About Me

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I'm a 30 something who loves to travel.  I have a full time job and enjoy writing (or blogging) about my travels.  I've traveled through several countries in Europe as well as Russia and Egypt.  I also enjoy domestic travel in the United States, including Disney.  My long term travel goal is to do a round the world trip.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

OHEKA Castle, Long Island, New York

I remember as a little girl my Mom pulling up at a street a few miles from home and telling me that there was a castle down the road, as a little girl, that was just the coolest thing EVER!  In August, as an adult, I finally got to see that castle - OHEKA Castle in Huntington, LI.

In the next few weeks I will post about the OHEKA Castle tour with the history of the estate.  But the short story is that in 1984 (about when my Mom would have told me about its existence) a family bought this old dilapidated castle and refurbished it to be a wedding location and hotel.  Last year I bought a Groupon for a one night in the hotel, I paid less then $200 for a $500 a night room.  

I was booked in a Whitney Room, the second level of rooms offered at the castle.  Mine was not the one they feature on the website, but it had similar features.  When I first walked into the room I saw a fireplace, it's not an active one, but it still felt like a good way to start my stay.  The room had a large King bed, a sitting area opposite the fireplace, a desk, closet, full sized bathroom and 32 inch flat screen TV.  Two things that surprised me, the TV was kinda small, though I doubt it's heavily used in a hotel like this and the TV didn't have HD service on them.  It doesn't cost more for the upgraded cable boxes and I think the TV can display HD.  Odd.  
Whitney Room
Sitting area and fireplace
The bathroom had a traditional tub, but with jacuzzi jets, a fun way to relax after the stressful day I had had at work.  The toiletries were by L'Occitane and there were complimentary waters and snacks in the rooms. What?  I got free wifi, and snacks, crazy!  

The main floor of the castle has a foyer, ballroom, large party room, several small rooms for parties, a bar and restaurant.  There is also lovely grounds to walk around outside.  But here is one of my biggest problems with the place, it was very stuffy.  There are beautiful grounds, but no one said, feel free to take a walk outside. Every door was closed and none marked, I felt like I was sneaking around the place trying to find my way outside.  I of course got outside and walked around but I felt a little funny.

View from the back of the castle
The following morning I went to breakfast in the ballroom, it was a nice continental breakfast spread - muffins, donuts, bagles, fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal.  As an average person it was a little akward, there were staff there to clear the tables and get you anything you needed.  Although they didn't hover, they were often standing around doing nothing.  I'm not used to that kind of attention.

Formal Gardens
I checked out just before the 11AM checkout time and while waiting for my tour of the castle I met Gary, the owner of OHEKA Castle.  It was totally unexpected and a nice touch that made the castle feel more welcoming.  In case you are wondering, Gary does have his own suite on the 3rd floor of the hotel.
Would I stay here again?  Well since I live 10 minutes away, probably not.  Maybe for a special occasion, but at $400 a night minimum it better be a VERY special occasion. If you're visiting Long Island and looking for a special treat, this is a very unique spot and would make a memorable experience.