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Top 10 Castle Hotels in Europe
Ireland's Ashford Castle Reigns as Top Stone-walled Accommodation

NEEDHAM, Mass., March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel community, today announced the top 10 castle hotels in Europe, according to traveller popularity and TripAdvisor editors.

1. Feathery Fun: Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland - Average nightly rate
With its opulent rooms, endless hallways, numerous dining options, and
health and beauty spa, you may never leave the estate of the Ashford
Castle, built in 1625. But if you do wish to meander outdoors, try
your hand at falconry, an ancient art originating in the Far East in
2000 B.C. or, stroll the famous Woodland Walk, restored in 1996 with
oak, beech and chestnut trees. As one TripAdvisor traveller pointed
out, "Where else can you find 'falconry' as an option to your day on a
lake that will take your breath away, in a castle that can only be
described as Versailles but better?"

2. Fit for a King: Thornbury Castle, Thornbury, England - Average nightly
rate £208
Feel like royalty as you sleep in your bedchamber at Thornbury Castle,
built in 1521, where Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII and Queen Mary II
once resided. History buffs can peruse the historical details,
including coats of arms, bay windows and arrow loops throughout the
castle. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, "Thornbury Castle is a
genuine medieval castle with really thick stone walls, low doors and
fantastic stone spiral staircases."

3. Raise Your Glass: Chateau de Bagnols, Lyon, France - Average nightly
rate £338
Enjoy a glass of Beaujolais while at the Chateau de Bagnols, situated
among vineyards and forests in the French countryside. Also an
historic monument, the 13th century fortress features Renaissance-
period wall and ceiling murals, a dry moat, and a grand entrance
across a drawbridge. According to one TripAdvisor member, "Every
detail of this hotel is just grand -- the garden, the pool, the rooms,
the restaurants for both breakfast and dinner, and the salon for

4. Highlands Praise: Inverlochy Castle, Fort William, Scotland - Average
nightly rate £471
The mountainous backdrop of the Inverlochy Castle, located in the
Scottish highlands, inspired praise from Queen Victoria who wrote in
her diaries, "I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot." The
stained glass windows, chandeliers and grand hall reflect the elegance
of the interior. One TripAdvisor member noted, "From the moment we
arrived the beauty hit us, the old castle just looked out-of-this-
world with the stunning lake and terraces."

5. Historically Over-Booked: Castle Hotel Auf Schoenburg, Oberwesel,
Germany - Average nightly rate £122
The Castle Hotel Auf Schoenburg overlooks the medieval town of
Oberwesel, in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a World Heritage site. At
one time, the castle was home to more than 250 people from 24
families. In 1689, the castle was burned down by French soldiers and
remained abandoned for two centuries until its restoration in 1914.
One TripAdvisor member said, "Hotel Auf Schoenburg was what I had
dreamed of when I wanted to stay in a castle. I felt like I was in the
middle ages!"

6. Labor Intensive: Parador de Cardona, Cardona, Spain - Average nightly
rate £84
Atop a spectacular hill, Parador de Cardona, built in 986, was once
maintained by the local residents, in exchange for a supply of much-
coveted salt. Preserving many original architectural details, the
castle contains a medieval restaurant with arched ceilings, wrought-
iron torch holders, a Duke's patio, a cistern for storing water and a
gothic cloister. As one TripAdvisor member said, "The setting is
stunning, the history of the castle and the surrounding area is mind-

7. Tasty Retreat: Swinton Park, Masham, North Yorkshire, England -
Average nightly rate £235
Surrounded by 200 acres of parkland including a river, lake, and
gardens, Swinton Park offers numerous activities including croquet,
fishing, and horseback riding. If that doesn't satisfy your appetite,
visit the cookery school, a converted Georgian stable, which is run by
renowned chef Rosemary Schrager. According to one TripAdvisor member,
"This is an absolutely stunning place, from the location to the
amenities to the staff, I could not find fault at all."

8. Undercover Charm: Castle Stuart, Inverness, Scotland - Average nightly
rate £190
Once a retreat for the Stuart Family, the Castle Stuart was abandoned-
except for reports of an occasional ghost-for 300 years. Put on your
Sherlock Holmes hat and discover unknown secret passageways, hidden
doorways and the secret revolving door that hastens the walk from the
drawing room to the bar. As one TripAdvisor member said, "The house
was SO much fun. There was even a secret doorway to get to the dining
room, which was gorgeous."

9. Italian Antiquity: Castelletto de Montebenichi, Arezzo, Italy -
Average nightly rate £123
In the heart of the Tuscan countryside, the Castelletto de
Montebenichi combines 12th century architecture with 21st century
amenities. Frescoes, antique drawings and paintings, sculptures and
archeological finds engulf the castle's hallways, while a panoramic
swimming pool, sauna, hot tub and gym are just steps away. One
TripAdvisor traveler said, "The castle is exquisite - each public room
is thoughtfully decorated with the owners' own collections of art and

10. Brug-ti-ful: Castle ten Berghe, Bruges, Belgium - Average nightly rate
Within walking distance of Bruges, Castle ten Berghe is a perfect base
for visiting the historic town and enjoying the Belgian landscape.
Recently expanded, the castle now features eight guestrooms, making
getting a room easier. As one TripAdvisor member noted, "The Castle
ten Berghe is a wonderful Gothic style castle hidden away down a long
driveway and surrounded by its own moat and is crammed full of charm."