Travel like a royal -- stay in a castle hotel!

Feel like a royal, even if you aren't one
Feel like a royal, even if you aren't one © Photo courtesy of Ashford Castle

If the classic castles that serve as the backdrop on TV shows such as "Downton Abbey" get your heart racing, you're in luck. Across Europe, many highbrow historical sites have been transformed into hotels, offering those without a title access to a royal experience.

Even better news for commoners: Castle hotels can be less expensive than you might think. While a stay in Lady Hamlyn's apartment in the luxurious Chateau de Bagnols in Beaujolais, France, could set you back more than $2,500 a night, other royal residences can be had for rates that won't drain the family fortune.

"People travel to Europe to see the sights, so why not stay in one of them?" says Reid Bramblett of "A vaulted stone chamber in that medieval castle up on a hill will often cost less than a cookie-cutter room in the nondescript tourist-class hotels in the town below."

Join us on a tour of castles that have opened their doors to the not-so-manor-born -- and find out how you can feel like a royal, too.

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Want to be treated like royalty while traveling around Europe? Try staying at a castle.

It's not unheard of to spend $2,500 a night to stay at a luxury chateau. But not all castles cost a fortune. At the five-star 13th century Ashford Castle in Ireland's County Mayo, you can stay for roughly $200 per person in the off-season. In Scotland, you might want to stay at Stobo Castle in Peeblesshire, which features a luxury spa, for less than $200 a night.

Some castles cost more than $400, such as the Amberley Castle in England's West Sussex, but deals can be found. In Spain, there's the 14th century castle-hotel called Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo, starting at $117 a night.

Possibly the most economical place to stay would be the Burg Stahleck, a 12th century castle overlooking the Rhine River in Germany, for just $35 a night. But that is a hostel. You get a bed and decor that is very simple and sparse.



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