In fairy tales, being locked in a tower generally meant your stepmother had some serious issues with you. But in these five hotels, gaining access to the tower suite means you may very well lock yourselves in and refuse to leave.
1. The Aviary
Wheatleigh, Lenox, Massachusetts
When Leonard Bernstein conducted at the Tanglewood music festival, just down the lane, this two-story tower was turned into his summer studio, with a grand piano squeezed through the ground-floor doorway. Nowadays, couples shown into the Aviary, separated from the Italianate main house by a limestone loggia, are likely to burst into song themselves: A spiral staircase leads from the honey-walled sitting room, outfitting with a BeoVision 9-50 entertainment system, up to a treehouse-like bedroom with views of the Berkshire hills, and a wowser of a bath encased largely in glass.
2. The Tower Suite
Thornbury Castle, Glouceshire, England
The only Tudor castle in England that takes paying guests, Thornbury is appropriately accessorized with suits of armor and heraldic flags. No less impressive a couple than Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn visited and wandered the grounds, though they certainly didn’t climb the 77 circular stone steps that lead to a suite centerpieced by the widest four-poster in the country.
3. Pinnacles Suite
Primland, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
What looks like a grain silo appended to this architecturally stunning, top-of-the-world lodge in rural Virginia, actually houses the Pinnacles Suite. A spiral staircase connects the living room and bedroom, round spaces that are more window than wall, with wraparound views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you tire of the 1,800 square feet of rich leathers, raw silks, polished woods, and the perfect minimalist four-poster bed (not to mention a spa-like bathroom and a balcony just big enough for two), head up to the retractable tower dome, where a giant telescope takes resort guests on nighttime tours of galaxies 27 million light years away.
4. Grande Chevalier Suite
Chateau d’Ouchy, Lausanne, Switzerland
The Chateau has welcomed travelers since the 19th century, when Lord Byron and Percy Shelley came to Lake Geneva for poetic inspiration, opium, and sex. The chateau comes with plenty of atmosphere: corner turrets, pitched gables, and an imposing tower, the only part of the original 12th-century structure still standing. It shelters four junior suites with four-poster beds and regal water views, but for the real storybook experience, book the Grande Chevalier Suite, on the tower’s first floor. Designated a historical monument, its supersleek furnishings are a dramatic contrast to the gargoyles, stained glass windows, wood paneling, and gorgeously carved ceiling.
5. Carnegie Suite
Oheka, Huntington, New York
This Gold Coast estate has been a party house for nearly 100 years: first as the scene of Gatsby-style gatherings hosted by industrialist Otto Kahn; now as a lavish wedding location. But it’s also home to 32 guest accommodations, most romantic of which is the Carnegie Suite. Smack in the center of the French chateau-inspired structure, in the imposing fourth-floor turret, it boasts a bedroom straight out of Cinderella—the four-poster sits beneath a peaked ceiling smothered in lavish draping. …And in case you plan to stay a while, there’s a large sitting room, formal dining room, extra bedroom, and full kitchen.
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