Castle hotels are my very favorite place to stay on vacation. While you can find newer copies of the “Old World” around the world, it only makes sense that most of the truly authentic ones are in Europe. As I discovered as an exchange student abroad, castles were originally primarily fortresses. As such, they were set on high hills to protect the villages below. As a result, many were made of dark, heavy stone. Luckily, most have been updated to provide all the modern conveniences expected by today’s tourists.
On the other hand, palaces were very elegant and built as royal residences or those of the top officials or aristocracy. As a result, you can expect high ceilings, sumptuous rooms and ornate features inside and out. Most still have formal gardens surrounding them. Select palaces are now also open to the public as national monuments or even high-end lodgings.
Both castle and palace hotels tend to be in the countryside. The good news is that tends to decrease the prices, especially off-season. While swimming pools, inside or outside are rare, most have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV’s and private baths. In any case, be sure to ask!
The Castle St. Gerlach is very centrally located a three hour drive from Amsterdam. As you make your way south, you will quickly see that it is also close to the German border, North Rhineland-Westphalia and the ancient and historic city of Aachen/Aix-la-Chappelle. (For the English language version of the official local tourism site, go to Welcome to Aachen )
The Castle St. Gerlach is set in the Geul Valley six miles from Maastricht, Netherlands and close to Liege, Belgium. Liège is also an interesting side trip as it dates back to at least 558 AD as part of the Roman Empire. In the 21st-century, it has acquired prominence of a different kind. See Liège Christmas market: the largest in Belgium
As a result of its location, it is the perfect way to combine a trip to other parts of the Netherlands plus nearby Belgian and German popular tourist and historic sites.
If you choose not to drive, it is easy to get around on public transportation. You can check schedules and take advantage of easy online train booking. For more details as to the area while you are planning your trip, see the Netherlands official tourism site.
Things to see and do in Maastricht and the region:
Take a walking city tour of ancient fortresses and historic churches.
Don’t skip top local attractions: the Vrijthof, Basilica of Saint Servatius, Kasteel van Rijckholt and Vaalsbroek Castle.
See the Caves of Valkenburg.
Visit the Roman Catacombes.
Stroll through the Valkenburg Christmas markets looking for unique gifts and possible bargains. .
Explore an authentic Dutch windmill at Van Tienhovenmolen.
Go on a river cruise of the fabled Maas, subject of many storied 17th-century Dutch paintings. (My personal favorite is the “Maas at Dordrecht”, part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.)
Play a round of of golf.
Rent a bike, and conduct your own self-guided tour.
Go for a hike, and check out the Recreatiepark De Valkenier.
Look for special art at TEFAF.
Luxurious Dutch Castle Hotel: The Castle or Château St. Gerlach:
The 4 star Castle St. Gerlach is a pet-friendly lodging with a swimming pool, a rare treat even in newly renovated European castle hotels. Animal lovers will be further pleased to learn that it is set in the Ingendael wild life reserve. Its setting is further enhanced by the surrounding parklands, gardens and arboretum.
The ninety-seven room Château St. Gerlach has its own on-site Spa and Wellness center. Virtually unlimited services include the following:
Fine dining is available on-site at the Restaurant Château St. Gerlach. Alternative informal options are provided at the Bistrot de Liège. The Château St. Gerlach is a member of world famous Relais & Châteaux® and the Camille Oostwegel Château Hotels & -Restaurants. Drinks are served in the lounge.
Guest rooms are decorated in a high end, elegant country-style. They all offer free Wi-Fi. For an ample breakfast, you can begin the day in the pavilion which overlooks the lush herb garden.
For more information on this Solo Travel Destination Dutch Castle Hotel, please click through the link to find more details, availability and daily pricing. For another type and style of castle in the Netherlands countryside, also check out this 4-star Dutch castle hotel.
For more castle hotels throughout Europe from those offering cheap singles packages to luxury solo deals in 4-star lodging, see our Bavaria and beyond and “Solo Travel Deals-Castle Hotels“. You will find an epic mix of Old World charm and modern amenities from free Wi-Fi to, in some cases, an outdoor swimming pool.
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