The Coolest Castle Hotels in Europe

The 300 year-old Chateau d'Urspelt in Luxembourg is famous for its spa facilities, and is classified as a Grand Monument
The 300 year-old Chateau d'Urspelt in Luxembourg is famous for its spa facilities, and is classified as a Grand Monument | Courtesy of Chateau d'Urspelt / Expedia
Photo of Laura Hampson
14 April 2021

Every wanted to live it up like royalty? While claiming a crown might be out of your reach, choosing where to the night in a fairytale castle is a much easier proposition, and they’re all bookable with Culture Trip.

Nestled in beautiful landscapes, overlooking mountain ridges and filled with history, the continent is brimming with luxury castle escapes. Here are the coolest castle hotels in Europe.

Castelbrando

Independent Hotel
Map View
Castelbrando
Castelbrando | Courtesy of Castelbrando / Expedia

One of the oldest (and largest) castles in Europe, Castelbrando sits neatly on the Prosecco Hills overlooking terracotta rooftops, halfway between Venice and the Dolomites in Italy. For a truly regal experience, guests can choose to stay in a medieval tower or the Alcova del Conte, the latter being the former apartment of Brandolini counts and home to a 17th-century Venetian chandelier. For guests who want to discover more of the castle’s 2,000-year history, guided tours are available and we’d recommend dining in the luxe Sansovino Restaurant too, if only for the exquisite Venetian decor.

Hunguest Hotel Palota

Hotel
Map View
Hunguest Hotel Palota
Hunguest Hotel Palota | Courtesy of Hunguest Hotel Palota / Expedia

Despite its eclectic-style old-world facade, Hunguest Hotel Palota has a very modern interior. Just two hours from Budapest in Hungary’s Bükk Mountains, there are 133 rooms to choose from – some with in-room jacuzzis and fireplaces. Book a table at its smaller, more intimate restaurant, Nagy Lajos, and opt to taste some of its famous Hungarian wines stored in the cellar. When you fancy a bit of downtime, there’s an expansive spa area to explore as well.

Kokkedal Castle

Guesthouse
Map View
Kokkedal Castle
Kokkedal Castle | Courtesy of Kokkedal Castle / Expedia

Step back in time with a stay at Kokkedal Castle in Denmark, with its highly Instagrammable Dutch Renaissance-style, 18th-century exterior making a big impression from the get-go. Just a 30 minute drive from the Danish capital, the castle offers four different types of stays: gastro, spa, gourmet and golf – but you can simply opt for a regular break in one of its dazzling rooms if you like. Whichever you opt for, set aside time to dine on seasonal produce in the castle cellar, among the vaults dating back to 1746.

Kasteel Engelenburg

Hotel
Kasteel Engelenburg
Kasteel Engelenburg | Courtesy of Kasteel Engelenburg / Expedia

The moats at Kasteel Engelenburg are the icing on the cake when it comes to a real castle experience. This grand mansion-style property is set on 250 acres of landscaped gardens near Arnhem and Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, with a golf course and a private forest to boot. All of the 41 bedrooms are individually decorated with a luxurious and modern feel. If you want a bit more space, opt for the palatial Serre Suite with its private sun-drenched conservatory, garden and outdoor jacuzzi. For the best views of the moat, book at a table at Serre Restaurant, which houses the largest collection of South African wines in Europe.

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Ashford Castle

Resort, Lodge, Hotel
Ashford Castle
Ashford Castle | Courtesy of Ashford Castle / Expedia
If it’s good enough for James Bond to get married in (Pierce Brosnan held his wedding reception here in 2001), it’s good enough for us. Perched on the shores of a lough on the west coast of Ireland, this 800-year-old castle offers everything you’d want from a regal escape. Rooms are opulent, with carefully sourced antique furniture and sumptuous fabrics. Dinner is fine dining, served in either the grand dining room or the atmospheric dungeon. When you’re not visiting the award-winning spa, carve out time to experience the on-site falconry school, which is the oldest in Ireland.
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Glenapp Castle

Hotel
Courtesy of Glenapp Castle / Expedia
Decked out with turrets, wrought-iron gates, chandeliers and grand interiors, Glenapp Castle is everything a castle should be. Built in 1870 in Scottish Baronial-style, the castle is fringed by a pretty loch and 17 individually-designed guest rooms. The 372sqm (4,000sqft) penthouse apartment is the castle’s latest offering, with four bedrooms, a dining and lounge room, a period kitchen and a spiral stone staircase leading to the castle’s turrets.
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Schloss Hotel Thun

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Schloss Hotel Thun
Schloss Hotel Thun | Courtesy of Schloss Hotel Thun / Expedia

Sitting high above the pretty Swiss town of Thun, Schloss Hotel Thun looks as if it’s been plucked out of a fairytale. Inside, old perfectly melds with new – the tower room boasts detailed frescoes dating back to 1567 while the panorama room has Scandi-style blonde wood floors and an in-room freestanding tub. When parched, opt for a Swiss whiskey on the summer terrace or, if pampering is more your thing, treat yourself to a spa session – there’s Finnish and steam saunas and a two-person whirlpool.

Tainaron Blue Retreat

Boutique Hotel, Resort, Hotel
Tainaron Blue Retreat
Tainaron Blue Retreat | Courtesy of Tainaron Blue Retreat / Expedia
When you arrive at Tainaron Blue Retreat in Greece’s Peloponnese region, you’ll feel as if you’ve reached the end of the world. Here, a 200 year-old stone tower rises from the edge of a cliff 150m (492ft) above sea level. Rooms can be found within the renovated tower, where its old stone walls remain as features, and sunsets are best watched from the outdoor hydrotherapy infinity pool. Dinner at its intimate restaurant is a must, where Maniot cuisine is served alongside Greek wine.
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Chateau d'Urspelt

Hotel
Chateau d'Urspelt
Chateau d'Urspelt | Courtesy of Chateau d'Urspelt / Expedia

With arched windows, turrets and its rural village surround, a visit to the 300-year-old Chateau d’Urspelt feels as if time has been paused. Inside, modern luxuries await and we bet that most of your stay will be spent in its spa – with its cave-like thematic pool, two hammams, two private saunas, a whirlpool bath, a flotation pool and a salt wall. Treatments are available to book as well. Afterwards, head straight to your room and sink into your claw-foot tub to complete the pampering experience.

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Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

Boutique Hotel, Resort, Spa Hotel
Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa | Courtesy of Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa / Expedia

What could be more storybook than a stay in the region where The Sound of Music was based? As its name suggests, Schloss Fuschl sits neatly on the banks of Lake Fuschl in the Austrian city of Salzburg. The building itself dates back to 1450 and, as well as the 110 grand guest rooms, there are lovely lakeside cottages and a huge spa to enjoy. Opt to visit in the summer if you can, there’s a sunbathing platform that leads directly into the glistening lake and guests can dine al fresco on the freshly smoked catch of the day.

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Amberley Castle

Bed and Breakfast, Garden Hotel
Courtesy of Amberley Castle / Expedia

Rich with history, this stunning castle has been nestled in the English countryside for 900 years. In the picturesque village of Amberley, Amberley Castle is one of the crown jewels of the bucolic South Downs. The castle may be filled with history, but guests will find all the modern comforts in their rooms, such as four-poster beds and whirlpool baths. The surrounding gardens are perfectly groomed and lush, where guests can idly wander and explore stunning medieval architecture amid an air of tranquillity.

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Burghotel Auf Schönburg Oberwesel

Resort, Hotel
Burghotel Auf Schönburg Oberwesel
Burghotel Auf Schönburg Oberwesel | Courtesy of Burghotel Auf Schönburg Oberwesel / Expedia

Hotel Schönburg is one of the most elegant and beautiful castle hotels in Germany. Boasting stunning views of the Unesco World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, the castle itself is a sight to see. With roaring open fires, lavish surrounding grounds and an intimate library, guests can indulge in the finer things of life here. Its origins date back to 911, but it fell victim to feuds in the 17th century and was burnt down by the French in 1689. Since then, it has been lovingly restored and converted into a hotel that maintains all its original charm.

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  • Hotel Schloss Thannegg

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Hotel Schloss Thannegg
    Hotel Schloss Thannegg | Courtesy of Hotel Schloss Thannegg / Booking.com

    Hotel Schloss Thannegg is nestled among the Austrian Alps, with stunning views of snowcapped mountains. This ethereal mountain retreat is the perfect winter escape and the hotel has its own ski shuttle, free for guests to use during their alpine adventures. Steeped in history, the castle’s ceilings date back to 1150 and the wine cellar is over 850 years old. If you’re looking for a winter fairytale retreat, this is the perfect place for a romantic holiday or family skiing trip.

    Abbaye de la Bussière

    Budget Hotel
    Map View
    Abbaye de la Bussière
    Abbaye de la Bussière | Courtesy of Abbaye de la Bussière/ Booking.com

    Abbaye de la Bussière is a former 12th-century monastery situated in six hectares of beautiful parkland, in the heart of Burgundy. The luxury hotel offers guests rooms full of charm and dramatic interiors, with vaulted ceilings, huge stained glass windows and carved stone walls. It’s a haven of tranquillity and peace, combining authentic monastery ambience with modern luxury.

    Schlosshotel Kronberg

    Independent Hotel
    Schlosshotel Kronberg
    Schlosshotel Kronberg | Courtesy of Schlosshotel Kronberg / Expedia

    Grandeur is the word of the day when it comes to Schlosshotel Kronberg in Germany. The large castle is set to impress along with its perfectly manicured grounds. The hotel’s main focus is on health and well-being, offering both golf and beauty packages, a wellness cottage and an 18-hole golf course. The nearby town of Taunus is renowned for its ancient charm, rich forested landscapes and beautiful mountains. Whether guests want to hide away in the castle or explore the surrounding areas, they are sure to be treated to a highly memorable trip.

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    Hotel Schloss Mönchstein

    Bed and Breakfast, Suite Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
    Courtesy of Hotel Schloss Mönchstein / Expedia

    Luxury and romance come hand in hand at this historic castle hotel. Positioned on top of Monchsberg Mountain, with panoramic views of Salzburg, the hotel serves as a relaxing retreat amid the Austrian Alps. Despite the castle’s secluded location, guests can reach most of Salzburg’s attractions in less than 10 minutes using the Monchsberg elevator. Offering 24 spacious rooms and suites, as well as an infinity pool, outdoor terrace with a fireplace and a restaurant, with the option of dining in a spire, Schloss Mönchstein is certainly a mountainous escape fit for royalty.

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    Relais Castel Porrona

    Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Hotel
    Relais Castel Porrona
    Relais Castel Porrona | Courtesy of Relais Castel Porrona / Expedia

    Nestled deep in the picturesque hills of Tuscany is Castel Porrona. The castle stands as a regal centrepiece of Porrona, a charming medieval village which dates back to the 11th century. Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and rolling hills, the 25-room hotel offers stunning views of the sweeping landscape. The hotel’s decor embodies the elegance of medieval times, with contemporary luxury. Guests can make the most of sunny weather and enjoy authentic Italian food and Tuscan wine on the flower-lined terrace

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    Château de Bagnols

    Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
    Château de Bagnols
    Château de Bagnols | Courtesy of Château de Bagnols / Expedia

    It doesn’t get more authentic than Château de Bagnols, complete with a moat, drawbridge and perfectly manicured gardens. The wonderfully romantic five-star hotel is as stunning inside as it is outside, with opulent interiors that include roaring fireplaces, lavish four-poster beds and intricately painted walls. The rooms and grounds will whisk you back in time with an array of regal delights to indulge in. The restaurant, 1217, has a menu crafted by Michelin-starred chefs with truffle oil aplenty and a fine spread of local ingredients, while the sublime spa is a welcome slice of tranquillity.

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    Lough Eske Castle

    Bed and Breakfast, Spa Hotel
    Lough Eske Castle
    Lough Eske Castle | Courtesy of Lough Eske Castle / Expedia

    A secluded lakeside estate and spa, Lough Eske Castle, is a five-star castle hotel just outside Donegal Town. Associated with the O’Donnell clan, who were the founding fathers of Donegal, the castle is rich in history dating back to the 1400s. The countryside retreat includes a renowned spa, infinity pool and lush surrounding gardens which lend themselves nicely to a spot of relaxation. Lovingly restored to blend its historic roots with contemporary comforts, the rooms are large, tastefully decorated and house luxurious bathrooms.

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    Alice Dundon contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on April 14, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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