Top 10 Castle Hotels
Château de Castel Novel, France
Tucked away in a serene pocket of the French countryside, the elegant Château de Castel-Novel (www.castelnovel.com) offers its guests not only refined accommodations, but an escape into off-the-beaten path France, where an exquisite combination of history, gastronomy, and nature converge. Located in the Limousin region of the country, this 14th-century property was originally designed as a fortified hilltop castle – still evident in its round towers and keep – but remodeling in the 19th century brought a soft Renaissance flair to this now stunning castle hotel; witness the sweeping balconies, terraces, and rose gardens. Its residents added their own dose of character, as well. Local legend tells of a star-crossed romance between a troubadour and the lady of the house, while, more recently, the famed French writer Colette found inspiration in its rooms and even penned several novels here (guests can opt to stay in the Louis XVI apartment that served as her chambers). Today, it is a Relais and Châteaux property, with 27 personalized rooms and lavish suites open for public lodging.