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- Most famous former guests: Emperor Napoleon III. Of all Manor Castle’s historic hotel suites the Napoleone Suite at the 16th century Residenza Napoleone III in central Rome, Italy, is possibly the most lavishly beautiful. The interior design is an incredible feast for the eyes and, apart from the obligatory electric lights, as you scan the rooms almost nothing from the 21st or late 20th century seems to intrude, allowing a nicely disorientating sense of immersion in history. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have two self catering apartments for guests, the aforementioned Napoleone Suite, which is a 150 m² apartment consisting of a very romantic double bedroom with four-poster bed, a marble bathroom with bathtub, a large lounge and dining room, a kitchenette and up the wooden stairs a second bedroom with private bathroom with bathtub and a small balcony. The apartment is reached via an old staircase which is lined with marble statues of the Roman emperors Hadrian and Claudius, and Greco-Roman gods; Bacchus and Silenus, Apollo, Mercury and Aesculapius. This sets the scene for this incredibly beautiful historical suite, where the inside is an opulent display of grand chandeliers, frescoes, tapestries, and exquisite art and antique pieces, particularly the many classic oil READ MORE
- Most Famous Guest: Cosimo de’ Medici. Castello di Montegufoni near Monttagnana Val di Pesa, Chianti, is just 20 km south west of Florence and boasts an extremely illustrious history going all the way back to the 12th century (though the present castle structure mainly dates to the mid 17th). It has connections to Dante’s Divine Comedy and the infamous Medici dynasty of Florence for example, and has been steeped in art and politics since its very beginnings. It is thus a very interesting place, with such a noble history granting it a special atmosphere. It is also quite a quirky place to stay, one which seems to deliberately avoid creating a hotel like vibe. This may not be to the liking of some, as there is less in the way of services and facilities but others will revel in the feeling of living in a castle as opposed to staying in a (castle) hotel. Of note in historical and artistic trivia; the owner of Montegufoni, Sir George Sitwell, in 1922 reneged on an arrangement made with Picasso for him to come and paint the frescoes at Montegufoni. The Italian futurist painter Gino Severini was chosen instead and, though with some very fine READ MORE
- Aficionados of Italian wine, particularly Brunello, will be well aware of Castello Banfi near Montalcino, Tuscany. The 7,100 acre estate has been producing quality wines since 1978, offers a full compliment of eno-tourism activities and a range of elegant, 5 star boutique accommodation. The centre piece of the estate are the enchanting 12th century era castle and 17th century era hamlet which sit high on a hill overlooking the vineyards and the surrounding, typically picturesque Tuscan countryside. There you have a choice of beautiful, and very spacious, rooms and suites, two excellent gourmet restaurants, a traditional Tuscan enoteca, beautifully manicured gardens, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a small gym, a massage pavilion and a cookery school. THE ACCOMMODATION: The choices are between ‘deluxe’ double rooms which, at 40 m², are large enough to be considered suites in most hotels and then there are the actual suites; classic, junior, superior and deluxe, they range in size between 66 m² and 110 m² and can sleep up to four. Check your options on the booking page here. They are all beautifully designed, classically furnished and full of regal charm. They also come with large bathrooms with walk in rainfall showers (some also READ MORE
- A strong candidate for Florence’s best hotel, the 5 star Four Seasons Gherardesca Palace Hotel is a veritable oasis in the heart of one of the world’s most visited cities. It has 11 acres of peaceful walled gardens to separate you from the tourist masses and, though the exteriors are relatively unassuming, the lavish interiors are an incredible, Renaissance era, feast for the eyes. Housed between the 15th century Palazzo della Gherardesca, which served as a private residence for Florentine nobility (including one Pope) and a 16th century convent across the gardens known as La Villa, it has a tremendous sense of history and is incredibly rich in historic features, right down to the smallest detail. Frescoes, stuccos, bas-reliefs and even old silk wallpapers have been carefully restored, magnificent pieces of classical art abound, and the whole hotel has the look and feel of a living museum. Facilities include a large outdoor pool nicely set in the gardens, perhaps Florence’s best spa facilities, and perhaps its best restaurant in the form of the Michelin starred Il Palagio. THE ACCOMMODATION: You can choose from 116 rooms and suites, from superior and deluxe double rooms all the way up to some tremendously READ MORE
- The 5 Star Villa Crespi Hotel, on the shore of Lake Orta, near Milan, Italy, is a unique and spectacular sight. Built in 1879 as a residence for a local wealthy cotton merchant, its eye-catching Arabesque architecture and minaret were inspired by its founder’s many business trips to the Baghdad of the 19th century. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have a range of accommodation at Villa Crespi from entry level, classic rooms to spacious, lavishly decorated suites. All of them are relatively spacious, and definitely luxurious, with even the classic rooms you have around 22 m² of space plus a balcony, queen size (or twin, as desired) beds and romantic freestanding bath tubs for example. Check your options on the booking page here. Though the exteriors and much of the interiors of Villa Crespi are solidly Arabesque in style the interior decoration of the rooms and suites tends to be more classic European. They are very much old style romantic with four poster beds, antique furniture and art pieces, chandeliers, elegantly dressed windows and some really quite gorgeous bathrooms. It is a luxury hotel though so you can also expect modern conveniences; air-con, satellite TV, mini-bar etc. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: READ MORE
- This Tuscan Castle for rent is a stunning old building with a wonderfully preserved old world atmosphere. It has ten bedrooms, to sleep up to twenty people in perfect comfort, and there is so much to admire at every turn; antique furniture, hand decorated ceilings, frescoes and numerous art works. The castle structure is impressively grand and imposing too, and is surrounded by flower gardens and lawns, with various seating, lounging and al fresco dining areas, as well as a swimming pool and a jacuzzi. It has a choice location; just a few kilometres from Tuscany’s Maremma coast and from its large roof terrace there are great views of the surrounding countryside, Elba Island and the Mediterranean Sea. Castello di Magona was built in the first decade of the 16th century and is known for its long association with the Grand Dukes of Tuscany including the very last Grand Duke, Leopold II, who reigned from 1824 until his abdication in 1859, and lived at the castle for most of that time. THE ACCOMMODATION: Castello di Magona has three floors. On the ground floor there is the impressive entrance hall and three lounge/living room areas, one of them with a bar READ MORE
- Address: Castello Aragonese
ItalyCategory: B&B Castle HotelsMost Famous Former Residents & Guests: Michelangelo, Vittoria Colonna, Ludovico Ariosto. The inspiration behind House Greyjoy of Pyke from Game of Thrones, Ischia Island’s 15th century Castello Aragonese is a stunning hilltop fortress with equally stunning views over the Gulf of Naples. Within the walls of this incredible building are the labyrinth like guest quarters of Albergo Il Monastero, the former castle convent now converted into a very unique hotel. THE ACCOMMODATION: Built at the end of the 16th century and originally dedicated to Santa Maria della Consolazione, the convent section of Castello Aragonese, having been upgraded to suit the 21st century traveller, naturally looks a lot different today. The layout is old; the same rooms and hallways have been used for centuries and the interior design and decor, though relatively modern, are carefully simple and unassuming with a lack of overt modernism that allows the place to retain a distinct historical atmosphere. They have a range of single and double/twin rooms, all of which are, again, simple and unassuming. Check your options on the Check your options on the booking page here. The accommodation is generally neat, crisp and clean, with white walls and traditional tiled floors and all READ MORE