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PHOTO: Ireland's Ashford Castle. (Courtesy of Wiki Images)
They are rich, filled with mystery and make us believe in happily ever after. Just about everyone has dreamed of living in a castle and each of these five hotels intends to make that dream a reality.
Whether emulating a famous fairytale or preserving the steps of Henry VIII, the generous hospitality that can be found behind their majestic walls are nothing short of extraordinary. So if you've ever wanted to be treated like a noble, book a stay in any of the following hotels and prepare to have your royal desires fulfilled.
Ireland: Ashford Castle
In the midst of 350 acres of green hills is the Ashford Castle, you'll find a top-notch hotel that offers complete escapism bathed in historic Irish décor. Every guest is made to feel as grand as the legacy left behind by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family, who brought this magical castle to life when they commissioned its construction in 1228.
Since then the Ashford Castle has been passed from hand to hand which has resulted in the five star quality accommodations awaiting visitor today. To enjoy the hotel's Irish heritage to the max, book a stay in the Victorian Corrib Lake View room. It elegantly incorporates the castle's medieval style while implementing cutting-edge amenities like a high-tech TV system to shower its guests in the best of antiquity and modernity.
England: Thornbury Castle
If this castle was good enough to be the home of the third Duke of Birmingham, Edward Stafford, then it's certainly worth making that reservation for a much-needed vacation. Unfortunately, Stafford never got to step foot in his dream home because he was beheaded. But Henry VIII enjoyed it when he and Anne Boleyn retreated behind the castle's majestic walls on a 10-day honeymoon.
Now vacationers can too seek refuge and be catered to like a royal at Thornbury Castle, where they can unwind under the spell of its relaxing spa treatments from their comfy beds.
Germany: Sababurg Castle
It is no wonder why Sleeping Beauty was unable to be awakened from her deep slumber; and thankfully there's no need to flip through the pages of the story to be whisked away in dreamland like the princess. Surrounded by an enchanting lush landscape and filled with lavish amenities fit for a king or queen, the fairytale comes alive in more ways than one in the Sababurg Castle. Frequented by the Brothers Grimm, it wasn't long before its colossal towers and battlements became the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty's palace, which led to its claim to fame.
Even though the fortress continuously sits in antiquity, its rich heritage allows guests to waken anew with impressive views of Germany's peaceful countryside as well as the restaurant that is known to be as memorable as the castle. And in dramatic castle-like style, the sweeping staircase guides guests to their historically decorative chambers that intend to live up to their happily-ever-after reputation.
Italy: Castello delle Quattro Torra
Not only is the Castello delle Quattro Torre an impressive masterpiece on the outside, but inside this masterpiece transforms into a cozy bed and breakfast and apartment-style hotel immersed in Italian flair.
Surviving a tumultuous past, the castle rises over a field of olive groves stronger than ever in a restored state that still honors its classic appearance with turrets and fortifications that also provide a glimpse into the lifestyle of Italy's blue-blooded lineage.
France: Chateau d' Esclimont
No visit to France is complete without a castle or two commanding one's attention. So why not kick the experience up a couple notches by exploring its French charm while feeling like a royal guest? The Chateau d' Esclimont, for instance, has all the makings to make its visitors feel like an aristocrat.
For one, its beautifully decorative rooms are accentuated with impressive views of its surrounding picturesque garden. And besides its décor that flaunts steeples and balconies that appear to have fallen straight out of a fairytale, its perfect location between Paris and Versailles makes it a dream come true for every traveler who wishes to be king or queen if only for a day.
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