Driving up and down to the castle was so beautiful. I loved the place full of architecture & details. I expected to see more for what we've paid....too expensive to see Grand / few rooms only of so called "Castle"???. As an Architect, I would say....architecture/ historical and every detail is amazing, but I'm not so amazed with the blending of details and colors in every rooms, is kind of messed up. As a castle, the rooms are not so big....and it has tons of details that made every room very very busy and massive....seems like a lot of happening and kind of antiques show rooms. Lighting is not so good that you wont be able to see clearly the beauty of every details. For what i've seen......the Hearst Castle is purely business. Overall, construction and details are very good.
Awe inspirations; what matter of man would build a small city such as this to his family
and wives. Who was Rosebud; its been a secret for years. Rosey and Buddy; his labordor retreivers (red) he had a chair carved with their heads as sculptured hand rests; opps I let the secret out. The chair was given to a Banker Buddy in Olympia, Washington; let me see; uh-oh; Mr. Carlton Sears; a Real Estate Magnet in his own right and an owner of Thurston County Federal Savings and Loan; I believe a 33rd degree Mason; where William got his property portfolio on Great Property Deals. These two men were always trading back and forth antiques, cannons, chip n' dale and coins. Mr Sears had a key to 750 Hearst Castle Road. Last offer on the chair was in the 3.5 range and it was turned down.
The overall splender of 750 castle; is what this great country can do for its up and coming Rich; Nob Hill; Rancho Mirage, The Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, Dullyies of Dallas, Napa Valley and the Great Chehalis Valley; all rich with heritage and takes
mucho molah to buy the dirt that represents; the best of the best of the best; money can buy.
I hear the Customer Service wasnt good but they have changed that problem; its much better and the Team is working to enhance their image into what Mr. Hearst would expect if he were alive today. I mean what would Cali be without the Hearst Family here to entertain us. Thank you for all the wonderful comments and if you'd like a very expensive chair; Thank you dave
My husband and I took my girls and their husbands and Grandchildren on a the Private tour. It was so awesome. We were able to drive our own cars up to the Castle and we had a 4 hour tour of anywhere we wanted to go. We saw places that the tours do not take you. Our tour guide Beth was the Best. I recommend this for everyone.
We made a reservation and pre paid for the tour for my wife and son (who goes to Cal Poly). He had some car trouble which made us late, and when we called to request a later tour, they said - "too bad" - You cannot reschedule and we are keeping your money". Terrible experience. Be very careful with these people.
The Castle looked amazing. It was the customer service that ruined the tour. i was literally pushed aside and told i couldnt enter a certain wing of the castle. I noticed there was a crowed of people walking and thought it was opened to the public. I found out that it was a separate tour, that i did not purchase. The attendeant could have handle the situation better. I will never return.
I Loved my visit to Hearst Castle, I was a kid and my folk's drove all the way out to California from Chicago(1960something). We saw what was once a private zoo 'the indoor pool with dark blue tiles and set in real gold, and the outside pool that was in a major Hollywood movie. If you are into architectural history it's a great place to go to. Love David. I loved the whole visit.
We live in NY and our first trip was in 2007 after visiting our daughter in Marin County. Enjoyed it so much, decided to revisit the place again in November 2010 during our drive down from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
First of all, the town of San Simeon is truly breathtaking by itself, abutting the ocean. Another local attraction is the Elephant Seal migration along the Pacific.
The Hearst Castle is simply amazing. We took tour #1 (both times) and envisioned William Randolph Hearst planning the details of the castle's construction. Material had to be brought up the winding and steep hill by laborers using pack mules and other primitive methods.
The decadence of all the rooms, pools, outside gardens and artwork is simply amazing. It appeared cost was no object, as everything was first class .. Mr. Hearst seemed to enjoy entertaining celebrities and movie stars. One can imagine Clark Gable and Carol Lombard pulling up in a fashionable touring car on their trip from Los Angeles, received by Hearst and be catered to hand and foot by staff. Imagine all the fun these people must have had .
The only con I can think of was the $7.00 charge we had to pay for changing our tour reservation by one hour.
2008 would have marked our 40th Class Reunion. We were a very fortunate class from Coast Joint Union High School in Cambria to have our High School Graduation at Hearst Castle. Our gym had been "condemned" so we were asked where we wanted to hold our graduation, someone said "Hearst Castle"....and it happened! To date I do not believe any other class has ever had the "honor" to say they'd graduated at "Hearst Castle"...it's awesome that's for sure!! It's amazing to see the beauty, which is in many cases more beautiful than that of Castles of the British Isles. For sure it ranks right up there with it's fantastic splendor. For sure I would STRONGLY suggest anyone who has the opportunity to vist Hearst Castle, don't pass it up! It's one of the United States' monuments of beauty. Then for SURE..visit Cambria, and take the drive like NO OTHER, up the Highway 1 Coastline to Pebble Beach, Carmel and Monterey. Be sure you have PLENTY of time for this trip, for the Route 1 up the coastline is a very curvy 2 lane road of breathtaking splendor. Stop at Lucia Lodge for a wonderful lunch as you drive slowly up the coastline. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS DRIVE AT NIGHT, you will miss a beautiful drive like no other! Study up on this area before going, there is way to many wonderful places to see along the Central California Coastline. If planning on stopping at the Hearst Castle, call ahead perhaps 6 months to a year to get reservations at the Castle, you cannot just drive up there and expect to get onto a tour.
First off the place is beautiful and full of great stories. You close your eyes and can just picture the people who have sat at that table,
i just wanted to say what FABULOUS customer service we received. My father was with us and was on crutches. I had called about getting awheel chair as I did not know if my Dad could take the whole tour. For not an extra dime, we were picked up in a private van. A young man followed my Dad with a wheel chair to make sure he could take the whole tour. I am not sure who these other people are talking about but I have been 3 times and always had service that was above and beyond! Kudos to the Park Service for hiring great staff.
The Pros: Driving up or down the coast on Route 1 was beautiful, but at times hairy driving on the edge of a cliff as you approach Hearst Castle. Plenty of Vistas to pull over for and take a few photos. Perfect photo opt at the entrance of Hearst Castle. Plenty of Free Parking. Very good S-Shop with your normal items: books, videos, postcards, playing cards, shirts, sweaters for resonable prices. Tour times are all scheduled so if you miss one you may have to take it the following day depending on your flexibility. Recomend getting there early 8-9 AM-ish. Lines are not bad 10-20 minutes and all the windows have an employee. So, it does move. Groups range 20-25. Bus ride up to Hearst Castle is nice, but no photo opts. For at least the basic tour we did see some wonderful spots: Pool, Garden(s), grounds, indoor lounge, billiards rooms, main dining hall, bedrooms etc. Plenty of camera shots even without the flash. Wonderful layout of areas. You are in awe on how grand it truely is to see. In house Photo memory with Hearst castle and pool as your background. 8x10 $22.
The Cons: You are guarded as you move along the tour. I understand the value of what we are seeing, but at times it was annoying. You're in this fine "museum", but by the time you turn your head you're being ushered out. Be prepared to keep walking. If you are lucky with your guides snap away as you won't be able to go back. Pricey ticket cost for what you really see and time allowed. Very controled atmosphere.
OK: Hearst Castle intro video is entertaining, informative and worthwhile to see, but not a keeper. (You probably can get more just googling Hearst anyway ). Employees vary from marginally helpful to short tempered. I guess be prepared with your questions. Two guides accomany all groups one to inform the group and the other to watch you so you don't stray. The two we had were top notch. Informative and not overbarring to moving along. They allowed our group the time to take photos without rushing.
Finally: Overall I wish we had more time and money to spend taking all the tours. Maybe in the future we'll go back and check out the other tours, but its not a must do and instead more of if you get the chance kind of visit. We enjoyed it.
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