Source: Ikiobelung on Unsplash

Castle Hotels and Airbnb Castles

What are castle accommodations?

Castles are fortified residential structures that were built by kings not as luxurious spaces, but rather as safe havens during times of conflict. They were also used to display wealth and military might and were used to conduct administrative tasks of the kingdom.

When kingdoms fell, many castles fell into disarray but were given a new lease on life as castle accommodations. Hotels and Airbnb rentals helped convert these dreary and imposing structures into sublime high-end properties. Castles are also usually surrounded by acres of manicured lawns or woodland, where guests can seek inner peace.

Source: Greg Willson on Unsplash

Windsor Castle might be one of the most famous castles in the world, though it's only open to the royal family. It's the oldest inhabited castle and has been with the said family for over 1,000 years. Luckily, there are other castles you can explore. Castles are mostly associated with England, but they are also present in Spain and Japan. Plus, castle accommodations are grand properties that can form the perfect backdrop for a big wedding or even an engagement shoot. After all, you do deserve to be the queen — and king — on your special day!

Historical and cultural significance of a castle stay

Source: Rachel Davis on Unsplash

While castles have been around for millennia, they especially gained popularity during the Middle Ages, when warfare was common. In Europe, they were at their peak in the 11th and 12th centuries and they were first introduced to England in 1066 by William the Conqueror. Early castle structures were simple and consisted of a wooden tower on a lounge mound. But over the years, they gave rise to the formidable stone structures that we know today.

Since most castles are historic properties and some have even been in the same family for generations, they might include antiques from several periods. These properties might have been upgraded to include modern amenities but they continue to retain their original architectural elements. Overall, castles promise a unique stay since each room is individually designed and decorated.

Source: Colin Watts on Unsplash

While most castle accommodations are age-old properties, it's also easy to find castle-inspired hotels, such as the luxurious and historic Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada. On the other hand, Airbnb rentals are more modern, fairytale-inspired castles that are perfect for themed weddings or even a romantic getaway. Let’s take a look at some of the most common castle accommodations:

Source: Maisie Johnson on Unsplash

• Castle hotels

These are usually properties that are a few hundred years old. For instance, Thornbury Castle near Eastnor dates back to the 16th century and was used as a retreat by King Henry VIII. As hotels, they are a world in itself. With high walls and acres of grounds surrounding the main building, it's easy to forget the outside world.

These properties offer impeccable service that will leave guests feeling like a royal themselves. While castle hotels are usually set on sprawling properties, they offer a limited number of rooms for a more personalized experience. Dromoland Castle is a stunning castle hotel in Southern Ireland that has incorporated an 18-hole golf course and offers spa services on-site.

Source: Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash

• Airbnb castles

The castles available as rentals on Airbnb are a mix of modern, castle-like properties and historic castles that are run independently of a big-name hotel brand managing the property. Castles in the US are often modern structures that have been inspired by the grand old castles across the pond. The benefit of booking these properties over a hotel is that you can book the entire castle for your group. These are usually much smaller in size than castle hotels and also offer lesser amenities.

However, it's possible to find historic Airbnb castles in Germany, where visitors can rent rooms for their stay. These castle rentals offer an alternative form of accommodation when on holiday and are sure to provide a delightful stay.

Perks of staying in a castle accommodation

Source: Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

• Historical appeal

A castle stay allows guests a chance to experience a historic structure and walk the halls where nobility once stayed. It also allows them to experience old architectural styles and antique artifacts up close. It offers a chance to experience history instead of just reading about it but with modern amenities. Some castles also include museums or offer guided tours to give guests a chance to learn more about their storied past.

• Combination of traditional decor and modern amenities

Staying in a castle is the chance of a lifetime to experience history without giving up on modern amenities. Instead of waiting on a chambermaid to bring pails of hot bath water, guests can enjoy a relaxing deep soak in a marble bath with luxurious bath amenities. Many castle hotels also offer fine dining options, with several boasting Michelin-starred restaurants such as Château de Berne, one of the top castles to stay in France.

• Grand outdoor spaces

Castle hotels are often spread across several acres, with the main building surrounded by landscaped gardens and woodland. Guests can take a stroll through the hotel grounds and pick a spot for a picnic. Some hotels might even include an outdoor high-tea venue or a nice vineyard. The gardens could also be utilized as an extension of the spa facilities. Plus, it's not uncommon for castle hotels to include elegant fountains or a lake.

• Opportunities for unique outdoor activities

The unique location and wide open spaces make it possible to indulge in activities that might not be possible to do in traditional hotels. Clay shooting, falconry, and archery are traditional activities that can be enjoyed on castle hotel grounds. The hotels can also include golf and cycling. If the castle ground includes a large lake, then fishing, boating, and kayaking can also be experienced during your stay.

• Lavish accommodations

When booking a castle stay, guests can say goodbye to conventional hotel decor and instead be greeted by plush monogrammed linen, rich drapes, custom carpets, and Murano chandeliers. Since there are usually a limited number of rooms and suites, each is decorated individually for a more bespoke stay.

• Themed dining experiences

The best way to understand a region and its culture is through its food. Castle hotels include fine dining venues, including Michelin and AA Rosette-awarded restaurants. The high tea offered at the castles in the United Kingdom is much sought after and should be booked in advance. And if you are celebrating a special occasion, why not upgrade to a champagne high tea?

Menus in most restaurants are seasonal and incorporate the best local produce in creating delectable dishes. Tuscan castles will almost always include an extensive local wine selection that can be paired with the meal, while castles in Scotland offer traditional dishes in addition to international favorites.

• Opportunities to organize special events such as weddings

Castle accommodations provide a romantic fairytale setting as couples exchange their vows. The landscaped gardens provide a natural backdrop for wedding photos while the on-site restaurant can help cater the wedding. If you are planning a grand wedding with a fairytale entrance, then there is no setting more majestic than a castle.

Couples planning an intimate wedding, however, can choose an Airbnb castle rental for a destination wedding with their closest family and friends.

Destinations with castle hotels around the world

Castles are historic structures that have been given a fresh lease of life as hotels. Converting them into a hotel helps maintain and preserve these properties. It also allows guests a chance to experience a monument of significant national value up close. While the United Kingdom is home to some beautiful castles, it's also easy to find castles in Germany and Italy. Guests looking for modern interpretations of castles should not miss booking one when visiting the United States, too.

Castle hotels in the United Kingdom

Source: Elizabeth Jamieson on Unsplash

• England

From Windsor Castle to the Tower of London, England has some famous castles that are visited by millions of annual visitors. Castles and large estates scattered around the country have been in families for generations. Many of these have been converted into luxurious hotels or the property grounds have been made open to the public to help in maintaining and conserving the structures.

Castle hotels in Bristol are some of the finest stone keep structures that can be booked for a stay. They make for a great choice not just for a weekend away but also for a staycation. Moreover, the Lake District is a popular destination for the summers, when families can boat at Derwentwater and explore walking trails along the way. For a memorable time, skip the hotels and pick a castle near the Lake District for a royal stay.

Source: Jörg Angeli on Unsplash

• Scotland

Castles in Scotland have been present for centuries, and 3,000 castles are thought to have been built there. However, less than half are still standing. Without a doubt, Edinburgh Castle and Balmoral Castle are some of the most famous in Scotland. It is also possible for visitors to stay in a castle hotel in Edinburgh with plush interiors and majestic outdoor spaces. Many of these castles also cater to children and offer puzzles and books for the little guests.

No trip to Scotland is ever complete without visiting its many gorgeous lakes or lochs. And if you are on the hunt for the infamous Loch Ness monster, why not stay at a castle near Loch Ness to maximize your chances of spotting it?

Source: Maxwell Andrews on Unsplash

• Wales

Wales is a scenic destination that can explored by road to truly take in the beauty. Visitors can stop by the student city of Cardiff, where things to do include tours of centrally located Cardiff Castle and Llandaff Cathedral. While there are no castle hotels in Cardiff, visitors will find several castle hotels in Wales. If you're searching for a coastal castle, then make your way to Pembrokeshire, where you could stay in a 12th-century castle. The high ceilings and original stone walls also make for an unbelievable setting to exchange your vows.

Castle hotels in other European countries

Source: Manuel Sansone on Unsplash

• Italy

Italy and history go hand in hand, and while most might associate the country with soft silhouettes and majestic Renaissance buildings, Italy also includes some striking castle hotels. They can be an especially exceptional choice for honeymooners looking for a secluded stay when touring Florence. If your stay includes exploring the rest of the Tuscan region, castle hotels here offer interesting activities, such as truffle hunting and Tuscan barbecues.

Umbria is another top choice for romantic getaways, where couples can tour the vineyards of Orvieto and the olive orchards of Assisi. The region also includes several castle hotels that offer a postcard-perfect stay.

Source: Grant Van Cleemput on Unsplash

• France

The country is a top destination for couples and families, with millions of tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. France is also home to several castles, with the most famous being the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Palace of Versailles. It might be called a palace now but it was originally referred to as a castle. If you are unable to book a luxurious stay here, there are several other equally phenomenal castles in France.

The Loire Valley is a top region to explore for visitors interested in exploring the country’s many vineyards. In addition to wine tours and wine tastings, there are several other things to do in Bordeaux, such as visiting its several famous chateaus, including Chateau de Chambord. If a mere visit isn't enough, visitors can book a stay at exotic castles in Loire Valley. These properties include heated outdoor pools, spas, and delectable dining venues.

Source: Ashley Knedler on Unsplash

• Germany

It is estimated that there are around 25,000 castles in Germany, which is a big number. The popular region of Bavaria offers a mix of affordable and luxe castle hotels that can be booked while exploring the rich cultural heritage of the area.

Nuremberg is a must-see city that has withstood war and political upheavals and offers a charming escape. The medieval Nuremberg Castle is a remarkable piece of architecture that is one of the most formidable castles to ever be built. While it's not possible to stay at the castle, visitors can book a castle hotel near Nuremberg. A visit to the exhibits at the National Germanic Museum and shops at Hauptmarkt of Nuremberg are other top things to do in the city.

Source: Andre Ouellet on Unsplash

• Ireland

The Guinness Storehouse might be Ireland’s top attraction, but there is more to the country than just beer and award-winning whiskies. Sightseeing in Ireland can take you beyond Dublin to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the unique Aran Islands, and the historic city of Limerick.

Ireland is a popular tourist spot that can make for an excellent choice for a destination wedding. The romantic and luxurious castles in Southern Ireland can be booked for a stay and a ceremony on the manicured hotel grounds. The hilltop Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel overlooks Dublin Bay, while Castlemartyr Resort includes an on-site golf course and spa services. Visitors can also find castle hotels in Kildare and Connemara in the northern part of the country.

Castle hotels in the United States

Source: Betsy Mark on World History Encyclopedia

• New York

New York is synonymous with the high rises of Manhattan and the palatial estates of the Hamptons. But if you desire, it is possible to stay in a castle in New York, such as on the island of Long Island and in the village of Tarrytown. These properties were built as grand residences and summer escapes for the New York elite and continue to serve as luxurious escapes away from the city.

Source: Noah G. on Unsplash

• California

California is a top vacation destination that includes an impressive coastline, resort towns in the desert, and majestic mountains. Tourists looking for unique accommodations in the city can book glamping tents, luxurious cabins, and even castles. These modern, castle-inspired properties are built to resemble impressive stone and Victorian castles. Moreover, Castle Inn and Suites across from Disneyland will be loved by families, while couples will prefer the castle-inspired properties in Napa Valley.

Source: Marada on Flickr

• Ohio

Ohio is a wonderful choice for families with several interactive children’s museums and buzzing festivals. Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Center of Science & Industry, and Hocking Hills State Park are top places to visit with kids. A stay at a castle hotel in Ohio would be the icing on the cake for what is sure to have been an exciting holiday.

Destinations with Airbnb castles around the world

A castle stay does not have to break the bank. If you are in the mood for a less-frill, self-catered sort of holiday, then an Airbnb castle rental is the way to go. These rentals can be historic castles as well as modern interpretations but one that they all have in common is scenic settings. Airbnb rentals are a great option when traveling with family, as it offers a private setting and ample space for the entire group.

Destinations with Airbnb castles in the United States

Source: Courtney Rose on Unsplash

• Texas

Texas is a vast and fascinating state where visitors can visit Lake Livingston, San Antonio, Hill Country, Dallas, and many more. Texas offers a wide array of places to visit that include both indoor and outdoor attractions. Another factor that helps make Texas a popular vacation spot is the unique Airbnb rentals available, such as treehouse stays and yurts. But if you wish to feel like a king or a queen, why not book an Airbnb castle in Texas?

Source: Robert Bye on Unsplash

• California

On the West Coast, California is a top destination for education, work as well as travel within the United States. The state offers urban centers such as Los Angeles, the vineyards of Sonoma, and the mountains of South Lake Tahoe.

California is also a top choice for brides planning their wedding, with options ranging from vineyards to Airbnb rentals. Couples deserve to feel like royalty on their big day, and Airbnb castles in California help make that possible. These castle rentals can also be booked for family reunions or over the holidays. Some are even pet-friendly.

Destinations with Airbnb castles in Europe

Source: Vincent Creton on Unsplash

• Ireland

Visitors to Ireland might experience they have turned back time when they book a stay at an Airbnb castle. Unlike their American counterparts, Irish castle rentals are true castles, some dating back to the 15th century. Visitors can book from small one-bedroom rentals to sprawling properties with up to seven bedrooms. These rentals include living and dining areas, a full kitchen, and comfortable bedrooms. Top activities in and near these rentals include fishing, golf, and country hikes.

If you have the luxury of an extended holiday, embark on a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way. The route covers the western coast and includes places such as Galway and Donegal.

Source: V2F on Unsplash

• Scotland

Scotland is another scenic destination that is interspersed with castles, lakes, and distilleries. It is possible to drive and explore the country, just like Ireland. After a thrilling vacation, tourists can book a stay at a quintessential Airbnb castle in Scotland for a restful couple of days. The beauty of these castles is that they are not just for large groups! Moreover, there's a unique property built over the River Ardle. All the castle rentals feature expansive gardens and beautifully decorated interiors.

Source: Ian Murphy on Unsplash

• England

Castles are most closely associated with England, so it comes as no surprise that it is possible to book entire estates as Airbnb rentals. Castle hotels in England are a splendid way to enjoy a luxurious getaway, where you enjoy a royal service. On the other hand, Airbnb castles in England allow visitors to live a more modern royal lifestyle as these are self-catered properties. These rentals can be found in city centers as well as in private country surroundings.

Source: Joshua Kettle on Unsplash

• Germany

With thousands of castles in the country, a visit to Germany should include a stay at an Airbnb castle. These stunning historic properties are decorated with period furnishings and allow visitors a glimpse into the life of German nobility. These rentals are reasonably priced and can also be an excellent choice for a weekend getaway.

Things to consider when booking castle accommodation

Source: Pascal Bernardon on Unsplash

• Location

Most castle accommodations are away from the city, but they do make up for it with scenic surroundings. Visitors should check the distance from the airport and transportation options available before booking their stay. Late-night arrivals must check beforehand if the terrain is suitable for driving post-sunset. Some properties might even offer paid transfers from the airport. However, for the most dramatic entrance, may we suggest arriving during the day.

• Amenities

Castle hotels are luxurious, high-end properties that offer a mix of indoor and outdoor activities for guests to enjoy. It is possible to spend an entire weekend on the property without wanting to step out. They can include landscaped gardens with biking and walking trails, boating, and clay shooting.

Airbnb castles, on the other hand, can offer either single rooms or the entire property for guests to book. These accommodations do not offer the same scale of amenities as a hotel but they do offer more privacy if you are booking the entire property. These castles are self-catering stays and often don't include an on-site restaurant.

• Architecture and decor

The word castle conjures different images for different people, therefore it is best to look at pictures of the property before you book a stay. If you favor a posh-Disneyesque castle design, you should search for Victorian castles. Many castle hotels are sturdy stone keep or square stone keep in design. For instance, Amberley Castle near London is an excellent example of a stone-kept castle, while Ashford Castle near Galway is an example of a square stone-kept castle.

Since castles were designed as residences, each accommodation unit will be different in size as well as shape. Guest should take a look at the interior decor to see if it suits their taste. Some properties might be decorated to resemble a bygone era with period furniture and classic decor, others might be extravagantly decorated for modern royalty.

• Accessibility features

Since castles were built hundreds of years ago, they weren't built with accessibility features that we're familiar with today. If a member of your party has mobility issues, please call the property for a complete list of accessibility features. Modern castle-inspired properties and private rentals might have elevators or ramps installed.

• Pet and child policies

Which child is not fascinated by swords and stories of war? Castles are a lovely accommodation option to book if you are traveling with children. They provide an excellent opportunity to learn a little bit of history in a fun manner. Children will also enjoy outdoor activities that are made possible at castle hotels. Due to the unique room sizes and shapes, do note that it might not be possible to include a crib or a cot in all room categories.

Your pet will also love the outdoor walks with you, but pet stays generally carry an extra surcharge. Check with the property directly for daily and weekly rates.

• Preservation efforts by the owner/management

For a castle to be turned into a hotel, it has to undergo a major upgrade and be fitted with modern amenities, such as internal heating and wireless internet. At the same time, the original structure needs to be maintained to retain its original architectural value. Many of these hotels are protected national treasures and therefore are required to be preserved by their owners for future generations.

In addition to this, many castle hotels strive to be sustainable properties with a vegetable garden on the grounds and an efficient recycling program in place.

• Cultural etiquette

A castle hotel might take you to another country or even another continent. So, as with any other form of travel, it's important to always respect local traditions and customs. Guests should display respect not only for the destination but also for the nationally protected property.

• Packages and special offers

A great deal always helps to sweeten a stay. Off-seasons are a good time to check for deals that could include anything from a free night to spa discounts. It might even be possible to book a staycation or a getaway package, which might be inclusive of particular meals, activities, or spa treatments.

• Guest reviews and ratings

Since the guest is always right, only book a hotel or a rental after going through guest reviews. Recent reviews indicate the current state of amenities and if all are operating at capacity. They are also a great way to learn about must-do activities — both at the property and in the nearby area.

Take a step back in history when you book a castle stay

Source: Andréa Villiers on Unsplash

For a truly exceptional holiday, it is best to plan it according to your preferences and interests. But with every aspect of our lives on social media, there is a pressure to make the holidays unique and exotic. Well, booking a castle hotel or a castle accommodation allows tourists to personalize their holiday and make it offbeat at the same time. Check out this article for more information on castle stays!

Castle hotels in the United Kingdom

Castle hotels in other European countries

Castle hotels in the United States

Airbnb castles in Europe

Airbnb castles in the United States

FAQ's about Castle Hotels And Airbnb Hotels

  • What are castle hotels?
    Castle hotels are historic properties that served as royal residences or were built for nobility as a haven during times of war. These are protected properties that have been converted into hotels with modern amenities.
  • What are Airbnb castles?
    These can be historic properties that rent out either individual rooms or the entire castle along with the grounds. Airbnb castles can also refer to modern houses that have been designed to resemble a castle.
  • What are some usual amenities in a castle accommodation?
    Castle accommodations are grand properties that are designed as a destination stay. They offer large open spaces and the grounds also include a multitude of activities for all age groups.
  • How much do castle accommodations charge for a night?
    Prices vary depending on the property that you select. They do tend to be higher during the holidays.
  • Do castle hotels have modern amenities?
    Yes! Castle hotels have been upgraded to offer all modern amenities amidst historical settings. Deep soaking tubs, swimming pools, fine dining, and a spa are just some of the facilities that guests can find at a castle hotel.
  • What kind of activities can I enjoy during a castle stay?
    Castle hotels offer a variety of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, and falconry. Guests can also enjoy walks and picnics on the property grounds. It is possible to go on walks on Airbnb castle rentals, but activities might be limited unless the property is professionally managed.
  • Are all castle accommodations historical structures?
    Not necessarily. While hotels are generally historical structures, Airbnb rentals can be a mix of historical properties and modern castle interpretations.
  • Do castle accommodations offer guided tours?
    Yes, some castles do offer guided tours for guests. These tours help the guests understand the history as well as learn about its previous owners. It might also include information about their preservation and maintenance practice.
  • Are castle accommodations family-friendly?
    Yes! Castles are a fantastic option for families as they offer an interesting alternative to traditional hotels. However, guests must check accessibility and child-friendly features beforehand.
  • Are castle accommodations pet-friendly?
    Some castles are pet-friendly. Guests should get in touch with the property directly to confirm and note any additional charges.
  • Can I host a wedding at a castle accommodation?
    Yes, castles make for a romantic wedding venue. The landscaped gardens would offer a vibrant venue to exchange your vows while the reception could be held indoors or under a marquee outdoors.
  • Do castle hotels have themed rooms?
    Yes, some castles do offer themed rooms.

Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top