Insta Tour: Martyn Bullard Takes Us Inside Hearst Castle

Caroline McCloskey
Insta Tour: Martyn Bullard Takes Us Inside Hearst Castle
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Decorator to the stars Martyn Bullard recently visited Heart Castle, in San Simeon, California, and luckily for us, he shared some of the best moments of the visit on Instagram. He even gives us a glimpse into rooms that the average tourist never gets a chance to see.
The land that Hearst Castle sits on was originally known as “Camp Hill,” a place to “rough it” on camping trips, but newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst envisioned something much grander. He initially named his dream home “La Cuesta Encantada” or the enchanted castle.  Today, it is a national and California Historical Landmark found on the idyllic California coast with 165 rooms and 127-acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways. Since it was built in 1947, Hearst’s legendary home has hosted many well-known celebrities and was also the inspiration for Xanadu in “Citizen Kane.”
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Neptune Pool

Bullard snapped a picture of arguably the most famous area of the Hearst Castle—the Neptune Pool. The olympic-sized pool is surrounded by Ancient Roman Revival and Greek Revival style pavillions and colonnades. From the main entrance visitors are welcomed by classical statues and the façade of an actual Roman temple that Hearst had imported from Europe.  


Bullard captioned this photo, "Hearst's dining room or refectory where David Niven once quipped 'the wine flowed like glue...' #hollywoodhistory #moviemansions." Hearst and his architecht Julia Morgan named the dining room after monastery dining halls. The high windows, bright silk banners, and glistening silver candlesticks give the room a look inspired by churches dating from the Middle Ages.   

Assembly Room

This is the grand social room of the home where Hearst's guests during its heyday often enjoyed cocktails. Walnut panneling and vivid tapestries dating back to the 16th century cover the massive room.  


"I'm sitting in William Randolph Hearst's actual seat, in his personal movie theater watching #citizenkane...this is surreal!" wrote Bullard. The theater is where Hearst and his Hollywood film star companion Marion Davies joined guests every night to watch a full-length movie and newsreel.  

Even days after visiting Bullard couldn't get over his visit. He posted this photo with the caption, "Yet another highlight of my week was watching "Citizen Kane" in Hearst's private theater at the house that inspired the movie."

Bullard took a break from filming to drive around the town of San Simeon, located near the castle, in a Hearst approved automobile, of course. He wrote, "My ride today...1929 original...Traveling in style around San Simeon!" 

Bell Tower

Bullard shared this picture writing: "One of my highlights of the week! The bell tower of#HearstCastle...I got to go on the terrace the public isn't allowed to visit...And it was amazing!" 

Roman Pool

This intensely detailed, indoor pool in the home was modeled after ancient Roman baths. It's tiled from floor to ceiling with pure gold backed murano glass tiles and features eight statues of Roman gods, godesses, and heroes. Bullard called it a "decorative dream!"

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