Five Best: Gothic haunts

From coffin beds to spooky castles, get into the spirit of Hallowe'en.


Larnach Castle Dunedin, New Zealand

Larnach is the only castle in New Zealand, and gothic revival style at that. Built in 1871 by William Larnach, a merchant and politician, it has a tragic history. Larnach's first two wives, half-sisters, both died aged 38. Then his daughter died of typhoid. Larnachcommitted suicide after discovering that his third wife was having an affair with his son. With reported ghost activity in the castle, you might be relieved to find that visitors stay in a separate building.

Larnach Castle, 145 Camp Road, Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand (00 64 3 476 1616; www.larnachcastle.co.nz). Doubles start at NZ$240 (£85), including breakfast

Hotel Danieli, Venice

You don't get much more central than the Danieli. The hotel is right next to the Doge's Palace on the lagoon and within biscotti-throwing distance of St Mark's Square. Not that you have to fight your way through the riff-raff to get in; the hotel also has a private waterside entrance. A mish-mash of different architectural styles are split between a trio of buildings, dating from the 14th to 20th centuries. If it's gothic you're after, make sure you book a room in the oldest, a former palazzo. And if you can't afford to stay here, you can always have a peek at the hotel's soaring gothic atrium.

Hotel Danieli, Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, Italy (00 39 041 296 1222; www.luxurycollection.com/danieli). Doubles start at €315 (£225), room only.

Propeller Island City Lodge Berlin

A giant work of art in which you sleep may not be an obvious contender for a gothic hotel experience but all becomes clear if you check into room 31. Here, the main feature is two coffins, into which you can climb and sleep, lid down, though there's also a conventional bed to escape to if you get the creeps. Don't be misled by the hotel's name. Set in the centre of Berlin, rather than on some lonely atoll, it takes its name from a mythical island written about by Jules Verne.

Propeller Island City Lodge, 58 Albrecht Achilles Strasse, Berlin, Germany (00 49 30 891 9016; www.propeller-island.com). The "Gruft" or coffin room starts at €140 (£100), room only.

Night Hotel, New York

With its brooding, sky-scraping black façade and gothic script motif carpeting, there's more than a little something of the night about this new Manhattan boutique retreat. A "Gothic Gotham" fantasy, it's the latest venture by nightclub owner Vikram Chatwal and is primarily a place for partying after dark, with a restaurant and bar that stay open until 4am (anyone for a Kobe beef hot dog?). Best described as Robert Smith meets Andre Balazs, the rooms come with monochrome Timorous Beasties wallpaper, Dean and Deluca nibbles and iPod Nanos (black, of course).

Night Hotel, 132 West 45th Street, New York, US (001 212 835 9600; www.nighthotelny.com). Doubles start at $376 (£209), room only.

The Witchery by the Castle, Edinburgh

Almost as much a part of Edinburgh as the Scott monument, it's now a quarter of a century since rampant antiques collector James Thomson opened the Witchery just a few steps downhill from the city's castle. Since then Thomson has opened the Tower restaurant at the Museum of Scotland and a fantastically over-the-top hotel, Prestonfield, on the outskirts of the city, yet the Witchery is still going strong. It is a restaurant with rooms rather than a hotel, and its seven decadent, gothic-style suites have seen more celebrity action than Colin Farrell.

The Witchery by the Castle, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh (0131-225 5613; www.thewitchery.com). Suites start at £295, including breakfast and champagne.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?