7 glorious palace hotels that will make you feel like a princess
Damsel in de-stress mode
Antique furniture, turrets and drawbridges, horse-drawn carriages and acres of gardens. The royals of days gone by had it good, but did they have free Wifi and a flatscreen TV? Probably not. These former castles, palaces and royal abodes boast of the decadence and glory with a touch of modern luxury, and they’re now open to the public (provided your willing to blow a the GDP of a small kingdom on a weekend’s stay)
You may not get a team of handmaidens following your every move, but you can have a personal butler serve you wine while spa personnel draw you an aromatherapy bath. Isn’t that what being royal is all about? Well… that, and the tiara.
You don’t need to marry a prince to feel like a princess, all you need is to relive the royal days in these hotels seeped in history.
Palace hotels that will make you feel like a princess:
You may recognise the structure from Sound of Music as the palace was used to depict the Von Trapp family home. But to get a peak into the interiors, you're going to have to book one of the 12 suites within the main castle. The rococo-style palace dates back to the 1700s and only became a hotel in 2014. All the suites feature antique furniture with views of Schloss park, the fortress Hohensalzburg, Salzburg lake and majestic Untersberg mountain.
The historic monument has been home to eight centuries of royals and dignitaries. It's situated in the heart of a vineyard which means that the grandiose interiors aren't the only thing in the castle that have matured with age. So while it may not come with handmaidens to bathe you, you can sip a bold red from the comfort of your tub. The hotel is so seeped in history, it even has its own coat of arms.
The 13th century castle is fully restored, so you'll feel like royalty with the advantage of WiFi. Not that you will have much time to browse the internet with 350 acres of Irish woodland to lose yourself in. Ashford is also the home of Ireland's first falconry, so if a suitor decides he needs to hunt wild birds in their natural habitat with the assistance of a trained falcon, this is where you need to go. Though it has grey stone walls and turrets, rest assure you won't need any rescuing from its luxurious towers.
The former home of the Nizam of Hyderabad was restored to its glory days by Princess Esra of Hyderabad. Currently under Taj ownership, the palace has joined the group of hotels as one of their crowning glories, pun intended. Horse-drawn carriages, palace butlers and a heritage walk will make you relive the region's grand history as the richest kingdom in India. highlights include tea served as the Nizam took it, on the Jade Terrace, as well as dining experiences curated to make you feel like royalty.
The former Ottoman palace is situated on the banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. The extravagant palace was built when sultans built their own luxury pads rather than merely using what they inherited from daddy, making Çırağan Palace the last in this tradition. The rooms either look out onto the Bosphorus or onto the former sultan's hunting grounds. The palace burned down in 1909, but was later restored and is now part of the Kempinski hotel group.
Considered it was one of the biggest private residences at the time it was built, Umaid Bhawan was commissioned to provide the farmers with employment during the time of famine in the 1920s. The palace is so large that today, it is divided into three parts, one of which has been converted into a museum. Another still serves as a residence to the Jodhpur Royal family and the third part is managed by the Taj group of hotels. It was voted as one of the world's best hotels because where else can you live like a queen, in a queen's palace?
This may be the most exclusive one on the list. No, we're not kidding. No amount of money and a fairy godmother can get you into the Cinderella Suite inside the castle at Disneyland, seriously. The extravagant hotel suite was designed in 2006 as a prize for one lucky Disney fan and has since only been used by high profile celebrities, on invite. The suite features mosaic flooring depicting Cinderella's pumpkin carriage with some tiles made of 24 karat gold. Stained glass windows with scenes from the movie are encrusted with precious gems, and the bathtub features a glittering replica of the night's sky above it. Nobody is sure what the selection process to score a stay in the suite is, but we bet you need love's true kiss, a fairy godmother, singing mice and seven dwarfs to get you in, assuming you make it past the dragon.
Check out the suite here