You could book a king or queen suite at a regular hotel. But wouldn’t it be better to live like an actual king or queen by booking a stay at a real-life castle? Fortunately, there are a few right here in the United States.
These include The Kentucky Castle, a boutique hotel perched on a hilltop in Versailles, Kentucky,
Come and take a peek inside this palatial hotel, which comes with a storied history and is inspired by European opulence.
The Castle Sat Vacant For A Long Time
Originally erected in 1969, the castle was once known as the Martin Castle and then the Castle Post. However, the couple who was building it went through a divorce in 1975 and the castle sat empty for three decades, according to the travel website Atlas Obscura.
Travels to Europe influenced the couple as they created the larger-than-life property.
A Fire Shut Down The Castle 15 Years Ago
The Kentucky Castle was purchased and renovated in 2003, but it closed down the year after because of a fire on the construction site. After reopening again in 2007, the comeback castle has been renovated once more. It’s now operating as a hotel, restaurant and entertainment venue under new ownership.
Plot Twist: The Castle Could Have Been A Theme Restaurant
After sitting empty for so long, there were rumors that The Kentucky Castle was going to reopen as a themed restaurant or a museum, according to Atlas Obscura. Instead of a luxury hotel, can you imagine a medieval theme restaurant taking over the castle, complete with turkey legs and jousting? But we like it the way it is.
The Kentucky Castle Is Located Near Lexington
Sitting on 55 acres of land, The Kentucky Castle is located near Lexington. Its prime real estate positions it among horse farms and bourbon distilleries, which makes it a quintessential Kentucky gem. Lexington, after all, is known as the “Horse Capital of the World.” As far as history goes, Lexington pre-dated the state of Kentucky.
You May Meet Some Goats on Property
The hotel houses 14 boutique rooms, plus a ballroom and a scenic rooftop for private events. You’ll find charming touches throughout the hotel, including tasseled keys and a library. Plus, reviews rave about the friendly goats. Also, how charming is it that the boutique property is surrounded by stone walls?
Sports Enthusiasts Will Love a Stay at the Castle
Forget jousting! There are plenty of ways to engage in some friendly competition while bunking at the castle. The hotel features tennis courts, basketball courts, a pool and an indoor billiards room. So, who will emerge queen of the court?
The Rooftop Is a Known Proposal Spot
The rooftop is where the Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz proposed to his fiancée! Wentz proposed in 2018, shortly after the Eagles beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. He quipped at the time that both he and his wife-to-be have rings.
Room Rates Start at $265
While the rooms book up fast, especially during the summer wedding season, you can snag one in the castle starting at $265, although rates of $365 and up are more common. According to the hotel website, the King Loft Standard has the lowest regular price of any room. The King Loft Standard is airy and light and comes with a comfy king-sized bed. Lower rates are also more common on Sundays and mid-week.
The ‘Chalet’ Rooms Are the Most Luxe
Really want to live it up like royalty? The chalet rooms are among the most expensive rooms, with four on the property. Each comes with sprawling views, its own kitchenette and a whirlpool tub. One overlooks the pool. The other is the “Standard Chalet” which costs $895 per night. It is spacious, with two stories, a chandelier and KitchenAid appliances.
Ask About Staying in the Turrets
While it’s not advertised online, four of the bookable rooms are in the castle’s turrets. During medieval times, turrets acted like watchtowers, allowing guards to watch for any incoming attacks. Nowadays, they’re a cool architectural detail.
The Castle Has a Farm-to-Table Restaurant
Castle Farms, the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant, serves seasonal and fresh foods. It tries to source its food as locally as possible and highlight the bounteous ingredients in the Bluegrass State. (Think locally sourced artisan meats and cheeses on a charcuterie board).
And The Restaurant Has Won Awards
The restaurant nabbed a “Diners’ Choice” award from OpenTable in 2018. We’re guessing that cavatappi macaroni and cheese is winning over fans!
Architectural Digest Loves The Kentucky Castle
Architectural Digest shone a spotlight on The Kentucky Castle not once, but twice. It made the publication’s list of the world’s most luxurious castles that you can actually sleep in, joining stately castles in Italy, Ireland and the UK. Architectural Digest has also crowned it the most beautiful hotel in Kentucky.
The Castle Is Open for Tours
Just coming for a visit? Even if you’re not staying at the castle, you can book a guided tour of the hotel and its grounds. The Kentucky Castle offers tours by themselves or with lunch, brunch or dinner. Seasonal events take place there as well.
It Looks Serene After A Snowstorm
The castle is certainly a stunner in the warmer months, thanks to lush landscaping and blue skies. But during the winter, it looks like it came straight out of a fairytale! A fresh blanket of snow sets the scene for holiday events at the castle, like Christmas sing-a-longs.
Bourbon Is Celebrated At The Castle
Of course, bourbon is important to the area. The Kentucky Castle has a Bourbon Steward-in-Residence as well as a year-long Bourbon University that teaches the history and basics of bourbon once a month. Students can attend all 12 classes for $395, or take one class for $35. Each class includes a bourbon flight and light food.
So Are Mint Juleps
While straight bourbon is a star in Kentucky, come springtime, the focus shifts some to bourbon cocktails — specifically, Mint Juleps. The drink is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, and bartenders at The Kentucky Castle teach guests how to craft their own. The bourbon-based cocktail is made with sugar and mint leaves.
The Castle Is Also A Concert Venue
The hotel also hosts a concert series with Kentucky bluegrass bands and holds other special events. The castle sells general admission tickets as well as VIP tickets which come with dinner.
You Can Solve A Murder In The Castle
OK, not a real murder! But, among the special events held at the castle are “murder mystery” dinners. The Kentucky Castle also hosts improv comedy shows and themed balls. One recent event was “Cat in the Hat”-themed, with green eggs and ham.
Or Be A Princess For A Day
The castle isn’t just fit for kings and queens. It also holds regular “princess” events, such as storytime lunches, baking classes, tea times (a recent one included Mary Poppins), daddy-daughter dances and more.
Nearby Lexington Is a Fun Spot to Vacation
While there is plenty to do at The Kentucky Castle, a visit to nearby Lexington will show you why the area is called the “Horse Capital of the World.” Go on a horse farm tour or see nearly 50 breeds of horses at the 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park. Or you can visit local museums, tour historic homes and sample Kentucky bourbon from local distilleries.
Versailles, Kentucky, Is Pronounced Differently Than Versailles In France
Be honest: When you hear “castle” and Versailles, do you immediately think of France? There are several cities in the United States named after the famous palace. But, the Versailles in Kentucky is pronounced “Ver-Sayles” rather than “Ver-Sai.”
You Can Book Even More Castles on Airbnb
Love the idea of staying in a real-life castle? Check out our list of real-life castles you can stay in around the world.