Regal romance? Blissful indulgence? Here’s where to live a very royal experience without being descended from a Prussian aristocrat, or Louis XIV.
Of course we’re mostly in Italy, France and Iberia. These are the places for summer and autumn sun. Inspiration in Scotland and Ireland will be coming later in the year – subscribe to our weekly newsletter so you don’t miss it!
Airelles Chateau de Versailles
It features 21st-century luxuries and dining by Alain Ducasse, but a design faithful to the 18th-century reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
You can even do a Marie Antoinette-themed costume fitting.
Castello di Vicarello, Tuscany
A 12th-century castle hotel in Tuscany isn’t that unique. But add in the farm-to-table dining culture and some family-owned charm and this boutique hideaway is a lovely couple’s retreat two hours from Florence.
We love that it’s not completely polished or made overly contemporary. Here you’re really experiencing history.
Torre de Palma Wine Hotel, Portugal
An old tower, a rustic Roman ruin, now a vineyard retreat in remote Portugal.
This is the perfect spot for a romantic escape, amid the quiet vineyard-clad hills of Alentejo.
Just 18 rooms make up this boutique, all of them befitting the Torre de Palma’s status as a member of Design Hotels.
Villa Cortine Palace Hotel, Lake Garda
The neo-classical palace of a 19th-century aristocrat, complete with a portico facade, Doric columns, elaborate frescoes and a Neptune fountain. Hotel Villa Cortine Palace is a waterfront retreat for couples seeking a traditional, stately stay.
What's Your Dream Hotel?
Domaine des Etangs, Hotel de Luxe Charente
This hotel appears so medieval you almost expect a heroic knight to ride past on his horse. It’s a real fairytale destination hotel, an ancient castle two hours from Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion.
This is a fantastic option for those seeking a less typical holiday.
We love the old meets new style. Like a spa in an old walnut oil mill and Michelin-starred Dyades, where most food comes from the castle grounds.
Castello di Reschio, Umbria-Tuscany
This tenth-century castle was bought in 1994 by Count Antonio Bolza. In the 25 years since, his son Count Benedikt, and his wife, Donna Nencia Corsini, have restored the estate with meticulous detail, into one-of-a-kind private homes and a 36-bedroom hotel.
It’s a crumbling ruin turned modern-day masterpiece, making this castle from 1050 one of Europe’s hottest places to stay.
Hotel Castell Son Claret, Majorca
A countryside castle from 1450, the type you expect to find in Tuscany, not on the Balearic Island of Majorca. Castell Son Claret has been exceptionally converted into a rural spa resort with the islands’ only two Michelin star restaurant. You really don’t expect this scenery, hotel or experience in Majorca.
Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence
Not exactly a castle or a chateau, but Michelangelo painted some of the facade so it’s in the list! It’s actually a 15th-century Franciscan monastery, on a wooded hillside outside Florence.
Like all Belmond properties, Bellini Club benefits make all the difference here.
Chateau La Cheneviere, Normandy
Just 15 rooms make up this 18th-century estate in the Normandy countryside.
This is a true chateau with the spirit of Old Normandy laced within its veins, standing out in an area not known for its luxury hotel scene.
Did you know Normandy and Brittany were number six in 2022’s hottest travel destinations?
Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Tuscany
Why only a chateau when you can convert an entire village? That was Rosewood’s approach at this expansive and highly exclusive Tuscan retreat. Driving across the grounds takes at least 15 minutes.
Farmhouses are now chic villas and the original village centre is home to the resort’s reception, spa, restaurants and bar.
A Royal Retreat for Your Next Holiday?
Whatever your dream place to stay, we have a tried and tested hotel for your holiday.