Castello di Pretoia - Italy
History, art and gracious hospitality meet at Castello di Pretoia - an enchanting hotel nestled in the postcard-perfect Umbrian hills. Dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries, the lovingly restored fortress boasts 13 elegant rooms spread across three medieval buildings, including a 20-meter watch tower overlooking the picturesque Chiascio Valley. Each of the property’s rooms and suites comes with its own character and decoration theme, but all feature a striking mix of period furnishings, beautiful frescoes, stone arches and original oak wooden beams. The precious materials and luxurious bathrooms add a touch of opulence and modern functionality to your stay. The hotel’s restaurant serves the best of regional cuisine in an ambience of romance and old-world elegance.
Chateau Les Carrasses - France
A refined combination of self-catering holiday properties and boutique winery, Chateau Les Carrasses offers luxury accommodation in Languedoc, South of France. Once a road-side rest area for pilgrims on the Way of St James, the 19th-century property has been gorgeously restored and converted into a unique self-catering chateau that blends the privacy of a villa rental with the services of a 5-star hotel. Accommodation is offered in 28 suites, apartments and villas - all exquisitely decorated with stylish French furnishings and fully-equipped kitchens. Some units feature private swimming pools or sprawling terraces with BBQ and sun loungers. In addition to 10 acres of beautiful gardens and an array of tastings and events, guests are offered a tennis court, a bijou boutique, a lovely Mediterranean restaurant, an infinity pool, and a outstanding Orangerie designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Castell Son Claret - Mallorca, Spain
A majestic countryside hotel in the eastern part of Mallorca, Castell Son Claret is surrounded by secular olive trees, luxuriant Mediterranean gardens and splendid vistas of the Tramuntana Mountains. Scattered among this corner of paradise criss-crossed by palm-lined pathways are the original stables and guardhouses of an 18th century castle, which along with the main mansion house 38 luxurious rooms and suites. Individually designed and fitted out with bespoke furnishings and sumptuous marble bathrooms, the hotel’s interiors pay tribute to a bygone era while celebrating the new one with a host of exclusive amenities. The estate is served by Michelin-starred Zaranda restaurant, where you can indulge in culinary art by famous Chef Fernando Pérez Arellano. The glistening pool and state-of-the-art spa facilities are welcomed additions.
Chateaux Dans les Arbres - France
About 100 miles from Bordeaux, in the lower Dordogne, lies the majestic Chateaux dans les Arbres - a former feudal stronghold turned luxury hotel with treehouse accommodation, gourmet treats and outdoor Jacuzzis. The property consists of 4 exquisite tree “castles” set amidst a fascinating forestry setting. No two units are alike, each is individually designed, featuring unique characteristics such as overflow spa with chromotherapy and Finnish sauna, Asian-inspired interiors, decorative ironwork or spacious terraces overlooking the magical surroundings.
Chateau de Bagnols - France
Once the residence of nobles and rich merchants, the 18th century Chateau de Bagnols has been converted into one of France’s most spectacular historic hotels. Surrounded by picturesque vines and superb French landscaped gardens, the property - an architectural masterpiece in itself – features a stunning collection of apartments, each named according to the chateau’s former residents. Some of the rooms are appointed with charming authentic décor, other feature lavish furnishings and gorgeously-preserved painted murals, but all exude character and an uplifting sense of joie de vivre. Among the hotel’s exquisite facilities are a roman pool, a majestic restaurant run by Chef Jean Alexandre Ouaratta and a wide range of beauty treatments.
Castello del Nero - Tuscany, Italy
A splendid 12th century castle in Tuscany’s glorious Chianti wine region, Castello del Nero features 50 individually designed rooms and suites, a sensational spa retreat based on holistic concepts and an enchanting restaurant offering finely crafted Tuscan specialties. The property has been exquisitely restored, its sophisticated guest rooms still preserving much of their original features, including beautiful ancient frescoes, wooden beam ceilings and bathrooms appointed with marble and mosaic tile floors. The décor throughout is a marriage of old and new, with an emphasis on preserving the history and character of the estate.
From picturesque ruins perched high on craggy cliffs to majestic castles set on the shores of some iconic lochs, the fascinating medieval structures of Scotland evoke not only the country’s stormy past, but also its beauty and romance, its spirit and unique identity.