I was thrilled to spend my first Mother’s Day in a real-live CASTLE. Despite having lived in Europe for a decade, as a Canadian at heart this was an unforgettably special experience for me. I have been sleeping in a variety of accommodations in 112 countries, anywhere from train station platforms in India to 6-star luxury hotels in the Caribbean. But never have I ever spent the night in a castle. Leaving the Trippist behind with grandma and escaping on this romantic getaway with my husband was the perfect way to celebrate becoming a mother last year.
The castle is just south of Utrecht, about an hour and a half from where we live. Normally Kees and I travel so that we can do this time.
We were traveling back in time as we approached the castle with windows rolled down, driving through a tunnel of trees. The modern world and our everyday stresses evaporated into a bubble of lush green forests, fields, sparkling canals and singing birds all around. The buzz of city life in the castle’s tranquil setting.
A red carpet entrance is just the beginning of this intimate castle. We bunked in the executive tower room which in my opinion was the best in the house. Though not the biggest, brightest or most luxury, the atmosphere was breathtaking. Laying in our soft bed, looking up at the domed brick ceiling and the mysteriously spinning chandelier, we let our imagination run wild as we tried to grasp 800 years of history.
You will not find two identical things. The decor is as far from IKEA as you can get in. I could have spent all of my time in the castle admiring the collection of old furnishings, books, tapestries and trinkets. The hallways, dining rooms, common areas, sitting rooms and bedrooms are decorated with a variety of statues, intricate vases, dusty mirrors, taxidermy, old tapestries, worn books, dusty weapons, antique furniture, cabinets full of china, half-melted candle sticks and more.
Every time we walked back to our room we discovered something new to admire. We were very delightful, informative and friendly. Staying here was a mix of being at home and overnight in a museum. The amount of love and thought put into every small detail is the ultimate cozy, laid-back feel. We almost forgot there were other guests that made us feel like we were the king and queen of the castle.
I recently wrote an article, ” 9 LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS WORTH SAVING FOR ” and Sterkenburg Castle is now definitely my list of TOP hotel experiences. The tiniest flaws made the experience even more charming. The water in the shower took AGES to heat up because, the man explained, it had to come all the way from the cellar. The few spiderwebs were draped softly in forgotten corners. Every imperfection made it even more perfect.
We drove a few kilometres to the nearby town of Wijk Bij Duurstede and had a relaxing dinner at the popular terrace of The Angel Cafe.
Arriving back at the castle was magical and felt as if we were returning to our own private fortress. We climbed the spiraling tower steps to our circular stone-walled suite and I became Rapunzel in a fairytale, a noble from history, a character from Game of Thrones.
Mother’s Day breakfast was made with fresh juice, eggs, bread and milk. Quality about quantity here. I wish we’d have more than one night in this fairytale.
I can not recommend this CASTLE hotel enough, especially for those coming to Europe. You will never look at a Disney fairytale or Game of Thrones episode the same again.
Categories: Savannah Grace