By Amy Van
Forget about musty old castles and intimidating palaces. Here are four luxurious hotels in Europe that are ideal for modern travellers looking for something different. Some of these European castles and palaces offer exquisite dining experiences and others feature sustainability initiatives and wellness programmes to boost your overall wellbeing.
1. The Xara Palace, Malta
This unique boutique hotel is set within a 17th-century palace in the medieval fortified city of Mdina, the old capital of Malta. This central Mediterranean archipelago in between Sicily and the North African coast is known for rich historic sites and idyllic beaches. The Xara Palace is the only hotel perched on centuries-old bastions, surrounded by stunning baroque architecture.
The 17 luxury rooms and suites have been meticulously and sensitively restored to reflect its former noble standing. The interiors are decked out in antique furniture, paintings, Parisian fabrics and king size beds. And all the rooms afford stunning views of the Maltese countryside.
In 2022, the hotel aims to give back with a range of innovative sustainability practices and guest experiences in a bid to become more conscious while encouraging others to do the same. Its new aquaponics system sees 40 per cent of the hotel’s on-site kitchen waste fed to insects, which are then fed to fish.
The nutrient-rich fish waste is used in a hydroponic system to grow quality ingredients which are incorporated in the menu of The de Mondion, the hotel’s one-Michelin-starred restaurant. This system helps to keep greenhouse gases in the food chain and out of the atmosphere, and contributes towards the hotel’s farm-to fork approach. At The de Mondion, diners can tuck into refined dishes such as Mediterranean red prawn with taco, fennel and dashi or local red snapper with shitake and lardo.
Find out more: The Xara Palace