King Charles III’s crowning moment arrives this Saturday, 6 May, at Westminster Abbey in London, in a coronation ceremony the like of which many of us won’t have seen in our lifetimes. You don’t have to have been born into royalty though to experience ultimate opulence – these palaces to majestic history are fit for a King or Queen and will roll the red carpet out just for you.
Çiragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey
This is the only Ottoman imperial palace and hotel on the Bosphorus. Among its 310 rooms there are 11 private suites that are truly regal in their scale, with high ceilings and huge sash windows with epic views of the sea, the peninsula, the palace courtyard, and the park. Few hotel stays will ever feel as exclusive as this, although there are 20 further suites on offer here that come close. The hospitality is some of the finest in the Turkish capital, but there is also informal relaxation with an outdoor infinity pool seemingly a part of the sparkling blue Bosphorus itself.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
This was the summer retreat for the Mewar Royal family, completed in 1746, until Maharana Bhagwat Singh, Mewar of Udaipur, converted it into a heritage hotel in 1963. This marble wonder floats in the middle of Lake Pichola in the so-called Venice Of The East, and uniquely can boast 65 luxurious rooms and 18 grand suites with personal butlers; James Bond film fans might recognise it from the movie Octopussy, which just heightens the glamour, and a specially arranged candle-lit dinner under the stars is a speciality… and a must. The Indian cuisine and Wellness Circle spa are all 5-star plus-plus.
Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy
Built in 1568 as a summer residence for a wealthy cardinal with a serious art addiction, this world-famous lakeside hotel has a vast 17th-century shelled grotto, decorative gardens lapped by crystal-clear water, and theatrical chefs anxious that everything you taste is sensational. It was once the hideaway for screen idol Elizabeth Taylor. And you, like her, will just love to be here all day long. Start off with a relaxed Sicilian breakfast on the terrace before you lounge your way through the day, the shimmering lake vista before you and people-watching with idle curiosity guaranteed.
Inverlochy Castle, Fort William, Scotland
This magical 19th century castle is tucked away in a hidden valley of the Scottish Highlands, and nearby you can reconnect with dramatic nature at the Glen Nevis falls, a deep blue loch, and the Glencoe mountains. We guess haggis might be on offer hereabouts, but suspect – as Albert and Michel Roux Jr have established a renowned restaurant here – you’ll want to indulge yourself with their culinary mastery of modern British cooking twisted with French influences. The Gate Lodge offers the ultimate privacy for your family retreat, with great activities like wildlife and photography tours, white-water rafting, clay pigeon shooting, and off-road driving on offer, plus winter skiing on Nevis.
Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Emirates Palace Hotel has been beautifully transformed into the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, beginning a new golden era that builds upon the hotel’s distinctive legacy at the epicentre of an iconic resort. To commemorate, the hotel’s signature fan was recently unveiled, inspired by the UAE’s tradition of pearl diving; a global luxury landmark with world-class hospitality is back! This beachfront palace now has renovated rooms and suites – including novel vegan rooms based on compassionate design principles – innovative dining, and brand-new sports facilities, and everything elevated by Mandarin Oriental’s always exemplary service. The Spa is similarly regal in its ambitions to provide the pinnacle of rejuvenation.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec, Canada
Steeped in history, this is rather more than a hotel, being a castle that has inspired guests from all over the world for more than a century. The Chateau is at the heart of Quebec City, located on the cliffs of Cap Diamant, and they say it’s the world’s most photographed hotel, not least because it’s long been a magnet for celebrity and statedman VIP guests. The prestigious rooms have been designed with unparalleled grandeur, elegance, refinement and craftsmanship. The upper echelon is represented by 10 Dream Suites redolent of bygone European luxury, where some of the 700 staff on-site muster to your every wish. Meanwhile, historic Quebec is at your disposal, and all within walking distance.
If you want to experience living in total luxury that is fit for royalty, get in touch with your 360 Private Travel Designer.