Hacienda Guest Lodge

Here’s the most popular destination on my website, Hearst’s Hacienda, the Hacienda Guest Lodge on Ft. Hunter Liggett near King City, along California’s Central Coast.

Built in 1929 by William Randolph Hearst, of Hearst’s Castle fame, it was a guest house and ranch headquarters for what was the northern half of the newspaper magnate’s ranch. Hearst sold the property to the U.S. Government in 1940 and it eventually became Ft. Hunter Liggett, an Army training center.

The “ranch house” reportedly cost $200,000 to build and looks more like a rambling mission (Mission San Antonio de Padua is nearby) than the Pondreosa. Today, it’s open to the public for overnight stays. It’s rather basic, but the prices are great as well. From there, roads twist around the mountains and over the peaks to Big Sur and the spectacular California coast.

It’s a real throwback in terms of the location and amenities. Enjoy Hearst’s Hacienda»


  1. Just got back from a quick trip with an overnight stay at the Hacienda Milpitas. It’s still a fabulous place to stay – had Tower Room A, with queen bed and comfortable hideaway couch bed, for $90 – now including a real continental breakfast with muffins, bagels, cinnamon toast, boiled eggs, juices, coffee, tea, oatmeal and cold cereals, in the main dining room that now hosts a steak and wine dinner twice a month but is otherwise used only for breakfast and events.

    The people are very friendly and accommodating, the Hacienda itself is spectacular, and the quiet surroundings wonderful. I am an Army civilian employee, but that didn’t seem to make any difference in treatment or access. We got up in the morning and walked a couple of miles straight up Sulphur Springs Road directly across the street by the fire station, and saw a bobcat cross the road within 100 yards of us. While you don’t want to leave the road itself because of restrictions and possible training activities, it was a lovely quiet walk and not a single vehicle passed us, between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.

    You definitely should get back soon, and keep recommending the Hacienda to your readers. It’s a real treasure for a bargain price.

    Also: another update to the website address:

    And be sure to ask for good directions to the gate and to the Hacienda when you make your reservations, as it can be confusing, especially when the gate guard gives you bad information about where to find the key box ….

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