Nearly a century ago, a new hotel at the corner of Main and Bank streets was the talk of New Port Richey, Florida. The Hacienda Hotel was a luxurious building with pink stucco walls and a sprawling courtyard. In the decades since it was built, the Hotel has played host to movie stars, served as a healthcare facility, and even intrigued a few ghost hunters.
Located on the banks of the Pithlachascotee River, the building was planned as a “modern, fifty-room hotel of extreme Spanish design.” The Spanish Colonial Revival style hotel was designed by Thomas Reed Martin, a Wisconsin-born architect who moved to Florida at the turn of the 20th century. Plans for the hotel featured steam heating, an open-air dining room, and a courtyard patio. The Hacienda formally opened in February 1927, and was a hit with locals and visitors alike.
The Hacienda’s clientele included actors, writers, singers, and dancers. 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. It eventually closed in the 1970s, and in 1986, the building reopened as the Hacienda Home for Special Services.
In 2003, the city of New Port Richey purchased the Hacienda Hotel. After working with several developers in attempts to renovate and reopen the hotel, the city approved an agreement in 2018 with James Gunderson, who has been working to restore the historic hotel.
The renovations have aimed to preserve and pay homage to the building’s iconic 1920s history. In addition to preserving the architectural elements, the hotel’s renovated parking lot has been named for Gloria Swanson, the iconic actress who starred in a number of silent films in the 1920s, as well as the the classic 1950 film Sunset Boulevard.
The renovated hotel reopened in September of 2022. It has 40 guest rooms and a full service bar and restaurant.