Throughout the world, but mainly in Europe and parts of Asia, numerous palaces, castles and chateaus have been carefully converted into deluxe lodgings -- rich in history and, understandably, often in cost.
Some of the finest include the newly opened Four Seasons Lion Palace in St. Petersburg and the recently renovated Gritti Palace in Venice -- both among the selection featured below.
Excluded in this list are the well-known palace hotels of India in order to highlight similar-ish accommodations available in other countries.
La Posta Vecchia, Rome
Located 30 minutes outside of the Italian capital, La Posta Vecchia was built in the mid-17th century by the Renaissance Prince Orsini.
In the 1960s, oil tycoon J.P. Getty bought and restored it, salvaging many original artifacts while simultaneously reinvigorating the palace with pieces from his own art collection.
Today, the hotel balances ancient and contemporary themes, with priceless antiques alongside modern features such as an indoor pool and a helipad.
Highlight: The hotel's private museum, housing ruins dating back to the second century B.C.
La Posta Vecchia, Strada Ciclabile Palo Laziale, 00055 Ladispoli, Rome, Italy; + 39 06 994 9501
Hotel Vestibul Palace, Split, Croatia
Part of Diocletian's Palace, an immense bastion built by the Roman emperor in the fourth century A.D., the Hotel Vestibul Palace is located within the Peristile square, a place once reserved for the gods.
The hotel teems with history outside but inside things are mostly modern and the contrast of contemporary furnishings sitting next to 1,500-year-old walls allows one to appreciate the surroundings all the more.
Highlight: Figuring out which era parts of the palace are from, with the hotel merging Romanic, Gothic and Renaissance periods.
Hotel Vestibul Palace, Ulica Iza Vestibula 4 21000, Split, Croatia; +385 21 329 329
Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing
Beijing's grand Summer Palace is one of the most popular sights of the Chinese capital and only a group like Aman Resorts would dare try match it, let alone exceed it, with a hotel.
The Aman at Summer Palace is near the East Gate of the palace and comprises a series of 100-year old pavilions that were previously reserved for guests of the Empress Dowager. Imperial Chinese intricacies are abundant, including Ming Dynasty-style furniture and a number of private pavilions in the suites.
Highlight: The Reflection Pavilion, a peaceful setting with a lotus pond where guests can enjoy drinks and cigars.
Aman at Summer Palace, 1 Gongmenqian Street, Summer Palace, Beijing, PRC 100091; +86 10 5987 9999
Mamaison Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace, Prague, Czech Republic
Once Mozart's temporary home in the Czech capital, the Pachtuv Palace was the residence of Earl Hubert Karel Pachta, who purportedly locked the composer in a room until he finished Don Giovanni.
To be fair, there are worse places you can be imprisoned, with each of the hotel's 50 suites restored: frescoes line the ceilings, fireplaces roar in the corner, four-poster beds offer a noble sleep.
Highlight: The two gorgeous Baroque-style courtyards, which allow you to escape the city.
Mamaison Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace, Karoliny Sv?tlé 34, 110 00 Praha, Czech Republic; +420 234 705 111
Hotel Imperial, Vienna, Austria
Built as the Vienna home of Philip of Württemberg, the Hotel Imperial originally housed the prince from 1863 to 1865, until a city planning problem saw him move on.
In 1873, an investor bought the property in time for that year's Vienna Expo, converting the numerous halls into individual hotels rooms while retaining many regal touches.
Little has changed since, with the palace's 150-year history available to all who stay at the hotel: ornate 19th-century chandeliers, crest-embossed drapes and endless relics.
Highlight: The traditional personal butler service, which comes with every suite.
Hotel Imperial, Kärntner Ring 16, 1015 Vienna, Austria; +43 1 50 1100
Hotel Gritti Palace, Venice, Italy
Venice has an endless number of "palaces" converted into hotels, but few match up to the opulence of the Gritti.
Constructed in the 16th century for the city's "Doge" (Duke), it was later used to welcome Vatican ambassadors, before finally being turned into a hotel in the late 1800s.
Following a 15-month renovation, the hotel reopened this spring, with each of its 82 rooms restored with the Renaissance in mind.
Highlight: The Explorer's Library, paying homage to the hotel's many literary guests, including Ernest Hemingway and W. Somerset Maugham.
Hotel Gritti Palace, Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 2467 30124 Venice, Italy; +39 041 296 1222
Chateau de Saint-Loup, Loire Valley, France
The year is 1356 and the Hundred Years' War ravages on -- the Battle of Poitiers has just taken place and Edward the Black Prince has captured the King of France, Jean le Bon, imprisoning him in a castle keep in the Loire Valley.
Jump forward nearly 700 years and that keep still stands as part of the privately owned Chateau de Saint-Loup hotel.
Guests are treated to a truly medieval experience, with accommodation choices in the gorgeous 17th-century chateau, in the 12th-century tower square or within the keep itself.