5621 Main St, New Port Richey, FL 34652
In the last year, I have written several times about the rehabiliation of the abandoned 1927 hotel, The Hacienda, in New Port Richey, Florida. See Celebrating The Restored Hacienda Hotel for its rehab story. Long neglected, The Hacienda Hotel sat abandoned and boarded up for decades. Like most abandoned buildings it inspired the imagination of everyone with all sorts of urban legends. There are tales of underground tunnels used either by mobsters for rum running or by Joe Kennedy and Gloria Swanson to hide their affair. Reported sightings of physical activity inspired speculation.
In September 2022, The Hacienda began to accept guests after a 4-year multi-million dollar restoration. Local resident and ghost hunter, Chris Gostkowski (yes that’s his name) and his fiancé Alexandra Wilkinson have investigated the restored hotel and say that it’s not all just rumors. He confirms that there are resident spirits. “None of these spirits are scary or negative. I think they just are happy that people are coming back into the building. Because they sat here for so long.”
One such spirit he said was a little girl who became ill and died in the building. Another is a lady in a white period outfit who appears in the dining room. She does no harm but seeks attention. Then there is the dancing ghost who appeared during restoration when dance music was played. This apparition responded every time someone declared raise your right hand and continued dancing until the music stopped. This happened several times. Other unexplained activities also happened during construction.
In November 2022, founders of non-profit, Paranormal Kids Cancer, Chris Gostkowski and Alexandra Wilkinson, led a ghostly event at The Hacienda. A portion of the proceeds went to children’s cancer charities. The event included a 3 course dinner, testimonies of ghost sightings including former employees, and a final non-intrusive to guests tour of the building. The tickets sold out in 3 hours.
For 2023, sadly there was not a repeat event, but the hotel has been busy in the last month with all kinds of fun events. The end of September was marked with a Sunday Night Speakeasy, a sold out event with live music from the Jazz Phools, Woodford Reserve tastings and food pairings by the chef. Guests came dressed in their 1920s best and danced the night away after a series of delicious food and drink selections. More than $500 was raised for Vincent House with a raffle. The evening was a hit until it was broken up by the coppers!
The hotel connects with many New Port Richey events. A coven of witches dropped by one evening to enjoy food and drink.
Two ghosts came by one day.
Their restaurant, Sasha’s on the Park, lures you to relax and sample delicious drinks and cuisine. Their fine dining includes special menus for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. It’s become very popular with the local residents.
Martini Monday! Every Monday, all day long, the restaurant features a $10 Martini. An unique, specialty Martini is offered throughout the week and changes every Monday. A few favorites so far have included Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini, Sarazen Sazarac, Key Lime Pie, and Tini Tim Tini.
Sunday October 29, guests had a great view of The Witches & Warlocks Parade on the River.
The Hacienda is again participating in Downtown New Port Richey’s Halloween Downtown as one of the stops for children trick-or-treating on October 31st.
I hope you enjoyed stopping by and seeing a few fun fall happenings in at The Hacienda in New Port Richey, Florida.
Photos are courtesy of The Hacienda Hotel.
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