Many parts of the world rich in royal history and regal architecture are giving visitors a first-hand experience of the good life, transforming empty castles and chateaus into modern luxury hotels. In Spain, where the government has focused on developing rural tourism, this approach to travel is expanding to include private investment. Spain’s “Paradores” (loosely translated as “castle-hotel”) include restored and modernized ancient castles, convents, monasteries, hospitals, and parklands, which promote rural tourism while underscoring the unique significance of each location.

There are currently 93 Paradores operating in Spain under the auspices of Paradores de Turismo de España. Each year, Paradores offers over two million beds and serves well over two million meals to visitors, earning a turnaround of €230 million. The agency employs more than 3,500 professionals.

Because of its consistent growth, Paradores recently concluded a feasibility study for its expansion, both nationally and internationally, under a franchise contract system. This will allow for the inclusion of private management under the Paradores brand. The company may be marketing its first franchise within the year, offering a taste of the good life to even more history buffs around the world.