Paul Costello
| Credit: Paul Costello

A century ago, wealthy Americans were mad for all things European, and the hillsides overlooking the Hudson River are studded with monuments to that love affair. That explains the crenellated tower and turrets of General Howard Carroll's Norman castle, just up the road from Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow. Completed in 1910, this grand family residence is now a luxury inn with six suites in the castle proper and 24 double rooms in an annex. Suites have stone fireplaces and are furnished with antiques and reproductions (DVD players hide inside armoires); annex rooms have four-posters, down comforters, and 220-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. At the Equus restaurant, Belgian chef Fabrizzio Salerni also extends the indulgent European theme. Guests can kayak on the Hudson, hike in nearby parks and preserves, or tour the region's other historic properties, including the Rockefellers' Kykuit. And for those who can't resist the bright lights, Manhattan is an easy 40-minute drive to the south. Castle at Tarrytown, 400 Benedict Ave., Tarrytown, N.Y.; 914/631-1980, fax 914/631-4612;; doubles from $285.