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Five of Europe’s best castle hotels for travelers on a budget

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You don't have to be a king or queen to live in a castle. If you're planning on a vacation to Europe, consider a stay at one of Europe's magnificent castle hotels. Here are five castle hotels worthy to take a look at.

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Parador de Oropesa, Spain

According to legend, this fourteenth century castillo situated in the foothills of the Sierra de Gredos was centered on a spot believed to have been established by Hercules in 1716 B.C. Without a doubt, Oropesa is one of the oldest inhabited places in Spain. The castle features 48 rooms ranging from single rooms to suites. The castle hotel is decorated with vintage tiles, brightly-colored area rugs, and imported Peruvian art by the previous occupant Count of Oropesa, Francisco de Toledo, who served as the governor of Peru from 1569 to 1581 and after which the Parador is named. Guests can enjoy spectacular views of the vineyards, olive trees, meadows and the village of Oropesa from the top of the Homenaje (Homage) Tower. The swimming pool offers another vantage point of the surrounding area. Each April, the town comes alive with festivities as it celebrates its history and culture.

Dornröschenschloss Sababurg, Germany

The twin turrets of this charming, 675-year-old Dornröschenschloss Sababurg, the "Sleeping Beauty" castle emerge upwards looking down on the ancient forest below. There is not a better setting for this castle than on Germany's Fairy Tale Route, which supposedly was inspired by the Brothers Grimm's Legend of Sleeping Beauty. Today, the 675-year-old castle features a romantic hotel, a restaurant and a theater. There are 17 guest rooms within the castle complete with canopied beds and high ceilings within the stone walls. A stay at the Sleeping Beauty Castle is not complete without visiting the beautiful medieval castle garden. The garden produces a variety of herbs, vegetables, flowers and their famed roses.

Tulloch Castle Hotel, Ross-shire, Scotland

This 12th century castle was at one time an exclusive property to the powerful and wealthy of noblemen. It is said that only the Laird or the Chief of the Clan could experience such pleasure offered in a relaxed setting and atmosphere in a Scottish highland castle. Now Tulloch Castle welcomes travelers from all corners of the world to its luxurious and haunting setting. Although the castle dates back to the 12th century, most of what remains of the original structure are the south-west corner and tower. The 20-bedroom castle is also reputed to have a special resident guest, a ghost known as the Green Lady. Many of the castle's characteristics are well preserved that include the 250-year old paneled Great Hall, the Oak Room, fireplaces and decorative ceilings perfectly restored to their original condition, dungeons and even a pet cemetery.

Kilronan Castle, Ireland

The magnificent Kilronan Castle was originally built for the renowned Colonel King Tennison in 1820. Today it's one of Ireland's most lavish Castle Hotels containing 84 unique bedrooms and suites, situated on 40 acres on the coastline of Lough Meelagh in Roscommon. The castle is situated in a secluded setting and is surrounded by rich-green pastures and ancient woodlands, overlooking a beautiful lake. One of the main features of the Kilronan Castle is its awe-inspiring five-story stone baronial tower. The castle was modified into a world-class resort and spa in 2006 providing top-notch treatment including Irish seaweed wraps, mud chamber steam bath or just relaxing in the pool. A number of outdoor activities include golf, hiking, bicycling, sailing and horseback riding. Guests can relax in the drawing room while sipping on some tea while enjoying an afternoon meal. Then finish the evening by dining in the Douglas Hyde Restaurant and sampling some of their fine wines.

Burghotel auf Schönburg, Germany

The 10th-century Burghotel auf Schönburg preserves its old-world charm with the setting of a medieval castle. The rooms are decorated in period furnishings and crafts. Venturing through the castle can give you a spooky feeling; but what would a castle be without its ghosts? There is also a uniqueness about this castle-hotel; each room features a different layout setting. Among the 24 rooms offered, guests can choose rooms with a balcony or their charming Seven Maidens Suite with a terrace overlooking the Rhine River region. It's worth checking out the castle grounds including the beautiful gardens and the surrounding ancient forest. Their four-course dinners are excellent, featuring local cuisine such as local deer, duck, and forest mushrooms.

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