Versailles, KY – While this Versailles Castle has never been home to King Louis XIV, its grand accommodations and prime location in Kentucky horse country have made it a destination for other royalty. The CastlePost has hosted such dignitaries as Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal; Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, president of the Fédération Equestre Internationale; and her husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai, a leading buyer of horses at nearby Keeneland.
Like any true castle, the 55-acre property is surrounded by manicured gardens, fountains, a tennis court and a 20-by-50-foot pool, all enclosed within a high stone wall complete with battlements and four turrets.
The 50 room castle and its surrounding 55 acre Thoroughbred horse farm certainly carry a price tag worthy of a royal court. But the $30 million price tag does not appear to worry General Manager Charles Martin.
“It’s a unique piece of property,” Martin said. “It’s like buying a landmark.”
This “landmark” castle, overlooking US 60 between Frankfort and Lexington, is not without its sordid and sometimes tragic history
A trip to Europe inspired Lexington contractor Rex Martin Senior and his wife Caroline Bogaert Martin to begin construction of their Kentucky castle in 1969. However, in 1975, with the castle still unfinished, the Martin’s divorced and the castle sat abandoned until the death of Rex Martin in 2003. That’s when Tom Post, a Miami lawyer and Lexington native, purchased it for $1.8 million and almost immediately began construction to finish the castle. While undergoing restoration, a fire destroyed most of the main building in May of 2004.
Not to be defeated, Post began construction in 2005 to rebuild the castle as a luxury bed and breakfast. In 2008, CastlePost opened with 16 suites, a full library, great hall, grand staircase, sitting room, game room, a ballroom, and dining room that can seat up to 40 guests. Prices range from $325 per night for a State Room to $1,250 a night for the “Royal Turret Suites.”
The CastlePost has also played host to various weddings and fundraisers against a backdrop of marble floors, velvet draperies, grand chandeliers and opulent furnishings befitting of a location billed as “Kentucky’s premier luxury tourist inn.”
Helping charities is “one of my greatest feelings of accomplishment,” Post told the Lexington Herald-Ledger.
The fundraisers, including events for the Salvation Army and the Scott Country Humane Society, have raised $700,000 in 2009 and are on track to raise approximately $500,000 this year according to the Herald-Ledger.
Not everyone has been so happy to see the extra people and traffic these events have brought to the quiet, rural community. Last year, Post and the Woodford County Board of Adjustments were sued by neighbors and a neighborhood association who seek to reverse the board’s 2009 ruling allowing an unlimited number of events at the castle. The suit is still pending in Woodford Circuit Court.
Post is also interested in selling The Kentucky Mansion, a tourist property, located on Shannon Run Road, just across from CastlePost. While Post acquired the property, formerly known as Crescent Hill Farm, in 2005 for $3.5 million, the 7 bedroom, 7,100 square foot home and its 30 acres is currently listed for $995,000.
Address: 230 Pisgah Pike Versailles, KY 40383
Beds: 16 Bed
Baths: 15 Bath
Lot Size: 55 Acres
MLS ID: 1302827
Real Estate Broker: Comey Shepherd, Realtors * (513)561-5800 * www.comey.com