The dream to live in a medieval castle in the XXI century is not so unattainable. Today, there are hundreds of old buildings, converted into luxury hotels. The best of them - in this review.
Whispers of ghosts and the sounds of battle can be heard at night to guests Spanish castle hotel Castle Alarcon. The thing is that the history of the citadel has more than 13 centuries, during which time the castle had to change a lot of owners and withstand sieges. The original building of the castle was built by the Moors at the turn of VII-VIII centuries. In the XII century the castle was owned by King Alfonso VIII, and later became home to the Marquis de Vilhena, and behind him - and for the writer Don Juan Manuel. Today, the castle Alarcon also live, as in 2003 it was converted into a hotel parador, owned by the state. Anyone can stay here in one of 13 rooms. All of them are in the main tower and feature a modest size in each - only a small viewing window. Great Hall Alarkonskogo castle serves as a dining room, whose walls are decorated with armor, medieval weapons and paintings.
Gritti Palace Hotel
Location: Venice, Italy
Venice Grand Canal for centuries was the main traffic artery of the city. On its shores were built luxurious mansions, among them the Palazzo Gritti. The palace was built in 1525 for the Venetian Doge Andrea Gritti - ruler of the city. Over the years, the palazzo is taken after the Vatican and members of noble families, and in the XX century mansion was turned into a hotel. It took a little time to become famous hotel and there began to stop high-ranking guests. Among the honored guests were Gritti Palace, Winston Churchill, Graham Greene, Andre Malraux, Igor Stravinsky and Vera, Luchino Visconti and Orson Welles. And Ernest Hemingway made the following entry in the guest book of the hotel: «Gritti Palace, by far the best among the great hotels of Venice." Royale with fine hand-painted, stained glass, mosaics, luxurious carpets create a wonderful atmosphere of old Venice. But the main thing, of course - the scenery outside the window.
Location: Marrakech, Morocco
In fairy Marrakech, though descended from the pages of "A Thousand and One Nights" is one of the most amazing hotels in North and West Africa. Hotel Royal Mansour was built on the site of the royal gardens in the heart of the old city. The hotel, spread out on the territory of 3, 5 hectares, surrounded by high walls ocher, part of which was built in the beginning of the XII century. Royal Mansour called the city in the city, and it is no coincidence. The hotel is built in compliance with the canons of the classic design of residential architecture and the Maghreb is a separate house, riads, immersed in the greenery of the Moorish gardens. The walls of the premises covered by traditional Moroccan plaster and decorated with fancy ornaments thin. And furniture is exotic "cocktail" of several cultural layers: the Moorish, Arabic, Berber and European. In the Royal Mansour harmoniously Murano glass chandeliers, Victorian chairs, mirror Louis XV style carved furniture and decorated camel bone.
Location: Clare, Ireland
Ireland with its relatively small size can boast of a considerable number of ancient castles. Total in the country trefoil about 2000 objects of medieval heritage: from watchtowers to a full, well-preserved ancient buildings, many of which have been transformed into luxury hotels. One of these - Dromoland Castle Hotel in County Clare. Castle, erected in 1475 and then rebuilt in the years 1826-1832, had a powerful clan O'Brien - the direct descendants of the King of Ireland, Brian Boru. In 1962, O'Brien naked because of financial difficulties was forced to sell the castle. The new owner was an American Bernard McDonagh, will pay for future luxury hotel £ 66 000. Today, Dromoland is considered one of the best hotels in Ireland. Majestic castle, the interiors of which are decorated with carved wooden panels, statues and antique furniture, is located on the shore of the lake and offers a golf course and stables.
Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa
Location: Salzkammergut, Austria
Austrian Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa, several times find themselves in the list of best European castle hotel on the American version of Conde Nast Traveller, choose those travelers who crave an aristocratic atmosphere - at least in the memories. The castle was built in the XV century on the shores of picturesque Lake Fuschl am See and once served as a hunting residence of the Archbishop of Salzburg. And in the early 1950s turned into a beautiful hotel, where over the years hosted such illustrious names as Audrey Hepburn, Jawaharlal Nehru, the Swedish Princess Madeleine and many others. Today, Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa features all the luxury residence. The hotel has its own collection of works of art, collected with the support of the Munich gallery Bernheimer Fine Old Masters, as well as a collection of personal belongings of Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria. Among other things, Schloss Fuschl - Europe's only hotel, the guests a unique opportunity to ride on any vehicle from the collection.
Castello di Casole
Location: Tuscany, Italy
One of the "expected" hotel opened last year in the Italian Tuscany. Five-star hotel Castello di Casole housed in an ancient castle of X century, lost in the vineyards and olive groves, which lie on the estate area of more than 1500 hectares. 10 years ago on the site of today's luxury hotel towering ruins of a magnificent castle walls which were overgrown with grass and weeds. This could go on and on, if an abandoned building did not pay attention to investors, who decided to make it into a hotel. The restoration lasted seven years, during which the stone ruins turned into a first-class boutique hotel. The hotel has 41 rooms, each decorated using medieval materials and antiques that were found during excavations on the estate. If guests suddenly bored idyllic surrounding landscape, although this is unlikely to occur, from Castello di Casole in 20 minutes you can get to Siena and 45 - to Florence.
Ananda in the Himalayas
Location: State of Uttarakhand, India
It is believed that the Himalayas have mystical powers. It was here, at their feet, on the banks of the sacred Ganges River has one of the world's best spa hotels Ananda in the Himalayas, which boasts not only a first-class body treatments and individual yoga classes, but also its history. Five-star hotel is housed in the palace, which served as the residence of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal,. Locals believe that the beneficial aura of spiritual mentor of the ruler is still present in these places. Hotel Ananda in the Himalayas at different times of the members of the royal family stayed and prominent politicians, including Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. As before, and today guests here have a royal reception. Guests can use the library of the former maharaja, a billiard room and living room, where breakfast is five o'clock tea. In addition, every guest at check-in Ananda in the Himalayas individually selected course of treatments.
Hotel de la Cite
Location: Carcassonne, France
Carcassonne - castle town, famous far beyond the borders of France. Since the beginning of the last century it was chosen by the European aristocracy, which enjoyed the local scenery and peaceful rhythm of life, and directors often chose the city as a backdrop for filming. Today in Carcassonne you can not just wander around the walls and narrow medieval streets, but also to live in castle hotel Hotel de la Cite. Built in 1909 on the site of a former bishop's palace, he later twice rebuilt and expanded. In the 1920s, Hotel de la Cite became fashionable stop on the way from Nice to Biarritz or from Biarritz to Barcelona. During the Second World War, the hotel was closed and reopened only in 1945. The fifties were a period of prosperity of the hotel, as evidenced by entries in its "Golden Book". However, in the sixties, it began to decline, and in 1987 and closed altogether. The second life of the hotel began a few years later, when it was reopened under the guidance of a local businessman. Today, Hotel de la Cite is considered one of the best hotels, castles in France.
Location: West Sussex, UK
Castle Amberley Castle for centuries stands in an idyllic location between the hills and lakes of West Sussex. Located just 100 miles from London, it affects privacy and tranquility. The first mention of the buildings in these parts date back to 1100 year, and the appearance of the castle dates from the middle of the XVI century. Amberley Castle in its history has changed several owners and took monarchs. So, at the end of the XVI century and until 1749 the castle has rented the English crown. It is believed that in these years here twice stopped King Charles II. Until recently, only a few managed to see hidden behind the walls of the castle treasures. But in 1988 the owners of Amberley Castle became Joy and Martin Cummings, who turned it into a fashionable hotel. The Hotel has 19 furnished rooms genuine antique furniture. Among the guests already there are those who return again and again.
Pousada de Obidos
Location: Obidos, Portugal
Fashion on the adaptation of old castles in expensive hotels are not spared and Portugal. And for the hotels located in historic buildings here have even invented a special term. Locks hotels have kept their original color, called Pousada. And the same name is a Portuguese hotel chain, which includes more than forty hotels scattered all over the country. One of them - Pousada de Obidos, located in the castle town of Obidos, which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. Magnificent structure built in the XII century, however, after six centuries, it was partially destroyed by an earthquake and then the attacks of Napoleon's troops. Abandoned castle remained until 1932, until he began his reconstruction. And here in 1951 opened the hotel. By the way, if you decide to get out of the castle for a short while, then be sure to try to Obidos brandy "Ginjinha." It is served in small chocolate glasses, which you need to drink to have a snack.