Midwest Living editors and writers have stayed at the two castlelike accommodations in the Buckeye State: Ravenwood Castle, south of New Plymouth, Ohio (65 miles southeast of Columbus) and GreatStone Castle in Sidney, Ohio (40 miles north of Dayton).
Veteran bed-and-breakfast hosts Sue and Jim Maxwell turned back the clock to medieval England, when they built Ravenwood Castle atop a high hill in the rugged, scenic Hocking Hills. Some 115 acres of woods and rock formations surround the massive stone structure, which you reach by driving a half-mile down a private road.
You can choose rooms and suites in the castle's towers. Most rooms have private balconies and some antique furnishings. All include gas fireplaces and stained-glass windows and/or lamps. Having no room phones or TVs contributes to the medieval ambience. You also can stay in several little cottages with "jolly old England" themes or in reproductions of the bright-colored gypsy wagons that once rolled through the British countryside.
A huge stone fireplace warms the castle's Great Hall, where heavy, carved tables and chairs lend a Gothic flair to the full breakfasts (dinners by reservation only). The adjacent Coach House Tea Room serves lunch Thursdays-Sundays, May through mid-November. Guests also can browse The Little Shops at Ravenwood for gifts and souvenirs.
Victoria and Frederick Keller welcome guests to GreatStone Castle, a massive 1890s limestone mansion that tops a hill overlooking the historic county-seat town of Sidney. You can stroll among the gardens and 100-year-old oaks on the two acres of lawn surrounding the handsome four-story, which features three fanciful turrets and 18-inch-thick walls of Indiana limestone. Ornate stone columns support the wraparound porch.
Rare woods from around the world decorate the interior. You'll marvel at the hand-carved staircase of red African mahogany, gleaming wood floors, towering ceilings and leaded- and stained-glass windows. Victorian-style pieces furnish three guest rooms, as well as two suites with dressing areas and fireplaces. Guests wake to fresh pastries and fruit served in the sun-drenched conservatory.