The Most Famous Castle Hotels for a Romantic Getaway

Expect the royal treatment at these historic five-star options.
ashford castle in count mayo greenery and castle overview aerial photo
Ashford Castle
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Deputy Editor
  • Esther is the Deputy Editor of The Knot. She currently leads all content on The Knot Wellness, focusing on financial, relationship, and mental wellbeing.
  • She oversees The Knot's travel vertical (honeymoons, destination weddings, bach parties), as well as overarching features and trends.
  • She proudly serves on the Advisory Council of VOW For Girls, focusing on ending the injustice of child marriage around the world.
Updated Jan 31, 2024
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Now that you're experiencing a fairy-tale love story, you'll want to embrace a romantic getaway to a famous castle hotel. Some of the most beloved castle hotels were once stately historic properties and palatial former homes located on sprawling estate grounds. Into the 21st century, dozens of world-famous castles have since been converted into five-star accommodations, perfect for a couples vacation, anniversary trip or honeymoon–and just about any romantic getaway.

At these stately properties, couples will find everything from incomparable service to luxe wellness centers and spas. Read on for our favorite world-famous castles that double as plush, modern hotels, starting with arguably the most well-known: Versailles.

Airelles Château de Versailles, Le-Grand Contrôle, France

Airelles Château de Versailles gardens
Airelles Château de Versailles

Bragging rights abound for guests of this five-star property, located on the grounds of what was once the home of the ill-fated Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Guests of the historic Le Grand Contrôle will experience a slice of the original 1681 building as they walk through the halls of the since-modernized hotel. Plus, they have exclusive access to the grounds of the Château de Versailles estate before the tourists flock in droves. After a day spent meandering the gardens and marveling over the 17th-century architectural feat, indulge in treatments at the Valmont spa and a fine dining experience by famed Chef Alain Ducasse.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Cliveden House, Berkshire, England

cliveden house aerial shot of the house manor
Cliveden House

Located just 25 minutes from London Heathrow Airport, the 376-acre Cliveden House has a bit of scandalous history that dates back to 1666 when the second Duke of Buckingham gifted the property to his mistress. (Lady Whistledown would have a field day!) Today, the five-star historic hotel under the Relais & Châteaux umbrella is emblematic of the refined London countryside, especially for those who want a relaxing experience and indulgent treatment at the spa. Just ask Meghan Markle, who enjoyed the night before her wedding to Prince Harry at this very establishment.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Castello Di Vicarello, Maremma, Italy

Castello di Vicarello
Castello di Vicarello

A whimsical and famous castle located in the countryside of Italy, the Castello Di Vicarello is today among the most reputable historic hotels in Europe. Dating back to the 12th century, the property is surrounded by the sunburnt Italian countryside. Guests enjoy everything from upgraded modern touches to give guests a sense of place (imagine wine tastings in medieval hideaways).

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Ashford Castle, Count Mayo, Ireland

ashford castle tea room
Ashford Castle

Once the home of the Guinness Family, the medieval and since-converted Ashford Castle is arguably one of the most beloved and well-known historic properties in the entirety of Europe. The destination in Count Mayo is about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Dublin, and located close to Galway for couples who want to take in the romance of the Cliffs of Moher. However, there's plenty to do at this standalone destination with sampling as follows: walks through the forest with expert guides from the School of Falconry, Irish countryside-appropriate clay-shooting lessons, indulgent spa treatments (including the gorgeous converted hammam), bike rides to through bucolic farmland complete with sheep, afternoon tea led by tea sommeliers, and daily morning dog walks through the woods. The hospitality of Ashford is truly outstanding–and the lingering beauty of the historic property remains with guests for decades to come.

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec, Canada

While castle hotels aren't exactly prevalent throughout much of Canada and the US, the storied Château Frontenac certainly fits the bill. Dating back to 1893, the Gothic Revival meets Beaux-Arts chateau that overlooks Quebec was originally intended to attract the glitz and glamour generated by that period's railroad royalty. (After all, the property was established by the Canadian Pacific Railway's president at that time.) It's certainly served its purpose since then, welcoming the likes of dignitaries, world leaders and other VIP figures throughout its nearly 150 years. Today, the hotel continues to be one of the most famous castles in the world and offers plenty of modernized and upgraded touches. With multiple on-site restaurants, sweeping views of Quebec's Old Town, and an indulgent spa, it's a regal respite in a world-class city.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Alila Fort Bishangarh, Rajasthan, India

Along the Aravallis mountain range, the citadel of Bishangarh overlooks the local village and gives guests a feeling of possibility, safety and, of course, history. The looming fortress dates back 234 years before the time of Shahpura royalty. In 2017, the former castle and modern hotel commenced its operation under Alila under the Hyatt umbrella. Couples can spend hours exploring the dark corridors where hushed whispers of invaders were once uttered. Too spooky? Settle along one of the terraces overlooking the sweeping landscape for moments of reflection.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid, Spain

rosewood villa magna
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Spatially representative of the former Anglada House, the Rosewood Villa Magna still showcases the beauty of what was once the 19th-century palace and former home of nobility. In its place, the Villa Magna captures the essence of the former palatial space with modern touches. Considered one of the top properties in all of Europe, the 154 rooms of the Rosewood feature refined and modernized castle-like touches, including curated artwork, a flourishing gastronomic scene, and top-tier service.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey

kempinski hotels turkey
Kempinski Hotels

Settled along the Bosphorus Strait, this Ottoman imperial palace offers the very best of local hospitality. (Think: Turkish baths and treatments for a relaxing and utterly luxurious experience). As with most famous castles-turned-hotels, this palatial, five-star option provides a regal experience for its guests, inclusive of all services and accommodations.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Explore more famous castle hotels in the Spring 2024 issue of The Knot Magazine, now on stands.

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