Live out your royal fantasies at Kasteel Sterkenburg
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a real-life castle? Well, Kasteel Sterkenburg, located near Utrecht, will bring your royal fantasies to life! Situated on its very own island, this estate has turned eight of its rooms into quite the impressive bed and breakfast.
Did you know the Utrecht region is home to numerous glorious castles and country estates? One of them just so happens to be this 13th-century gem, Kasteel Sterkenburg. Surrounded by canals, this castle turned B&B can be found in one of the most scenic landscapes: the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. Think meadows, orchards, wooded banks, forests, and bodies of water and you get the picture.
It may be hard to believe now, but the area the castle stands in today was originally a swamp forest. In the thirteenth century, possibly around 1261, the castle was constructed when the bishop of Utrecht ordered a fortified ring fortress with a high round tower to be built to defend the Langbroek. So Sterkenburg’s original purpose was actually to be a defense fortress!
Important note: Before 1300 the history of Sterkenburg is very mysterious. The statements of different historians, genealogists, and authors are sometimes contradictory
The first verifiable lord of Sterkenburg, mentioned between 1307 and 1324, was Ernst van Sterkenburg. The Sterkenburgs’ lived in this estate up to the 15th century until the final daughter of the family name married.
After the Sterkenburg’s died out, the castle had many different residents come and go. It also took on many different roles — including a boarding school, educational institute, and conference center.
Today, The Foundation for the Conservation of Sterkenburg oversees the management of the property and the extensive restoration work of not only the castle but also the parks and gardens on the estate. Now, they’ve even renovated eight different rooms within the tower, castle, and coach house into cozy suites that you can rent out for a unique bed and breakfast experience!
With their own atmosphere and style, every room has something unique to offer. If you really want to feel like you’re sleeping in a medieval castle, you should choose the Kestrel Room (Torenvalkkamer) in their round tower. It has exposed brick walls and an arched ceiling typically seen in castles. For something a little more modern, check out the Duck Room (Eendenkamer) in the Coach house with a wooded ceiling and simplistic décor. If you want to go all out, then the Stork Room (Ooievaarkamer) is the place for you. Also known as the bridal suite, this is the most luxurious space with giant windows, a lounge area, and a private bathroom with a free-standing tub. This is where Kiki and I ended up staying and boy did we feel pampered. This spacious and luxurious room transformed us from being your everyday city girls to two absolute QUEENS!
Relax like the royals
I’ve mentioned this before, but I really felt like an absolute queen during my stay. I drank tea out of fine china, read my book on an antique chaise lounge, and took a bath in a gorgeous porcelain bathtub inside a bathroom that was bigger than my personal bedroom!
I mean, I totally understand why they selected the room we stayed in to be their bridal suite. It’s an exceptional place to relax, pamper yourself and get ready for the big day. And besides, who wouldn’t want to get married in a real-life castle? Check out their wedding packages if you’re looking for a romantic setting for your big day! 😉
The interior isn’t the only majestic thing about this estate. You can take a stroll and check out the other outbuildings like the Coach house and the Gardener’s house. For our animal lovers, there are storks that have a nest next to the castle. Plus, you’ll come across chickens roaming through the grass, ducks swimming in the canals and roe deer wandering in the orchard. Gardens certainly fit for a king!
A breakfast fit for a king
The dining room, like all of their rooms, was exquisitely decorated. With warm wood furniture, fresh flowers, and a grand piano that your eyes simply gravitate to. The breakfast also did not disappoint. The coffee was strong, the yogurt home-made, and the bread freshly baked. What more could you ask for? Let’s just say, we weren’t ready to return to reality when the check-out time came.
→ This article was written in collaboration with Kasteel Sterkenburg. We got to stay here for free, in exchange for content. Of course you can read our own opinion here!