A mediaeval castle – Ruthin Castle Hotel, Wales
You walk through a dark forest by the light of a candle flame flickering in the breeze. You reach the moat and the hotel’s Spa Bazaar awaits.
Ruthin Castle Hotel is set in a picturesque mediaeval town in the Clwydian Ranges of North Wales. It is surrounded by gardens with neatly manicured lawns and a stone wall overhanging ancient vines. There are also large areas of dark coniferous woodland around the hotel.
The entrance to the foyer is guarded by stone lions, and the corridors are lined with historic knights’ armour and paintings of historical figures. As you pass them, turn quickly. Did you see them move out of the corner of your eye? As well as chasing the ghosts of the past, visit the Tafarn Y Ddraig restaurant for a taste of Welsh cuisine.
Ruthin Castle was built for King Edward I of England in 1277. For centuries, a life of love and hate, intrigue and crime took place within its walls. In the early 19th century, a stone mansion with an equally interesting history was built on the ruins of the castle and from 1923 to 1950, it was home to an outstanding international clinic for rare diseases.
Today, guests instead of patients walk through these dark corridors with their creaking floors. Some choose to stay in dark rooms with original stone fireplaces, others in bright apartments with hydro-massage bathtubs.
Follow the ghosts of the past
The intriguing world of Henry VIII – Thornbury Castle, England
The stone walls are covered with vines, whose sturdy shoots could easily be climbed to reach the windows. By day, the building exudes a splendour worthy of a royal residence. In the evening, although beautifully lit, it can cause some anxiety to those of a nervous disposition. Apparently, many visitors believe that the ghosts of former residents lurk in the courtyard.
West of England near Bristol,you can stay at Thornbury Castle Hotel, an original Tudor castle surrounded by a large garden. Inside you will find interiors that combine the grandeur and splendour of the 16th century with modernity. The rooms are bright, but not without their historical touches such as heavy wooden doors, carved beds, tapestries and elegant portraits.
Take a stroll through the hotel’s corridors, which wind through the huge building. The castle was once a place of intrigue and the jealousy of King Henry VIII himself. After the previous owner was condemned, Henry took control of the property and legend has it that the King was a frequent visitor.
A game of hide and seek in the castle grounds will also give you goosebumps. During the day, it is a charming place to relax or sip English tea at a café table. After dark, however, it takes on an aura of mystery. The sound of a twig breaking underfoot or the crunch of gravel in the dark will make your heart beat faster. Equally intense emotions, but this time definitely positive ones, are guaranteed in the hotel’s restaurant. Its inventive dishes inspired by British cuisine will satisfy the palates of even the most demanding guests.
In the castle park, play hide and seek
A setting for a crime story – Hotel Continental Palacete, Barcelona
The thrills don’t stop in the rainy British Isles. See for yourself at the Hotel Continental Palacete on La Rambla de Catalunya in Barcelona. The hotel is housed in a historic tenement building, but the real intrigue begins inside.
Richly decorated corridors, crystal chandeliers, spiral staircases and floral wallpaper – this is the perfect setting for a thriller or murder mystery set at the turn of the 20th century. Imagine characters plotting against each other in an atmospheric bar. Or the murderer, who turns out to be the bellboy.
The hotel is located in the heart of Barcelona, in the famous Quadrat d’Or district. From here, it is only a five-minute walk to the Catalan capital’s main attractions, such as La Rambla, Plaça de Catalunya and Casa Catllo. The area is also full of luxury boutiques, restaurants and theatres.
Whether you want to make sightseeing plans for the next day or stimulate your imagination with new horror scenarios, the hotel restaurant is a good place to start. Relax with tapas and a glass of wine after a long and emotional day.
Create your own spooky plot
Italy’s oldest hotel – Firenze Porta Rossa, Florence
This hotel was recognised at the 2010 European Design Awards for its well balanced combination of old and new. The interiors capture the imagination with high ceilings, stone arches and historic frescoes, mainly Baroque, but also older. Who knows, maybe they are reminiscent of the times of the master Leonardo da Vinci himself?
Firenze Porta Rossa is part of the luxurious NH Collection chain. It is located in the heart of Florence, the capital of Tuscany, the pearl of northern Italy. The historic building, with its 13th century tower, gives it an air of mystery and is believed to be the oldest hotel in Italy.
The hotel rooms are dominated by modernity and minimalist furnishings with a limited colour palette based on creamy white and red. This arrangement of luxury apartments harmonises perfectly with the opulence and richness of the lavishly decorated corridors and common areas – the perfect setting for a Halloween party.
During your stay, take advantage of the hotel’s location, right in the heart of Florence. The legendary Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo Cathedral are just a short walk away, as is the picturesque Ponte Vecchio, which spans the Arno River. You can also browse the exclusive boutiques on the elegant Via Tornabuoni and enjoy coffee and cake in Piazza della Signoria, the city’s stunning central square.
Touch history in Florence
Just like the theatre – Marquis Faubourg Saint Honoré, Paris
The dark rooms of the Marquis Faubourg Saint Honoré hotel have a distinctly theatrical quality. You get the impression that a crime, a scene of passion or the theft of a diamond necklace is about to take place.
The five-star hotel is housed in a historic 18th-century Beaux-Arts mansion which was once the home of the Marquis de La Fayette – one of the main leaders of the French Revolution.
The haute couture interiors have a slightly dramatic character, but are also extremely tasteful, thanks to the presence of works of art and furniture of the highest quality. This is all thanks to the famous international architect Michele Bönan, who was responsible for their design.
The common areas are similarly decorated, including the prestigious foyer, the hotel restaurant and the spa. Located in the heart of the city, the hotel is within walking distance of the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées.
Think of a scary scenario
A haunted hotel – Rural Finca Salamanca, Tenerife
This luxurious Canarian-style villa was once a sanatorium known as the “House of Fear”. Today it is an elegant and exclusive hotel with stunning sea views, a private botanical garden, natural terraces and a heated outdoor swimming pool.
The building is located in the town of Güímar, in the heart of a quiet valley. In the 19th century it was a medical centre for the chronically ill. It was nicknamed the “House of Fear” after a series of strange, inexplicable situations took place there.
Guests claimed to hear voices and footsteps in the corridor when no one was there. Others swore to have seen the ghost of a woman who died by suicide.
Even if you don’t come across a stray soul, your stay can be considered a success. A truly Canarian atmosphere awaits you, perfect in any season and the rooms in the main building combine rural Spanish style with modern elements. The Finca Salamanca restaurant is also on the premises, where you can discover the flavours of Tenerife.
Visit the House of Fear
A sinister setting – Hotel Santos Prague, Madrid
If you’re a fan of crime podcasts, thrillers and ghost hunters, Hotel Prague is the place to be while you’re in Madrid. Located close to the city centre on the Manzanares River, it was the scene of a brutal crime in 1992.
The half-naked, mutilated body of a young man was found in room 204. The killer had written homophobic slogans on the walls in his own blood. But the fact that someone had died within the walls of the hotel was not the end of the story. After two years, the renovated room was made available to one of the new guests. Coming in from the corridor, he saw a young man. He went back to the reception to report the mistake and described the man’s appearance, at which the receptionists turned pale.
Does the ghost of the murdered person still appear to guests in this room? That is unknown. What is certain is that the hotel offers reasonable prices for Madrid, bright, well-equipped rooms and a modernist layout of the common areas, including the foyer.
Another advantage is its location in the heart of the new Madrid Río district. From here, there is a pleasant walk through the greenery from Caja Mágica, through the Matadero cultural area to the Royal Palace and Campo del Moro. It is also easy to get to the famous beaches of the River Madrid.
See the crime scene
Looking for some other ideas? Check the article about Dia de Muertos.