A girl can always pretend, can’t she?
A palace fit for a queen. Built in 1879,Honolulu’s ‘Iolani Palace was the royal home of King Kalākaua and his sister Queen Lili’uokalani—at least until the overthrow of the kingdom of Kingdom of Hawai’i. You can tour the two floors of 10-room Italian Renaissance structure, where the koa staircase is a centerpiece in the Grand Room. Many of the original textiles have been restored. The basement exhibits old photographs and history of the monarchy. You can also look but don’t touch the crown jewels, the royal china, and the patchworked Queen’s Quilt stitched by Lili’uokalani while imprisoned.
Who wants to be a millionaire? There’s plenty of room for overnight guests in this $500-million 56-bedroom, 90,000-square-foot estate on top of a hill near Big Sur that once was the part-time home of William Randolph Hearst.With 165 rooms total, you could go a half year without really having to repeat a room. For the other half, you could roam around the 127 acres of gardens. Famed architect Julia Morgan used a medley of styles in Hearst Castle, from neoclassic to Spanish colonial. The money spot is the Neptune Pool with its Roman temple façade. You can tour but to spend the night, you need to be a zebra, which roam here; or a Hearst—they still have a private home on the property.
A villa room with a view. For thoseaspiring snowbirds, here’s a South Florida nest you might want to flutter into: the Vizcaya Villa. Ah! La dolce vita, wouldn’t you say? A little Roman Holiday dreamed up by (do-we-have-to-say-it?) stinking richman, and to add grease to the fire, retired millionaire James Deering. It was the pre-tax 1920s. Who couldn’t stand not to have a 34-room subtropical villa modeled after 18th-century aristocratic Italy with a harpsichord and an organ? Rooms are inspired by cities of that country, including Milan, Venice, and Palermo, and filled with Italian antiques. More than 2,000 orchids are in the terraced and elaborately landscaped gardens overlooking Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove. Daily tours.