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I spent a night in a jail converted to a hotel in Switzerland, and it made me wonder if there is a real castle converted to an hotel in Europe.

And with "real" I mean the castle should have a historical past, and NOT a castle built recently or a hotel with a 'castle' look on the outside but on the inside it looks like a common hotel.

In short, I want to feel that I was brought back to the castle age if I stay in the hotel.

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    I believe there's a hostel in a converted castle on the Rhine in Germany. I stayed there ten years ago. Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 12:22
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    @hippietrail: That would be Jugendherberge Burg Stahleck in Bacharach, I stayed there too.
    – jrdioko
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 5:00
  • Where is this Jail in Switzerland? Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 14:16
  • Jailhotel Löwengraben Löwengraben 18 CH - 6004 Luzern Schweiz - Switzerland jailhotel.ch/html_e/frame_e.html Commented Dec 23, 2011 at 3:00
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    What is a castle to you, and what is the difference with a castle-looking hotel? There are probably hundreds maybe thousands (I cannot think of a town that has none) of castles in France, most are private or monuments but likely many are hotels.
    – Vince
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 21:10

14 Answers 14

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There are probably well over a hundred real castles converted to hotels in Europe - maintaining a castle is expensive, so most people who own one need to monetize it somehow.

Here's a German site that lists 40 castles and palaces converted into hotels in Germany alone...

The question is: how historical do you want it to be to count as "real"? Older than 200 years? Older than 500?

A pretty solid candidate would be Burg Wernberg in Bavaria: first documented in 1280, never substantially destroyed and rebuilt (which is the case for a great many old castles). However, the historical past is not all that exciting (the castle seems to have changed hands a lot, but was never involved in big historical events).

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  • 200 years is actually quite old enough. Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 3:39
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    and do realise that most of them will not look very much like medieval castles on the inside after the transformation to hotel status (or even before).
    – jwenting
    Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 12:57
  • @jwenting: definitely, but Rudy did say that what he's looking for is "on the inside it looks like a common hotel". Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 13:09
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    @MichaelBorgwardt: Actually what I am looking for is NOT a castle that looks like a common hotel on the inside. Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 3:41
  • @Rudy: Then you should change your question to reflect that you are looking for. Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 16:39
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For a medieval castle - a '10 story ominous looking castle' in Ireland, I remembered watching Alex Albrecht of Diggnation, talk about how he stayed in one (3 min in to video) he found on Celtic Castles. Note that Irish castles don't have moats. Annoyingly he doesn't say which one, but certainly the website claims to be the biggest Castle booking website in the world, so I'd hazard a guess that it'd be a solid start :)

It includes bookings for castles in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and French Châteaux.

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There's a hostel called Albergue Juvenil Castillo de San Servando in Toledo (Spain) which is in a castle. I have tried it and it's the definitely the most beautiful hostel I've ever been to. Check the website for additional information.

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Carbisdale Castle in the north of Scotland is actually a youth hostel.

I stayed there for a few pounds back in the 1980s and it was a cool place.

It is currently closed for refurbishment until 2012, but dorm beds in Scottish hostels are around 20 pounds.

It is not a very old, it was only built in 1907, but it looks and feels like a much older building. It has its own railway station very close by, admittedly it is a bit out of the way.

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    Unfortunately Carbisdale Castle is still closed, and now up for sale. It seems unlikely that it will reopen as a hostel.
    – vclaw
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 2:12
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Sure, I don't imagine they're cheap though. A quick Google threw up heaps of sites. It's important to note that often stately homes or chateau are described as castles. To me a castle has a moat and a bridge such as Leeds Castle (not actually in Leeds) staying in one of these might be a little more difficult.

Here are the first three links most of them are in UK though some are in France.

Also there is the ruins of the castle in middle of lochleven which you could probably hide out in overnight without too much issue.

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Another option is Oxford castle which was largely destroyed during the English Civil War, but what was left was made into a Gaol. It remained a Prison until 1996 and was subsequently converted into a luxury boutique Hotel.

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A castle?! Pfwah!

For $70,000 you can have a whole European country for a night!

(Though it's not clear if you get to sleep in the castle)

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    If this were just a comment I would definitely upvote it! (-: Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 10:57
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I have a recollection of staying in the Grand Hotel in Brussels Belgium, that was a converted castle. (But this was decades ago.)

Most western European countries feature castles with owners that need to defray the cost of their upkeep by providing "bed and breakfast" type services to visitors. Check with local travel agents for prices and availability.

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Here is a french castle hotels website. I looked around on this website, there is some Renaissance-era castles, but I didn't find any medieval-era castle at first glance. BTW, in french, castle is translated as "château", if you want to search google or something.

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There are quite a few castles in Germany where you can stay overnight. As far as I know some castle owners rent out some of the many (converted) rooms in the castle just to cover the costs they have with maintaining such a building.

Here is a list from for hostels in a castle. Sorry, not many pictures on this page, but you can still look up the castle name on flickr or google images.

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Yes it is possible. Especially if you are in a group. Before I had children I organized a annual board-game event in a castle with friends. We were able to rent a castle for around 1000 Euro per weekend, which with around 30 people became quite affordable. I cannot provide you with a link, because they don't have a website. But I found them by asking while walking through the Ardennes in Belgium. The location was also brilliant because of its name "Ny" (Monthy python lovers will know what I mean)

If you are not in a large group, I also know Cortils Castle, which offers self catering accommodation. If you would consider Cortils, I can recommend to arrive late on a moonless night. It gives an erie touch to your arrival.

Other castles which offer accommodation are:

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I am not sure to understand what you call a castle (it was built in the middle ages? It is fortified?).

However, there is a French chain of hotels called Relais & Châteaux that is a worldwide network of so-called "charming hotels" and in particular, castles.

I could not find a way to filter the results by the type of residence, but there are not that many (still about 200 residences in Europe and from a vague scan, I would say 50 are castles).

There is another chain of the same kind called Châteaux & Hôtels Collection but it seems to have fewer castles and mostly located in France.

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We spent a week holidaying in Cawood Castle, in Yorkshire, this year.

There may only be the gatehouse, and it's domestic wing left, and the gatehouse itself may only sleep 4, but we had the whole place to ourselves, including the crenellated rooftop, with magnificent views of the Vale of York.

The castle was once a stronghold of the Archbishops of York, had significant royal links, and exchanged hands several times during the The Wars of the Roses. The gatehouse formed the private chambers of several Archbishops, and from skimming it's library, there's a lot of history wrapped up in such a small building.

It's just one of many unusual and eclectic buildings being preserved by the Landmark Trust charity and let out to fund their maintenance. They have a huge variety of converted castles, follies, mills, townhouses, cottages, halls, barns, stables, villae, lighthouses and even a few Martello towers (19th century defensive forts).

Many of these building would have been lost to history without help, and their conversion is done with care and sympathy.

Having said that, it can result in some very odd designs, such as

  • One where you have to head out of the main tower and along the battlements to get to one of the bedrooms, which has no en-suite (so be careful if you have to dash to the loo in the middle of the night);
  • The Giant stone pineapple; or
  • The tower at Caernarfon castle where you climb the outside stairs to get into the tower, then climb internal stairs to get to the main living area, and then back down a spiral staircase to get to one of the bedrooms.

I love just looking through the catalogue at all of these weird, wonderful, historic buildings.

I have no relationship with the Landmark Trust, other than being a happy customer who is grateful for the magnificent preservation work they do.

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Awhile back I've been to Italy and stayed at:

from that time it only seem to have improved.

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