10 ancient castles, where you can live and now
The dream to live in a medieval castle in the XXI century is not so unattainable. Today in the world there are hundreds of old buildings, converted into luxury hotels. The best of them - in our review.
The whisper of ghosts and the sounds of battle could 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 many owners and withstand many sieges. The original castle building was built by the Moors on the turn of the VII-VIII centuries. In the XII century the castle was in the possession of King Alfonso VIII, as later became home to the Marquis de Vilhena, and after him - and writer Don Juan Manuel. Today, the castle Alarcón 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 located in the main tower and a modest size are different in each - only a small viewing window. Alarkonskogo Great Hall of the castle serves as the dining room, whose walls are decorated with armor and 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 took the ambassadors from the Vatican and members of noble families, and in the XX century mansion was turned into a hotel. It took a little time to the hotel has become famous and they started to stop high-ranking guests. Among the honored guests were Gritti Palace, Winston Churchill, Graham Greene, Andre Malraux, Igor and Vera Stravinsky, 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 in Venice." Royal with fine hand painted, stained, Mosaic, luxury carpets create surprising atmosphere old Venice. But the main thing, of course - the scenery outside the window.
Location: Marrakech, Morocco
The fabulous Marrakech, though descended from the pages of "A Thousand and One Nights", it 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 of ocher, part of which was built in the early XII century. Royal Mansour called the city within a city, and it is no coincidence. The hotel was built in compliance with the canons of the classic design of residential architecture of the Maghreb, and is an individual riads, houses, buried in greenery Moorish gardens. The walls of the premises are covered by a traditional Moroccan plaster and decorated with fancy ornaments thin. And the furniture is exotic "cocktail" of several cultural layers: Moorish, Arabic, Berber and European. The Royal Mansour harmoniously the 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 a considerable number of ancient castles. Total in the country trefoil has about 2,000 objects of medieval heritage: from the watchtowers to the full, well-preserved ancient buildings, many of which have turned into luxurious hotels today. 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 Donaghy due to financial difficulties, was forced to sell the castle. The new owner was an American Bernard McDonagh, paid for future luxury hotel is £ 66 000. Today, Dromoland is considered one of the best hotels in Ireland. The majestic castle, the interior of which is 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
Austria Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa, has repeatedly find themselves in the list of the best European hotels locks according to the American Conde Nast Traveller, chosen by 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 the hunting residence of the Archbishop of Salzburg. And in the early 1950s it 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 retains all the attributes of a luxury residence. The hotel has its own art collection, assembled with the support of the Munich gallery Bernheimer Fine Old Masters, as well as the collection of personal belongings of the Empress Elizabeth of Bavaria. Among other things, Schloss Fuschl - the only hotel in Europe that provides guests a unique opportunity to ride on any car from his collection.
Castello di Casole
Location: Tuscany, Italy
One of the most "anticipated" hotel opened last year in the Italian Tuscany. Five-star hotel Castello di Casole located in the ancient castle of the X century, tucked away among 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, whose walls 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 a hotel. The restoration lasted seven years, during which the stone ruins have become a first-class boutique hotel. The hotel has 41 rooms, each decorated with medieval materials and antiques, which were found during excavations on the territory of the estate. If guests suddenly bored idyllic surrounding landscape, although this is unlikely to happen, from Castello di Casole in 20 minutes you can reach Siena, and a 45 - to Florence.
Ananda in the Himalayas
Location: State of Uttarakhand, India
It is believed that the Himalayas have mystical powers. It is here, at their feet, on the banks of the sacred river Ganges is located one of the best in the world of Ananda in the Himalayas, Spa Hotel, which boasts not only a world-class body treatments and individual yoga classes, but also for its history. Five-star hotel occupies a palace, which previously served as the residence of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal. Locals believe that the beneficial aura of spiritual guide ruler is still present in these places. Hotel Ananda in the Himalayas stopped members of the royal family at different times and prominent politicians, including Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. As before, and now here guests have a truly 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 - the city castle, famous far beyond the borders of France. Since the beginning of the last century it was chosen by European nobility who like the local scenery and unhurried pace of life and filmmakers often chose the city as a backdrop for filming. Today in Carcassonne, you can not just wander around the castle 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 completely closed. the hotel's second life began a few years later, when he once again earned under the guidance of a local businessman. Today, Hotel de la Cite is considered one of the best castle hotel 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 km from London, it affects the privacy and tranquility. The first mention of the buildings in these areas date back to the year 1100, and the emergence of the castle dates from the middle of the XVI century. Amberley Castle in its history, was replaced by several owners, and took monarchs. So, at the end of the XVI century and until 1749 the castle rented the English crown. It is believed that in these years here twice stopped by King Charles II. Until recently, only a few managed to see hidden behind the walls of the castle treasures. But in 1988 Amberley Castle became the owners Joy and Martin Cummings, who turned it into a luxury hotel. The Hotel has 19 furnished rooms with antique furniture genuine. Among the guests already there are those who return again and again.
Pousada de Obidos
Location: Obidos, Portugal
Fashion on the adaptation of ancient castles in expensive hotels are not spared and Portugal. And for the hotels located in historical buildings here have even invented a special term. Locks hotels that retain their original flavor, 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 Obidos Castle, which is considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal. Magnificent structure was built in the XII century, however, after six centuries, it was partially destroyed by an earthquake, and then the attacks of Napoleon's troops. Castle remained abandoned until 1932, has not yet started its reconstruction. And in 1951, the hotel was opened here. By the way, if you decide to get out of the castle for a short while, then be sure to try the liqueur in Obidos "ginjinha". It is served in small chocolate glasses, which need to drink to have a snack.