Lest you never follow the news, you might be aware of the royal family’s many exciting travels. You may even be inspired to travel a little bigger and more boldly — and you can do just that, even if you don’t have access to a mind-bending bank account or a direct hotline to the Queen. What does it take to vacation like a royal? Here’s where you can go to enjoy a stately, life-changing experience that won’t break the bank.
In simplest terms, Biltmore is simply breathtaking. Based in Asheville, NC, the lavish estate has been an institution since 1895. That was the year that George Vanderbilt opened the property to family and friends. It wasn’t until 1930, however, that the home opened to the general public — and with that, a beautiful legacy was born. The house is immaculate at a glance, with magnificent old-world pieces, such as artwork, furniture, and clothing, that tell a tale of a golden period in history when such things were always of the highest caliber. Tapestries throughout the property date from the 16th century, while luxurious spots dotted throughout give you a feeling that you may actually be a king or a queen — if only for a day. There’s a dramatic library boasting some 10,000 books. There’s an indoor pool, naturally, and even a bowling alley. Peppered throughout the home are nearly 65 fireplaces for your comfort.
By far one of the most appealing elements of the home is its dramatic garden. Formally arranged by famed landscape designer, Frederick Law Olmsted, the outdoor space hosts over 250 different types of roses, beautiful water features, thick green forests, and plenty of wide open meadows that are framed by beautifully preserved gardens. It’s difficult to overstate the almost shocking beauty of the place, and while you may be tempted to whip out your phone to snap a few photographs, remember that you’re thinking about how to vacation like a royal here — and you may be best off simply soaking in the wonderful ambiance here.
There are several areas where guests can stay, including the dramatic Inn on Biltmore Estate. Rooms are well appointed with the creature comforts of home, but feel decidedly more upscale thanks to their subtle hues, rich fabrics, and elegant furnishings. If you’re inclined, you might book a suite — all named after Vanderbilt’s friends — for an even grander experience. Dark woods, thick drapes, private dining areas, wet bars, living rooms, and jetted tubs are just a few of the world-class amenities you’ll find inside.
First things first: guests can’t stay overnight at Hearst Castle, the world-renowned destination in San Simeon, CA. But it’s worth a visit nonetheless for its incredible views and spellbinding architecture. There are several different tours available, and all provide you with an up-close and intimate peek at what it may have been like to stay at the castle as one of W.R. Hearst’s guests. One of the most popular tours is the tour of the Grand Rooms, which features a look at some of the castle’s most beloved spots — the theater, the gardens, the pools, and the billiard room, among others. If you’re more curious about the castle’s exquisite workmanship and design, book a Designing the Dream tour. You’ll learn about the architect responsible for the lavish estate, tour the dramatic Roman Pool dressing rooms, and see the Art Deco elements that transformed Casa Grande’s North Wing.
There are dozens of hotels in the area, and it’s worth seeking a property in keeping with the regal theme. The Cavalier Oceanfront Resort is a favorite for its beautiful ocean views and proximity to Hearst Castle and nearby wine country. The rooms are simple and inviting, and many consider it the ultimate home-base if they’re spending the day at nearby tourist attractions.
Castello di Amorosa
Designed to replicate a 13th-century Tuscan castle, Castello di Amorosa certainly lives up to its inspiration. The stunning property, situated in Calistoga, CA, is one of wine country’s most impressive, truly royal highlights. To its credit, it opened in 2007 — yes, it’s a fairly new castle — and quickly became one of the area’s most impressive and profitable spots. You can enjoy tours and tastings, of course, and take a peek at a dark room where 100-year-old bottles of family wine are lovingly stored. The property is home to some 107 rooms, 90 of which are strictly used for storing or making wine.
When you’re all tasted out, it wouldn’t be very regal to collapse on the floor. It’s important to find a quality place to stay in the area. Fortunately, there are quite a few royal-worthy hotels in the vicinity that are sure to take your breath away. Among them is Solage, a resort where no expense is spared to ensure a perfect stay from start to finish. Book a sleek, modern studio with a personal patio, or enjoy a luxe suite with a hot tub. Take your experience to the next level at the on-site, 20,000-square-foot spa, where therapies celebrate the region’s natural hot springs and mud. When you’re done, retire to your room for a private meal brought directly to you from one of the facility’s helpful staff.
Book a Royal Bus Adventure Today
Perhaps the final and most sensible way to learn how to vacation like a royal: reach your destination in style and comfort via bus travel. You won’t want for a single thing as you sit back and allow your driver to get you exactly where you need to be. Visit BusTickets.com to book the stay of a lifetime today.