For those thrilled by a visit to Hearst's Castle, staying at the Hacienda is as close as one can get to living with the Hearst's today. Located inside the Army base, the rooms are nevertheless available to the public. At the time of our visit, a room with a $45- rate--lower than can be expected nearly anywhere in California--came with a decent "cowboy" bedroom, with bath down the hall. For $65-, a room with queen sized bed, separate sitting room, and private bath was available. There are also 4 more luxurious rooms in the tower, for a higher price. These rooms are not today's luxury, but they are authentic to the times of Hearst, with much of the same bathroom fixtures and room decore. At the time of our visit, the hotel restaurant was closed until further notice, but after talking to some employees there, I came to understand that the hotel was experiencing a change in contracted concessionaire. In other words, the military contracts out the hotel facilities to a private contractor who returns a share of profits to the government. Given the remote location, I don't expect this to be a swinging resort spot any time soon, but this would be a unique experience. The hotel restaurant appeared to have promise, and there was a swimming pool at the hotel. Views from ground the rooms included gardens on one side, and a sweeping view of the Valley of the Oaks on the other. The tower rooms must be spectacular.
If you need a place somewhere between Paso Robles and Soledad along the Hwy 101 corridor, then consider driving out and staying here. Paso Robles has plenty of bed & breakfast and other comfortable places to stay, but King City and Soledad will pure corporate hotel living only. Another reason to stay here is a chance to get away from the cold and fog along highway 1. If you have already visited Hearst Castle and don't want to stay in one of many beach hotels at San Simeon, there is a mountain road that leads directly over to Fort Hunter-Leggett from Hwy 1. In any case, as of this posting, the Hotel website was not responding. However, an About.com article linked below reports upon a visit as late as August 2006, and at the time of our visit, there were some people staying at the hotel. However, we didn't get a chance to talk to any of them. A visit here would be classed among the legacy hotel experiences because these rooms were once frequently occupied by Hearst and his Hollywood movie star friends.
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