View over the Danube to Dürnstein with the church tower and Schlosshotel Richard Löwenherz

The 5 most beautiful Castle Hotels in springtime

Tuscany, Wachau, Tyrol and South Tyrol

Our Schlosshotels in spring are like something out of a fairytale. They bring together the most romantic aspects of history and nature, creating an enchanting atmosphere that will make your trip to Italy or Austria unforgettable. Spring is the perfect time to indulge yourself in the form of a luxurious stay at a Castle Hotel. We've handpicked five of the most beautiful Schlosshotels that are particularly charming in springtime, from Tuscany to the Wachau, all the way to the mountains of South Tyrol and Tyrol. These hotels not only offer majestic architecture and stunning landscapes, but also first-class service that combines the elegance of bygone days with the demands of modern hospitality. Each Castle Hotel is unique - because in a world of standardization, the extraordinary is becoming increasingly precious.

Here are our 5 favorites for an unforgettable spring:

View from above of the heart-shaped gardens of Villa le Barone in Tuscany
Historic Villa le Barone with terrace in Greve, Tuscany

Springtime in the hills of Chianti - Castle Hotel in Tuscany

Villa le Barone is a charming Castle Hotel in Tuscany that will make every epicurean's heart skip a beat. Nestled in the picturesque hills of Chianti and surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, this historic hotel is the perfect retreat to indulge in the Italian art of "Dolce far Niente" (sweet idleness). In spring, the flowers on the grounds come to life, and birds flutter around the cypress trees. The rooms are decorated in the Tuscan style and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. The hotel also boasts an infinity pool and an excellent restaurant exclusively for guests, serving delectable Tuscan cuisine.

View from Villa le Barone across the hills of Tuscany and the village of Greve in the Chianti region

3 things not to be missed during your stay

1. A visit to Dario Cecchini

Dario Cecchini is a famous butcher in Panzano, who gained worldwide recognition through the Netflix production "Chef’s Table". Visitors can tour his butcher’s shop and taste various types of meats, including the legendary "Bistecca alla Fiorentina".

2. Castello di Panzano

The castle of Panzano, also known as Castello di Panzano, dates back to the 11th century and sits majestically atop a hill overlooking the village. It is an impressive example of medieval architecture and offers a great view of the surrounding countryside.

3. A special historic villa with winery, on the way to Siena

On the way from Panzano to Siena (a day trip that we highly recommend), there is a very special and lesser-known gem of the Chianti region. Villa di Geggiano is located just six kilometers northeast of Siena and offers breathtaking views of the enchanting Chianti hill country. The historic estate dates back to the 14th century and was fully renovated in the 18th century, successfully preserving the original Baroque décor. The youngest generation of the Bianchi Bandinelli family produces excellent organic wines that are handpicked, aged for 24 months in wooden barrels, and limited to 30,000 bottles.

View of the beautiful garden with pool at Villa le Barone in Greve, Tuscany
Wood-ceiling room and double bed with red throw at Villa le Barone in Tuscany

Historical roots of Villa le Barone

Villa le Barone dates back to the Middle Ages and was the seat of a barony, hence its name "Le Barone". During the Renaissance, the tower was converted into a villa with its own agricultural estate and served as a summer residence for the famous Florentine ceramicist and sculptor Luca Della Robbia. After World War I, Marchesa Maria Bianca Viviani Della Robbia ran Villa le Barone as a vineyard and olive oil plantation. Maria Bianca was the granddaughter of François de Larderel, an 18th-century French industrialist who discovered and developed the use of geothermal vapors in Tuscany. Maria Bianca's daughter, Duchess Franca Visconti, transformed the villa into one of the first boutique hotels in Chianti, preserving the refined and elegant atmosphere of a private home while adding the conveniences of a modern hotel. The villa is now owned by the heirs of Duchess Franca Visconti. Corso and his wife Jacqueline look forward to welcoming you personally to Villa le Barone.

View across the outdoor pool to the former Clarissan convent, today’s Schlosshotel Richard Löwenherz
Spacious, stylishly furnished room at Schlosshotel Richard Löwenherz in the Wachau

Spring in the Wachau - Schlosshotel Richard Löwenherz

The Wachau is one of the most beautiful places in Austria and home to great wines. Situated on the Danube and characterized by terraced vineyards, the Wachau offers plenty to see and do. Schlosshotel Richard Löwenherz is located in the heart of it all and boasts magnificent rooms furnished with antique furniture and artworks. The hotel also features a gourmet restaurant and a fabulous outdoor pool for refreshing dips during the day.

Sunbathing lawns with sunbeds, outdoor pool and, in the background, the old convent walls of today’s Schlosshotel Richard Löwenherz beneath a radiantly blue sky

The 3 best tips for your stay in the Wachau

1. Strolling through Dürnstein and experiencing history

The magical village and home of Schlosshotel Richard Löwenherz captivates visitors with its narrow lanes and historical landmarks that never fail to impress. After a short walk uphill, you will reach the ruins of Dürnstein Castle and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. In the town center, Dürnstein Abbey invites visitors to admire its beauty.

2. Hiking through the vineyards

In the picturesque wine region of Wachau, hiking enthusiasts can explore the entire area in 14 stages along the famous World Heritage Trail. Covering a total distance of 180 kilometers, the trail leads through all the villages of the Wachau and offers breathtaking views of the enchanting landscapes. Even if you don't have time to complete the entire trail, it's worth exploring at least some of the shorter sections, such as the charming 5.5-kilometer Kogelweg in Krems an der Donau.

3. Tasting local wines and enjoying refreshments at wineries

The Wachau is one of the most renowned wine regions in Europe, particularly famous for its outstanding Grüner Veltliner. Wine is omnipresent in the Wachau, with more than 200 winemakers in the region. Just a stone's throw away is the "Domäne Wachau" - a cooperative of several winemaking families who operate under one roof. Just across the Danube on the opposite side, you'll find the "Rehrl-Fischer" winery and wine tavern. A true insider tip among Wachau connoisseurs.

Stylish restaurant with beautifully illuminated china cabinet at Boutique & Gourmet Hotel Orso Grigio in Innichen, South Tyrol
Artistically prepared chocolate creation on a white dessert plate at Boutique & Gourmet Hotel Orso Grigio, Innichen, South Tyrol

Historic hotel in South Tyrol - Boutique Hotel Orso Grigio

Schlosshotel Orso Grigio in Innichen (South Tyrol) is an ideal destination for a spring vacation. This charming 4-star hotel features a unique blend of historic architecture and modern comforts, surrounded by breathtaking nature in the heart of the Dolomites. It is a perfect starting point for mountain hikes and offers an array of culinary delights.

View from the rooftop terrace of Hotel Orso Grigio across Innichen with its church and the Dolomites in the background

3 “musts” during your visit to Innichen

1. Hiking in the Dolomites

This hotel is the perfect starting point for hikes in the Dolomites, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. You will discover numerous clearly marked hiking paths with a full range of difficulty. And just between us: Springtime is a very special time of year to experience the Dolomites, with no crowds in sight.

2. Culinary journey of discovery in Innichen

One of the newest additions is the delicatessen "Flora Gourmet". Franz Ladinser, owner of Boutique & Gourmet Hotel Orso Grigio and passionate afficionado of all things-culinary, has further pursued his passion through this specialty store. Here, you can discover sustainably produced and manufactured items, including the finest South Tyrolean specialties, as well as delicate chocolate from Austria, truffle salami, and select wines.

3. Relaxation with mountain views

In the hotel's own private spa, guests are able to unwind and relax. After a long day of hiking, the wellness area, which extends up to the hotel's rooftop, is the perfect place to restore harmony to your soul and do your body good whilst taking in the stunning mountain views.

Lush, green alpine meadows and some trees serve as the backdrop for the Zirmerhof, enthroned on a sunny hilltop above Radein
View from the Zirmerhof across the infinity pool, looking out at the beautiful, sunny countryside and the mountains surrounding Radein

Taking springtime to glorious new heights - the Zirmerhof

The Zirmerhof is a place where simplicity becomes special, and the quiet of the mountains is true wealth. Richard von Weizsäcker, former President of Germany, described the Zirmerhof as a "paradise of vastness and freedom". This ancient farmhouse dates back to the 12th century and has attracted guests from all over the world for over 100 years. The Zirmerhof is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city and the noise of the streets - surrounded by majestic nature instead. Here, you will find the true luxury of space, time, peace, simplicity, and deceleration. The combination of hotel, farm, winery, and nature affords an incomparable journey through the beauty of past eras and the modern sense of wellbeing we all crave today.

View from the Zirmerhof infinity pool of the surrounding mountain world, the blue of the water appearing to meld with the mountains and the blue sky.

The 3 most popular excursion destinations from the Zirmerhof

1. A Day Trip to Lake Garda

Experience a day full of adventure at Lake Garda! Swim in the crystal-clear water, explore picturesque villages, and savor delicious Italian cuisine. One tip: Visit Sirmione and take a boat tour along the coast.

2. The South Tyrolean Wine Road

Discover the South Tyrolean Wine Road and taste some of the best wines of the region. Take a walk through the picturesque vineyards and visit the wineries and cellars to sample the delicious local wines. One tip: Caldaro and the breathtaking view across Lago di Caldaro.

3. UNESCO World Heritage Site Bletterbach Gorge

Immerse yourself in the spectacular nature of the Bletterbach Gorge. Hike through the gorge and admire the impressive rock formations and waterfalls. One tip: Visit the museum and learn more about the geological history of the gorge.

View from the Fernsteinsee looking up at Schloss Fernsteinsee, enthroned high above the lake and surrounded by forest

Schlosshotel Fernsteinsee, a natural paradise

Schlosshotel Fernsteinsee is a place where body, mind, and soul can recharge and find new energy. Nestled in one of the most extraordinary areas of natural beauty in Tyrol, this resort boasts romantic islands, tranquil forests, clear mountain streams, and majestic mountains, such as the Zugspitze, that are within easy reach. You can reside in a historic castle and comfortable hotel rooms where kings once spent the night. On a 280,000 m² area, pristine nature awaits, inviting you to hike, stroll, and discover. Whether you prefer pure relaxation or outdoor sporting activities, Schlosshotel Fernsteinsee offers a rich array of options to help you unwind marvelously.

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