The South's largest plantation house is a dramatic monument to antebellum grandeur. Built in 1859, the mansion is Italianate in style, with 64 rooms, 22 columns, and 200 windows. The crowning achievement of architect Henry Howard, it was saved from destruction during the Civil War by a Northern officer (a former guest of the owners, Mr. and Mrs. John Randolph). An idiosyncratic, somewhat rambling layout reflects the individual tastes of the original owners and includes a grand ballroom, famed in these parts for its crystal chandeliers and hand-carved columns. You can stay here overnight, and a formal restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The plantation is 2 miles north of its namesake, the town of White Castle (you'll understand how the town got its name when you see the vast, white mansion, which looks like a castle).
May 29, 2014
I was very disappointed by this tour. Looking up this location, it was advertised as a 64 room plantation mansion and an hour long tour, $20 per person. I wasn't expecting that this would be a plantation home that was converted into a resort, I was hoping for something more like a historical site for public education. Our tour consisted of the front hallway, gentleman's lounge, ballroom, upstairs hallway, music room, dining room and master bedroom.
It was only mentioned that one room wasn't available to see because it was being used. So that's 4 rooms and 2 hallways and no tour of the grounds. I felt very cheated, I was expecting to see maybe the kitchen, bathrooms, servant's quarters, etc. Walking around the grounds, all of the ancillary buildings were converted for resort purposes whether it'd be rooms for rent, administrative buildings, or common amenities. At the end, they showed us this video in the "museum" in another room, no discussion about what the room was originally used for and only contained some servant bells and random civil war munition artifacts found on the property. Further, the video, while interesting, was tough to be viewed because it looked like the screen saver was stuck on in the background skewing most of the picture. Maybe this is a nice place to stay, but for us to spend half a day of our New Orleans vacation to drive 70 miles to see this "plantation," I was quite disappointed.