By Kim Taylor
A family trek to the gold coast of Long Island should include the spectacular Oheka Castle on its North Shore in Huntington. Formerly Otto Kahn’s residence in the 1920s, Oheka was once a grand destination for Caruso, Charlie Chaplin, Toscanini and other luminaries, politicians and industrialists. Restored to its former glory in 1984 by Gary Melius, Oheka Castle now offers the heart and warmth of a family-run business in a majestic setting. A short and simple drive from Manhattan, Oheka boasts sprawling gardens, statue-adorned reflecting pools, rolling green hills, whimsical turrets, grand ballrooms, lauded original art, gourmet meals served in drawing rooms, a swimming pool, and architectural details that can take your breath away. The expansive great lawn is festooned with bright blue robin’s eggs for budding explorers.
Meticulous attention to detail sets Oheka apart from many of the other Small Luxury Hotels of the World destinations, and a tastefully understated elegance is part of its charm. All 32 of the guest rooms and suites feature sweeping views of the private estate’s 23 acres, king or queen size beds, and soft Frette cotton linens. You can relax with an array of in-room spa services, and for meals, reserve a place for dinner when the estate’s Executive Chef is in house, or go into the town nearby for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are served in gorgeous sitting rooms or formal dining rooms, where you actually feel like a friend of the Melius family.
A fitness center and swimming pool offer the chance to burn off energy, and the lush grounds inspire hours of strolling. Oheka is the second largest private home in America and is twice the size of the White House. Enrico Caruso sang in its opulent Ballroom, Arturo Toscanini raised his baton to its soaring ceilings, heads of state sat in the impressive library, and many artists, actors and writers derived inspiration from its perch high atop a hill. In fact, Oheka is the mysterious mountaintop castle featured in the classic movie Citizen Kane. Once described by the New York Times as “the finest country house in America,” it’s the perfect place to celebrate a family event or create a lasting childhood memory. Visit www.oheka.com for booking information – you won’t forget a moment spent at this lovely, timeless place.