Managing guest accommodation
Providing accommodation for guests can be one of the most suitable activities for enhancing castle structures, provided that it does not involve radical re-arrangement of space distribution and technological systems.
The types of accommodation that can be provided in a castle are essentially the following:
- holiday homes
- bed & breakfast
- renting out of bedrooms
Use as a hotel is not advisable, unless in outbuildings of little formal value. Economical management of a hotel in fact requires the division of internal spaces and the installation of technological systems that can be disruptive to the original configuration of the castle. In Italy and in Europe, there are many examples of castles converted into hotels which may look very attractive, but which have involved significant alterations to the structural characteristics, so seriously compromising the cultural value of these castles.
Lighter applications, making use of existing structures with only a few slight alternations to installations is recommended. In the case of castles which have their own farm, use for ‘agritourism’ is particularly suitable, i.e. serving of food and drinks prevalently produced on the farm, together with stays of a few days to enjoy a natural and charming environment with excursions in the surrounding area in search of monuments, places of natural beauty, museums and typical local products.
In the remaining examples, accommodation within the castle or its outbuildings is made available to guests together with various types of service: services associated with management of rooms (holiday homes, renting of bedrooms), and breakfast (bed & breakfast).
Such activities have been in operation for some time, especially abroad where there are chains of Hotels in Castles: see the Association of hotels in Austrian castles (www.schlosshotelsco.at), the Association of hotels in Bavarian castles (www.schlosshotels.bayern.netfirms.com), the “Ospitalità in castello” (Hospitality in Castles) Association (www.gastimschloss.de) and the French “Relais & Chateaux” and “Chateaux & Hotels de France” Associations.
In order to set up and manage such activities, regulations issued by the State, and in particular by the Region (Regional Law 2/2002) and the instructions provided by corresponding trade associations and by the Consortium must be followed.