Top Secret! 12 of the Most Romantic Medieval Castle Hotels - N° 12 Saaleck Castle
Psst! Don’t tell anybody, but there are still authentic romantic medieval castles that you can spend the night in, just like in a Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty fairytale. No, we’re not talking about Disneyworld or that German castle poster, but the real thing! Most of them are insider secrets your travel agent doesn’t even know about. If you’ve always dreamed about finding out what it would be like to stay in a real romantic castle, here is one of the Top 12 Most Romantic Castles that could make your dreams come true.
No. 12: Saaleck Castle
Driving to Saaleck Castle on the B27 is like turning a history book back a few chapters. It’s easy to get that mysterious feeling like Johnny Depp had in the film, “The Ninth Gate” as he drove toward the castle.
Saaleck is, indeed, a mysterious little castle located in Bavaria, Germany next to the picturesque town of Hammelburg in the Rhön Mountains. Experts believe the castle was already here when the Romans came, and they’re not really sure how old the tower is. The castle halls, in which the hotel is now located, were built in the 13th century in typical Frankish Romanic style. Like most medieval castles, this one is small but cozy enough to host a real gem of a hotel and restaurant. While there is no museum in the castle, the tower is open to hotel and restaurant guests for a 360° view of the beautiful Franconian wine region.
How Do I Find It?
Saaleck Castle Hotel
What Are The Accommodations Like?
The motto of this hotel is “Inhaling a little history”, and that’s exactly what this hotel offers. Typical medieval castle – on the outside “meh”; on the inside “Oh WOW!” From the very moment you walk over the threshold, you’ll be astounded, as if you have walked back into history. Careful attention has been giving to the décor with its hand-carved medieval-style wooden panelling, refurbished antique furniture, tasteful historical paintings and quiet ambience. While many castles pride themselves of looking medieval on the outside, yet look like non-descript airport lounges on the inside, you’ll be treated to a hotel room with one-of-a-kind carefully-restored antique furnishings, guaranteed to give any guest the chance to feel like royalty. Naturally, the hotel rooms include a few room-comfort amenities, such as bathrooms, room phone, and television. Pets are welcome. Since it's a small family hotel they only have 13 double rooms and one single room. Reservations are highly recommended.
Want to take a closer look inside the castle?
Click here to see Mark Simon's beautiful 360° room-for-room picture tour of Saaleck Castle Hotel.
How Much Do Accommodations Cost in Comparison?
Type of Accommodation
Basic Guesthouse in Hammelburg
Top Hotel in Hammelburg
Romantic Package Deals & Events at Saaleck Castle
Your castle host and chef, Ewald Hupp, hosts a special theme dinner each month. You can take a peek of what he has scheduled here.
They also do weddings – everything from catering, down to the photographer and the priest. You can inquire about that here.
If you would like a special romantic arrangement, the hotel offers this romantic castle weekend deal for 212.50 € per person – 125.00 € per person if you just want to stay one night:
- Romantic Hotel Room for Friday & Saturday
- Welcome drinks when you arrive on Friday afternoon
- 4-course dinner including aperitifs & house wine on Friday
- Breakfast buffet on Saturday & Sunday morning
- Afternoon coffee & homemade cake on Saturday afternoon
- 6-course candlelight dinner including aperitifs & house wine on Saturday
What is the Restaurant Like?
TIP: If you didn’t book a romantic weekend deal, please be sure to make a table reservation – especially on the weekend, because this restaurant is very popular with the locals.
Saaleck Castle hotel & restaurant are both operated by Mr. Ewald Hupp, who takes as much pride in his castle as he does with his kitchen. His specialty is Franconian cuisine; a kind of cuisine that has allowed many top German chefs to win gold medals in international competitions. Saaleck Castle is in the heart of Franconia, which is just as famous for its wines as the Rhine region is. Almost everything on Ewald’s menu is refined with a dash Franconian wine, which makes it all melt-in-your-mouth delicious. He only offers regional food, save American beef. The fish brought to your table are catch-of-the-day from the Saale River below the castle and are not available in any supermarket. On occasion he will offer roasted Rhoen lamb, a lamb so prized by Napoleon Bonaparte, that he dubbed it the “Queen of Lambs”.
If your tastes run more exotic, you might want to sample the catch of the day from the local huntsmen, be it wild boar, venison or hare – depending on the season. Because the restaurant is family-run, it has limited opening hours and offers only a few select dishes. Ewald insists on only the best quality food, regional and fresh – something you will notice when you take your first forkful. For this reason, you won’t find a published menu on the internet. Every day is a fresh creation for castle restaurant guests. For vegetarians there always at least one high-quality dish on his daily menu. Naturally, the wine is Franconian – which has its own unique character. Whereas the Rhine wines tend to taste crisp, the Franconian wines have a more earthy taste. The wines naturally are from local wineries. In the summer months you can sit outside in the beer garden, and on weekends they also offer coffee, tea, cake & ice cream.
Discover the Rhön Mountains
Saaleck Castle is in the Rhön Mountains, which is the 3rd largest forest in Germany after the Bavarian Forest and the Black Forest. The entire region has been declared a UNESCO Biotope Reservation. If you enjoy hiking or cycling and nature, you came to the right place. You may like to try the national pastime, “Nordic Walking”, which is a lot like cross country skiing, but without skis. If you’re more into Mountain Biking or would rather take it easy on an e-bike tour to a local winery, the Hammelburg Tourist Center can help you with find the right bike to rent or day-hiking equipment to buy.
Love Boat on the Saale River
How about a romantic paddle trip down the Saale River with a picknick lunch? The Hammelburg Tourist Center can help you book a tour in kayaks or a canoe down the shallow quiet Saale River, a joy on any lazy summer day. Kayak rental is 30-35 € per day; canoes for 40 € per day.
Guided Wine Tour of Hammelburg, the Oldest Wine Town in Franconia
History always tastes better with a glass of good wine. If you would like to join others (min. group size: 15 persons) for a guided walking tour with wine, please contact the Hammelburg Tourist Center. The guided wine tours cost 20 € per person; the guided gourmet tours cost 65 € a group for up to 25 persons and a 3 € surcharge for the wine.
Romantic Getaway at the Spa
If chilling out in the Spa is more your idea of a romantic vacation, the nearby town of Bad Kissingen has a retreat-treat in store for you. Book a Honeymoon Day for Two at the KissSalis Therme SpaWorld, starting at 169 €. It includes:
- 2 all-day tickets for the SpaWorld and the SaunaPark
- 2 aromatic oil massages
- A Romeo & Juliet Golden Imperial Bath Treatment
- 3-course menu for two in the KissSalis Therme restaurant.
For the Adventurous - Hot Air Balloon Excursion
How about a romantic tour in a hot air balloon over the Bavarian Rhön? For Thrillseekers who are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, you might want to consider booking a balloon tour. The tours have to be pre-booked here, and you would have to drive a short 40 km to Schweinfurt, but it would be a trip to remember. Hot air balloon trips with Bernhard’s Balloons start at 185 € per person for a 90-minute trip.
Give Me Grandeur
Are you in love with castles & palaces and you just can’t get enough of them? Then you won’t want to miss nearby Würzburg, and it’s magnificent Würzburg Residence Palace, once the residence of Prince Bishop of Würzburg, but now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A tour of the palace cost just 7.50 €, and it is guaranteed one of architectural and art wonders in Baroque / Rococo style in the world. Price includes a guided tour of the palace, access to the gardens and the adjacent church.