Spending the Weekend at Oheka Castle

As new parents, it can be difficult to find time to spend just with one another. And by difficult I mean impossible. That’s why we were so excited by a very special gift from my parents – a weekend by ourselves in a castle while they babysat! Surprisingly, we wouldn’t have to travel to Ireland or Portugal to get to our castle. In fact, we’d barely have to travel at all. We’d be spending the weekend at Oheka Castle which is only 35 minutes from New York City and just a few minutes from my parent’s house on Long Island.

Arrival at Oheka Castle is a grand affair.

Arrival at Oheka Castle is a grand affair

If you grew up on Long Island, you’ve probably heard of Oheka Castle. This fairy-tale wedding destination is where celebrities get hitched and occasionally people get shot in the head. If you’ve ever watched Royal Pains, Oheka Castle is heavily featured and if you saw, or read, The Great Gatsby, Oheka served as partial inspiration for Gatsby’s lavish estate.

This place sure has a lot of chimneys

This place sure has a lot of chimneys

Oheka Castle has a pretty interesting history that I won’t get into. One interesting point I will call out is that from 1948 to 1979 Oheka functioned as the Eastern Military Academy. Somewhere in that time frame my Uncle Sal lived there as a recruit! This is totally unrelated to anything but I thought it was interesting enough to share with you.

The lovely Oheka Castle Gardens sit beside the castle itself

The lovely Oheka Castle Gardens sit beside the castle itself

Chandra and I really enjoyed our stay at the castle – even if Chandra argued that it wasn’t actually a castle but just a “big house” due to its lack of merlonsbattlements and dragons. No matter what you call it, it’s hard not to be impressed by Oheka. On arrival you enter through massive gates and travel down an endless gravel driveway before passing under an archway and arriving at the front of the building. It’s a dramatic arrival to say the least. The public spaces of the castle are as opulent as you’d imagine. The gardens are so meticulously manicured they are a wonder to explore. Walking around the grounds we were pleasantly surprised to be able to see Cold Spring Harbor and Long Island Sound in the distance – who knew?

I told Chandra that the library at Oheka Castle is basically my ideal office

I told Chandra that the library at Oheka Castle is basically my dream office

Inside the castle there are a dozen rooms to explore that serve as everything from ballrooms to dining rooms. The decadent library was one of our favorites. This is a place you just want to hang out and spend time. Apparently somewhere in there is (or used to be) a secret passage of some sort. Next to the library is the bar. The walls of the bar are adorned with framed news clippings about the castle – mostly famous weddings that have taken place there. The top shelf liquor selection has top shelf prices but that didn’t stop us from enjoying a few rounds in the comfy bar chairs. It felt like we were on our honeymoon again.

Chandra enjoys a drink at the Castle bar!

Chandra enjoys a drink at the Castle bar!

Since the castle is used primarily as a wedding venue, I was a bit concerned the hotel rooms would be lackluster. This was definitely not the case. The over-the-top decor continued up to the accommodation floors with life-sized marble busts of famous philosophers and original artworks covering the walls.  Our room was spacious with beautifully classic furniture and lots more artwork on the walls. Beds are comfy, bathtubs have claws and TV’s have cable.

Some of the features of staying in the Castle

Some of the features of staying in the Castle

Our stay at Oheka Castle was the perfect escape from our normal non-castle living lifestyle in nearby New York City. Who knew such a place exists right on Long Island? Even if you aren’t attending a wedding, Oheka is the perfect place to get away without having to go very far.

Oheka Castle as seen from above

Oheka Castle as seen from above

Have you ever stayed in a castle? Did it live up to expectations? Tell us in the comments.

 

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