The best castle and palace hotels in Europe to feel like royalty

Fancy living like royalty? We highlight extraordinary hotels housed in historic buildings in Austria, Malta, Switzerland and Scotland.

By Amy Van

Credit: Tourismus Salzburg GmbH

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.

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2. Glenapp Castle in Scotland

Credit: Glenapp Castle

Glenapp Castle is tucked away on the breath-taking Ayrshire coast, Scotland. The 21-bedroom luxurious Relais & Chateaux hotel is surrounded by lush woodlands. The Earl of Orkney, the founder of the estate, was an avid collector of trees and plant life.

In May 2021, the property launched its brand new castle penthouse apartment called The Endeavour by converting the hotel’s entire top floor into a luxurious space with four bedrooms and five bathrooms. There’s also a media room, library and games room, sauna, beauty and treatment room. The Endeavour has its own kitchen and private dining room for up to 16 guests, complete with a full butler service and private chef. Guests can book the whole floor of The Endeavour from £2,750 (S$4,400) in the winter months (November to March) and £3,950 (S$6,300) in the summer months (April to October).

Glenapp launched its new The Azalea Restaurant in May this year. Located within the Castle’s picturesque Walled Gardens is the original Victorian Mackenzie and Moncur Victorian Glasshouse, built in the late 1800s. There are five different areas for intimate dining: The Atrium is the heart of the Glasshouse; The May Stock Room is light, spacious with a botanical theme; The Fruit Room features fig and peach trees; The Vine Room houses 100-year-old vines that still produce grapes; and The Pond Room has a small pond for goldfish. Menu-wise, dishes incorporate herbs and vegetables like curry plants, the marigold leaves and rhubarb grown in the gardens, along with other local Scottish produce. Cocktails in the atrium bar room also use ingredients from the gardens.

For wellness buffs, Glenapp Castle is also organising a wellness retreat from 18 to 20 November. Digital detox programmes and yoga within the castle’s gardens are complemented by outdoor activities to reconnect with nature from foraging to forest bathing. Guests will enjoy a unique experience which includes guided meditation, mindfulness techniques, and a stroll into the estate’s woodland areas, to help them detach from their busy lives.

Find out more: Glenapp Castle

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