When your everyday dwelling is a palace, where do you go on holiday? It’s not a conundrum that troubles most of us but for the British Royal Family, whose homes include Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, it’s quite the puzzle.
The Queen, for her part, found the most obvious answer was just to go to another of her stately homes and, accordingly, her annual trips to Balmoral in Scotland were said to be the highlights of her year. However, for royals with a taste for sunshine – or those dispatched on royal tours and duties abroad – there are a number of luxury hotels that have fallen into favour with Britain’s most regal family. Why not treat yourself on your next holiday and visit one of these hotels stayed at by the Royal Family?
UK & Europe
The Goring, London
Let’s start with possibly the most famous royally-approved hotel: The Goring. It is the only hotel in the world with a Royal Warrant and has welcomed virtually every member of the British Royal family through its doors over its 123-year history. The Queen Mother famously enjoyed the restaurant’s Eggs Drumkilbo (which is still on the menu); the Queen is said to have held her annual Christmas lunch here; and, following suit, Kate Middleton stayed at The Goring the night before her wedding to Prince William. Quite the feat for a hotel mere moments from Buckingham Palace.
Rooms from £680 per night, thegoring.com
The Dorchester, London
Another London grand dame that’s a regular haunt of the Royal Family, The Dorchester’s relationship with royalty extends as far back as the 1930s and ’40s when members of the royal family were in regular attendance at the charity balls hosted at the hotel almost weekly. Still a favourite of the family, when the Grade II-listed building was reopened after a major refurbishment in 1990, it was HRH Prince Philip that did the honours. Accordingly, the hotel went all out with lavish decorations on its facade to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Oliver Messel, the hotel will be recreating the spectacle for the Coronation of King Charles III – making it the perfect time to pay a visit.
Rooms from £965 per night, dorchestercollection.com
Cliveden House, Berkshire
Sprawled across 376 acres of ancient woodland and countryside – and with an equally illustrious history to match – the 17th Century Cliveden House has been a draw for royals as far back as Queen Victoria. Most recently it came to prominence as the choice of Meghan Markle on the eve of her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018; an ideal option given its extensive spa facilities to ease pre-wedding jitters and exceptional fine dining offering with which to toast the occasion.
Rooms from £545 per night, clivedenhouse.co.uk
Hassler Hotel, Rome
Perched at the top of the Spanish Steps, the Hassler Hotel has been a go-to for celebrities and royals for more than 125 years. As well as welcoming stars including Audrey Hepburn, Robert De Niro and Grace Kelly through its doors, monarchs from Denmark, Sweden, Egypt and Cambodia have all stayed here – along with Prince Charles and Princess Diana. In fact, Princess Diana was so taken with the hotel that she retreated here with her sister Sarah and friends Roberto Devorik and David Wynne during her highly publicised divorce proceedings in 1996.
Rooms from €1,007 per night, hotelhasslerroma.com
The Carlyle, New York
Famed for offering discretion and privacy in the centre of one of the world’s busiest cities, The Carlyle in New York first got the royal seal of approval when Princess Diana stayed here during a solo tour in February 1989. Clearly impressed, Diana returned to the hotel numerous times during her divorce from Prince Charles, famously breaking the ice during an awkward lift ride with Michael Jackson and Steve Jobs by breaking into a rendition of Beat It. Since then, the hotel has also become a favourite NYC stay for both Princes William and Harry, with both usually opting for the same Royal Suite their mother was fond of.
Rooms from $1,325 per night, rosewoodhotels.com
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Montreal
The clue’s in the name with this one: Queen Elizabeth II visited her namesake Montreal hotel three times during her reign, including when in town in 1959 to meet President Eisenhower to open the St. Lawrence Seaway. The hotel recently underwent a $140 million refurbishment, meaning it is now much more modern than the hotel which would have greeted the Queen – but we think King Charles III will be equally impressed should he fancy a visit.
Rooms from £340 per night, fairmont.com
Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Jamaica
Looking for a proper tropical resort in which to holiday like a king or queen? In 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent a long weekend at Montego Bay’s Round Hill Hotel & Villas to celebrate the wedding of close friend Tom ‘Skipp’ Inskip. One of Jamaica’s most exclusive hotels (along with other royal-favourite Half Moon), Round Hill boasts 36 suites and 27 villas, all with interiors designed by Ralph Lauren. The hotel has also welcomed numerous celebrities over the years, including Grace Kelly, the Kennedys, Prince Michael of Kent, Truman Capote and Pierce Brosnan.
Rooms from £480 per night, roundhill.com
Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles
The affectionately named ‘Pink Palace’ may just be the most famous celebrity hotel in the world. Located in the centre of Hollywood, its royal connections began in the 1950s when the most glamorous royals, including Princess Margaret and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, rubbed shoulders here with John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. In 2011, the Prince and Princess of Wales stayed here on their first overseas engagement as a married couple, choosing the 5,500 square foot, three-bedroom presidential bungalow.
Rooms from $1,295 per night, dorchestercollection.com
Perhaps best known as the birthplace of the Singapore Sling, which was concocted by barman Ngiam Tong Boon in the Long Bar in 1915, the grand Raffles Singapore welcomed Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 2006, before the Prince and Princess of Wales also came to stay in 2012. However, the British Royal Family are far from the only monarchs to fall for Raffles’ grandeur and opulence. So irresistible is its allure that, in 2021, the hotel released a marketing film starring a frankly stunning cast of modern royals, including Princess Catharina of Hungary and Bohemia, Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark, Prince Nikolai of Denmark and Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh, King of Jaipur.
Rooms from £708 per night, raffles.com
North Island, Seychelles
Chosen by the Prince and Princess of Wales for their honeymoon in 2011, North Island in the Seychelles has long been a favourite of the world’s elite thanks to its ultra-exclusive ethos. The resort offers just 11 villas and is available as a complete buyout for those celebrating a special occasion or looking for utter privacy. As well as its incredibly luxurious accommodation and 10-1 staff-to-guest ratio, guests at North Island can expect pampering spa treatments, regular sightings of indigenous wildlife, relaxed fine dining and a roster of water sports and activities.
Rooms from £6,800 per night, north-island.com