The Gold Coast on Long Island Sound is known for its extravagance and affluence, boasting private estates of renowned families such as the Vanderbilts and Roosevelts. Among these lavish estates is the historic and extraordinary Oheka Castle. Originally built in 1919 by the Otto Hermann Kahn, Oheka Castle remains the second-largest privately owned residence in North America. A century later, Oheka Castle is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a member of the Historic Hotels of America.
In the castle’s early years, the Roaring Twenties, it was used primarily as Kahn’s summer home. During residence, he would throw extraordinarily lavish parties, entertaining Hollywood stars, members of royalty, and heads of state. Sort of like a real life Jay Gatsby without the green light and deceitful lover. While Oheka Castle isn’t thought to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s inspiration for Gatsby’s castle, it was supposedly used for inspiration in Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby. This comparison is not unfounded, as the reputation for over-the-top parties and outrageous expenses is certainly paralleled between Gatsby’s mansion and Kahn’s castle.
Unfortunately, the castle fell into disarray after Kahn’s death in 1934, changing owners several times before finally standing vacant for over a decade. Fifty years after Kahn’s death, in 1984, current owner Gary Melius purchased Oheka Castle and began the arduous process of restoring the castle to its former glory. Melius wanted every detail of the castle to be perfectly as it was in its prime; he brought in historians and architects to assist with the restoration.
It took two years to restore the roof, using slate tiles purchased from the same quarry as the originals. Custom replicas were designed for over two hundred doors and windows. The Grand Staircase, originally designed by Samuel Yellin, decorated by handcrafted wrought iron railing, took over two months to refinish. Today, after more than $30 million in restoration, Oheka Castle is only 85% restored. The final 15% is being converted into a full service, luxury spa in the near future.
Oheka Castle offers rooms and suites for those who want to stay at such an incredible location. It offers six classes of accomodations, starting at $395 a night and increasing to $1,095 for the Olmstead Suite, which features balconies overlooking the lawn and reflecting pools. Oheka Castle also offers in-room massages (with eight different options!), a 24-hour fitness center, a library lounge, a bar and restaurant, and a complimentary continental breakfast with every booking.
The special weekday packages is where stays at Oheka Castle become truly extraordinary unto themselves. Designed to celebrate special occasions, there’s a package for every need. With the Marriage Proposal Package, Oheka Castle will present the perfect night to pose the question. The Last Night of Sleep package is designed to spoil expecting parents and give them a break from the exhaustion of parenthood. The Gold Coast Mansion “Gatsby” Package acknowledges the castle’s reputation for extravagance and promises a party like it is 1920. 1920’s attire is welcome and encouraged!
However, it’s the Ultimate Romance Package that really sets the stage for the true magnificence at Oheka. At $15,000 a night, this package features a round-trip limousine service, a butler service, ballroom lessons and exclusive use of the ballroom, a personal string quartet, a special gift from Tiffany’s, and more! There’s no better way to reconnect or sweep your loved one off their feet than spending a night “Gatsby”-style.
If staying a night or two at Oheka still isn’t fabulous enough, it’s also a wedding venue! Only one wedding per day is permitted at Oheka, so couples can get married in their own castle! All 32 guestrooms are designated to the guests spending the evening at the castle after the wedding. Each wedding is priced and designed to each couple, so prices vary, but for such an incredible experience, a high price is sure to be expected.
Oheka Castle offers all this and more, ensuring luxury for all of its guests and visitors. The castle has had visitors such as President Bill Clinton, Patrick Dempsey, Demi Lovato, Winona Ryder, Justin Timberlake, and was even the site of filming for Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” music video!
For anyone looking for an escape from everyday life and wants to dive into opulence and delight, Oheka Castle is the place for them. Who wouldn’t want to live like Jay Gatsby for the night?