Experience luxury living with some of these palaces that have been turned into hotels. From riding in horse-drawn carriages to a highly trained staff escorting you through marbled halls, you are sure to shine under the centuries-old chandeliers that adorn the high ceilings.
These palaces-turned-hotels won’t only stun you with their breathtaking architecture but will also impress you with their impeccable service. So, embrace the perfect mix of history, hospitality and extravagance, for a relaxing stay at some of these hotels around the world.
Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy
Joining the list of royal palaces turned into hotels is Villa d’ Este. Built in 1568 for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, the grand palace situated on the banks of Lake Como was converted into a luxury hotel by a group of businessmen based in Milan in 1873. It is also surrounded by a private park.
Villa d’Este welcomes visitors to its main historic building, the Queen’s Pavilion and four private villas — Villa Cima on the lakeshore, Villa Malakoff, Villa Garrovo, and the Mosaic House.
The hotel’s Sporting Club has a swimming pool, golf club, gym, tennis and squash courts. Taking a dip in the famous floating pool on the lake is an otherworldly experience.
Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, China
Situated in a corner of Summer Palace—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—the hotel was used to house Empress Dowager Cixi’s guests from 1861 to 1908. In 2008, Aman Resorts opened their first venture in China with this royal property.
The palace hotel offers visitors peace and privacy. Surrounded by garden courtyards, Aman Summer Palace’s rooms and suites create a soothing environment with its wooden screens and Ming dynasty inspired furniture. Choose from their Imperial Suites, Traditional Courtyard Rooms, Deluxe Pavilions, Family Suites, Courtyard Suites, Deluxe Suites, Suites, Guestrooms and Courtyard Guestrooms.
Their Aman Spa, “a sanctuary for body and mind”, is the perfect option to relax. The staff uses many techniques — gemstone massages, scrubs, moxibustion, reflexology and acupuncture — to soothe the senses.
Çiragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey
It was somewhere during the mid-19th century when Ottoman sultan Abdülâziz built the magnificent Çiragan Palace on the banks of the Bosphorus. The palace was turned into a hotel in the 1990s and has since then hosted many events.
Visitors can choose from a bevy of options for their stay: Superior Bosphorus Rooms, Deluxe Bosphorus view Rooms, Grand Deluxe Bosphorus View Rooms, Lilies Garden and Park View Room. Their Studio Suite and Sultan Suite will surely enhance your luxurious experience.
Whether it be official meetings or weddings, the Çiragan Palace Kempinski will make sure to accommodate the needs of its guests and make their stay an affair to remember. The multiple restaurants and bars offer the perfect mix of food and entertainment like no other. Tuğra Restaurant, Gazebo Lounge, Laledan Restaurant and Bosphorus Grill are heaven for culinary enthusiasts.
Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
Originally built in 1820 as a private residence for Prince Alexander Yakovlevich Lobanov-Rostovsky, it was later turned into a government office building and then an academy housing a museum and a dormitory. In 2014, the palace was converted into Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace, a luxury hotel.
Adding to the magnificence of the palace are the four white marble Medici lion sculptures placed at the entrance, from which the hotel gets its name.
Besides the array of 157 regal rooms and 26 suites, patrons can spend a relaxing time at the hotel’s award-winning Luceo Spa. Want to dine like a Tsar? Head to their Tea Lounge to sample the best flavours from Russia. Their vodka tasting sessions will only take this experience a notch higher. The hotel’s Asian restaurant—Sintoho, and Italian restaurant—Percorso will impress all.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, India
One of the most beautiful palace hotels in India is the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur, which sits atop Chittar Hill — the highest point in the city. It was constructed between 1928 and 1943 during the reign of Maharaja Umaid Singh. The present Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh and his family continue to live in a part of the palace.
Hailed as the world’s sixth-largest private residence, a portion of Umaid Bhawan Palace has been managed by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces since 2004. This five-star palace hotel offers 70 breathtaking Art Deco-style rooms and suites. Apart from being an architectural marvel, the property houses a museum, and it is near the Mehrangarh Fort. Its 26 acres of verdant gardens is a treat for sore eyes.
Catering to its visitors’ tastes and preferences, one can either let their hair down while swimming in their Zodiac Pool or at the hunting-themed Trophy Bar. Food lovers will have a ball as they get to sample authentic Rajasthani and Indian cuisine. The palace hotel’s signature spa treatments and rejuvenating therapies are best suited for those looking for a relaxing stay.
Source: Travel and Leisure India