Castle and Palace Hotels

Overnight in a Castle or Palace…Behind the Ropes

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Some of my favorite travel experiences have been staying overnight in a castle or palace.

We don’t have any “real” castles or palaces in America, making staying in one in Europe a real treat.

Sure, there’s Hearst Castle and a few more that have been built recently or turned into tourist attractions….but in Europe there are so many “real” castles and palaces. Add in the fact that you can actually book a room and stay overnight in one…and it’s time for the happy dance.

It always amazes me that there are so many castles and palaces here in Europe that the locals sometimes don’t even look twice when they pass one by. Of course I have to stop and take a ton of pictures. And then…I stayed in them!

When we visited my sister in Ireland, we booked a few nights at Dromoland Castle. It was an eye opening experience. The history combined with the fun of touring around your own castle is an opportunity that just can’t be beat.

In Portugal many of the castles and palaces are run as hotels by the government. They have a separate management company for the day to day operations so they are run professionally.

I just loved staying in the Estoi palace in the Faro region of Portugal (pictured in this article).

While staying at the “hotel” We had full “reign” to wander around through all of the elegant sitting rooms rooms and had full access to the grounds and the Gardens.

Visiting the palace would have been on our itinerary anyway so we decided to just stay a few nights and have full access.

It was enchanting to wake up and have breakfast in the palace and then take a stroll through the estate. As we searched every nook and cranny we were surprised by the lack of ropes which usually block the beautiful mosaics, frescoes and statues.

I kept looking over my shoulder to see if someone would tell me that I wasn’t supposed to be in that room or walking on this beautiful floor. Nope, we really did have full “reign”. Better yet, no one else was pushing in line for us to rush through or to get a photo over our shoulder. Ahhhh true luxury.

in the afternoon we sauntered up to the bar and ordered up some drinks which were we’re allowed to consume in the main drawing rooms. Yup the same ones which are normally behind the ropes.

I was sitting there looking around at all of the beautiful frescoes and furniture along the walls thinking “I shouldn’t be sitting here”. We were guests and this was our living room for the stay. I was relaxing in this gorgeous and historical room having a drink….really…look above there is a photo for proof. Now then, where did I put my crown…

What a great way to feel like royalty by staying in a palace or castle.

I will be exploring and staying in many of the palaces and castles in Portugal in the next few months. What fun way to really launch the traveling queen site!

This is your personal invitation from the Traveling Queen to come along on the journey.

Grab your crown and meet me in Portugal (even if it is just your virtual one…I can see it).

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