I stayed at Castle in the Sky with 13 friends over a weekend in March. I was the first to arrive and upon opening the door I was struck with how spacious it was! As people trickled in everyone was excited about the roominess. This is the best thing about Castle in the Sky, but here are some other pros:
-about 50 feet from the slopes
-pool table! sweet!
-gas fireplaces are pretty cool and put out a lot of heat
-a good amount of property (e.g., no really close neighbors)
-Tables were big and sat everyone which was cool
But once we were all settled in and ready to party the weekend away we ran into two issues, of all things with the electronics, that put a damper on party.
1) The TV's and accompanying electronics are severely dated to the point where they might as well not be there: 2 of the tv's didn't work. OK, I know what you're saying... You're not on vacation in the mountains to watch tv! Go out and enjoy the great outdoors! We did. But the people that don't ski wanted to watch the Capitals game that was on tv, and/or brought blu-ray DVDs to enjoy. The main room tv was stuck on MTV which was weird. The upstairs tv didn't work. We could only figure out how to play DVD's on the downstairs tv (no Blu Ray player there either) (Blu-Ray players are only like $50 nowadays guys). Now to be fair, we did troubleshoot for about 20 minutes before giving up, but we did not call the management company. Instead those people just went to a restaurant to watch the game. The BluRay DVDs went unwatched :(
2) There's no way to play digital music (e.g., iPod, Pandora, iTunes, iPhone, Spotify, etc): Please please please, if you plan on listening to music at all, bring your iHome or Bose system because you apparently need to bring your own music player. The only way we were able to figure out how to play any music in this house (picture 13 guys scouring the house for a functioning music-playing device) was through the DVD players. The DVD player only accept CD's; there's no iPod hookup so you need to BRING AN 'IPOD TO INPUT' ADAPTER CABLE (or drive 20 miles to the nearest electronics store). The music comes out of the tv speakers from the old tv's so the sound is pretty 'tinny', sort of like the tone you get from playing music from a laptop. No one carries a bunch of CD's with them anymore; nowadays people store their music digitally. Between the 13 of us, we had a few old CD's from college in the trunks of our cars that we hadn't gotten around to throwing away yet. This really put a damper on the music situation which put a damper on the party situation.
3) No wi-fi. I don't think I need to get into this one too much. It should have wi-fi. Even though it wasn't on the list of amenities I assumed it was implied that a place like this would have wi-fi.
So generally speaking we had a great time at Castle in the Sky, but would look elsewhere next time we had a bunch of people going up to Wisp to party for the weekend. As one of the most expensive houses on the taylor-made site, I would think it's fair that it comes with internet enablement and entertainment systems that will work with modern day devices. And don't convince yourself that just because you're staying in the mountains, that 15+ year old tvs, cassettes, and vhs players are acceptable, because they're not. People, you did pay to $1000/night to stay in a mansion, because you didn't want to rough it in an actual cabin.
-if you ever want to sleep past 7am, bring eye covers because some of the sleeping quarters have huge windows without drapes
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