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Great Castle Hotels
Castles are the ultimate in accommodation, and you don't have to be a noble lord to spend time in one. There are many real, ancient castles out there that have been turned into tourist accommodations, giving you the chance to spend the night in very luxurious and historical surroundings.
Given the nature of history, you'll really only find true castle hotels in the UK and around Europe. You may be surprised to find that they are not that rare a feature in the countryside. There are many castles that you can visit and stay at.
Castle Stuart is certainly a step beyond your typical hotel. This is a 17th century Scottish castle, complete with turrets and suits of armor. But it is also well known to be haunted. There have been reports of unexplained screams and icy touches all over the castle, but the upper bedroom of the East Tower is the most haunted spot of all. There are only 8 guest bedrooms in the castle, and the rates start at £390 per night (that's approximately $790US). If you wish to play Lord of the Manor, you can rent the entire castle for £2950 per night. Castle Stuart is near the city of Inverness and only 20 minutes away from the famed Loch Ness. Also nearby is the haunted battlefield of Culloden Moor.
The atmosphere may be casual, but the rooms are nothing less than stunning. And they don't forget the little touches, like chocolates and sherry in your room. Historically, it's not as old as some castles, as it was built a short time ago in 1841 as an expansive country home. There are 10 guestrooms at Augill Castle, with rooms starting at a very reasonable £140 per night, and as with most castles, you can rent the entire building if you have a group. You'll find this castle in the beautiful North Pennines region, nearby to historic Hadrian's Wall and only a 2-hour drive from the busy city of Manchester.
A luxurious accommodation, that also has full day-spa facilities. The original castle dates back to the 14th century, but was burned in 1488 in an act of political rebellion. The property changed hands a number of times and has since been rebuilt and refurbished to create the hotel that stands today. Airth Castle is a much larger hotel then most castles, with more than 100 guest rooms. Room rates vary through the seasons, but the rooms usually start at around £160 per night. It will cost a bit more if you want a gorgeous 4-poster bed. Airth is a Scottish castle, on the river Forth. Edinburgh is only 45 minutes away
While technically a chateau and not a castle, I'm sure you'll find that this hotel is no less dramatic. The building was originally a lookout tower in the 12th century, but was expanded to create a residence for French nobles. The views in the Auvergne region are amazing, with volcanic mountains throughout. It's a historic area, with more than 50 other castles and 500 churches for you to visit and explore. A room will cost you around 350 Euros.
My final choice here is not one specific castle, but a large group of luxury hotels in England, Scotland, Wales and France. Not all hotels in the von Essen group are castles, but each one is still an outstanding location (some are estates or country houses). Castles worth checking out would be Dalhousie Castle, Amberley Castle, and Thornbury Castle. You'll have to visit the site of each castle to see what each one has to offer, including locations and room prices. Be prepared to spend several hundred dollars a night.