Five Best: Palace hotels

Live like a king in the world's most palatial hotels, where luxury comes as standard


Lapa Palace, Portugal

Lapa Palace, Portugal

Lisbon's Lapa Palace dates back to 1870, although it wasn't until 1883 that its lavish interior was commissioned. The Count of Valencas employed renowned local artists and ceramists to adorn this sugary pink confection above the Tagus river. Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro painted contemporary scenes featuring Lisbon high society on the walls and ceilings while his brother, Rafael, added unique pieces of furniture and decorative tiles. The palace was converted into a hotel in 1992; rooms offer panoramic views of the city or the hotel gardens.

Lapa Palace, Rua do Pau de Bandiera, 4-1249-021, Lisbon, Portugal (00 351 21 394 9494; www.orient-expresshotels.com). Doubles from €325 (£251) including breakfast Lucy Gillmore

Schlosshotel Kronberg, Germany

Designed by Empress Frederick, the widow of Emperor Frederick III and daughter of Queen Victoria, Friedrichshof, the Schlosshotel Kronberg, comprises 51 rooms and seven suites. The palace was conceived with the Emperor in mind, in the same way that her mother commissioned buildings in memory of Prince Albert. Empress Frederick took comfort from the palace's English-style gardens and sizeable library, and died at Friedrichshof in 1901. Today the building is one of the Leading Hotels of the World and retains most of its original features, including tiled floors, stone staircases, antiques and paintings commissioned by the Empress. Its bedrooms also contain her personal furniture.

Schlosshotel Kronberg (00 49 617 370101; www.schlosshotel-kronberg.de), Hainstrasse 25, Kronberg, Germany. Doubles from €245 (£175), room only Sophie Lam

Ciragan Palace, Turkey

One of the last residences of Sultan Murat V of the Ottoman Empire, who was held prisoner here between 1876 and 1904, the palace has been both a royal summer residence and has housed the Turkish parliament. The palace was rebuilt several times by resident sultans between the 16th century and its final refurbishment in 1910, when it was restored after a fire. Today, guests can enjoy sumptuous interiors with accommodation divided between suites in the original palace and modern rooms in the adjacent hotel. Renovations to the palace have been sympathetic and feature intricate mosaic ceilings in the banqueting room, chandeliers and Turkish rugs in the foyer. The luxurious Sultan Suite boasts floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Bosphorus.

The Ciragan Palace Hotel, (00 90 212 326 4646; www.ciragan-palace.com), Ciragan Caddesi 32 Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey. Doubles from $453 (£266) including breakfast SL

Rambagh Palace, India

The Rambagh Palace was built in 1835 as a hunting lodge and converted into a palace in 1925 by the Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, who used it as his summer residence. His widow, the Rajmata Gayatri Devi, still lives in one of its wings. The palace became a hotel in 1957 and today guests can delight in its regal four-poster beds, walk-in wardrobes and opulent marble bathrooms. The Maharaja's bedroom is now the royal suite overlooking the gardens. Butlers breeze through the palace dressed in traditional Jaipur Shermanis, while elephant polo takes place regularly on the palace's polo fields, with the Maharaja's trophies adorning the cabinets of the hotel's Polo Bar. The original Renaissance-style banquet hall, the Suvarna Mahal, is now the Rambagh's dining room.

The Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India (00 91 141 2211 919; www.tajhotels.com). Doubles from $346 (£204) room only SL

Palazzo Arzaga, Italy

Deep in the Lombardy countryside, between Lake Garda and the Alps, is Palazzo Arzaga, an elegant 15th-century palace that has recently been transformed into a luxury spa and golf resort. The palazzo's cobbled courtyard is overflowing with climbing roses, and next to the Renaissance villa is the tiny 12th-century private chapel of San Martino. In the rooms and corridors, you can see many of the palazzo's original frescoes.

Palazzo Arzaga 25080 Carzago di Calvagese della Riviera, Italy (00 39 030 680 600; www.palazzoarzaga.com). Double rooms from €236.50 (£169). Rooms with frescoes cost from €450 (£321) including breakfast LG

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Guru Careers: Brand Manager / Marketing Campaign Manager

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Brand Manager / Marketing Campaign Manager is req...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future