserved.

Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle

In 1945, General Eisenhower stayed in the specially created guest flat at the top of Culzean Castle. Eisenhower stayed in the flat many times and even invited friends to use it as well.

Today, it is known as the Eisenhower Apartments. When Eisenhower died, The National Trust for Scotland and Scottish Heritage USA allowed the apartments to be used for the public.

It is used for corporate and private reservation for guests to enjoy the exquisitely furnished six bedroom apartment with a dining and drawing room.

Culzean Castle is about 50 miles south of Glasgow and the international airport. There are about 600 acres of peaceful forest for guests to enjoy horseback riding, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, and sailing.

Visitors can also enjoy some of the best golf found in Scotland.

General rooms start around $300 per night.  

Inverlochy Castle – Torlundy, Fort William Scotland

This massive castle was built in 1863 and has shown hospitality to many royal figures including Queen Victoria in 1873.

Now known as Inverlochy Castle Hotel, it was a private residence for about 100 years until 1969 when it was converted into a hotel and restaurant inviting guests with its extravagant architecture and views of the enormous Ben Nevis, Scotland’s tallest mountain.

inverlochy castle you can stay in
Inverlochy Castle Hotel

The magnificent surroundings offer fly fishing, golf, clay pigeon shooting, guided walking tours, pony trekking, tennis, and pheasant and duck hunting.

Guests can also visit to the Falls of Nevis, the monument of Glenfinnan, and the mountains of Glencoe. Who knows, maybe you’ll be lured out to the water one evening by the infamous Willow O the Wisps?

Three dining rooms offer exquisite cuisine as well as ambiance with period decor and furniture that was presented to the castle from the King of Norway.

Rooms start around $450 in November to December during their slow season and $600 April to October during their busy season, making it one of the most expensive castles you can actually stay in.

Amberley Castle – near London, England

Only 60 miles South West from London, Amberley Castle has over 900 years of history. This is just one of the many historic places to visit in England.

The medieval architecture is hauntingly charming and features stone walls almost 60 feet high and an authentic portcullis.

It has 19 luxurious rooms that maintain the authentic medieval decor while incorporating modern amenities and rich comfortable rooms.

Amberley Castle
Amberley Castle

Guests can revel in the Ruinart experience. Ruinart is the oldest Champagne House, established in 1729.

Before dinner, visitors can try a glass of the amazing champagne before heading off to enjoy a five course meal in the dining hall.

The Castle also offers holiday celebrations for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Enjoy decadent meals, the beautiful winter wonderland atmosphere, and even a black tie gala to kick off the New Year. 

It sits on 12 acres for visitors to explore and view the resident peacocks and alpacas as they walk the gardens.  

Rooms start around $250 per night and require a two night stay minimum on weekends.

Thornbury Castle – Near Bristol, England

The existence of the Thornbury Estate (now Thornbury Castle Hotel) has been documented all the way back to 925-940 A.D.

Through the centuries the castle took shape and over 28 generations have inhabited the massive stone monument.

In 1533, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed at the castle for ten days.

If you are unfamiliar with the sordid, dangerous, and saucy story of King Henry VIII and the Boleyn Family, it’s worth a little research.

It will make you want to visit this incredible castle just to experience a piece of the historical drama. 

From the late 1550s to the 1850s, the castle fell to ruins until it was once again made a family residence.

thornbury castle you can stay in
Thornbury Castle

Its restoration has proved to be spectacular and the hotel features 27 rooms for patrons to experience what it is like to be royalty.

The Superior Suite is one of the prided rooms in the castle. It is the highest bedchamber in the castle, the largest bed in the UK, and the headboard is gilded in 24 carat gold.

The suite is accessible only by a stone spiral staircase. It overlooks the vineyards and has a grand fireplace.  

A rooftop terrace is currently being constructed for visitors to truly enjoy the view. The bed sheets are made of pure silk and the romantic setting makes it an ideal getaway with your spouse.

The other rooms each have their own themes with ornate decoration. Rates start around $250 a night. Packages for a room and breakfast or a room with dinner and breakfast can be booked on weekends.

There is a also a gatehouse that can be reserved for a stay. Certain dates require at least a two night stay, and the hotel does not accommodate children under ten.   

Ruthin Castle – Wales

This castle has a sordid history that started during 1282 when the English took over the land of the Welsh and war ensued.

Ruthin Castle was taken from Dafydd ap Gruffyd (the actual spelling of this man’s name), and King Edward I had him hung for treason and had his body quartered and sent to the four corners of the country with his head set upon a spike on the Tower of London.

Ruthin Castle
Ruthin Castle courtyard

Ruthin Castle was then passed onto the de Grey family until around 1400 when a rival burned down the surrounding village but the Castle remained untouched.

The castle was then passed down a long line of royalty  from King Henry VII to King Henry VIII and so forth. It was even owned by Mary I (Bloody Mary) until Charles I who was the last royalty to take ownership.

The castle fell into disrepair but was eventually rebuilt and survived an 11 week siege in which its walls were pelted with heavy artillery. 

In 1923 the castle was sold and became an international private clinic where doctors investigated strange medical illnesses and their treatments, but the clinic was closed in 1950.

In the 1960s it was sold at auction and turned into a hotel. Today, the renovations have turned the castle into a wonderland.

It offers suites, deluxe and luxury rooms, and the impressive Prince of Wales suite. The hotel has fine dining at Bertie’s Restaurant, and it hosts Medieval Feasts.

During the 16th century the Earl of Warwick held legendary feasts at the castle, and today the castle hosts similar feasts complete with authentic costumes, entertainment, and hearty food.

During the stay, Northern Wales offers many attractions and the Castle sits adjacent to Clwydian Range which offers breathtaking views of wildlife and miles of hiking trail.

After a long day of exploring the castle has a spectacular spa for serious relaxing

Rooms start around $300 per night. 

Chateau de Bagnols – France 

During the 13th century this castle was built and eventually became one of the major historical monuments of France.

It saw such guests as King Charles VII and has been passed from family to family through the generations each adding personal decorative embellishments and additions.

In 1820 Chateau de Bagnols was converted into a winery, but it fell into disrepair until 1987 when it was restored by Lady Hamlyn. 

Chateau de Bagnols
Chateau de Bagnols

Enjoy nearby local zoos and bird parks as well as a science museum complete with a botanical garden and hiking trails.

The Hameau Duboeuf, located in the heart of the Beaujolais, has incredible wines as well as tours of the vineyards and a history of wine making techniques.

The nearby village of Perugia is a quaint city with guided tours and lots of shopping for one of kind handmade pieces by local artisans.

It even has paths illuminated at night for romantic evening strolls.

To cool off, visit the Lake of the Pines. It is a man-made lake where visitors can swim, fish, and enjoy water sports.

Also offered at Lake of the Pines is horseback riding, tree climbing, and even paintball.

 They offer vacation packages starting around $900 and offer gourmet dining and activities in addition to the exquisite, historical rooms.  

Chateau de Bourron – Seine-et-Marne, France

Located in the village of Bourron Marlotte, the surrounding land is said to have been occupied since 5,000 B.C.

Around 1150, the first historical records of Bourron tell of its owners and a long winding history follows this breathtaking castle.

For the last century, the Montesquiou-Fezensac family has been restoring Chateau de Bourron using family heirlooms to bring its charm to life once again.

Chateau de Bourron
Chateau de Bourron

They have also spent significant time repairing the land that was still scarred from the bombings of war.

The forest of Fontainebleau sits just beyond the castle and adds to the serenity and harmony of this French oasis.

Its location is also about an hour’s drive from Paris which is a must see city if you are lucky enough to visit France.

Rooms start around $270 per night and vary on the size and amenities. 

Dornroschenschloss – Sababurg, Germany

This massive castle is what the Brothers Grimm used as a model for the castle in their version of Sleeping Beauty.

It was built around 1334 when the Archbishop of Mainz had the castle built to protect the pilgrims from the pilgrimage village of Gottsburen.

Then, Dornröschenschloss was transformed to a lodge and horse breeding farm for about 160 years before it was turned into the hotel, restaurant, and café it is today.

Dornroschenschloss Sababurg
Dornroschenschloss Sababurg

Guests can hike and bike through the oak forest and visit the oldest animal park in the world that dates all the way back to 1571. There are also regular concerts, lectures, and plays for visitors to enjoy.

 It has 17 rooms with rates starting at $120 for single occupancy, making it one of the most affordable castles you can stay in. The castle is open from February to December.  

Relais Castel Porrona – Tuscany, Italy

Relais Castel Porrona was built in the 12th century in the village of Porrona. The historical village is home to rolling hills of olive trees and vineyards.

Inside the castle are 22 restored rooms offering all the amenities of the modern world but staying true to the 12th century era of decor.

Relais Castel Porrona
Relais Castel Porrona

Each room has its own kitchen but guests are more than welcome to enjoy Tuscan cuisine at the resort’s restaurant.

The resort also offers a riding track, tennis court, a pool and sauna. In the clubhouse guests can play snooker or go for a stroll and explore the nearby artisan shops, cafes, and the maze of brick paved streets. 

Rates start at about $200 per night.  

Pousada de Obidos – Portugal

The village of Obidos is known as the “Wedding Present Town” because King Dinis gave the walled settlement to Queen Isabel on their wedding day.

Inside this 12th Century village is a spectacular medieval castle turned luxury hotel that is considered a National monument of Portugal and referred to as one of the seven marvels of Portugal.

Pousada de Obidos
Pousada de Obidos

Pousada de Obidos only has nine rooms to offer so it can be difficult to secure a booking. However, a new wing along with 8 additional rooms has been added to accommodate more guests.

The beaches of Silver Coast are nearby and offer white sand heaven. Go sailing for an afternoon or try your luck at surfing in the beautiful blue waters. 

One of Europe’s finest golf courses is nearby and guests can also enjoy hot air balloon rides over the countryside or a nice long horseback ride.

Rooms start around $350 per night.  

Thornewood Castle – Lakewood, WA United States

In 1908, one of the founders of Port Tacoma, Chester Thorne, built Thornewood Castle for his bride of 20 years, Anna.

Not only did he build a castle for her, but he purchased a 400 year old Elizabethan Manor in England and had it disassembled brick by brick and shipped to Washington State to use in the building of Thorne Castle.  

Thornewood Castle
Thornewood Castle

The Bed and breakfast atmosphere make it quaint and cozy.

The only castle on our list in the United States, rooms start at $300 per night during the week and $325 on the weekends. The larger suites start at $350 during the week and $400 during the weekends and go up from there.  

Which castle is your favorite? 

Staying in a castle seems like something out of a fairy tale. But what if you could stay in one for real?

So which of our 13 favorite castles you can stay in would you choose?

20 thoughts on “13 Incredible Castles You Can Stay In for a Royal Vacation”

  1. I saw the Thornewood in WA, did I spell that right? Well, we did not go in, just checked out the land around it, the folks I was with told me the story. I would LOVE to have an evening in a castle that is surrounded by water.

  2. I could lay my head in any one of those castles. They are absolutely amazing. What beautiful sights. I always wondered what it would be like to live like a princess. ;)


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