Before heading out on that “Game of Thrones” fantasy trip, consider these top 10 castle hotels, based on reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Old world elegance and rustic royal arrangements can be found for rates starting at less than $200 a night during the remaining months of 2015, according to this curation.
1. Fonab Castle Hotel – Pitlochry, Scotland
Located on the banks of Loch Faskally in the heart of Perthshire, this charming castle was transformed by the Clark family into a 26-room luxury hotel. Guests can experience the original “Classic Castle Rooms” or relax in one of the modern “Woodland Rooms” that offer spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. “Tucked away, this hotel offers solitude and warmth; the grounds are rich, green, and tranquil. As lovely as the property is, the staff makes it superior,” says a reviewer. Most affordable month: November, average nightly rate – $378
2. Castle Hotel Auf Schoenburg – Oberwesel, Germany
In 1689, this magnificent castle was burned down by French soldiers and remained in ruins until its restoration in 1914. Decades later, the Hüttl family established this pristine, 24-room hotel within the property that now welcomes travelers from around the world. Guests are invited to unwind in the lounge, or stroll through the expansive, lush gardens that overlook the Rhine River.
Most affordable month: December, average nightly rate – $174
3.Hotel Castello di Sinio – Sinio, Italy
Built by Marchesi Del Carretto in 1142, Castello di Sinio is located between the Barolo and Barbaresco wine regions. Travelers can experience a modern-day fortress during a stay at this exquisite hotel that offers nine suites and five rooms. A reviewer noted, “Our room was a true oasis of beauty, charm and tasteful decor. The two room/two bath suite provided every amenity, including big bright windows with colorful flowers and stunning views of the surroundings.”
Most affordable month: December, average nightly rate – $260
4. Castello di Petroia – Gubbio, Italy
Known as the birthplace of Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, Castello di Petroia is now an impressive hotel with rooms that feature antique furnishings, exposed beam ceilings, 18th century paintings and stunning views of the Umbrian hillside. The castle itself has maintained its original beauty and authenticity with boutique rooms tastefully decorated with antique furniture,” say published comments.
Most affordable month: November, average nightly rate – $153
5.Castello di Monterone – Perugia, Italy
Originally established as a military base, this 13th century masterpiece now operates as a premier hotel boasting 18 rooms that feature modern amenities with medieval style. Guests will be delighted by the relaxing lounge bar, outdoor swimming pool, and tranquil Turkish bath.
Most affordable month to book: November, average nightly rate – $135
6. Rowton Castle – Shropshire, England
Located in the Shropshire countryside, the 800 year-old Rowton Castle is seated on 17 acres of land making it the perfect retreat. Travelers are invited to stay in one of 19 lavish guest rooms that offer jaw-dropping vistas of the surrounding gardens. It’s seen as a marvelous hotel contained within a beautifully restored small castle with plenty of character, in a setting of manicured lawns and flower beds.
Most affordable months to book: November and December, average nightly rate – $124
7. Castle in Clarens – Clarens, South Africa
Referred to as “Rapunzel’s Tower,” this property resembles a medieval manor and allows travelers to live like royalty. Offering three levels, the ground floor comes with a lounge complete with a fireplace and the Prince’s guestroom; while the middle floor features a kitchen that includes breakfast upon request. On the top floor, guests will find the Princess bedroom, boasting a four-post bed and stone bath. Described as “A true fairy tale experience. Every piece of furniture and artwork were carefully selected to fit the theme and provide royal comfort!”
Most affordable month: November, average knightly rate – $155
8.Chateau Heralec – Boutique Hotel & Spa by L’OCCITANE – Heralec, Czech Republic
Situated in the Vysočina region of the Czech Republic, this 13th century treasure is now a stately hotel that boasts nearly 20 luxurious guest rooms. The largest suite, named after one of the most powerful Czech families, features wooden ceilings, a mosaic floor, and a special hand-crafted mirror. A reviewer commented, “The chateau has been beautifully restored and decorated in a modern style that fits so well with the building. The attention to detail was fantastic, and the atmosphere was pure, calm and relaxing.”
Most affordable month: December, average nightly rate – $219
9. Ashford Castle – Cong, Ireland
Overlooking Lough Corrib, this Irish castle was founded in 1228, by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family. Today, travelers can stay in one of 82 opulent rooms that are outfitted with antique rosewood furniture, custom carpets, and bespoke beds complete with Egyptian cotton linens.
Most affordable month to book: November, average nightly rate – $270
10. Castle Durrow – County Laois, Ireland
Built in the early 1700s by Colonel William Flower, Castle Durrow boasts pre-Palladian design and sprawling gardens that represent 18th century architecture. Whether guests opt for the premier “Oriental Style Bedrooms” or one of the “Master Rooms,” they will be surrounded by luxurious bliss.
Most affordable months to book: November and December, average nightly rate – $195