Europe has a long and varied history and borders have been fluid during a lot of Europe’s history. Castles for defense have been important in parts of Europe right up to the 19th century, though many of the grandest and most beautiful castles are from the middle ages or in some cases even earlier.
You can visit many of Europe’s grandest castles but with some you can stay in them as well for a really unique experience. Many of these hotels are luxurious and ideal for special occasions while others are surprisingly reasonable and great bases for a longer holiday.
This list includes some of the best castle hotels in a handful of countries but most european countries have some old castles converted into hotels.
Castle Hotels in Europe
Source - 13945579@N03
Ritterburg-Lockenhaus, Austria - This is a castle that dates from the 13th century and was a knight’s castle: so is a castle designed mainly for defense with high walls and towers. The castle also is on a high defensive position that gives great vistas of the surrounding nature park with its thick forests.
The Castle has been restored from a near ruin but now includes a museum as well as the hotel so you can also view the Medieval Castle Kitchens, Armoury and Knight’s hall. The tavern style dining hall offers great local food; double rooms in the Castle itself start at around 90 euros.
Pousada de Óbidos, Obidos, Portugal - This isn’t a castle out in the wilds on a hill top but is at the centre of the picturesque Portuguese town of Obidos.
The Castle is from the 13th century but filled with furniture and antiques from the 18th century including in the castle’s lounge that is a great place to relax in front of the huge old fireplace.
There is a choice of apartments or smaller rooms, the apartments, of which there are three, are located in the square rampart towers and give a great view. The other guestrooms are small but quaint with fantastic wooden beamed ceilings and in some cases bare stone walls to make sure you know you’re in a castle.
The Xara Palace, Mdina, Malta - Somewhere between a palace and a castle the Xara Palace is Malta’s most luxurious hotel and can be found in the historic town of Mdina.
Some of the features of the Palace, which dates from the 17thh century, remain such as the open air courtyard that you pass through having initially come into the lobby with its beautiful carved wooden door from the 18th century.
The rooms are luxurious but don’t take full advantage in many cases of the building. Each room is different though and some include terraces where you can enjoy great views of the historic town and beyond.
Château de Bagnols, Rhone Alps, France - Set amongst French Vineyards this 13th century castle is beautiful inside and outside including extensive gardens.
Inside the rooms almost make you feel like you’re sleeping in a museum with beautiful old four poster beds and walls covered in wooden panelling or moulded plaster with beautiful old fire places blazing in winter. In one suite you can even enjoy a 500 year old ceiling painting and one suite’s bathroom includes arrow slits in the walls.
The restaurant is likewise grand with beautiful high wooden ceilings as they would have appeared in the 1200s; when we tell you you will be enjoying this along with Michelin star food you probably won’t be surprised to hear that rooms start from around 480 euros a night.
Schlosshotel Münchhausen, Saxony, Germany - The castle and a small but perfectly kept gardens are surrounded by a moat: extending to a larger pond on one side.
The castle is located in the Weserbergland Schaumburg-Hameln Nature Park,acres of unspoilt countryside and forest to relax in, you certainly won’t be disturbed staying here.
Inside the castle you will find grand rooms including antique furniture and using the original 16th century features of the castle. There are further rooms outside of the castle in a barn on the site which are more modern and also cheaper.
Whichever rooms you choose though you can eat in one of the two restaurants within the castle, including the cellar restaurant under the castle, you can also make use of the grand knight’s hall to relax in front of the fire in one of the old high backed chairs.
Danieli Palace, Venice, Italy - Italy has more palaces and Villas than true castles and one such place is the 14th century Danieli Palace in Venice.
The luxurious hotel includes all the best that has been bought to Venice in its time as an important trading city including Murano glass chandeliers, silk wall coverings and gilt furniture.
The rooms aren’t exactly cheap in the palace at 265 euros upwards for a double and they are small but staying here is quite an experience and one enjoyed in the past by many of Venice’s most famous visitors, including Charles Dickens and Richard Wagner.
Grof Degenfeld Castle Hotel, Tarkal, Hungary - Many castles have mainly small rooms, often without en-suites, and a few larger rooms but the Grof Degenfeld Castle has lots of very large rooms and en-suites; this is because this is a castle mainly from the 19th century mainly built for entertaining and holding grand parties.
As a 19th century castle it has been decorated with furniture and style from the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire and this gives it a truly grand feel. The castle is surrounded by vineyards and you can drink some great local wines in the hotel restaurant.
Hotel Golf Castle Mokrice, Jesenice, Slovenia - The Castle Mokrice keeps its historic look and feel while being beside a golf course with modern facilities. Of course you can just stay here to play golf but close to the Slovenian border with Croatia you can use the Castles as a base to explore both countries.
Enjoy Authentic Slovenian food and wine in the restaurant in the castle’s medieval banqueting hall, there are also conferencing facilities here suitable for large groups.
Broomhall Castle, Nr. Stirling, Scotland - Located a few miles from the historic town of Stirling, Broomhall Castle is ideal for exploring the Scottish Highlands and in winter especially it is great to come back to the large but cozy rooms or the lounge with its roaring fire.
The hotel also has a banqueting room which is ideal for weddings, they hold a license to conduct them, or for conferences and meetings.
Tregenna Castle Hotel, Cornwall, England - The Tregeena Castle hotel in St Ives has a lot going for it, it is a castle and as such is in a strong defensive position overlooking the town and the sea, the best views though are from the gardens.
The gardens are quite extensive and include a pitch and putt golf course, there is also an indoor and an outdoor pool. Back inside the hotel features luxurious and comfortable lounges and a restaurant with sea views; if you want a room with a sea view do book early though and you will also have to pay a little more.
It becomes clear looking over this list that not all Castle Hotels are the same; some are museums filled with antiques as well as hotels, whereas others are beautiful buildings in beautiful settings which are still modern with facilities as good as any luxury hotel.