While the McMansion craze seems to have reached its peak in recent years, these new-builds hardly rival the sprawling, exquisitely detailed estates of yesteryear.
Now, many of those historic homes are being transformed into designer hotels, offering a taste of the luxe life once experienced by wealthy families across the globe. From Ireland to New Orleans, feast your eyes on 10 storied estates turned palatial getaways that let you live like a king for an evening... or two.
This stunning Ireland mansion, known as , was originally built in the 1820s for the Coote family, relatives of , an Elizabethan traveler who migrated to Ireland in 1601.
The mansion, designed by Irish architects , eventually fell into disrepair and later reopened its doors as a hotel in May 2011. Today, Ballyfin is a known as a five-star luxury hotel with only 20 rooms situated on 614 acres of land.
During the 19th century, Malaysia's iconic housed the descendants of Cheong Fatt Tze, a prominent Chinese figure who had a love for traditional Chinese houses. The classically-designed structure served as a home, an office and a place for business meetings in the heart of Penang.
Now, the Blue Mansion is part of a site and open for guests to stay in one of its 18 rooms (which are all uniquely furnished), dine at the hotel restaurant, or even get married.
, a three-story mansion originally built in 1910, sits in a residential area of Stockholm and is the perfect balance of functionality and beauty.
While transitioning the home into a hotel, owner Jeanette Mix worked with interior designer to maintain the 12-room hotel's personality, utilizing antique Scandinavian decor.
The was built in 1911 by leading , who were sought out by industrialist Robert Goelet to replicate an Italian-styled villa he had admired during his travels. The mansion sits on a hilltop with views of the Glenmere Lake in New York and is surrounded by thousands of acres of private land.
Originally, the 35-room villa had an open cortile, impressive interior and exterior staircases, and exquisite interior details. Although Glenmere has gone through restorations, its architectural details, panoramic views, and expansive gardens have remained intact.
Today, the hotel is a luxurious getaway for those wanting to turn back time: guests can choose from the luxurious 18-rooms available, ranging from standard rooms to suites to the Glenmere penthouse.
New Orleans club owner Sol Owens once housed his conga line girls, known as the “Boom Boom girls,” in this Victorian gothic-style mansion called the .
Before performers filled the house, it belonged to the family of a prosperous commissions merchant named . The home was designed by architect James Ferret and completed in 1885.
Along with 21 rooms, visitors can enjoy a tasty breakfast by the lush swimming pool and a 24-hour fitness center.
was built for New York Congressman and his wife, Margaret Astor Wardin, as a summer home in Newport, Rhode Island.
In 1865, it was the first mansion to be built on Cliff Walk. The cliffside property overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and has hosted notable guests such as poet and .
Presently, guests can choose villas with an ocean or garden view, an arrival welcome including flowers, cheese plates, house-made chocolates or champagne. In-room massage and aromatherapy treatments are also available.
An entrepreneur named and his wife Marie Elizabeth Evans Cochran worked with architect to design and build this beautiful home in Charleston, South Carolina, during the late 1800s. There, they raised their 13 children.
Over the years, the was sold to various families and companies, until finally landing in the hands of proprietor . In 1997, Widman began a $7 million renovation, preserving the home's historic features and turning it into a distinctive historic hotel.
, a descendent of the famous (and very wealthy) Vanderbilt family, built , formerly known as Vanderbilt Hall, in 1909 in Newport, Rhode Island. The mansion was eventually transformed into a stunning hotel and believed to be one of the town's best-kept secrets. It sits just minutes away from the Newport waterfront.
was originally built in 1889 for the prosperous banker and industrialist , who died before the home was complete.
The mansion opened as a hotel in 2015 and is the first and only Relais & Chateaux property in the state of Maryland. Eighteen rooms and suites are available and each room features a four-poster bed with 400-thread-count Frette sheets, a fireplace and luxury bathroom with heated limestone floors.
The is a 16th-century colonial mansion-turned-hotel, surrounded by cobblestoned streets and located in the heart of Cusco, Peru. It sits on the former training grounds of the Inca army and once housed guests such as Spanish Conquistador and "Libertor" .
Today, the hotel has been completely restored, but still has signs of its original architecture. Travelers can choose to stay in cabanas or pavilions with a complimentary breakfast made with local ingredients. There is also a research room where guests can study the local flora and fauna.