5 Over-the-Top Hotels Where Royal Families Stay

See recent posts by Rachel Klein

For mere mortals, staying at a luxurious hotel is as close as it gets to living like royalty. Where else can you have a butler at your beck and call 24/7 and a Bentley parked out front with a driver to shuttle you around town? But springing for a stay where actual nobility hang their hats (er, crowns) -- and where hotel staff is accustomed to rolling out the red carpet for them -- is sure to be experience nothing short of divine. These properties have all hosted royals from around the world, so read on to find digs fit for a king or queen. 

1. Windsor Atlantica, Rio de Janeiro

This four-and-a-half-pearl hotel was one of Prince Harry’s picks during his first royal tour in 2012. No doubt that even a dashing young man in line for the British throne was taken with the rooftop infinity pool, with jaw-dropping views of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. The property occupies a high-rise tower on bustling Avenida Atlantica, across the street from peaceful Leme Beach at the northern end of Copacabana. Decor befits royalty, with inlaid marble floors, ornate chandeliers, Persian rugs, and mirrored walls. Some of its 545 guest rooms are contemporary, done in sophisticated neutral tones, and elegant suites have formal dining rooms and seating areas with furniture upholstered in rich fabrics. All have upscale amenities, like well-stocked minibars, Nespresso machines, iPod docks, and spacious granite bathrooms, and Suites add jetted tubs and high-end bath products. There are also an on-site spa and fitness center. 

2. Aria Hotel Prague by Library Hotel Collection

Prague’s first luxury boutique hotel hosted Norodom Sihamoni, the king of Cambodia, for more than a week in 2010. The property’s four floors are themed for different styles of music — a nod to the city’s rich musical history — and its 51 guest rooms are named after famous musicians. The interiors are done by Italian architects Rocco Magnoli and Lorenzo Carmellini, known for their work with Versace. His Majesty opted for the Mozart Luxury Suite, a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment dressed in warm hues from pale peach to burgundy, with a modern kitchenette, a formal living room, and views of the enchanting gardens and grounds. Standard amenities are top-notch, with Apple TVs, well-stocked minibars, and bathrooms with rainfall showers and deep tubs, plus a generous stock of Molton Brown products. The hotel’s restaurant serves traditional Czech cuisine, and has a seasonal rooftop terrance with stunning views of the city’s landmarks, many of which are within walking distance of the property. 

3. Karma Kandara, Bali

Jet-setting royal couple Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall chose to vacation at this luxurious clifftop resort in southern Bali. The five-pearl hotel overlooks the beach, and has 54 multi-room villas with traditional Balinese decor and modern lines. They have private gardens and infinity pools, teak decks with loungers and dining tables, full kitchens, spacious living rooms, and canopied beds. Villas come equipped with flat-screen TVs, DVD players, free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, and pillow menus, and bathrooms have rainfall showers and separate stone soaking tubs. Highlights include a spa with cliffside treatment huts that have ocean views, and a sceney beach club. There’s also a Mediterranean restaurant, a rooftop bar, and an airy fitness center. 

4. Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa, Amalfi Coast, Italy

This former 17th-century convent — with knockout views of the Amalfi Coast — was restored in 2012, and hosted Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco the evening before its debut. The romantic, four-and-a-half-pearl resort has picturesque terraced gardens with cobblestone pathways, fountains, a bocce court, and attractive sunbeds. All 20 guest rooms have charming details, like wrought iron headboards with elegant scrollwork, handsome dark wood desks and nightstands, and contemporary upholstered furniture for a polished look. Standard amenities include AC, flat-screen TVs, well-stocked minibars, and free Wi-Fi, and bathrooms feature deep bathtubs and separate showers, heated towel racks, and bidets. An infinity pool that overlooks the water, a high-end spa, and an open-air fitness center is among its impressive features. 

5. Hotel Bristol Vienna

The four-and-a-half-pearl Hotel Bristol Vienna has a rich and scandalous history. King Edward VIII reigned over the British Empire in 1936 for less than a year after abdicating the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, and this property was their rendezvous of choice. The couple stayed in a lavish apartment now known as the Prince of Wales Suite, which is said to be the largest suite in Austria, with four bedrooms, a library and study, a formal dining room, and a sauna. The 19th-century grand dame has 150 guest rooms and suites with classic period decor, and all have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and terrycloth robes. Gorgeous marble bathrooms are a highlight, with shower/tub combos, bidets, and posh Gilchrist & Soames products. There’s no spa, but the hotel has a stunning Viennese Art Deco dining room, a luxurious bar, and a 24-hour fitness center. 

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