VERSAILLES, Ky. (WDRB) -- The recently remodeled Kentucky Castle in Versailles was sold over the summer and is now open for business. The new owners are drawing Louisville guests by proving some dreams really do come true.
If you've driven between Lexington and Versailles, you know about the fairy tale that seems to come out of nowhere. It was open for business, but not doing a whole lot. That is, until now.
"We looked at it as a huge opportunity to take a known landmark in Versailles and open it up to everyone. So, the thing I'm most excited about is sharing The Kentucky Castle and everything it has to offer with my hometown of Louisville," says Danny Bramer, co-owner of The Kentucky Castle.
The castle was built in the late 60s and sat empty for 30 years and its look reflected the facts. In 2003, the castle was bought and renovated, but burned to the ground the very next year. It re-opened in 2007. WDRB visited in 2014. That's around the time when Matt Dawson began holding medical conferences there.
"We felt like if we combined a unique venue like this, southern hospitality, take them on a horse farm tour, to take them to a bourbon distillery, we felt like we've got a lot to offer in Kentucky, if we could get them and show them," Dawson said.
It was such a hit, surpassing other destination locations, that Dawson and Bramer decided to buy it. The purchase was news to family and friends.
"Actually most of them just kind of found out, because I didn't really want to tell them we were buying a castle because I thought they'd think we were crazy," Bramer said.
It's been six months and nearly a million dollars in renovations. "We've been working 24/7. The day we closed, we were ripping carpet up and taking things down and moving it around. Every day I come out here, it's different," Dawson said.
The hotel is complete with 14 transformed boutique hotel rooms, a ballroom, a rooftop for private events and a room for its bourbon university.
"A lot of opportunities to come and check the castle out and enjoy this unique property," Dawson said.
That's even if you can't afford it, like daddy-daughter dances on Saturday night. "We really want to get the word out about that and have people nominate as many people as they can. We want to be a light on the hill and a force for good in the community," Dawson said.
Going beyond the bottom dollar. "We had an email from a mom. Her daughter was four years old when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She was almost 10 years old still fighting. Her dream was to have a birthday party in the castle and so how could we not do that right?" Bramer said.
"Once we met Bailey, we realized this is how we're going to give back. This is how we're going to contribute, The Kentucky Fairytale Program," Dawson said.
Future plans include turning its 55 acres into a working farm for a farm-to-table restaurant. Architecture Digest just named the site the Most Beautiful Hotel in Kentucky. "Which was nice, but honestly what I really want them to take away is that we treated them like we would want our family to be treated. That level of service and hospitality, making them feel like we really care about them. That's our goal," Dawson said.
Even celebrities are feeling the love. "The celebrities are great and I'm sure they will come and we will treat them as royalty, but we treat everybody as royalty," Bramer said.
A stay at the castle can turn any day into an enchanted memory.
To stay in the castle, rooms range from $195 to $595 a night.
To make a reservation or for more information about its programs and tours, click here.
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