Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A historic Gold Coast mansion known for its stately ballrooms and gorgeous grounds
Oheka Castle is a one-of-a-kind hotel. It was built in the 1920’s as the second-largest private residence in the United States for financier Otto Kahn. Its grand ballrooms and meeting spaces have hosted lavish parties attended by heads of state and celebrities -- including Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks -- and some of the wealthiest families in the country have called its rooms home. Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, Justin Timberlake, and Jay-Z have all been spotted here.
After Kahn’s death in 1934, his widow sold part of the 443-acre estate to the Cold Spring Country Club, which rebuilt the exclusive golf course and added other sports facilities that guests now have access to for a fee. The estate is now down to 23 acres of absolutely stunning gardens, complete with reflecting pools, statues, and paths with ocean and golf course views. When its new owner, Long Island developer Gary Melius, purchased the mansion in 1984 after it had been abandoned and occupied by squatters for years, the French chateau-style property was in a state of great disrepair.
He invested over $37million in renovations, and hired a team of historians, architects, and researchers to try to restore the estate’s former grandeur as accurately as possible. Renovations are almost complete, but there is still some work that needs to be done: The spa and pool are yet to be renovated, and there’s only a temporary but beautiful restaurant operating at the moment.
Today, the Oheka Castle features 32 elegant rooms, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its stunning grounds, top-notch services, exclusive feel, and gorgeous accommodations have made it the top wedding venue in the United States. The developer, who still lives on the third floor -- in the same room Otto and his wife used to live in -- can be seen dining in the hotel’s restaurant along with guests and non-guests.
Just south of Oyster Bay, and a short drive from downtown Cold Spring Harbor
Oheka Castle is located in Cold Spring Harbor, a small, picturesque town on Long Island’s north shore. It is surrounded by the Cold Spring Country Club, a private 18-hole golf course that used to be part of the estate and now offers access to Oheka Castle’s guests. The area is mostly residential, and the Cold Spring Harbor LIRR station is located a 5- to 10-minute drive north of the property.
Despite its small size, Cold Spring Harbor offers a few cute shops and a couple of nice restaurants, mostly on Main Street. Those who want to learn more about Long Island’s history might want to check out the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities and Museum Gallery. Huntington, which is another of the quaint little towns found in the area, is just a short drive from Oheka, and worth a visit. The beach, however, is a 25-minute drive away, on the southern shore.
The north shore of Long Island was nicknamed the Gold Coast for the many large estates of America's wealthiest families that cropped up here in the 19th and early 20th century. This region's lush landscape, rocky coastline, summer fireflies, and grand mansions inspired the setting of The Great Gatsby.
Elegant, chateau-inspired decor, and upscale amenities
The mansion offers six different room types, all featuring elegant, classic decor with unique touches and antiques, upscale amenities, and high-end Frette linens of Egyptian cotton. Bathrooms vary in size, but they’re all decadent, and most feature separate showers and soaking tubs.
The hotel offers a well-equipped fitness center.
The hotel’s gym is housed in a vaulted-ceiling room with chandeliers and exposed brick walls. It features high-end equipment with individual TVs, large windows, and Pilates balls.
A beautiful restaurant with garden views and two great bars
The hotel is still working on a permanent restaurant, and all three meals are currently served in a beautiful temporary restaurant with wooden ceilings, exposed brick walls, chandeliers, and large windows offering garden views.
Free Wi-Fi, free continental breakfast, and in-room massages
The gorgeous meeting spaces and experienced staff make this one of the most popular picks for corporate events in the area.
While Oheka Castle is famous for its lavish wedding receptions, its gorgeous meeting spaces, common areas, dedicated staff, and chateau-style rooms make it a popular pick for corporate retreats and meetings as well.
Oheka Castle is the top wedding venue in the States.
Oheka Castle is a consistently popular wedding venue among the rich and famous -- and for good reason. It’s got stunning ballrooms, gorgeous gardens, luxurious rooms, and great service. There are several wedding packages -- some of which include an overnight stay after the reception -- and a wide array of beautiful rooms and outdoor spaces that can accommodate between ten and several hundred guests. Though multiple price points are offered, weddings here aren't cheap; the most expensive wedding held at Oheka Castle cost over three million dollars.
Oheka Castle, built in the 1920s as the second largest private residence in the U.S., is a magnificent chateau-style property about an hour from New York City. It’s the country’s top wedding venue, and one of the most striking properties on the East Coast. It features 32 individually decorated rooms and stately common spaces, and is surrounded by 23 acres of gorgeous, manicured gardens. Guests have access to the exclusive Cold Spring Country Club, a well-equipped fitness center, and a fine dining restaurant, but note that there is no full spa as of yet (only in-room massages are offered at the moment).