Hotel Bernstein Castle
Bernstein - Burgenland - Austria
The romantic castle hotel Burg Bernstein in Burgenland, once home to Count László Almásy who served as the title figure in Michael Ondaatje's award-winning novel “The English Patient”, is a truly noble edifice, perched high above the Hungarian lowlands.
The Red Knight and the White Lady of Bernstein Castle
Would you like to know whether the Red Knight and the White Lady still actually roam the halls of Bernstein Castle? Well, of course they do, night after night. Why do you even ask? You know, there are different kinds of castle hotels. Many credit themselves with having cast out the old castle ghosts for good with the help of modern equipment. Others, however, are rather proud that the spirit of their ancestors still blows through their rooms, seemingly watching us with an unbroken gaze from amid the awe-inspiring portrait galleries. And then there is one of the former lords of this castle, having immortalised himself in highly Africaphile fashion in many parts of the building, numerous Arabian symbols attesting to his prowess: Count Ladislaus Almásy – desert explorer, race-car driver, known on the African continent as “Abu Ramla – Father of the Sand“. He has since been immortalised in the movie, “The English Patient”.
A castle hotel overlooking the Hungarian lowlands
Hotel Bernstein Castle is beyond doubt a truly noble edifice, perched commandingly on a rocky boulder high above the Hungarian lowlands, casting its glance squarely back towards its storied past. No traffic noise and no telephone in your room to disturb the lordly atmosphere of tranquillity and contemplation. Naturally, every evening our guests dine splendidly by candlelight in the Knights’ Hall, not least because the lady of the castle is an outstanding chef. The castle’s hotel rooms, some of which still feature fires which are fed from the hallway, are powered by electric, if only so that, when evening sets in, you can clearly see the magnificent fireplaces, the brocade curtains and the captivating antiques.
But beware: As soon as you switch off the light, it might come to pass that, if you are not pure of heart, the “White Lady” will lay her ice-cold hand on your chest. Or that paladin Johann-Ivan, also known as “Red Ivan”, “Raging Wolf” and “Schlosshansl”, will come to pay his respects. Don’t believe us? – Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself!
Chamber music and castle festivals in the immediate vicinity, grape harvest celebrations, Vienna