Hubby and I just returned from a one night stay at this magnificent castle, and I am still overwhelmed by its beauty and sheer miracle how it was saved!
I had bought a Groupon back in November, but waited until April to travel, as the weather would be much better, the trees and bushes would have leaves, and everything would be brighter.
I was right, the garden was a big part of this whole "package" and in November it might have been less attractive.
I have combined that Groupon purchase with Ebates (google that and take 3% off each Groupon deal!), and since I had joined Ebates just for this Oheka deal, I got $20 chopped off the already great price of $179.
Yes, I hardly dare to write it - we had a Whitney room ($495) plus 2 drinks at their bar plus breakfast plus 2-hour-tour (including refreshments like coffee and cookies) for only $159.
I should have bought more Groupons to get another trip out of this, but alas, I didn't know this property and didn't buy more, just one. Now I am hoping they will offer more deals, because I really want to go back and stay for another night, and another, and another, but we cannot afford the rack rates of these fine rooms.
We had a Whitney room (#321) overlooking the golf courses, and we were very happy with our accommodations. We had a flat screen TV, a King bed and a chair, plus a desk with another chair. The hallway was nice and long and offered enough space for setting up our suitcase, and the closet had 2 robes which we gladly used after the baths and showers we enjoyed.
The bathroom was nicely devided into 3 sections. You entered from the room's hallway and would stand in front of the sink, to the left would be the glass enclosed tiled shower stall. To the right from the sink was a separate room, here was the toilet with the bath tub. Now this tub was generously sized and ergonomically shaped, plus it had jets.
Unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to get them on to work. The next morning we asked about that (we thought we'd notify them of a malfunction) when we had to learn that the timer at the light switch was actually there to run the jets. Uhm, that was unexpected and new to us, and we wished there would have been a sign of information about this. This is one reason why I said it was rather 4.5 than 5 stars.
The other reason is that they only have free wireless Internet. I had called a day before our trip and asked about that. I explicitly asked whether "free wifi" means that the internet connection is for wireless (mobile) devices only or whether we can bring our (heavy!!) old laptop and plug that in to get online. I was told that there would be a cable to plug it in.
To be safe we brought our own network cable along, and while on the road I became aware that I had never asked whether that wired Internet was even free. Anyway, even if we had to pay, we would, because Hubby had an important project going on in his office and needed to get some emails from his co-workers to be updated.
Well, we got there and found out there was no way to connect with a cable. The internet access was only mobile, wifi. We had carried the heavy laptop invain, and Hubby didn't get his updates. This is the other reason why I am not 100% happy.
The bed was very comfortable, not too soft and not hard either, just right. Beautiful old fashioned Damast sheets and pillows, I loved that! Oh, and they gave us free snacks and free water in the room! We have that in Kimpton hotels also, because we are Kimption members, but here it was given to anyone without membership. Nice!!
I also liked the upscale toileteries from l'Occitane which were waiting in the bath room! Bathing cube, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and soap - wonderful!
We had a coupon for 2 drinks from their bar and we took advantage of that! I chose a great cocktail with Amaretto (Sunset Surprise, I believe, it was) whle Hubby took a Manhattan. We were both very satisfied with our choices. We only took one each, as we are not heavy drinkers and would have been affected by the alcohol, had we taken more than just those 2 cocktails. At the bar were fresh nuts to snack on plus some bowls with vegetable chips. I saw many wellknown brands of liquors in the bar shelves, many from Europe. Everything was top notch!
Next morning we went downstairs for the continental breakfast, and it was great! There would have been an option to get also hot dishes made to order, but I assume they would not have been included in our package, so we didn't take that. I am from Germany, we don't eat hot things anyway for breakfast (other than a boiled egg).
So we were enjoying the pastries, the fresh berries and melons and grapes etc, the joghurts and breads and cakes. Additionally there would have been packaged cereals and granolas, but we didn't take those. There were 4 choices of juice, I took from the Grapefruit juice and liked that well. Hubby had coffee.
During the breakfast the owner (Gary Melius) showed up and spoke to all the guests. I thanked him for his great work of restoring this great place and the fact that we were able to get a little piece of his wonderful property for one night. He is a very nice man and very down to earth.
After the breakfast we went upstairs to pack up our luggage, then checked out at 11 am, and then we joined the free tour. This tour costs normally $25 per person, but we got it as a part of our Groupon deal. We thought it would be like 45 minutes, but it really took almost 2 hours. This is not a complaint! We liked it that way!
We were led all over the place, the garden, the basement, the pantry, the construction sides, the ballroom, library, ladies' sitting room, Charlie Chaplin's room, the bar, the suites, the... you name it!
We saw the pool room, which is unfortunately declared unfit for the public, because of some modern sanitary laws. The pool was built in another era and has not the requirements of today's laws, so it can't be used by the public. That is sad, because the depth and shape of this pool looked very inviting to me. Pool room had ivy growing inside the room (yes!) and nice greek styled statues were overlooking the pool hall.
The public rest rooms were amazing! There were pads and tampons offered in the ladies' stalls, and there was not only l'Occitane soap offered, but also lotion of the same brand. I had never seen anything like that before in a public rest room! Beautiful frescos everywhere, also here, in the toilets (to put it quite mundanely).
After the tour ended around 2pm, we were led back to the dining room where we had our breakfast earlier that day. Now there were refreshments waiting for us, coffee and tea and fresh cookies made in the estates kitchen. And we were invited to stay in the gardens and estate after the tour! We were very happy to take that offer and made a lot more pictures.
We have stayed on a Tuesday night, and I liked it that way. No wedding party. This is of course the perfect place for a wedding party, but I think it is only fun if you are part of that. If not, it might be annoying. So we deliberately chose a midweek night, and that worked just right.
If there is ever another Groupon (or any other similar deal) offered, I will go back, even in the winter time! It is absolutely grand! And next time I'll know how to operate the jets in the tub, and who knows, maybe by then we'll have a tablet...
our Whitney room (#321) was big and had a King bed, a bath with jetted tub and glass shower stall
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC