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What is a palace?

Palaces are among the most opulent of all accommodation types, where sumptuous suites and grand lobbies filled with dangling chandeliers are commonplace. 4- and 5-star ratings aplenty, many also have a rich history and heritage so you can really feel like a Caesar as you hop between the spa facilities and on-site fine-dining restaurants. Not all palace hotels are or were seats of real royalty, but they sure make it feel that way.

Why should I stay at a palace?

Palace hotels are there to offer the height of luxury. With glimmering outdoor pools and steaming spa facilities at hand, you're sure to leave feeling pampered. In the rooms, 4-poster beds and elaborate decor is the norm, with velveteen furniture and grand balconies that spill out to views of sky-blue Lake Como or the old Victorian rowhouses on the hills of San Francisco.

In short, palaces are the perfect pick if you want to live like royalty on that next vacation.


Where do you find palaces?

From Rococo abodes in Paris, France to Mayan-inspired all-inclusives in Cancun to beach-side, pool-ringed resorts in Aruba, palace hotels are all over. They are certainly a mainstay of high-end destinations, but also pop up in historic towns where kings, queens, dukes, and nobles once decided to build their homes – many palace hotels are conversions from older, heritage-rich buildings.


How much does it cost to stay in a palace?

The sheer opulence and majesty of a palace stay means there's often a price tag to match. But for the most dedicated luxury seeker, the extra money is never wasted, because of things like butler service, award-winning fine-dining restaurants, infinity pools spilling down to private beaches – the list of perks that come with palaces goes on and on.

How to book a palace

Not sure where to look for that unforgettable stay in an historic palace? Expedia makes things super-simple. Just search for your accommodation by entering your travel dates and destination in the wizard above. You'll be walking in the footsteps of monarchs and princesses in no time. Also remember that booking your palace hotel in tandem with flights and car rentals can often help keep prices low.


What do palaces offer?

Most palaces are not as magnificent as Versailles but many aren't actually far off (on a smaller scale). Fusions of history and modern style are the norm, with elegant interiors that burst with antiques sitting next to swish spa facilities. Vernacular styles capture the hearts of visitors – think Mughal domes in India, colonial architecture in the Caribbean, Mudejar carvings in Andalusia. And then there are the outdoor – and indoor – pools, chic restaurants, valet parking – the list goes on.


Palaces vs castles

It may be natural to ponder what the difference is between palaces and castles. There are plenty of features that palaces and castles share, from historic architecture to powerful erstwhile residents. However, palaces tend to be a little more refined – historic ones were built for luxury, not defense, after all. They replace the stone-hewn bulwarks of fortresses with art-filled dining areas, swap out the keep-peppered gardens with manicured hedge mazes and palm-spotted walkways close to the sea.