Destiny's Place


Story and Photos by Mary Jasch

The drive up the lane starts slowly through cow pasture and planted trees with glimpses of 19th century blue barns. Soon the North Branch of the Raritan River appears, meandering, shallow over rocky riverbed, picturesque and sparkling clear. The lane ambles upward as the stream turns away, then leads through woodland until it emerges hilltop, with stone cottages and stable in view, then swings in front of a small "castle" in the hills of Somerset County.

This is Natirar ­ home of the once and famous King of Morocco. Silent it stood for 20 years after a lifetime of industry and frailty within its elegant walls. But no longer does it wait for merriment and life. You can come enjoy its offerings -- spa, restaurant and respite indoors; hiking, horses and fishing outdoors, events, exhibitions and concerts, a museum and interpretive center. Its proud new owner is the Somerset County Park Commission.

The Commission bought the 491-acre estate for $22 million with the intent to preserve this crown jewel as open space. In addition to the its historic and scenic value, the property offers opportunities for watershed protection of two native trout streams and an abundance of recreation activities ­ aspects consistent with the Commission's mission. "All of those things satisfy what the county's goals are in land preservation," says Tom Boccino, manager of planning and acquisition for Somerset County Park Commission. "It's all of the county's programs wrapped up in one property. You don't just stumble upon 500 acres that looks like this and are able to purchase."

The river and Peapack Brook run through it. The estate includes 22 buildings, many historic, six wells and three bridges, NJ Transit right-of-way and three streams, a pond, woodland. The 33,000 square-foot mansion itself, grand that it may be, is sedate and austere. Its history intrigues.

Kate Macy and Walter Ladd began acquiring property in the Somerset hills in 1905. Macy was a Quaker heiress to a whaling/oil/shipping fortune; her father's business partner was John D. Rockefeller. Although Ladd listed his profession as "gentleman" and, at a later date, "insurance broker" on his passport applications he spent the majority of his married life managing his wife's fortune, and yachting! They married in 1883 and rented property in Bernardsville as they acquired small local farmsteads until their estate spread over 1,000 acres throughout Peapack/Gladstone, Far Hills and Bedminster. They named it Natirar -- Raritan spelled backwards.

The Ladds hired Harvard architect Guy Lowell to design the Tudor-style mansion, which was completed in 1912. Most prominent on his resumé are the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the New York County Court House on Manhattan's Foley Square. He was assisted by Henry Hardenberg of New Brunswick, who designed buildings at Rutgers University, then apartment buildings in Manhattan including the Dakota, and finally luxurious hotels such as the Plaza.

Although the Ladds had simple tastes, the interior rigging befits the dignity of any 40-room mansion. Beneath a molded plaster ceiling, the living room walls are decked in wood linen-fold panels with original electric light fixtures. The library has the most detailed woodwork in the house. Under a fleur-de-lis ceiling, tall leaded windows look out over the North Branch of the Raritan River that meanders for two miles across the property.

With Kate's religious background, the Ladds were private people who cared not for glamour and parties. Theirs was a philanthropic life with a mission of helping people. They had no children, and story has it that Mrs. Ladd spent most of her adult years in a wheelchair, although she had no real physical handicap. Eventually her body failed and she became wheelchair-bound. Mr. Ladd quit the business world to care for her, manage their two estates and go yachting. Mr. and Mrs. Ladd occupied separate sides of the second floor ­ bedrooms with sitting rooms.

Meanwhile, Kate was busy at the most important work of her life ­ helping ladies in distress who had to support themselves. In 1908, she turned one of the estate's houses into a convalescent home for "deserving gentlewomen who are compelled to depend upon their own exertions for support shall be entertained without charge..." Walter established a fund to ensure the work's continuation, and when his wife died, the entire estate was turned over to the fund and the facility moved to the mansion.

Small rooms that housed the ailing straddle the long skinny second-floor corridor. Metal clothing cabinets still stand in the rooms. Renovations were made to bring the convalescent home to code, like the addition of an industrial kitchen. The dramatic spiral staircase that had graced the mansion's entrance was removed to make way for an elevator and telephone booths. The juxtaposition of grandeur and institutionalization is disconcerting.

In 1983 the convalescent home closed and the King of Morocco bought the house that same year for $7.5 million. It is said that Malcolm Forbes owned a home in Morocco, knew the King and told him about the house on the hill in the Jersey countryside. In the 20 years King Hassan owned it, he never spent the night. There were no galas or parties to brighten the house or to warm its ovens and 20 fireplaces ­ just cold walls through the seasons. He visited Natirar three or four times before he died in 1991, according to a local source. Natirar was inherited by his son, King Mohammed VI of Morocco. During these years some staff lived in an outbuilding, and one person lived in a couple rooms.

To this day the house remains silent ­ with memories in small rooms under eaves that once knew a simple elegance and lives untold. Memories hide in leaded glass that look onto rolling lawns and in fireplaces that warmed the big rooms. They hide in the stables where horses whinnied waiting to be saddled, in the terraced formal gardens and among the hickories and oaks that stretch down to the river.

Destiny's place -- a mansion that was never really a home in the conventional sense. But soon its rooms and landscape will be filled again. The county hopes to recreate what was here before ­ including the reinstallation of the grand staircase, now housed in one of the outbuildings. Its heritage as a working cattle and haying farm will be maintained. Its trout streams will be protected. The Raritan supports a healthy trout fishery, and the Peapack, its tributary, supports breeding populations of the threatened native brown trout.

The mansion, two cottages, carriage house and greenhouse stand on acreage leased to Sir Richard Branson. ­Now known as Ninety Acres, the house and property continuee on as an exclusive full-service spa, conference center and restaurant. The other 403 acres are maintained as open space. "The concept is grand as far as multi-use," says Boccino.

"The King's representatives were very happy to negotiate with us," he says. "They liked what the Commission stood for and what we're going to do with the property. They weren't going to maximize the dollars to sell it, so that also worked to our advantage. We were fortunate to find people who want to preserve the land and were able to negotiate in order to preserve it. We were very lucky with the King's representatives that they wanted to do this with us, so that made negotiations go very smoothly."

The main focus of the plan is to preserve the area as part of a Greenway. "We envision making connections with local greenways, parks and state parks. We hope to have continuous linkage along the river corridor."

"This property is unique," he says. "We've never purchased a property with this much history and character." The gatehouse is located on Peapack Road, near the intersection of Routes 206 and 202.

Park Map

For more information please click Somerset County Park Commission or call 908/722-1200

Nearby accommodations and attractions

  • Farmstead Arts Center
  • Farmstead Arts, in Basking Ridge, is a vibrant arts center and serves as a model for adaptive reuse of an historic treasure.

    , ,

  • The Seeing Eye
  • For the formative steps in a guide dog's youth, The Seeing Eye relies on a network of Puppy Raisers throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania who participate in a program that began in 1942 as a joint effort with 4-H Youth Development.

    , ,

  • Morris County Tourism Bureau
  • Provides information about what's happening in the county, including events, historical sites, museums, hotels, restaurants. Open Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm; Saturdays in summer. Historic Morristown walking tours available as well as group tours and packages.

    6 Court St, Morristown 07960, 973-631-5151

  • Lamington River
  • Jacobus Vanderveer House
  • The Jacobus Vanderveer house is the only surviving building associated with the Pluckemin encampment.

    1 River Rd W, Bedminster 07921, 908/212-7000 x611


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Jim Maresca
30 Sep 2016, 22:27
I grew up in Bedminster and KML was my first job.
I worked in the kitchen when I turned 14 the summer of 1963. Will have to make it part of my "History Tour"
13 Sep 2015, 20:42
What a sweet heart deal our Freeholders gave the restaurant and I GUESS HOTEL A 99 year lease with no rent until they show a profit My wife and I ate there on a week night a Monday I believe just two people with a $310.00 bill with out tip The place was filled and the special room by the kitchen had a party. Where are our free holders and where are our county accountants..This was in the month of August 2015.Service and food was wonderful wines were fair to good
Martha Van Horn Allegaert
20 Jul 2013, 09:39
My father Dr. Abram L. Van Horn was medical director of KML Convalescent from its opening in 1947 until 1967. I spent many happy and mischievous times there with my sister Sally(now dcsd) rolling down the big hill, visiting the staff, exploring the cavernous basement area, watching the TV on special occasions and being treated to an ice cream sundae from the soda fountain.\r\nMy parents retired to Chapel Hill,N.C and lived there happily for many years. \r\nI am 75 and doubt that any employees are still around although I would love to hear from anyone of that era.
kevin mulligan
24 Aug 2012, 12:47
please send me any info about the stay of Vivian Beatrice Mulligan @ Kate Macy Ladd circa. late 50's early 60's
Thomas Beauchamp
17 Feb 2012, 06:57
The Raritan supports a healthy trout fishery, and the Peapack, its tributary, supports breeding populations of the threatened native brown trout.\r\n\r\nActually, there are no "native" brown trout in New Jersey. Brown trouts are native to Europe. New Jersey has native Brook Trout but Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout are only "wild"... naturally reproducing, but non-native.
03 Nov 2011, 05:43
I am interested in information about purchasing a gift certificate for a cooking class for my daughter and son-in-law as a Christmas gift. Please respond to my email address and include a phone number that I may speak to someone as we are located in Michigan. Our daughter and son-in-law are new residents of Basking Ridge N.J.\r\n\r\nAlso is it possible to purchase a gift certificate for dinner? Who do I contact to do this ?\r\n\r\nThank you
27 Oct 2011, 23:48
My grandmother convalesced at Kate Macy Ladd during the early 1970's. I recall as a 7 year old sitting with her on the beautiful terrace overlooking the lawns and that steep hill. At least it felt steep then. LOL. Sometimes we would sit on the lawn in the Adderondak chairs, but most of the time my Mom would visit while we ran all over the grounds of the Ladd estate. I remember exploring along the wall that extends from the mansion house. \r\n
Norman S. Landino
22 Oct 2011, 19:04
I read the interesting article about "Destiny's Place by Mary Jasch. A correction to the article. The former owner King Hassan II of Morocco died in 1999 not 1991. Thanks for the history of this former estate.
Norman S. Landino
22 Oct 2011, 19:01
I was reading the interesting story of "Destiny's Place" by Mary Jasch. A correction to the article - King Hassan II of Morocco the former owner died in 1999 not 1991. Thanks for this history of this estate.
Elaine M. Campos
01 Oct 2011, 18:53
I live in the area and would be interested in knowing if there are any available positions in the Spa for estheticians.\r\nThank you for any information you may be able to provide. Elaine M. Campos
janice ackerman
22 Sep 2011, 07:05
I'm trying to reach contact for Natirar Mansion. Would like to use photo of Estate on invite.\r\n\r\nThank you,\r\n\r\nJanice
Signe Dayhoff
18 Jul 2011, 14:01
I'm seeking information on the history of Maple Cottage from the 1950s to its demise. I'm also looking for photos of it at various times before its destruction as well as what its site looks like today. I'd appreciate any assistance anyone can render. Thanks.\r\n\r\nWhen I lived in Maple Cottage, we referred to the area as the Kate Macy Ladd Estate, not Natirar.
Signe Dayhoff
18 Jul 2011, 10:40
Many years ago my parents rented half of Maple Cottage. At the time it was no longer used for convalescence or staff housing and had already been divided into two residences. I loved the place with its large foyer, equally large fireplace, and sweeping staircase that divided to encircle the area over the staircase. I used to rollerskate on the screened-in three-sided porch. \r\n\r\nMy best friend lived in what used to be the library on the other side of the gravel drive. One day my friend and I walked the long gravel road in the back of the property to the estate building where we peered in the tall windows, circled the building, and approached the front entrance. We were able to look around inside. I'll never forget how impressive it was with its tall ceilings and ornate plaster work, and, of course, old-fashioned wheelchairs.\r\n\r\nA few years back I wanted to travel back to see my old homestead only to find out Maple Cottage was no more. I have not gone back to Natirar because I had such likely to be supported by today's reality.\r\n\r\n
Jessica G
25 Jun 2011, 03:01
I wanted to share this as I just had my wedding there (6/11) and strongly recommend against it!!!\r\n\r\nWhen my husband and I married at 90 Acres I never in a million years thought I'd have to worry about the service given previous experiences at the establishment.\r\n\r\nWas I ever wrong. A few of my guests never received drinks they ordered, appetizers were served to 45 people 6 per half hour at a time, a plate was never brought for us to cut the cake which was served after half of my guests left. Our music was never turned on, either, despite at least ten repeated requests. To top it off, our ceremony began beneath a screen displaying an image of a skull and crossbones (now a forever part of my professional wedding photos).\r\n\r\nThe woman with whom I booked the wedding, in response to an emailed complaint, told me she "tried to be available to your guests as much as possible" despite my having been told (numerous times) the night of the wedding that she wasn't around.\r\nDon't have your wedding here, unless you don't mind atrocious service.
Dawn Leslie
23 May 2011, 08:26
To Annette Guibord Alabaster - I read your comment and I'm hoping you'll see mine. My grandparents actually worked there at the Ladd Estate at one point. My grandfather, Herbert William Tickner, was the estate supervisor. I believe my grandmother, Johanna Roth Tickner, was one of the maids. I recently found an article where she reflects on a day she spent fishing withe Dwight D. Eisenhower. I would love to be able to find records, pictures, or information about their time spent on the estate. Researching my family's history has become an obsession lately and it was nice to see this article.\r\n
27 Mar 2011, 06:49
My mother was also a patient at Kate Macy Ladd in the late 1960's. I finally remembered the name and I am very disappointed to learn that it stopped being a convalescent home in the 1980's, although with the changes in our health care system and rehabilitative medicine in general, perhaps it had outlived its purpose. My mother had 6 children and her doctors' determined there was no way she could be allowed to return home immediately after back surgery. She received very good care at KML and returned to her family strong and healthy after a few weeks of convalesence and physical therapy.The only difficulty was in contacing her by telephone. We were only allowed to visit one day a week, on Sunday. She wanted to speak with us more often and we were allowed to call her. However, we had to call collect, then wait for a nurse to go get our mother and bring her to the telephone booth on the first floor. In the meant time the operator would get impatient and we would have to keep asking her to wait while they brought our mother to the phone. What we very much enjoyed on our visits to KML was the scenic drive up to the house and the deer we could see through the rear patio doors.
Marina R Vladis
21 Mar 2011, 17:27
We are a local flower shop located in Bedminster NJ, we offer exquisite floral arrangements for weddings, and for all special occasions please visit our website
15 Feb 2011, 07:56
This is a beautiful place and we are interested in having our wedding here. Can you send me any info on weddings at Natirar?\r\nThank you!! \r\n
12 Feb 2011, 12:27
Please send me info re: weddings and private parties at Natirar.\r\nThanks\r\n\r\n\r\n
Todd Alexander
27 Jan 2011, 09:15
To whom it may concern,\r\n\r\nCan you send me any info on weddings at Natirar. We're aiming for 4/2/11, I know its short notice.\r\n\r\nThank you,\r\nTodd Alexander\r\n
Brenda Doherty
16 Jan 2011, 05:29
I am interested in holding a combination High School Graduation and 5oth Birthday party at your locate. Can you send me event information and menus?\r\nThanks, Brenda Doherty
dee a ferrera
11 Jan 2011, 08:56
Hello, Are you hiring Captains at this time. Please contact. Thank you.
09 Jan 2011, 12:51
The king of Morocco owned the estate and never spent a night in it? What a waste, and how unfortunate a "king" can come to this country and spend his people's money in that way. I'm happy something good came from it all but not sure a "spa" is an appropriate end for the mansion. It is a beautiful place and I hope it continues to be available for all who care to enjoy it.
05 Jan 2011, 15:33
Looks great keep up the good work.
Barbara Burke
03 Jan 2011, 18:00
Can you send me any info on weddings at Natirar.\r\n\r\nThank You
21 Nov 2010, 18:50
Happy Thanksgiving!\r\nMy fiance and I are interested in having our wedding at the Naritar estate. Do you host weddings? Could you please put me in contact with the proper person to discuss details? We are looking at next year. \r\n\r\nThanks! \r\n\r\nBeth
Ranger Dave
20 Nov 2010, 18:06
Hello and greetings to the park patrons of Natirar. I am one of the rangers there and invite you to enjoy our recreational opportunities. Please stop by if you have any questions, or would like to chat. We are happy to answer your questions.
16 Nov 2010, 20:46
Yes there is a restaurant in the Main House called 90' Acres... Fine Dining at its best!
01 Nov 2010, 07:02
The property and grounds are just amazing and beautifully kept. Would love to have dinner in the peaceful surroundings. Is it open to the public?
Laura Grabler
24 Oct 2010, 17:58
I visited Natirar today 10-24-2010 I was very impressed and want to share the experience with others. I took some photo's of the grounds. It is a very beautiful secret tucked away in Bedminster, NJ. I would love to have dinner at the mansion on the hill for my 50th Birthday. Please send me information on how to go about making reservations. I have till June of 2011.\r\nThank you. Laura
Adele Jones
21 Oct 2010, 08:54
I am requesting any information on dining and room accommodations. Looking forward to your response. Adele
Annette Guibord Alabaster
13 Oct 2010, 15:42
I have lovely dusty memories of my first job working at Kate Macy Ladd between my jr. and sr. years at The Gill School eons ago. I enjoyed working in the kitchen with the older ladies and the clever waxed paper napkins folded with a pocket for the utensils. It was always so pleasant leaving down the long leafy drive. Now I am married to a Brit for 43 years and can relate to that building, reminding me of the mansion in the PBS series, "Waiting for God". What an important use you have made for this gloriously beautiful piece of land, water, and buildings.
12 Oct 2010, 07:59
I would like to inquire about the nature of any employment opportunities.
03 Oct 2010, 17:02
Do you host weddings at your estate?
christine Hunter
26 Sep 2010, 18:51
Hello,\r\n\r\nI am interested in employment at The Club. Any information would be greatly appreciated.\r\nThank you,\r\nChristine
barbara rubert
10 Sep 2010, 13:11
I am interested in finding out the details about hosting my daughter's wedding at natirar. She would like a tent wedding. Any information would be greatly appreciated. She is looking at the fall 2011 as a wedding date. Thank you.
chris otterbein
03 Sep 2010, 11:31
my mother had been a patient at Kate Macy Ladd Convalescent Home in the 1960s. she had had major surgery, was a widow with 4 children, and her doctor forced her to become a patient there. it was the best place for recovery for her. i remember visiting her and being in awe of the estate itself and the ambience of the location. i am very happy to hear that the location is being used again. i will find it and come for dinner.\r\n\r\nchris otterbein\r\n
M Manchester
29 Aug 2010, 08:56
I too am interested in being involved with this club as an employee.I appreciate the repect for nature and farm life whether it is accessable to people or only to animals.I am happy that it will be opening.
26 Aug 2010, 08:44
I would like to inquire about any employment opportunities available.
18 Aug 2010, 21:38
It is unfortunate that such a beautiful space once reserved for those in need will become a resort / spa for the wealthy. It's especially in poor taste as we are in the mist of a crippling recession. The Somerset County Park Commission should be proud. Go NJ!! I hope they and the billonaire Branson hire everyone on this correspondance that are searching for jobs. It's the least they could do.
Susan Fichera
11 Aug 2010, 07:24
Near by overnight accommadations would be appreciated
25 Jul 2010, 11:22
Waiting eagerly for the spa. When will it be open?
13 Jul 2010, 22:27
Hi,\r\nI am very interested in having my outdoor wedding ceramony and reception @ Natirar. Can you please send me any information? I would also like to schedule a day to come visit the estate. Thank you\r\n-Tara O'Keefe
08 Jul 2010, 13:30
I have been a Travel Agent for over 22 years and am interested in any related employment opportunities at Natirar.
05 Jul 2010, 05:14
I'm looking for employment of (almost) any kind. Please forward information to my email. thank you so much
Julia Gill
22 Jun 2010, 17:46
I am interested in becoming an "in house" massage therapist for the spa or doing some complimentary chair massages during events such as wine tastings and such. I work and network with a few businesses in the area. I can be contacted at (908) 963-9214 or email at to discuss possible per diem employment with the spa or for complimentary chair massages for events. Thank you for taking the time to read this.\r\n
17 Jun 2010, 10:16
Please advise how to make reservations for the restaurant and the spa.
13 Jun 2010, 17:43
Do you have information for wedding prices/packages?
29 May 2010, 14:17
I would like to purchase a gift certificate to the restaurant. How do do that?
Aubrey Parasolle
28 May 2010, 17:48
Hi,\r\n I am interested in details for a wedding at your venue. Do you do outdoor wedding receptions or would you be willing to do so? Please send details of your venue, menus etc.\r\nBest wishes,\r\nAubrey Parasolle
sylvia cicetti
26 May 2010, 09:15
I just researched the history of the Ladd estate. I remembered that my sister in law had stayed at an estate in Gladstone in the 1980s after my brother had passed away and she was "needy". Thank you so much for the joy it brought to her at a difficult time in her life.\r\nNow I am fortunate enough to have a reservation to enjoy it all in another perspective, since i have a reservation to have dinner at 90 Acres Restaurant next week. Looking forward to it.
Elizabeth Jones Smith
25 May 2010, 15:32
what a surprise. I randomly googled "Natirar." My grandfather, Sidney H. Jones, emigrated from England and was employed as the GM on the estate. My father and his brother were raised here, but I have never visited. Next trip back to NJ, I'd love to visit. we have many family photos with the mansion as background, circa 1920 when my father was in college.
Kathleen Uber
13 May 2010, 12:52
How do we go about having dinner/drinks at your location?
Lillian Giordano
07 May 2010, 08:21
I would like to make a restaurant reservation at the restaurant at Natirar. How would I go about doing this?
01 May 2010, 15:42
I am interested in having my wedding at your venue. Would you kindly submit wedding/evet/rental information?\r\n\r\nThank you.
30 Mar 2010, 19:28
i'm looking for employment opportunites in the spa
22 Mar 2010, 17:25
I visited Natirar this past weekend for the first time with a friend. It was breathtaking and we enjoyed visiting the sheep in the barn, walking the path, and driving up to the restaurant.\r\nI will be back again soon for another visit.
21 Mar 2010, 04:11
Is Natirar open to walk or run through and are their trail maps ? \r\nIs the spa open to the public and do you have a brochure with hours and pricing ?\r\nHow can I enroll in a culinary class and what classes do you have coming up ? \r\nAre you open for public dinner ? \r\n\r\nI went online and didn't see much about the questions above. Please email me when possible
16 Mar 2010, 10:08
Is Natirar open at this time of year(March 15th)? What are your hours of operation? Is there a restaurant on the grounds? Is there a menu I can access online? Is there a charge to visit Natarir? Is the mansion opne for touring? Thank you. sharon
sylmon padmore
24 Feb 2010, 08:18
I am interested in having a wedding reception and possibly the cermony also. I am requesting more information via email.\r\n\r\nThank You
01 Feb 2010, 16:29
Hi, I am interested in employment at Natirar. Please direct me as to who to contact. Thank you!\r\n\r\nMaureen Champion
Dawn Noren
29 Jan 2010, 15:20
Hello,\r\nIf the property available for a small wedding (less than 50 people)for 2010 summer or fall? Is there an opportunity for an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception ?\r\nThank you.
20 Jan 2010, 19:47
My interest is in employment at the Virgin Spa as a hairstylist. I've worked locally for 22 years and have an established clientele. I would very much like to discuss employment opportunities with you.
19 Jan 2010, 18:46
Would the estate be available for a wedding in September 2010? Please forward any and all information.\r\n\r\nThanks!
Melissa Dahbi
19 Jan 2010, 04:34
I am a certified yoga teacher and would be very interested in teaching at Natira. Please contact me regarding employment at the Spa or forward me any applications and or contacts. (908) 399-9970 \r\n\r\nThanks,Melissa
16 Jan 2010, 19:05
Just curious if the spa is going to be a salon and spa or just for spa services? I would be interested in a position as a stylist. I have many years in the spa & salon industry and would like to work for this wonderful company. Sounds awesome!!!
12 Jan 2010, 14:49
My women's club is interested in an afternoon visit to the estate. We are interested in the restaurant recently opened at Natirar and any other facilities, events, or points of interest that would be available to a visiting group.\r\n
05 Jan 2010, 07:58
Hello, \r\n\r\nI am interested in your availability for a wedding in August of 2010. Please include prices and necessary procedures. \r\n\r\nthank you very much!
Ann Marie Lay
02 Jan 2010, 15:29
To Whom It May Concern:\r\n\r\nLooking to have a fundraiser at your venue. Please contact me at 862-258-7042 with the details
14 Dec 2009, 16:59
Robb,\r\n\r\nHow nice to hear you visited as a child too. I'm glad my story brought a smile to your face.
14 Dec 2009, 16:27
Janet,\r\n\r\nI read your script with a smile. My mother too was at KAte Macy Ladd back in the early 70's I too have fond memories of visiting her there.\r\nVery strange to now be living in the same county.
robb levin
14 Dec 2009, 16:19
My neice will be getting married in May of 2011. Will there be any weddings held at the site. Please email back\r\nthank you
08 Dec 2009, 15:01
To whom it may concern,Is there still any vacant position for executive chef or chef instructor? at natirar virgin spa,please provide me with can I apply.
03 Dec 2009, 17:59
Indoor februaury/march wedding for 2011...any details on rates, catering, etc would be appreciated!
Janet Smith D'Auria
02 Dec 2009, 07:37
When I was a child, back in the late 1960's I remember coming to Peapack with my family. As beautiful as it was, I had mixed feelings about the drive. It was a time in my life that was happy and also quite sad for me. Let me explain why. Moving to Bedminster about 2 years ago, I passed this estate many times. This past Sunday, while driving by, after attending mass at St. Brigid's church I noticed the estate again, but this time I saw it in a different light. Something just clicked! I remember, that this was the place my mother would come after her two heart surgeries and many other sicknesses when I was a child. It had many bittersweet memories for me. I was very thankful for the opportunity Kate Macy Ladd provided to her. It's funny, that I now live around the corner from a place I use to travel to as a little girl. Life, has a funny way of reconnecting us to the many experiences in our past. I am looking forward to visiting again, 30 years after I once stepped foot there. My mother is no longer with us for me to share this with her. As I visit, I'm sure it will bring back many special memories for me.
Valerie Contessa
01 Dec 2009, 14:05
I am inquiring about employment whom would I cotact in regards.\r\n\r\n
jaclyn szankowski
21 Nov 2009, 16:02
Please contact me if you have weddings or private parties at your facilities.
Randy Polo
15 Nov 2009, 19:20
Good evening;\r\n\r\nI would like to obtain some information and speak with someone regarding a position at the Estate. I'm a food & beverage professional with over fifteen years of experience as Director of Catering with a private dining in Morris County. If you could please contact me by either phone or email I would greatly appreciate it. I look forward to speaking with someone soon.\r\n\r\nRandy Polo\r\n(973) 296-4526\r\
15 Nov 2009, 11:09
Hello!\r\n\r\nI'm also very interested in learning about weddings at Natirar. My fiance and I are looking to get married Sept or Oct 2010. \r\n\r\nThank you!\r\nStephanie
J. Gabrielski
11 Nov 2009, 10:14
My wife is interested in employment opportunities related to landscaping or gardening at the estate. She is a degreed LA.\r\n\r\nPlease advise.
Amanda Knef
29 Oct 2009, 16:41
I am an individual with many years of experience in the resturant business. Can you please send me an application and information about positions that are available within your organization. My e/mail address is and my home address is 383 Penns Way, Basking Ridge, New Jersey 07920\r\n\r\nSincerely,\r\n\r\nAmanda Knef
jacquelyn Santo
25 Oct 2009, 07:38
Good Morning:\r\n\r\nNew Jersey will finally receive a masterpiece of rejuvenation and wellness! As a nutrition/business counselor and entepreneur, I would ask if you would kindly refer me to the most recent employment opportunities in the spa restaurant.\r\n\r\nI look forward to forwarding my resume.\r\n\r\nJacquelyn \r\n551-804-6011
Denis Shanahan
24 Oct 2009, 11:03
To whom it may concern,\r\n My sister is presently training at your facility and is quite impressed with what she is experiencing. Her name is Colleen Shanahan. My experience is at the management level in the construction field. My position was a project coordinator. I was responsible for running up to 40 jobs at the same time. I would be very interested in sending my resume in for a position that would utilize my skills. It is my uderstanding that you will be expanding and the areas of opotunity will be as well. I would appreciate an oportunity to work for your organization. \r\n Respecfully Yours, \r\n Denis Shanahan
Hilary Reuben
07 Oct 2009, 19:27
Hello and to it may concern;\r\nI too would like to inquire about information in having a prospective wedding at the estate October of next year. As an interior designer and someone that is passionate about architecture with history, I am looking forward to all the possibilities! Please include indoor/outdoor pricing for park commission members, inside & outside catering options and if there is any boarding over night for guests! Thank you and looking forward to speaking to someone soon!
Giovanni Passione
06 Oct 2009, 22:08
I am interested to know if there is any employment opportunities available. I have been in the Hospitality Industry for over 25 years in many Management Positions. Please send me any information of whom I could contact\r\n\r\nThank you!
Alexis Goodwin
22 Sep 2009, 07:58
Please forward information on Executive Assistant/Administrative employment opportunities with the Virgin Spa at Natirar. I am very familiar with the estate as my mother worked there when it was Kate Macy Ladd... I spent many lovely hours there. Would like to know where to forward my resume.\r\n\r\nThank you.
Dana Joy
10 Sep 2009, 13:57
Good Afternoon. My name is Dana. I am interested in a position at the virgin spa. i am a massage therapist and have been in the profession for 8 years. Please contact me at this email address,\r\nThank you and have a blessed day!\r\n
David P. Karner
25 Aug 2009, 09:37
Please forward employment contact for the Virgin Spa at Natirar. Thank you
Lora Smith
06 Jul 2009, 08:19
Hello,\r\n\r\nI see there have been several prior inquiries regarding weddings at Natirar. Are weddings permitted on the grounds and if so, can you please provide pricing information and rules/regulations for using the property? Thank you for your assistance. \r\n\r\nRegards,\r\nLora M. Smith, Ph.D.
carole Herole
24 Jun 2009, 15:44
We are very interested in hosting a wedding next April thru Oct( any Sat) for about 250 people and want to hire our own caterer. What is the procedure for finding out infomation We know time is running out. Please let me know how one gains this info.\r\nThank you\r\nCarole
Cheryl Spinelli
23 Jun 2009, 10:05
I would be interested in a tour of this facility. It would appear that it is a natural for weddings, corporate events and more. I am an event planner/caterer and am always looking for new venues for clients. \r\n\r\nI can be reached at 973-220-0031. \r\n\r\nCheryl Spinelli
21 Jun 2009, 20:22
I am a resident of Peapack and am interested in an administrative position. I have 22 years experience in the legal field and communicate well with people. I would also be interested in working in the spa as a receptionist, et al.\r\n\r\nPlease advise as to the name and address/e-mail of the individual so that I may forward my resume.\r\n\r\nThank you.
Rachael Anstatt
12 Jun 2009, 08:40
I was interested in having a wedding at the estate in 2010 with approx. 120 people. Is it available?\r\n\r\nThank You
20 May 2009, 18:58
I am interested in wedding information as well. What a gem! Is it available for weddings?
15 May 2009, 15:12
The drew neirpirront will open a restaurant here during the summer.\r\n\r\n
Sarah L.
30 Apr 2009, 12:54
Are the grounds available for weddings? If the construction is not completed yet, can the property be used for an event--outdoors? Thank you!
19 Apr 2009, 19:10
I am interested in an administrative position at the spa at Natirar. Please forward any information to me . Thank you for your assistance.
Chuck Thomas
26 Mar 2009, 04:40
Mr. Lawton,\r\n\r\nI was just re-reading my copy of Weird NJ and read the article about Blairsden Estates. This led me to this the Natirar Association. I understand the Association has disbanded, but do any of you still do work together? I am a registered landscape architect in PA with a background in park, recreation and open space master planning. I am searching for employment and I am intrigued. If you can give me any direction I would appreciate it.\r\n\r\nThank you.
18 Mar 2009, 03:00
This would be a good path for bicycles. Are bicycles allowed on the path?
08 Mar 2009, 14:21
Is the estate available for a wedding in 2010?
Rimma I.
04 Mar 2009, 06:37
Esthetician position at the spa. \r\nI live in this area for the past10 years. I have over 20 years of experience in the cosmetology and would be interested in joining the staff at the spa. Please forward any information on employment if available.\r\n Thank you.\r\n Rimma I.\r\n
Skylands Visitor
18 Jan 2009, 09:02
The Somerset Park Commission administers Natirar. Job seekers can find more information at their website linked at the end of this story.
17 Jan 2009, 19:10
I would like to know if this estate is available for weddings as well. Additionally, if it is, do you accomodate overnight guests as well?\r\n\r\nMany Thanks!\r\n\r\nAmie
Janae Johnson
17 Jan 2009, 10:38
Has anyone received information about where to send resumes? I have emailed a few different addresses and have not heard anything. \r\n\r\nPlease let me know! Thanks.
melina genest
17 Jan 2009, 10:09
hello i am currently looking for a wedding location for dec 2009 and am very interested in Natirar. Please email me on who to contact about wedding booking and info thanks. melina
helen m albans
01 Jan 2009, 14:21
i am interested in an esthetician position at the spa....can you please let me know who to contact regarding this? thank you very much\r\nhelen
28 Dec 2008, 06:21
I would like to see the mansion before it is renovated for the spa. Is this a possibility?
Paul Stoddard
08 Dec 2008, 16:51
What hours is Natirar open to the public? What is the admission price?
03 Dec 2008, 08:33
Feel free to email for further information about the Resort Spa property currently being developed at Natirar.\r\n\r\nThank you.
Janae Johnson
29 Nov 2008, 17:54
I am interested in the Spa Director Position at Natirar and would like to send my resume for consideration. If you have any information please contact me.\r\n\r\n
25 Oct 2008, 12:46
I am interested in a Spa Management position at the new facility. As a former salon owner/manager who now lives in the area, I would most appreciate any information you can provide.\r\n\r\nElaine
16 Oct 2008, 09:36
I'am inquiring about employment at natirar- Virgin Spa. I'am interested in a Spa director position. Please forward any information on employment if available. Thank you.
09 Oct 2008, 08:28
I am also interested in employment at Natirar. Would you please let me know who to contact and send a resume to?
08 Sep 2008, 12:56
I just recently went to Natirar for the first time. I was quite disappointed to learn that the only available public walking trail was a 1.5 mile loop in which you can basically see the whole thing from its beginning. The trail to the mansion is blocked off due to the current construction so I could only see the estate from below the hilltop. While I do believe that the amount of land the Ladd family owned is very expansive and absolutely amazing, it fell short of my expectations. It is basically one big open field with a path around it, and at one point you see a stream alongside it. There is no diversity in the environment in the area open to the public. It all just "looks the same". I read in the article above that the grounds offer "hiking", but this was just a walking trail. I did pass at least two trails that were blocked off with STOP signs which visitors could not access. These looked like hiking trails, going off into the woods. Does anyone know if these trails will one day be open to the public after all the spa renovations are done?
03 Sep 2008, 08:45
I have lived in Gladstone for the past 22years & spend many a morning walking around the parks grounds. I have worked in the hospitality/business field for over 15 years and would be interested in joining the staff at the restaurant and/or spa. Please forward any information on employment if available. Thank you
26 Aug 2008, 10:57
what is the status of this spa? and are the grounds open now? Can the estate be at least viewed during a walk on the grounds?
cliff oneill
18 Aug 2008, 17:51
Who do we contact for weddings-date August 2009
Elizabeth Brown
04 Aug 2008, 03:46
When will the estate be open and will it be available for a weddings in June 2009? Will the spa be fashioned after the Canyon Ranch Spa's in Arizona and MA with an emphasis on wellness?
31 Jul 2008, 08:48
I am inquiring about employment at Natirar, I am interested in an administrative position and willing to begin work while the construction is in process. Please forward the name of the personnel agent and/or employment agency that I should contact. Thank you.
Allan Abels
01 Jul 2008, 17:37
Thank You for such a complete history along with current and future plans for this property. I had day-visited there\r\n40+/- years ago and vaguely remember the house and large rolling lawns. It is a special place to me. I look forward to visting once again.
Laurel Loomis
22 Jun 2008, 05:04
Is there any availablity for weddings/events on the grounds, even if the mansion is not open? How soon before the mansion is open?
13 May 2008, 06:07
Please let me know if the estate is available for weddings.\r\n\r\nThank you
12 May 2008, 12:35
Please contact me with information about private parties.
Lori Popper
24 Apr 2008, 09:46
I'm interested in finding out if this would be open for not only weddings, but for events. I'm interested in getting a Class Reunion (1974) and trying to find a beautiful place to have it. It will take some time to get a large group together. So would someone get back with me if this would be available for this type of an event. Thank you, Lori
16 Apr 2008, 13:59
cheers to somerset county for preserving this fantastic landmark. an aunt of mine was a nurse at KML during my childhood and have very fond memories of picnics by the river. can't wait to hit the spa! another article i found said it was to open early 2009 - does anyone know if this is accurate?
Nancy Colon
14 Apr 2008, 13:32
When will the estate be opened and will it be available to rent for a wedding?\r\n\r\nThanks
13 Apr 2008, 17:14
Hello,\r\n\r\nIs the estate open for a private event- such as a wedding? \r\n\r\nThank you,\r\nJackie M
15 Mar 2008, 06:41
I am interested in jobs related to this estate if they are looking for help in landscaping or driving.
14 Feb 2008, 14:09
Very fascinating! I'm a tour guide at the Duke Estate called Duke Farms and am facinated by the plethora of history in this area. Can anyone tell me the status of Sir Richard Bransons Spa at Natirar? Is it open or currently under renovation? I am interested in hearing about his planned events, programs and employment opportunties working on this amazing property. \r\n\r\nThank you very much,\r\n\r\nRobert Hummel
30 Dec 2007, 17:39
I am interested in more information about the history of Natirar and esp. Kate Macy Ladd. Please contact!
Bill Lawton
06 Dec 2007, 11:23
Good morning,\r\n \r\nI recently searched "natirar" on the web and came across your article on the estate. The well-written piece seems to summarize the history of the estate quite well.\r\n\r\nMy colleague and I were the founding members of the Natirar Association, a private, non-profit organization that was invited by the Somerset County Park Commission to work on this history, the adaptive re-use and fundraising for the soon-to-be-purchased estate.\r\n \r\nHence, the reason for corresponding: One tiny error is that Walter Graeme Ladd was never an attorney. He never worked for JD Rockefeller. In fact, on his passport applications, he listed his profession as "gentleman" and at a later date, "Insurance broker." In fact, his older brother was an attorney. The NY Times did erroneously report in Walter Ladd's obituary that he was an attorney. \r\n \r\nMr. Ladd spent the majority of his married life managing his wife's fortune, and yachting! He did take the train regularly into NY City but no one really knew what he was doing at the office!\r\n \r\nHope this might clear things up a bit.
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