This past weekend, a couple girlfriends and I headed on a weekend gettaway to the lovely Hearst Castle! The famed castle, referred to affectionately as “the ranch” by Mr. William Randolph Hearst, began as a short project for a modest bungalow that quickly got out of hand. Designed by architect Julia Morgan, the project spanned 28-years and was never officially completed due to the failing health of Mr. Hearst.
Today the 165 room castle takes up more than 90,000 square feet and is open to the public for tours. Hearst was a collector of fine art who had a love for the historical architectural styles of Europe and that passion is deeply conveyed in his home.
One of my favorite parts of the property was the awe-inspiring outdoor Neptune pool. Inspired by the ancient architecture of Rome, the columns used in the pool actually date back to early Roman times and were one of the “collectibles” Hearst acquired. Doesn’t the water look inviting?
Apparently the Hearst family still throws barbecues here. I wonder how I could go about getting on the guest list. 😉
Hearst collected a lot of things, fireplaces included! I wish I could remember all the dates on these, but as far as I know they are very, very old. Everything in Hearst’s home is part of his collection. It’s quite a site to see. As I walked around the property, I felt like I was in Europe. It was a small taste of something I someday look forward to!
The dining room was a gathering space where Hearst would share meals with the famous guests he invited to stay with him. Breakfast and lunch were optional, but when the dinner bells rang everyone knew it was time to head into the dining room. Although everything else was very formal, Hearst’s place setting was surprisingly casual because he wanted to make his guests feel at home.
I also included a picture of the dishes for my mom to see because she loves dishes and it’s in her colors! I wish I could have brought a set home! 🙂
Here are some more random pictures of the interior of Hearst’s property:
Also, I had to snap a photo of the old wine bottles in Hearst’s kitchen. 🙂 Some of these bottles date back to the 1820s! I can see that Hearst definitely had good taste in wine simply by reading the name of the region indicated on the bottle like Bordeaux and Chablis.
The tour ended with a stop to the beautiful indoor Roman Pool. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic, evening swim and probably one of the most expensive rooms in the estate due to the gold tiles used in the walls, floors, and pool! This room was breathtaking and probably my favorite stop on the entire tour.
Special Events & Weddings!
One of the cool things I did discover is that you can hold events at Hearst’s Castle! Yes, your wedding or special event could actually be held there. Not to say it won’t cost you an arm and a leg because the price begins anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to rent the space on top of a $1,000 – $2,000 non-refundable deposit. Insurance up to 1 million dollars is also required. So… you may want to consider your options unless you are like my friend Julie who plans on marrying a rich doctor! 🙂
Well, our photo tour is coming to an end! The pictures don’t do ANY justice to the sheer magnificence that is Hearst Castle. It’s really one of those things you have to see with your own eyes! Hopefully this gives you a little teaser of what you have to look forward to because I HIGHLY recommend that you go see it if you get the chance.