Put The“BOO!” In Your Booking: The Best Destinations For A Halloween-Themed Stay
With Halloween fast approaching, daring travelers can book a spooky stay to celebrate the frightening holiday. With more than half (55%) of travelers reporting that finding thrills and excitement is a key motivation for their own trip*, a vacation around October 31 can provide a jump and a fright for travelers who are adrenalin junkies and excitement seekers. Travelers can come face to face with the walking dead, monsters and scary creatures from every corner of the globe from mummies in Egypt to blood-sucking vampires in Slovakia and werewolves in France. Explore the underworld and head to these five spooktacular destinations for an unforgettable Halloween, not for the weak-hearted…
Go Ghosthunting in Pluckley, United Kingdom
As one of the most haunted countries in the world, the UK is a spooky destination for Halloween getaway. And according to reliable sources the most haunted village in Britain is Pluckley in Kent, with at least 12 ghosts still actively haunting the area whose community has been operating since Roman times. While visitors may admire the charming orchards and sheep grazing along the picturesque English countryside, ghoul-like residents roam the town. There is the Screaming Man, who fell to his death, the Schoolmaster, who hung himself, and the Highwayman who was pinned to a tree by a sword in Fright Corner. This place is a must-visit for any fan of fear searching to make contact with the spirit world. When visiting the area, travelers can explore the local town of Canterbury on a historical walking tour to explore the medieval origins of this part of England.
Where to Stay: Set in a grand Grade 1 listed property and with 22 acres of rural parkland., Chilston Park Hotel in Lenham was once home to politicians and Lords. Featuring opulent rooms, some of which even boast four-poster beds, the hotel is home to antiques dating back to the 17th century. The drawing room houses a roaring open fire where visitors can warm themselves up with a nightcap and attempt to spot the hotel’s own ghost, an 18th-century footman. Guests can enjoy a full English breakfast and afternoon tea in the original dining room for a quintessentially English stay.
Exploring the tombs of Mummies in Valley of the Kings, Egypt
For travelers wanting to know more about mummies, a trip to the Valley of the Kings, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, is a must. Located on the West Bank of the River Nile in Luxor, famous for being the pharaohs’ capital at the height of their power. For a once in a lifetime experience, a small private tour of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings will provide travelers with the rare opportunity to explore some of the most important surviving landmarks of Ancient Egypt. This Egyptian archaelogical site, is where more than 60 tombs of Egypt’s ancient Kings have been found, including that of Tutankhamun himself. But beware of the curse of the pharaohs! Shortly after Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened several members of the expedition suffered untimely and mysterious deaths. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Where to stay: Nestled on the banks of the Nile, Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa offers stylish rooms with uninterrupted views from the water’s edge, luxurious spa facilities, and stunning infinity pools. The Valley of the Kings is just on the other side of the Nile and the temples of Karnak and Mummification are even closer for visitors who want to discover the prehistoric tradition of embalming the dead. The hotel is also a Booking.com Travel Sustainable Property and provides guests with information regarding local ecosystems, heritage and culture.
Swimming with Sharks in Cape Town, South Africa
For those who don’t believe in the supernatural - there is no doubt about it, sharks exist. While they can be deadly, most of them are not that interested in humans as much as we are interested in sharks. Still, it doesn’t mean you should dive in shark-infested waters unless you are in a cage. The port city of Cape Town on South Africa’s southwest coast, has some of the best shark cage diving experiences offered as the area has one of the highest shark populations in the world. This is a chance to see sharks up close and personal in a safe environment, and travelers should just make sure they don’t watch any shark attack movies before they dive in. After adrenaline seekers have encountered these scary creatures, Cape Town is a thriving metropolis where travelers can enjoy mountains, delicious seafood and even a Hermanus Whale-watching Tour for those who can’t quite handle sharks.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of Claremont, The Andros Boutique Hotel is just a short drive away from Cape Town’s city center and the V&A Waterfront where shark cage diving is offered for daredevil travelers. Offering park-like gardens, an outdoor swimming pool (confirming this is shark free), a beauty salon, a gym, and a sauna, guests can reward themselves with a luxurious stay after a dangerous day in the waters. The hotel is also a Booking.com Travel Sustainable stay offering locally sourced food and a ban on single use plastics. The hotel also offers freshly prepared cocktails in the champagne room which guests can enjoy before dinner and toast their bravery in style.
Most of those in search of vampires travel to Romania, where former Transylvania can be found. But even vampires search for destinations off the beaten track, so how about a trip to Slovakia instead? In Čachtice you’ll find the ruins of Čachtice Castle that once was the home, and later the prison, of Elizabeth Báthory, infamously known as the Blood Countess. She reportedly contributed to the blood-drenched history of vampirism and her innocence or guilt is still contested to this day, making this destination a scene of an unsolved mystery. Although the castle is the main attraction perfect for a Halloween trip, the town of Čachtice is a charming destination full of historical sites and exquisite churches or venture out on a short train journey to explore two of the most famous castles in Slovakia on a tour of Trenčín Castle and Bojnice Castle.
Where to stay: Situated in the center of Čachtice town Palatín offers a self-catered homestay and is only a short walk from Čachtice Castle and its terrifying history. The accommodation features a staircase with a grand chandelier and baroque styling throughout the property which will transport guests back in time. Hiking and cycling are popular activities around the stay but don’t venture out in the dark if you fear vampires.
There have been werewolf sightings all over the world, but they seem to prefer France. One of the best-known cases is that of the Beast of Gévaudan (modern-day Lozère), which killed dozens of people in the 18th century, often by ripping its victim's throats out. The attacks stopped when a hunter shot an unidentified creature with a silver bullet which may or may not have been a werewolf. Today, Lozère is a charming region in southern France well known and liked for the enchanting, cobblestoned village of Sainte-Enimie and hiking trails that lead travelers to romantic sites such as the Romanesque medieval church Notre-Dame de la Carce.
Where to stay: La ferme de Félix is a comfortable guest house set in a charming brick house in La Chaze-de-Peyre, Lozère. Guests can cozy up with a hot beverage from each room's tea and coffee machine to watch a horror movie on TV for a Halloween fright, or they could simply search for a real werewolf in the region. Full moon permitting of course.
For those searching to encounter paranormal activity, the seaside Georgian city of Savannah is widely known as the most haunted city in America. From heartbroken lovers to civil war soldiers and pirate captains, ghosts have been spotted in historic buildings and cemeteries indicating that many of Savannah’s deceased inhabitants don’t wish to leave the Southern Comfort. As 62% of travelers say visiting historical places is a key motivation for their next trip*, Savannah is a city full of historical landmarks and spirits who have stuck around. The city features beautiful oak trees draped in Spanish moss and fantastic art galleries, period architecture, and trendy boutique shops and is a wonderful destination that isn’t as scary as it sounds.
Where to stay: The Olde Harbour Inn, Historic Inns of Savannah Collection is located just a short walk away from the city center home to over 90 restaurants and boutiques and the countless ghosts in the Georgian city. Decorated in a seaside style and full of southern charm, this delightful stay overlooks the Savannah River and historically dates back to 1812. We can’t promise any ghosts will also be staying at the inn, but we also can’t promise they won’t be…
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,864 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 2,005 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,020 from Chile, 1,777 from Australia, 818 from New Zealand, 1,999 from Spain, 2,002 from Italy, 1,998 from France, 1,990 from UK, 2,005 from Germany, 2,003 from Netherlands, 985 from Denmark, 999 from Sweden, 910 from Croatia, 918 from Switzerland, 1,986 from Belgium, 998 from Russia, 953 from Israel, 1,999 from India, 1,990 from China, 901 from Hong Kong, 1,775 from Thailand, 1,001 from Singapore, 975 from Taiwan, 1,800 from Vietnam, 1,757 from South Korea, 1,001 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.