There is something undeniably transformative about stepping into a castle. Perhaps it’s the thick fortress walls blocking out the world, or the moat, or the secret passageways. Perhaps it’s the glimpse into a more lavish, pampered life, the bird’s-eye perspective from a tall tower, or maybe the soul-boosting treat of an ayurvedic massage. Either way, a stay in a castle is guaranteed to make any trip more interesting. Here are 25 castle hotels you will want to call home for the night.
Start with an 11th-century medieval fortress nestled between the French regions of Bordeaux and Cognac. Add 22 rooms with silky walls, rich berry-hued drapery, white marble baths, and cornice canopies. Then decide between veal with caramelized chanterelles or Ballotine quail with reduced grape and shallot chutney from Chateau de Mirambeau's Michelin-starred restaurant.
PHOTOGRAPH BY BJORN GROTTING, ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Cait Etherton is a Virginia-based writer and frequent contributor to National Geographic Travel. Follow her journey on Twitter @caitweeting.