Winds of Change: 7 Historic Windmills Transformed into Luxurious Getaways

June 22, 2023 by Akylina Printziou

Photo:  Windmill Villas

Ever imagined what it would be like to sleep in a place brimming with history, where every creak of the timber tells a story? How about a place where centuries-old architecture meets modern comforts? And what if that place was, once upon a time, a windmill?

In a world that's increasingly standardised, finding a place to stay that's as unique as you are can be a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. That's where Travelmyth comes in. We've combed through our extensive database of over 4 million hotels to bring you a slice of the extraordinary.

Welcome, wanderers and history enthusiasts, to our roundup of seven magnificent windmill hotels. These hotels, once bustling windmills grinding flour or pumping water, are now restful retreats, offering a perfect blend of heritage and hospitality. Join us as we embark on this gusty journey, venturing into the stunningly repurposed blades of the past.

From the sun-drenched plains of Greece to the tulip-laden fields of the Netherlands, we've found these unique windmill hotels that have turned their sails towards hospitality. With their storied pasts and immersive atmospheres, each one promises a stay that's anything but run-of-the-mill. So, buckle up, as we set our compass to these wind-swept havens that are a testament to the creative and adaptive spirit of humanity.

Ready to let the winds of wanderlust carry you away? Let's spin into our first windmill hotel!

Windmill Villa

Unfurling our sails, we land on the serene shores of Koufonisia, Greece, to introduce you to our first gem, the Windmill Villa. Standing as a proud testament to the region's history, this is the only preserved windmill in the Koufonisia Islands. This windmill, however, is far more than a mere monument. With great care and affection, it has been reimagined and reborn as a distinctive holiday destination. Every year, from the warm days of May until the golden hues of October, this tranquil sanctuary invites visitors who yearn for an escape from the ordinary.

Dripping with an enchanting blend of history and luxury, the Windmill Villa is not just a stay—it's an experience. Picture this: an entire, two-storey windmill all to yourself! Its idyllic setting and tranquil ambiance, paired with easy access to the Aegean Sea's crystal-clear waters, create the perfect conditions for relaxation and rejuvenation. Inside, it houses one exquisite apartment that spans across two floors, each boasting a comfortable bed. On the ground floor, you will discover a kitchen and a bathroom, subtly integrated into the layout. You can lease the villa for at least three days, providing plenty of time for you to truly appreciate the allure of this historic mill. There's no breakfast service, but fret not—the helpful cleaning staff will ensure you have fresh duvets and towels every three days. Plus, the villa ensures your comfort right from the moment you set foot on Koufonisia, with transfers from and to the port included in your stay.

Staying at a windmill might seem like a fantastical dream, but at Windmill Villa, one of the historic hotels in Greece, it's transformed into tangible reality. Plunge into an enchanting encounter, knowing that throughout your visit, you'll be the sole occupant of the windmill. Thus, for those who've dreamt of an exclusive window into history, your quest concludes here. Windmill Villa is more than a temporary abode—it's your private gateway into a chronicle steeped in age-old allure.

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The Windmill

Our next stop on this windmill wonder-tour brings us to the charming town of Scarborough in North Yorkshire, UK. Meet The Windmill — an over 230-year-old marvel that stands tall as the last remaining windmill in Scarborough. This 18th-century Grade II listed windmill has been artfully repurposed into one of the most distinctive establishments in the region, offering a choice between bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation, while also being one of the boutique-style hotels in Yorkshire. The Windmill, set at the end of a peaceful cul-de-sac with a cosy car park, offers a serene escape while being less than a five-minute walk from the town centre, railway station and the famed Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Delving deeper into The Windmill, you'll find two enchanting apartments located within the windmill itself. Each is spread over two levels, providing a lounge, kitchen, dining area and an ensuite bedroom—all fashioned to accommodate two adults. For those who fancy a touch of adventure and are unphased by heights, the Top Balcony apartment is a dream come true. Ascend the 38 steps to be rewarded with spectacular sea views from your very own balcony—an effort that is undeniably worthwhile.

If climbing is not quite your cup of tea, the lower apartment offers style and space in ample measures. With only 15 steps to its entrance, this larger apartment may not offer sea views but certainly compensates with its tasteful decor and generous space. Moreover, nestled in the tranquil courtyard alongside the windmill, are two more self-catering cottages, adding to the diverse accommodation options at The Windmill. You're not just booking a place to sleep; you're choosing to be a part of an age-old narrative that gently whispers tales of the past.

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Anemoscope Windmill Villa

Continuing our adventure, we journey now to the sublime island of Santorini, Greece. Here, perched in the traditional village of Pirgos, is the stunning Anemoscope Windmill Villa. As a marvel of restoration, this three-story dwelling offers more than just a unique place to lay your head. It serves as an emblem of a storied past, with an expansive terrace that grants unobstructed, panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, the local villages, and Santorini’s famous Caldera. Each of its 120 square meters has been thoughtfully designed, seamlessly blending traditional elements with a modern vintage aesthetic. The villa is composed of two cozy bedrooms, a welcoming living room complemented by a well-stocked kitchen, and features such luxuries as an outdoor hot tub and BBQ facilities. Here, the alluring allure of yesteryears seamlessly marries modern conveniences, creating a harmonious fusion of the past and present.

Every inch of the Anemoscope Windmill Villa whispers tales from its rich past. Known originally as "Pera Mylos", this windmill was one of the five unique windmills of Pyrgos, built in the early 1700s. For over two centuries, its ideal location on the island allowed it to produce goods under all weather conditions, until the devastating earthquake of 1956 brought its operations to a halt. From the ashes of the earthquake, the Karamolegkos family, who owned and preserved the windmill, decided to breathe new life into it. They undertook a full renovation, transforming it into a singularly unique lodging experience. Some of the villa's furnishings are either handmade or authentic pieces preserved from the past, adding to the heritage of this once-working windmill. At Anemoscope Windmill Villa, every stay is a step into a fascinating tale of resilience and transformation.

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Quinta Dos Moinhos De Sao Filipe

If you seek a getaway that offers breathtaking views, an intoxicating mix of mountain and sea aromas, and a slice of history, Quinta Dos Moinhos De Sao Filipe in Setúbal, Portugal, is your destination. Set at the foot of the Arrábida Mountain, merely 44 km from Lisbon, this century-old gem is not just a place but a sensory journey that blends past and present.

Perched on the hillside, Quinta Dos Moinhos De Sao Filipe serves as a unique viewpoint over the Tróia Peninsula, Setúbal, and the vast Atlantic Ocean. As one of the hotels in Portugal with a panoramic view pool, this unique accommodation also allows guests to enjoy the magnificent view from its pool area as well. As daylight gently turns into twilight, the spectacle before your eyes transforms. The hustle and bustle of fishing boats, sailboats, merchant ships, catamarans, and ferryboats during the day gives way to the mesmerizing dance of thousands of twinkling lights from Setúbal, Forte, and the entirety of the Troia peninsula. The fusion of the fresh mountain air filled with the scent of rosemary and pine trees and the salty sea breeze is intoxicating. The quinta, a much sought-after venue for events, is also an ideal space for those who simply seek to immerse themselves in this magical environment. As the Portuguese poet António Gedeão aptly put it, it's a place "where you can get drunk on BLUE."

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The Windmill Blackthorn Hill

Set amidst the lush greenery of rural Oxfordshire, The Windmill Blackthorn Hill rises as a historical beacon. It transcends the role of a mere landmark, offering a refuge for those in pursuit of an enchanting escape, be it a romantic getaway or an unforgettable reunion with friends. The Windmill, a splendid restoration of a 1700s Windmill Tower, is a seamless fusion of antiquity and modern luxury. It offers an experience steeped in historical elegance, while catering to the comforts of contemporary living, making it an ideal hotel for adults only in the UK. For those desiring a shorter stay, the towering Windmill opens its doors. But for those seeking a longer adventure with family and friends, the entirety of the Windmill can be yours for a week in June or July, accommodating up to ten adults.

Upon your arrival, you're greeted by a semi-sunken, circular ground floor, a recent addition boasting its own courtyard garden, complete with three mesmerizing illuminated waterfall features. Here, you can unwind with a glass of champagne, relish in the flavours of a barbecue or pizza fresh from the wood-fired oven. As you make your way inside, the Windmill unveils an awe-inspiring living area, tastefully adorned with themed interior design and highlighted by large skylights that command your gaze upwards. The heart of the Windmill is the spacious kitchen, well-equipped with an array of premium appliances and tools to bring your culinary creations to life.

As the day ends, ambient lighting transforms the Windmill, accentuating its features and setting the stage for memorable celebrations. But the enchantment goes further. Venture up the spiralling staircase to explore five distinct levels, each possessing its own individual allure. From a snug cinema room to a rooftop garden, and ultimately reaching a lounge that presents breathtaking, panoramic views across three counties, each layer of this historical marvel adds to the spellbinding experience.

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Mondriaanmolen, a real Windmill close to Amsterdam

Steeped in Dutch tradition and nestled in the verdant expanses of the Netherlands, the Mondriaanmolen, a real Windmill close to Amsterdam, a bona fide 19th-century windmill in Abcoude, invites you to step back in time. Just a stone's throw away from the vibrant hum of Amsterdam — only a 15-minute drive — this enchanting windmill takes you on a journey to a time when life moved to the rhythm of the turning windmill blades. Central to Dutch culture, windmills not only hold historical significance but also provide a nostalgic sense of simplicity and idyll, further celebrated through the annual National Mill Day.

This unique three-bedroom abode is lovingly enveloped by the quintessential Dutch countryside, complete with verdant green lawns, tranquil rivers, and the occasional sight of grazing sheep. Even so, it embraces the comfort of the present with amenities such as WiFi and a fully-equipped kitchen. Its interiors exude warmth and charm, from the inviting fireplace in the sun-drenched living room to the comforting embrace of the wooden beams in the bedrooms. Ascend to the top floor and marvel at the preserved inner workings of the mill, a nod to its illustrious past. Or, opt for a delightful meal in the outdoor garden, where the scenic panorama of the Dutch countryside serves as the perfect backdrop to your dining experience. This is the Mondriaanmolen—where history, comfort, and nature intersect in delightful harmony.

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The Windmill Resort

As we round off our exclusive list with a final unique destination, we travel to the heart of the enchanting Kythira. Here, nestled amidst the vivid Greek culture, lies our last unique accommodation - The Windmill Resort. A perfect embodiment of timeless architectural beauty, it epitomizes the hospitable Greek spirit, serving as a versatile venue for weddings, events and even yoga retreats, while it is also one of the hotels in Greece for honeymoon.

Set on a breathtaking 14,000-meter stretch of verdant landscape, The Windmill Resort is ideally located just a short stroll away from Kythira's remarkable sites. The resort is an elegant fusion of historical and contemporary architecture, combining traditional stone elements with modern designs to create a comfortable yet sophisticated environment. As dawn ascends, the intoxicating aromas from the surrounding greenery permeate the resort, offering guests a unique sensory delight.

The Windmill Resort is distinguished by a 4-key rating, the highest honor for apartments in Greece, and houses 14 airy, open-plan apartments. Designed to suit diverse needs, the resort offers single, double, triple and quadruple accommodations, each offering a serene and relaxing ambience. The Windmill Resort promises an experience drenched in authentic comfort and unforgettable Greek hospitality.

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Embarking on a journey through these former windmill accommodations has been nothing short of enchanting. Each unique location we visited offers a distinct blend of history, charm, and modern comfort, providing an unforgettable escape from the everyday. From the rustic beauty of the UK's Windmill at Blackthorn Hill to the timeless elegance of Greece's Windmill Resort, these windmill accommodations encapsulate the spirit of adventure, relaxation, and discovery.

We hope that this whirlwind tour has inspired you to step off the beaten track and explore the extraordinary. If these incredible windmill escapes have piqued your curiosity and you're eager to explore more unique lodgings, we invite you to delve into our Unusual Hotels category. This is where the mundane meets the magical, and where everyday accommodations transform into memorable experiences. From towering castles to guiding lighthouses, from historical prisons to nestled treehouses, our Unusual Hotels category presents a cornucopia of remarkable accommodations to fuel your dreams and satisfy your thirst for adventure.

Set sail on your next escapade with us, embrace the extraordinary, and let your journey begin!

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