One perk of castle living is having everything you need on the grounds—you know, a haute-Swabian restaurant, a champagne brewery and, most important, a beer garden tucked into the drained moat. Not that you're above downing steins with the commoners.
The Royal Treatment
Six Oktoberfest-Ready Castle Hotels
The way we see it, you've got two options: you can go to Germany and drink in a tent (we're not judging); or you can go to Germany and drink in the shadow of one of the country's more spectacular castles. Out of all the manses that made the cut, here are the ones where you should set up your throne (or at least a bed).
In case a castle isn't a large enough playground, you can always look for a little water. Luckily, this fort is perched on a rock overlooking the massive Lake Edersee, and offers both the perfect opportunity for sauna-fueled skinny-dipping and, we hear, the most authentic banquets this side of Medieval Times.
This Potsdam palace played host to an historic postwar summit, and while the Churchill, Truman and Stalin suites have since been transformed into a museum, one of the wings is still devoted to the hotel business. You can even try your luck with a nearby horse-riding outfit…if you aren't too busy negotiating your way into Churchill's old bedroom.
The only castle on the list with more than 1000 years worth of peasant-repelling behind it, this fortress boasts hidden rooms and an imposing tapestry-equipped dining room. Head to the upper terraces and you can see the same spectacular Rhine views the Holy Romans enjoyed… give or take a few barbarians.
This 14th century stronghold was the basis for the Brothers Grimm's "Sleeping Beauty," a good fit given its fantastically spiral-staircased tower suite and the enchanted-looking forest outside. It's also next door to one of the world's oldest animal reserves, in case you want to try your hand at a little chivalrous stag hunting. (Fair warning: the game wardens might not see it that way.)
A castle's only as good as its moat, so this fortress (effectively built on top of a pond) has two distinct advantages: the golf course has some pretty spectacular water hazards, and if you get in a little phrasebook-related trouble at the festivities, all you have to do is raise the drawbridge…