We may not all be able to marry a royal, a la Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle, but that doesn't mean we can't treat ourselves to a honeymoon experience befitting of royalty. When it comes time to book your post-nuptial getaway, you and your soon-to-be spouse should consider a stay at a royal-residence-turned-luxury-hotel. Whether you stay in a snapshot of a more opulent time that's filled with monarchical relics or something that's been given a contemporary upgrade, a getaway at one of these unbelievably well-appointed properties will surely make you feel worthy of a seat on a throne.
From medieval castles to ornate chateaus, these ten stately hotels, located all across the world, are fit for kings and queens—and they're just right for your honeymoon.
Palace Elisabeth in Hvar, Croatia
Steeped in heritage-rich splendor, Palace Elisabeth is the perfect hotel for a honeymoon or romantic getaway in Hvar, Croatia. The Duke’s residence during the Venetian rule, this five-star property is set in an esteemed location overlooking the marina and the main square. Sparkling crystal chandeliers hang in the lobby, while airy guest quarters flaunt refined details such as crown-embroidered pillows, hand-painted murals, and Guerlain toiletries. Plus, the concierge can arrange lavish experiences, including private yacht excursions and VIP cabanas at Beach Club Hvar.
Tivoli Palácio de Seteais in Sintra, Portugal
Built in 1787, Tivoli Palácio de Seteais in Sintra, Portugal, exudes the elegance and sophistication of a bygone era. Staying here seems like a dream in which you fall asleep a regular person and wake up a royal with some title along the lines of Court or Marquess. It won't be a figment of your imagination: Though you might not awake with a new name, you will rise from sumptuous sheets and place your feet into soft slippers that someone thoughtfully laid out the night before. The only thing missing? Your jewel-encrusted tiara—though the staff is so wonderful that if asked, they might just make it happen.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur in Udaipur, India
A spectacular summer retreat for the Mewar royal family until it was converted into a hotel in 1963, Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur in Udaipur, India, is regal and over-the-top luxurious in all the ways you’d hope. Built with locally-sourced marble, this heritage hotel sits on an island and looks like a jewel floating in the waters of Lake Pichola. The grand rooms and suites are adorned with wooden lattice ceilings, traditional Indian silks, and custom furniture. While gastronomic delights range from authentic Rajasthani dishes to European fine dining.
Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé in Loire Valley, France
The 45,000-square-foot Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé in France's Loire Valley is a striking example of French Neoclassical architecture. Despite its grandiosity, the former country estate of Baron Jacques Pineau de Viennay has just 17 suites (each more resplendent than the last, might we add). This gives the palatial property a sense of exclusivity and intimacy. Guests are invited to revel in the baronial atmosphere, meander through the magnificent gardens, and sip champagne in the grand salon that hosted Age of Enlightenment thinkers like Mozart and Voltaire.
Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest in Budapest, Hungary
Commissioned by the Archduchess of Austria and completed in 1902, Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest in Budapest, Hungary, is a recognizable and enduring landmark of Hungarian heritage. It also just so happens to be the poshest place to stay in Queen of the Danube. It’s impossible to overstate the majesty of its spectacularly beautiful Baroque facade mixed with jewel-tone-draped interiors and more modern design elements. The staff treats guests like royalty, which just reinforces the fact that returning to real life after such an extraordinary getaway will really feel like a clock-strikes-midnight Cinderella moment.
Dromoland Castle in County Clare, Ireland
Tracing its ownership back to the last High Kings of Ireland, Dromoland Castle, which was originally built as a defensive stronghold and refurbished to perfection last year, stands the test of time with an unwavering commitment to its noble roots. Brimming with elegance, this storybook country estate in County Clare, Ireland, gives guests a chance to partake in the treasured pastimes of the ruling class. We can’t imagine anything more upper crust than clay shooting, followed by afternoon tea in the velvet-cloaked drawing room.
The One Palácio da Anunciada in Lisbon, Portugal
Housed in a beautifully restored 16th-century palace just steps from Avenida da Liberdade (the most expensive shopping street in Lisbon, Portugal), The One Palácio da Anunciada, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, serves regality on a silver platter with an exclusive address, elegant rooms, and a date-night-worthy gourmet restaurant that occupies one of the grand halls. Polished interiors are complemented by lovely outdoor spaces such as a tranquil courtyard that’s centered around a protected 100-year-old dragon tree and a guests-only pool with sunbeds.
The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice in Venice, Italy
Previously a 15th-century palazzo and noble palace, The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice is now an elite five-star escape that lures lovebirds from around the world. The property, in Venice, Italy, entices travelers with the promise of Venetian glamour, romance, and an irresistible view of the Grand Canal. Despite its impressive size, the property feels warm and intimate. Palatial suites show off crystal chandeliers, gold-framed art, and antiques. White-glove service, fine dining, and a Sisley-Paris spa continue the illustrious tradition of offering guests the finest of everything.
Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Sleek and modern with whispers of its stately past, the landmark Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik, Croatia, leaves a lasting impression on guests. Over the years, this former royal villa has hosted Princess Margaret, Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Roger Moore, and the cast of Game of Thrones. And there's no doubt that all were impressed by the glamorous decor, swish spa, and expansive deck on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. We're guessing its privileged cliffside perch just steps from the iconic Old City gates didn’t hurt either. And, of course, who could ignore the entrancing views?
Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul, Turkey
For couples who want to stay in the lap of luxury while visiting the intoxicating city of Istanbul, Turkey, there’s no where better to stay than Ciragan Palace Kempinski, the only Ottoman imperial palace and five-star hotel on the banks of the Bosphorus. It’s both enormous and exclusive with 310 guest rooms, plus a grand lobby, multiple gourmet restaurants, an outdoor infinity pool surrounded by umbrellas and lounges, and an exquisite spa with amenities such as a Turkish Hammam that gives every guest the true royal treatment.