Honeymoon in a Classic European Castle

Script your own fairy tale when you honeymoon at a romantic castle in Europe. While times have changed (note: there are no dragons), these majestic, turreted domiciles of yore welcome you with a melding of history and modern luxury. Do pack your tiara because white-gloved service, platters of gourmet cuisine, royal-approved activities and storybook accommodations await regally inclined couples who venture across these moats. 

By: 
Becca Hensley

  • Hotel Schloss Duernstein, Austria

    Hotel Schloss Duernstein, Austria

    Located an hour from Vienna, in the heart of a historic village, the hotel elicits Old World elegance without any stuffiness. Each of the 47 guest rooms differs in shape, size and view. Request one overlooking the Danube River and watch the world float by (schloss.at). 

    Photo Credit: Hotel Schloss Duernstein

  • Hotel Schloss Duernstein, Austria

    Hotel Schloss Duernstein, Austria

    Schloss Duernstein's restaurant transforms from casual to more formal throughout the day. A bountiful morning buffet offers homemade breads, apricot jam, organic eggs and regional yogurts and cheeses—among other items.

    Photo Credit: Hotel Schloss Duernstein

  • Castello di Vicarello, Italy

    Castello di Vicarello, Italy

    Atop a hill in a far-flung part of Tuscany, this 12th-century refurbished castle complex was a crumbling ruin when owner and cookbook author Aurora Bacchieschi Berti discovered it 30 years ago. The seven-room sanctuary especially delights guests with a penchant for farm-to-table cuisine and cooking courses (vicarello.it).

    Photo Credit: Castello di Vicarello

  • Castello di Vicarello, Italy

    Castello di Vicarello, Italy

    One of the Italian castle's many secret—and romantic—spots. 

    Photo Credit: Castello di Vicarello

  • Chateau de Banols, France

    Chateau de Banols, France

    This 13th century castle hotel, just 30 minutes from Lyon in Beaujolais country, has it all: drawbridge, moat, pointy fairy tale towers and cruciform arrow windows that punctuate its honey-colored stone. The castle hotel also has manicured gardens, a swimming pool, deep bathtubs and oversize fireplaces (chateaudebagnols.com).

    Photo Credit: Pascal Muradian for Le Chateau De Bagnols

  • Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Turkey

    Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Turkey

    Ideally located, it nestles the banks of the Bosphorus Strait just far enough away from the buzz of modern Istanbul to feel like an enchanted hideaway set in a magic land with views of two continents (Europe and Asia). The 313 accommodations exude opulence; most face the Bosphorus (kempinski.com).

    Photo Credit: Ciragan Palace Kempinski Instanbul

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  • Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Turkey

    Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Turkey

    The lawn area is so relaxing you'll forget you're staying in an international capital. 

    Photo Credit: Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

  • Dromoland Castle, Ireland

    Dromoland Castle, Ireland

    This 99-room Dromoland seems as if it might have been conjured by the court magician. Common rooms have prodigious stone walls, family portraits, chintz-covered furnishing and grand fireplaces. For the most romantic stay, book the two-tiered tower room, which features a circular bathtub occupying its own floor with an enormous Gothic window (dromoland.ie). 

    Photo Credit: Dromoland Castle

  • Dromoland Castle, Ireland

    Dromoland Castle, Ireland

    Say "I do" princess-style in Ireland. 

    Photo Credit: Dromoland Castle