Reigning Hotels: Match Your Lavish First Class Flight With Regal European Castle Hotels
Creating a royal holiday is more than simply booking first class seats, scheduling a modern five-star hotel and zipping around town in a chauffered car. The ultimate regal vacation includes a luxury stay in some of Europe's most exclusive castles, chateaux and palaces.
Ashford Castle, Ireland
Sculpted gardens, a lakeside setting, impressive turrets and a long, storied history make the 13th-century Ashford Castle a glorious experience. The castle interior is majestic with richly paneled walls, sparkling chandeliers, 68 lovingly restored guest rooms and 14 lavish staterooms and suites. Home to the oldest falconry school in Ireland, the castle still entertains guests with falconry experiences as well as charter luxury cruises, clay shooting, golf, tennis, cycling, equestrian activities and kayaking. The on-site spa helps guests relax after a busy, active day on the 350-acre castle estate.
Swinton Park, England
No country castle is complete without ivy-covered turrets, sheep grazing on the verdant grounds and swans gliding through the castle lake, and Swinton has them all. Guests are content to stay on-site throughout their stay, enjoying luscious spa treatments, classes at the castle's cookery school and savoring themed dining events. There's also falconry, a walled garden and a Druid Temple for guests to explore. The 20,000-acre estate is bordered by 200 acres of wooded parkland so guests have plenty of space to fly a kite, hike, shoot, ride horses, golf and fish.
Chateau de Bagnols, Lyon, France
After a rejuvenating stay at one of the U.K. castles, we recommend you take a last minute business class flight to France to explore the country’s incredible chateaux.
While most travelers may flock to the Loire Valley chateaux, discerning travelers head to Beaujolais and Chateau de Bagnols. A medieval drawbridge and moat still protect the chateau's plentiful antiques and objets d'art, giving guests the true essence of the high life in a 13th-century French castle. Even with its opulent, historic furnishings, the chateau still makes room for modern amenities and services, including a swimming pool and three- and five-course meals at the chateau's elegant restaurant.
Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul
An entirely different experience is found in Ciragan Palace, named Europe's Leading Hotel by the World Travel Awards. The palace's cosmopolitan setting only enhances its appeal, giving guests incredible views of the Bosphorus and city lights. Palm trees flank the palace and its immense infinity pool, adding to the hotel's unique ambiance. Guests revel in luxury on-site spa services, a fully equipped fitness center, a shopping arcade, a salon and delectable fine dining.
Of course, it's always lovely to let yourself be whisked away on last minute first class flights to stunning locales, but it's even better when you immerse yourself in the luxurious and historic palaces of the region. We hope you explore some of these incredible properties so you can create your own majestic holiday.