You'll never be royal, but that doesn't mean you can't spend a few days presiding over a castle. Over the last century – since rampart-having summer cottages went out of fashion – hotel chains have been buying up aging properties around the room and turning royal suites into "Royal Suites." The luxury palaces provide travelers with an opportunity to enjoy high-end amenities while also glimpsing history. There is no better way to understand how ancient fiefdoms were run than by looking out from the king's parapets.
The Dalen Hotel
Originally a "summer palace" built for vacationing royals, the Dalen Hotel is one of the largest wooden buildings in Europe and also one of the strangest. Styled with Norse motifs, the building, which overlooks the grand Balek Lake, looks vaguely asiatic and completely fantastical. Though it once served as a retreat for Nazi officers, it is now popular with well-to-do Scandinavians.
Credit: Nick Laing / Getty Images