The North Carolina beach house where Bill Gates and his former girlfriend Ann Winblad reportedly spent a weekend every spring while married to Melinda Gates, is not a plush but a very modest three-story sea-facing home that is available for rent. The home, known as Castle Sween, is billed on Airbnb as a "royal retreat for beach lovers" and can be hired for $600 per night.
The news comes following Bill and Melinda's announcement that they are divorcing, after being wedded for 27 years. Following the announcement of their divorce unusual details about their marriage from a 1997 Time magazine profile resurfaced. Gates, 65, had then revealed a questionable "arrangement" he had with his Winblad, while married to Melinda.
Bill's Love Nest
According to the Time magazine profile, Bill into an agreement with Melinda where it was decided that each spring, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder and his former girlfriend would spend "a long weekend." And they, in fact, did that for years. The couple's love nest at Outer Banks, North Carolina is a ordinary but beautiful beach residence facing the Atlantic, where the two would enjoying several activities including hang-gliding, riding dune buggies and taking long walks on the beach.
The vacation house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and has its own gazebo overlooking the ocean as well as a private pathway to the beach. The 1,440-sq-ft home, which sits on an acre of land, is marketed as one where "visitors will be hard-pressed to leave the sunny and pristine Corolla shorelines or the on-site gazebo."
'With a private walkway to the beach and a superb view of the Atlantic Ocean from a dune top deck gazebo, guests of this sandcastle can effortlessly dive into a true OBX (Outer Banks) coastal vacation as soon as they arrive,' the ad on Airbnb reads.
Inside the Retreat
According to New York Post, Winblad is still listed in the property records as a trustee of the home. The modest home, which was initially built in 1982, has been used as a rental on and off since 2016. A three-night weekend getaway costs a shade over $2,700.
Also, the property appears to be high on demand as the pandemic rages on. Renting the beach house for a week in late August would set a family back $3,505. The Airbnb listing for the home offers an inside look at the little slice of paradise Bill and Winblad shared.
The second floor is the main level which has the central gathering area. It has a great room that accommodates a living, dining and kitchen space. Besides there are two bedrooms huge bedrooms with a queen bed and two sets of bunks.
There are two more bedrooms at the top level along with a loft that has a daybed and pristine ocean views around every corner. Besides, the property includes other amenities like a washer/dryer, heating and air conditioning, cable television, an oven, dishes and silverware, a barbecue grill, a patio, and free parking.
Bill and Winblad's relationship came to an end in the late 1980s when she was reportedly more ready for marriage than Bill was as he worked day and night to build his billion-dollar Microsoft empire. However, they have remained friends forever and are often seen mentioning each other's names during interviews.
Bill and Winblad first met in 1984 at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference. Three years later they broke up but the pair even got into business together and in 1999 Bill partnered with Winblad on Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Today, Winblad is married to San Francisco private investigator Edward Alex Kline, 63, the younger brother of actor Kevin Kline.