Many castles in NRW offer visitors the opportunity of staying as overnight guests of their aristocratic owners – and perhaps even joining them for breakfast.
Schloss Auel, Lohmar
Schloss Auel, which was first mentioned in documents dating from the 14th century, is close to Bonn and today houses a hotel with adjacent golf course. Since 1818, the stately home has been owned by the La Valette family, who originate from the old French aristocracy. Family members include the grand master of the St. John’s and later Maltese Cross, Jean de la Valette, after whom the capital of Malta, Valetta, is named. The La Valette-St. George family still lives in the castle, and also offers a number of tourist activities aside from the hotel, from concerts to a “Tatort” dinner, named after the popular German TV crime series.
Burg Anholt moated castle, Isselburg
Even if its name suggests otherwise, Burg Anholt is in fact a palace. The aristocratic Salm-Salm family live in one part of the building, while the other is used as a hotel. At the same time, the palace is one of the oldest and largest museums in NRW. The count himself likes to take visitors on a guided tour of his property.
Herrenhaus Brückhausen, Everswinkel
The Herrenhaus Brückhausen manor house in Everswinkel near Münster offers bed & breakfast as a guest of the baron. Visitors stay in one of the two double guest rooms, and breakfast with fresh, home-made rolls and jam is served in the garden or in front of the fireplace, and is prepared by Baron and Baroness Franz and Franziska von Twickel themselves.
The Lower Rhine region
Schloss Ossenberg, Rheinberg
At the Schloss Ossenberg on the Lower Rhine, guests can stay under the same roof as the Duke and Duchess of Urach. The couple have installed four individually designed double rooms and one fireplace room for guests in the northern section of the building. And if they have the time to spare, they also share a breakfast table with their guests.
Burg Boetzelaer, Kalkar
Burg Boetzelaer castle in Kalkar is one of the oldest castles on the Lower Rhine. Built over 750 years ago, the dilapidated building was taken over and fully refurbished by its current owners, the Maximilian Freiherr von Wendt-Papenhausen family, at the end of the 1970s. Today, seven hotel rooms and three suites are distributed around the main castle and its annexe, including a Rapunzel maisonette suite. Breakfast is served in the historic medieval vaulted hall, with a fire crackling in the fireplace during the winter months. Whenever they have the time, the building owners greet guests themselves and offer tours of the castle.
Schloss Hertefeld, Weeze
Schloss Hertefeld palace in Weeze is currently owned by the aristocratic family of the same name. In one part of the palace, the owner and his family have themselves installed six very special hotel rooms, including the “Star room”, a loft-style suite in a former garage, with roof windows that can be opened at night, so that guests can sleep under the stars. Tours of the palace are also offered, which are usually given by the owner himself.
Schloss Wissen, Weeze
This palace on the Lower Rhine is the ancestral seat of the von Loe family, who have lived here for around 550 years. 17 rooms have been prepared for guests, who can enjoy breakfast in a historic water mill. Guided tours of the palace are also regularly offered, and when the park festival is held on the second Sunday in July, they are led by the owners themselves.
The Ruhr region
Schloss Lembeck, Dorsten
Part of this impressive moated residence on the northern edge of the Ruhr region houses a hotel and restaurant. By far the larger portion of the castle, which was first mentioned in records during the 12th century, is home to the count Graf von Merverdt family, whose members can regularly be seen walking around the premises. A gallery has been installed in the former palace kitchen, showing paintings by Hanns Hubertus, Graf von Merveldt. Conferences can also be arranged here. Regular public events are held in the palace gardens.
Schloss Westerholt, Herten
The “Altes Dorf Westerholt”, the old Westerholt village, in Herten, which is also known as the “Westphalian Rothenburg” is worth a visit for its over 60 half-timbered houses from the early 17th century alone. The Schloss Westerholt palace, the aristocratic home of the Carlo Graf Westerholt family, also contains a hotel. The busy palace owners can often be seen on the premises.
Gut Wenne, Eslohe
The Gut Wenne estate in Eslohe was first mentioned in 1371, and is now owned in the tenth generation by the baron Freiherren von Weichs family. Three generations of the family live on the estate itself. Holiday apartments are available to guests enjoying their stay in the Sauerland region, and who wish to spend time with the family under one roof.