Live like the kings and queens of old in these five wonderfully luxurious castle hotels. A rich and exciting history, ornate interiors and medieval magic, with the just right amount of modern luxury, awaits for those seeking something a little different. Are you ready to feel like royalty?

Image courtesy of Audley Travel

1. Inverlochy Castle, Scotland

Glens, lochs and Highland mountains, there is nowhere so magical and alluring as Scotland. Found amongst the West Highlands lies the magnificent 19th century castle known as Inverlochy Castle. After more than 100 years as a private residence the castle gates are open to those eager to stay in one of the  castles luxurious individually designed suites. The suites and dining areas are all furnished to perfection with several pieces gifts from the King of Norway. With a Michelin star up their sleeve, many drive several hours to Inverlochy Castle to just satisfy their tastebuds. Views of the grounds, surrounding mountains and fairytale waterfalls are sure to take your breath away.

2. Château de Bagnols, France

Moats, towering walls, formal gardens and Roman baths, it’s of little wonder Château de Bagnols is known as one of the most stunning châteaux in France. Only an hour from Lyon, Château de Bagnols boasts 22 rooms and apartments, designed with many original 17th and 18th century furnishings. Guests have the option to choose the style of suite they desire during their stay. The Castle suites feature ornate frescos and antique furnishings, the Garden suites are filled with vibrant garden views and enticing fragrances and the Chai suites are contemporarily designed with stunning curved lines and a pastel palette. A perfect balance of old world glamour and contemporary French elegance.

3. Taj Lake Palace, India

For something a little different, why not stay in a floating marble palace. Taj Lake Palace, found on the waters of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India, truly is something out of a dream. Originally the pleasure palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II, Taj Lake Palace has been restored to a level of unparalleled beauty and luxury. Built in 1746, the island palace hosts 66 luxury rooms and 17 grand suites with each room boasting spectacular views of City Palace, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills or Jag Mandir. Bond fans will recognise the Taj Lake Palace as one of the locations ‘Octopussy’ was filmed in in 1983. Known for its filming prowess and one of the most romantic hotels in the world, Taj Lake Palace is a destination not to be missed.

Image courtesy of Taj Hotels

4. Ashford Castle, Ireland

Once the home of the Guinness family, Ashford Castle, is a favourite amongst royals and celebrities. The 13th century, 350-acre Irish estate is found upon the shores of Lough Corrib. Part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, Ashford Castle offers refined luxury to its guests. With 82 rooms, suites and the Hideaway Cottage to choose from, 100-hectares of woodland to explore and unrivalled service  to experience, a stay at Ashford Castle will not disappoint. Dating back to 1228, there is plenty of history to be found both in and outside the walls of Ashford Castle. For the history enthusiast or simply those keen to admire the exquisite interiors, remarkable antique furnishings and the stunning woodland surroundings, there is no better place.

5. Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron, Austria

Feel like you’re “sixteen going on seventeen” at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron in Austria. The hotel is known as one of the filming locations for renowned  musical ‘The Sound of Music’, in particular the scene of Liesl and Rolf  singing and dancing in a white pavilion. Located within 17 acre park just outside the Old Town of Salzburg, the 18th century estate has 55 rooms in the nearby Meierhof as well as 12 historic suites found inside the castle walls. Guests wishing to bring their dogs with them are welcome (EUR 20.00 is charged per dog, per night) and all furry friends will be welcomed as honoured guests with a dog blanket, bowl, and treats. The heritage listed property is not open to the public, so hotel guests will be assured exclusive privacy during their stay.

Image courtesy of Schloss Leopoldskron