5 Enchanting Castle Hotels For A Fairy-Tale Stay

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

Set within glorious estates, steeped in history and splendor, there are few places that feel quite as opulent to lay your head than a towering, turreted castle – especially when it’s been reimagined into an elegant hotel. Here are five of the most whimsical castles to escape to this season. By KATIE BERRINGTON

Whether you want to wine and dine or hit the spa, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel delivers five-star facilities for a whimsical weekend

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St Moritz, Switzerland

In the soaring spectacle of St Moritz, Badrutt’s Palace towers as a glimmering beacon among the mountain peaks. The legendary hotel, dating back to 1896, is as show-stopping in the summer months as it is in the winter, but it does possess a particular magic when the roof is dusted with snow. Inside, elegant decor and impeccable service swaddle guests in their sumptuous rooms and suites, with cinematic vistas of the lake and village par for the course. The most incredible views, however, can be soaked up from the indoor infinity pool – a highlight of the Palace Wellness spa. Inside, you’ll also find a plethora of restaurants and bars, with the Michelin-starred Jordnær bringing Nordic fine dining to the venue for a winter residency this season. Outdoors, there are, of course, alpine adventures aplenty, from the iconic ski resort to ice skating and skijoring – skiing or snowboarding while being pulled by a horse, naturally.

Recently renovated, Castle Elvira oozes a storied sophistication that spills out into the grounds’ citrus and olive groves

Castle Elvira, Puglia, Italy

Built in the early 20th century, Castle Elvira might not be the oldest of estates on the list, but it certainly has a storied past. It was abandoned more than 100 years ago, left to languish in the Pugliese countryside following a rumored family tragedy. In recent years though a restoration has brought the beautiful property into a bold and vibrant new era, revived as an intimate boutique hotel sleeping 12 guests across six suites. Now, frescoed ceilings and checkerboard tiling sit above and below the eye-catching decor – from color-pop velvet headboards to carved-marble bathtubs. The grounds are filled with citrus and olive groves, as well as landscaped gardens – one of which features a glorious infinity pool surrounded by oversized sunloungers (to which the cocktail cart can be summoned). The best views can be enjoyed with an apéritif on the roof terrace, while indoors there are two dining rooms, a piano bar, private salons, lounges, and a cinema.

Elegant suites, modern wellness spaces, and cozy corners by a roaring fire await guests at Adare Manor

Adare Manor, County Limerick, Ireland

Located in picturesque Limerick, the magnificent Adare Manor dates back to the 19th century and has been reimagined into a glorious countryside retreat. Meticulous renovations to the 842-acre estate in recent years have resulted in the delivery of a fabulous 42-bedroom wing, four restaurants (including Michelin-starred The Oak Room), state-of-the-art fitness and wellness facilities – including Ireland’s first 111Skin spa – plus a championship golf course and new padel club. The bedrooms are individually designed, too, with vast, enveloping beds and grand marble bathrooms to indulge in.

Stylish interiors and exquisite sunsets are signatures of a Suryagarh stay

Suryagarh, Jaisalmer, India

The awe-inspiring fort retreat of Suryagarh sits in ‘the golden city’ of Jaisalmer, a Unesco world heritage site in the state of Rajasthan. The dreamy honey-hued sandstone walls provide an entry point to Thar, the Great Indian Desert, where guests can explore the remarkable landscape with the expertise of hotel guides. Unparalleled sunsets can be marveled from the splendor of the hotel’s rooms, which fuse tradition with modern detailing, and the mesmerizing colonnaded havelis are set within courtyards that boast private pools. The hotel is also a member of Beyond Green, with sustainability initiatives including an on-site solar park for generating solar energy, commitments to preserving the area’s natural heritage, and programs that support local education and women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship and equality.

A 13th-century chateau, Domaine des Etangs delivers acres of forest walks and lashings of character

Domaine des Etangs, Massignac, France

A charming 13th-century chateau surrounded by 2,500 forested acres in the Charente region, Domaine des Etangs – part of the Auberge Resorts Collection – is immersed in French history. It has transformed from a fiefdom of knights to a private family castle, and, now, a luxurious retreat. An immaculate restoration of the ancient site pays homage to its past while also imbuing it with a contemporary, artistic spirit. Guests can appreciate the renowned art gallery on site, for example, as well as the Michelin-starred restaurant, Dyades. Meanwhile, a beautiful wellness space born out of the old mill building, a floating tennis court, and a thermal baths pool house also await.