With its signature salmon-colored stucco, the Hacienda Hotel was the talk of New Port Richey when it opened in 1927. The Spanish Colonial Revival-style hotel was built at a time when this town was a booming silent film mecca. (Back then, some even called it “Hollywood East.”) With the stars of the silver screen flocking to town, New Port Richey needed a place to host its most glamorous guests.
The Hacienda played host to some of the biggest names in show business, with Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson among its reported guests.
Like many businesses, the Hacienda struggled after the stock market crash of 1929. Ownership changed hands several times, but the hotel managed to weather the Great Depression. Changes were made to the grounds, including the addition of a swimming pool and a cocktail lounge before it eventually closed in the 1970s.
In 2003, the city of New Port Richey purchased the Hacienda Hotel. In 2019, the town partnered with a team known for historic renovations to revive the ’20s hotspot to its former glow. The multimillion-dollar project took several years and saw the interior of the hotel almost completely redone. The renovations preserve and pay homage to the building’s iconic 1920s history, while making updates to reflect current needs.
The front desk was made out of reclaimed cypress wood from the year the hotel opened, and the chandeliers, corbels, and molding are original.
With such a rich history, it should be no surprise that the Hacienda Hotel has intrigued a few paranormal investigators. There are stories of ghostly figures haunting the halls and the tunnels, which were allegedly used for illicit smuggling during Prohibition. A local nonprofit hosts ghost hunts at the hotel.