Escape to OHEKA CASTLE
Written & photographed by Salvatore DiBenedetto [@TheGrubfather]
Set along Long Island's historic Gold Coast, Oheka Castle represents a time and place of Long Island's past. The property's history is shrouded in both luxury and chaos but through it all, Oheka has cultivated an allure and energy that still has me reminiscing on it to this day.
How to Do It Right...
Oheka's convenient mid-island location makes it an ideal staycation choice for everyone; from NYC creatives to local Long Island retirees and everything in between. To get the proper getaway experience, I'd book 2 nights between Monday-Thursday. Part of the weekender crowd? You'll appreciate the Winter season when there's less weddings on site. The castle is premier in the area for weddings and events but a mid-week stay or Winter weekend would feel more relaxed.
Do your best to not leave the castle during your stay - from the restaurant to library to gardens, it shouldn't be hard. Lastly, take the tour - it gives you a full understanding of why Oheka is such a historically special place.
The castle and grounds are timeless. This was my first time to the Long Island icon and its beauty lived up to the grandeur hype. The property had me convinced I had been transported to a French chateaux - especially on my arrival which was highlighted by a broad iron gate and wildly long driveway amidst fog and rain. The decor only enhanced this vibe. Truthfully, I'd spend a night at Oheka solely to sit in its impressive library, write and slug a Scotch. (flipping the space for coffee and a good book in the morning).
Oheka has a way of taking you away - beyond Long Island and beyond New York as well. Its surprising seclusion blended with European design makes your stay feel totally foreign. In The Gatsby Suite, I found Oheka's hotel space to be charming and quite spacious. The details were well done and I appreciated the room's ode to Old World luxury without becoming Old World itself. The beds were ridiculously comfortable and I overslept both mornings as a result. Oheka does justice to four stars.
We ate at the castle's restaurant both nights of our stay as well as for lunch. Whether or not the food was going to be good was irrelevant to me. Simply being at the castle had me in great spirit. However, through the course of each dining experience we found flavor, inventiveness and again, charm. Not only was being at Oheka inspiring, the food was strikingly delicious too.
Creations like deep fried burrata show that Oheka isn't afraid to (successfully) ride a trend while dishes like Salmon Athena (pistachio pesto, tzatziki) and Rib Steak Florenza (creamed spinach + crab crust) tap into European cuisine style.
I loved mornings in the castle. The dining room where breakfast was served had me feeling regal, not only in space but taste too. We feasted our way through a bunch of AM offerings and enjoyed each one.
There's a reason celebrities love Oheka... There's a reason why locals love Oheka too... and from that global reputation the castle has taken on an immortal legacy. The property has served as the pinnacle of Roaring 20's elegance, it's undergone vandalism and decay and it's also been resurrected as a home of celebration and hospitality. In that history and resilience you'll find exactly what makes Oheka Castle so damn special.
Salvatore DiBenedetto @The Grubfather