Who hasn’t imagined spending their honeymoon in a castle? While it may sound like a fantasy, these incredible castles will allow you to experience the ultimate honeymoon dream in real life.
Ashford Castle – Cong, Mayo, Ireland (Prices & Photos)
One of the world’s most spectacular castles, Ashford was built nearly eight centuries ago. It was transformed into a luxury hotel in the 1930’s, shortly after Ernest Guinness sold the estate to the Irish government. This magnificent hotel lies across a sprawling, 350-acre estate overlooking the sparkling blue waters of Lough Corrib, surrounded by lush forest, and is especially popular for romantic stays, including honeymoons. The 80+ rooms and suites include lavish amenities, particularly in the staterooms that are located in the oldest part of the castle which date back to the 13th century. They boast original fireplaces and claw-foot bathtubs.
Hotel Schloss Mönchstein – Salzburg, Austria (Prices & Photos)
Castle Mönchstein dramatically rises above the center of picturesque Salzburg at the north end of a large city park. It was first documented in 1350 AD as the Tetelheimer Tower, built by archbishops, until it became the estate for St. Peter’s monastery in 1654, for “educated professors” to “recover from difficult mental work.” It was transformed into a hotel in 1948 and features 11 double rooms and 13 suites. The unique exterior features towers and step gables covered by clinging ivy, while the elegant, refined interiors reflect attention to detail with priceless antiques and hand-selected materials like leaded windows, crystal chandeliers and Oriental carpets. The castle also boasts a recently opened spa with a steam bath and a sauna, as well as an extensive menu of massage, beauty and spa treatments, while the onsite restaurant serves traditional Austrian cuisine, international dishes and an extensive selection of fine wines along with awe-inspiring views of Salzburg from its terrace.
Dromoland Castle – County Clare, Ireland (Prices & Photos)
Often referred to as the “hotel of dreams,” Dromoland Castle Hotel dates all the way back to the 5th century, though it was transformed into a hotel just a little over a half-century ago. This upscale, ultra-luxurious hotel offers the chance to live like royalty as the ancestral home of one of the few true Irish royals – direct descendants of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland from 1002 to 1014. The moment you and your new spouse step onto the meticulously-groomed 375-acre estate, you’ll feel like royalty yourself. The façade and towers, added in the 1830s, are reminiscent of knights and dragoons, while rooms feature elegant touches throughout. In addition to 5-star accommodations, guests will find a wealth of fresh, locally sourced produce and an extensive array of dining options, as well as a spa, golf course, award-winning falconry school and the opportunities for fun activities like horse riding, fishing, clay shooting and archery.
Ackergill Tower – Caithness, Scotland (Prices & Photos)
Ackgergill Tower is tucked within the heart of the breathtaking Scottish highlands. Known as one of the most exclusive castles on the planet, it sits at the edge of the sea, adjacent to tranquil countryside. Guests can enjoy sipping whisky on the castle’s private beach and exploring miles of gorgeous coastline. Over the centuries, members of royalty and all types of celebrities have called Ackergill home, and at least a few are said to have lingered, so if you’re the type of couple who is fascinated by the paranormal, that’s sure to add an interesting twist to your dream honeymoon. If you’d like a chance to glimpse one of the reported spirits, while enjoying the ultimate in high-end facilities at the same time, you’ll have your choice of five B&B style cottages as well as 35 luxurious bedrooms, including tower rooms.
Pousada de Obidos, Portugal (Prices & Photos)
Castle Obidos, one of the 7 wonders of Portugal, sits within the city walls of Obidos. It was originally built by the Moors in 713, but has gone through multiple transformations throughout the years, including being remodeled in the late 13th/early 14th century, while the keep was built about a century later. By the 1900s’, it was in ruin, but the government repaired it, maintaining much of its unique medieval design, and converting it into one of Portugal’s finest hotels. It was one of the first to become a pousada, a traditional Portuguese hotel, and offers an especially intimate experience with just nine rooms. While you’ll need to book well in advance, when you arrive, you’ll find the ultimate medieval romance, especially when you step outside and discover floodlit walls and narrow alleys that glow in the moonlight.
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel – Clifden, Ireland (Prices & Photos)
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel was built in 1932, and while it’s younger than most castles, it’s no less magnificent. It enjoys a setting among picturesque gardens in the heart of Connemara’s Twelve Bens, providing jaw-dropping views overlooking the town of Clifden along with understated elegance, peace and tranquility. Abbeyglen is renowned for its luxurious accommodations that include four-poster beds, fireplaces, Jacuzzis and an award-winning restaurant featuring the best local seafood and Connemara lamb. Guests also enjoy a fun welcome reception that includes 30 minutes of continually flowing champagne, as well as evening entertainment.
Kincraig Castle Hotel – Invergordon, Scotland (Prices & Photos)
Kincraig started out as a late-period sandstone castle before ultimately being transformed into a Scottish baronial house in the early 20th century. Today it offers one of the most romantic places for a honeymoon in Scotland, in the Inverness area, just a short jaunt from the city, yet entirely secluded on private grounds. The manor provides stunning views overlooking the Cromarty Firth and is considered to be a hidden treasure by many. Rooms boast four-poster beds and lovely vistas across the firth, while the in-house candlelit restaurant is renowned as one of the best in the area. Guests can also take advantage of the complimentary dram of Dalmore single malt whisky upon check-in.
Chateau de Bagnols – Lyon, France (Prices & Photos)
Chateau de Bagnols is everything you’d find in your ultimate castle fantasy. It comes complete with a drawbridge, moat and towers with cruciform arrow holes, plus it’s surrounded by lush vineyards, dense forests and emerald hills in the heart of the Beaujolais countryside. It’s also a very elegant five-star hotel with lavish interiors, featuring 21 rooms and eight apartments that are all uniquely decorated with antiques and works of art. The chateau dates from the 13th century, and is also one of the major historic monuments in France. It was discovered nearly 30 years ago in a derelict state by Lady Hamlyn, who painstakingly restored the chateau to its former glory, revealing Renaissance wall and ceiling paintings created during its finest period when nearby Lyon was one of Europe’s great Renaissance cities.
Glengorm Castle – Isle of Mull, Scotland (Prices & Photos)
Glengorm Castle sits on the northern tip of the Isle of Mull. It offers an ideal base for enjoy scenic walks together hand-in-hand, as well as unforgettable views of Ardnamurchan and the Sound of Mull. If it gets chilly out, enjoy cozying up together by the roaring fire in the main hall, which also includes comfy overstuffed sofas and the family’s 20th-century art collection. There’s even complimentary whisky in the library, stocked with an incredible amount of reading material, along with an open fire. The Brontë-esque structure of turrets and towers consists of charming guest cottages, flats and B&B rooms, all set across a sprawling 5,000-acre estate with highland cattle and blackface sheep, surrounded by moorland, clifftops and picture-perfect beaches that are home to eagles, otters and orchids.
Thornewood Castle Inn & Gardens, Lakewood, Washington (Prices & Photos)
This 500-year-old Elizabethan manor house was dismantled brick-by-brick before being shipped all the way around Cape Horn to be incorporated into this stunning English Tudor Gothic castle that’s stood on the banks of American Lake in Washington State for more than a century. The property was a gift from Chester Thorne, one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma, to his wife Anna. The 54-room castle is not only a popular wedding venue, but it’s the perfect luxury B&B for a honeymoon. It also happened to be used as the setting for Stephen King’s television miniseries, “Rose Red.”