Good morning everybody! I’m so excited to share with you this post by the lovely Jan (you can find out more about her and her blog in the author bio at the bottom)! I’m sure a lot of us are missing travelling right now, I know I can’t wait to go on another adventure soon! Thanks to Jan I now know exactly where I’ll be travelling to (and staying at) when everything goes back to normal. Want to find out where these places are? Well read on to find out more!
Do you fancy staying in an ancient castle or monastery? There are many options all over Europe to do just that. I will share with you three European castles and abbeys to stay in! I stayed in these unique hotels and absolutely LOVED the experience!
- Italy Amalfi Coast Abbey – Monastero Rosa Hotel & Spa
- Central France Castle – Chateau de Codignat
- Scotland Castle – Inverlochy Castle
Italy Amalfi Coast Abbey – Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa
I spent one night in a 17th century Italian monastery turned into a 5-star boutique hotel. The Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa is perched on a steep cliff overlooking the Amalfi coastline.
The hotel is approximately a 10-minute drive from the town of Amalfi, 25 minutes from Positano, and 80 minutes from the Naples International Airport.
We arrived by ferry boat from Capri after spending a couple days on that island. We were able to spot the large clifftop structure from the water and were already in awe!
You will find here four tiered levels of perfectly manicured gardens, a large infinity pool, and jaw-dropping coastal views of the Gulf of Salerno.
The history of the once established monastery is intriguing. Sister Rosa Pandolfi was a descendant of the noble family Pontone di Scala who lived in Conca dei Marini. The ruined church of Santa Maria di Grado was a gift to Sister Rosa. She funded the monastery’s initial construction next to the church, and it was completed in 1681.
In the mid-1800s, the convent ceased to exist and was handed over to the municipality. The property was purchased and converted in 1924 to a hotel which ran for three generations. After the death of the family, the property was once again abandoned until 2000 when the current owner spent a decade to restore the abbey and reopened it in 2012 as a luxury hotel.
While walking through the arched, vaulted-ceiling corridors, you get a feel for what this original monastery was like. Over the centuries, the architecture and interior design were preserved which now provide an authentic experience.
Each of the 20 sea view rooms and suites, once occupied by a nun, are named after an herb. The herbs were from the property’s garden and used by the nuns to make medicines. The name of our room was ‘Crocus’.
Although the cost of this hotel is pricey, it is worth splurging for one night and an unforgettable experience!
Address: Via Roma, 2, 84010 Conca dei Marini SA, Italy
Central France Castle – Chateau de Codignat
I had the chance to stay in this 12th-century French castle for my birthday celebration a few years ago. The Chateau de Codignat is a medieval castle situated on 15 acres of natural park in the Auvergne region of central France.
This region of France is known for its many volcanoes, rivers and lakes. The closest village is Bort L’Etang and the nearest city is Clermont-Ferrand.
We spent the weekend visiting the Panoramique des Domes where you take a 15-minute train ride to the highest point of the ‘Chaine des Puys’ at 1465 meters.
This 5-star castle hotel will fascinate you with its towers and dungeons. We had to walk up wide stone steps in a round tower to reach our room.
The 19 guest rooms are decorated with four-poster beds, ancient silk, French marble and original furniture from the late 19th century. I felt like a princess in a fortress!
You get a special sensation when sleeping in a castle. Because the stone walls are so thick, you can’t hear a pin drop and will usually sleep like a rock!
Most castle hotels offer a gourmet restaurant onsite. We had a fabulous meal in this hotel’s restaurant. The service was excellent, and the food was sumptuous. They offered a great wine selection too.
If you are looking for a unique experience or a destination to celebrate a special event, I highly recommend staying in this beautiful, secluded castle in Central France.
Address: Chateau de Codignat, 63190 Bort-l'Étang, France
Scotland Castle – Inverlochy Castle
If you ever go to the Fort William area in Scotland, the Inverlochy Castle Hotel is an excellent choice to stay. I spent a week driving around Scotland with my best girlfriend several years ago. This spectacular Victorian castle was the highlight of our trip!
The Inverlochy Castle is a baronial mansion built in 1863 by William Scarlett after succeeding his father as Baron Abinger in 1861. The estate was sold in 1944 to a Canadian entrepreneur who also owned the nearby Ben Nevis distillery. When his son inherited the property, he converted the house into a hotel and opened it in 1969.
The property is situated among glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands of Scotland.
We enjoyed walking around the peaceful grounds to take in the surroundings and countryside ambiance. Nearby you can visit the 13th century Inverlochy Castle and the town of Fort William.
Every room of this mansion is decorated with period and elaborate furniture. Some of the furnishings were presented as gifts from the King of Norway. It’s a delight for the eyes to see the interior and its ornate decorations.
The castle hotel has 17 rooms, each decorated differently and with window views of the lush grounds. The rooms are designed in a glamorous style with silk, tweed, fine bed linen, art, antiques, roll top bathtubs, and king size beds.
The best part of staying in this castle was our huge bedroom suite where we felt like true Queens!
We ordered breakfast room service and were not disappointed!
We visited this castle during June but I’m sure the surroundings are pretty in any season. Don’t miss eating at the onsite Michelin-starred restaurant and be sure to try the local whisky as an after-dinner digestive!
Some say that castle destinations should be reserved for a romantic getaway, but I believe they are just as special for a girls’ adventure trip!
Address: Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SN
I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos and reading about the European castles and abbeys to stay in! There is no other experience quite like it!
Jan is an American who has lived in Switzerland since 1993. She is a travel enthusiast and shares her photos and stories from traveling to more than 60 countries. You can learn about her journeys on her Travel Blog JanAdventures.com.
You can find her Instagram account here: instagram.com/jan_adventures_/