As you may know, I have a special place in my heart for castles. Sometimes, I am fortunate enough to represent their owners or buyers; other times I’m simply in awe of their history, dignity, and beauty.
Last year, I wrote a post about Château du Grand-Lucé and Château Louis XIV and this week I received an email that inspired me to take up the topic once again. The message was from Natalia Buitrago Gomez, an architecture aficionado and traveler, from AllTheRooms. AllTheRooms is a travel accommodation booking site “for all the rooms.” They cover both the conventional and the unconventional and they share my passion for castles. In fact, they’ve posted collections of the best castles in England, France, Germany, Japan, Scotland, and Wales.
After six seasons of “Downton Abbey,” many of us have developed a new appreciation for castle dwellings and their owners have realized it. Some castles have been converted to hotels, accommodating multiple parties of guests, while others are rentable in whole or in part.
Castles imply a combination of history and wealth and they can be found throughout the world. Routes North has a listing of castle accommodations in Sweden, and there are fabulous luxury castle stays in Ireland. The Taj Collection includes eight palaces that are hotels in India, and while they don’t claim the structures to be castles, Fodor’s Travel offers a selection of the World’s 10 Coolest Ice Hotels. (They look pretty posh, even if I shiver a little as I look at them.)
Don’t want to cross an ocean? There’s the Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate on Long Island, and on the other side of the country, there’s even a castle in Port Townsend, Washington. Naturally, there are plenty of castle-like accommodations in between the two.
In late-breaking news, Castle Moffett, on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, has been on the market for eight years and sold just this week. More mansion than castle, but with castle-like crenelated towers, the Moffett will be renamed Castle Gracie and is expected to open soon as a bed and breakfast.
If the links above aren’t enough, it’s easy to find castle accommodations: just search “castle stay” or “castle vacation” and the name of the country, and voilà! In lieu of castle, you can also try palace, mansion, château, fortress, or villa. Then pack your crown and scepter and enjoy a luxury vacation in the footsteps of royalty.