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Vacays Fit For A Queen

Vacays Fit for a Queen

What woman hasn't dreamed about being whisked away by a noble prince, living out the rest of her days in a beautiful castle? Make your fantasy a reality by planning a stay in a royal-residence-cum-hotel. These luxe locales will transport you to old world romance without skimping on modern amenities. So pack your bag (and your tiara!) and these palatial destinations will do the rest—all you have to do is provide your own prince. Who says dreams don't come true?

Amberley Castle Hearken back to a simpler time—without sacrificing contemporary conveniences—at this family-run medieval castle in quaint Amberley in west Sussex, England. Inside, the décor and furnishings echo centuries of royalty—dukes and bishops lived at Amberley for over 900 years. The sumptuous suites—each decorated in a unique style—are equipped with Jacuzzis, perfect for a post-supper soak. Come back to reality by taking advantage of the hotel's tennis court, croquet lawn, and professional putting course, or simply stroll through the ground's gardens and lakes (just be sure not to miss the thatched roof tree house along the way. Amberleycastle.co.uk; (011) 44-1798-831-992; $325-$740 per night (weekend rate only)

Taj Lake Palace Forget island getaways—the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, India, located in the country's northwestern state of Rajasthan, is its own island. Because the white marble palace covers most of a four-acre island, it appears to float majestically on Lake Pichola. According to legend, Maharana Jagat Singh II built the eighteenth century palace to woo royal ladies—and his desire to impress is still apparent in the exquisite architecture. Today, the hotel has two restaurants and a spa offering couples' treatments, Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation. And if you need a break from the palace's lush excess, take a romantic walk through the colorful streets of Udaipur, known as the Venice of the East. Tajhotels.com; (011) (91-294) 2528800; $630 per night, deluxe room with lake view

Le Château des Comtes de Challes Your knight in shining armor may learn a thing or two from a visit to Château des Comtes de Challes, which was built in the fifteenth century by armor-clad gents. Located in the charming village of Challes-les-Eaux near the town of Chambery in southeastern France, the hotel combines the intimacy of a bed and breakfast with the elegance of an old-world castle. Get cozy in your plush guest room, feast upon market-fresh produce in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, or wind through the many courtyards sprinkled across the grounds. Outdoors, build up a royal sweat hiking, mountain biking, or paragliding. Chateau-alpes.com; (011) 334 79 72 72 72; $198 per night, double château bedroom

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