The Casa Monica Hotel is located in the notorious paranormal hotspot that is St. Augustine. Although the hotel themselves will not admit to having guests from the other side, many reports from staff, guests, and paranormal experts from around St. Augustine say otherwise.
One housekeeper who worked at Casa Monica for about a year was from the area and knows a lot about local haunts. She has said that she herself experienced many strange things whilst working there. The 4th floor is apparently the most haunted with the highest concentration of activity. The sounds of children running up and down the corridors and in the rooms have been heard, even when the floor is vacated. Staff refuses to clean some suites on their own, and some point-blank refuses to clean certain ones.
In-room 511, a man is believed to have hung himself on the upper floor. There has been a report of a guest waking up in room 411 to find a number of figures just standing in his room. In the Ponce de Leon, suite staff has reported the radio turning on by itself on the 1st floor of the suite whilst they were upstairs. The suite is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman in white, who has been captured on a photograph. The Flagler Suite is home to a mysterious child’s handprint on the first-floor bathroom mirror. A previous housekeeper knocked on the door of the suite to see if she could clean, and she heard a voice on the other side say, “We’ve been expecting you”. She recalls opening the door expecting to see a family getting ready, but to her fright, there was nobody there.
There have also been reports from guests and previous staff of the apparition of a gentleman in 1920’s era clothing, who has been seen walking throughout the hotel.
Casa Monica Hotel was built in 1888, by the architect Franklin W. Smith, after purchasing land off Henry Flagler – a successful businessman and co-founder of Standard Oil. 4 months after the grand opening of the Casa Monica, Flagler saw the potential in it and decided to buy it from Smith for $325,000.
Changing the name of the hotels’ name to Cordova, Flagler oversaw a period of boom for the historic hotel. In 1902 a bridge was built between the hotel and the nearby Alcazar – now named Lightner Museum. Flagler then changed the name of the hotel to Alcazar Annex. A year later the two hotels became one under the name of Alcazar.
Flagler abandoned the property when the stock market crashed, officially closing its doors in 1932. In 1945 the bridge that connected the two properties was torn down. In 1965 the St. Johns Count Commission purchased the building and used it as their county courthouse. The courthouse was open up until the late ’70s.
In the mid-’90s Richard C. Kessler purchased the building from St. Johns County for $1.2 million with the intention of restoring it to its former glory as a thriving and luxurious hotel. After lots of renovation work, the hotel was re-opened as the Casa Monica in December 1999. The King and Queen of Spain visited shortly after, cementing the historic hotel as one of the most prestigious and best boutique hotels in the country.
It is now a member of the Historic Hotels of America Association.
The Casa Monica Hotel prides itself on the history and culture of the first European settlers in St. Augustine, which is evident in its architecture and furnishings. The Moorish Revival-style is consistent throughout, with intricate balconies, red-tiled roof, gold-leafed archways, rich Spanish tapestries, and wrought iron four-poster beds, and mahogany furniture in the bedrooms.
- WiFi available in all areas
- Fitness center
- Hot Tub
- Outdoor pool
- Private parking
- Concierge Service
Things to Do
St. Augustine’s year-round mild climate make it the perfect location to enjoy the bountiful outdoor activities the area has to offer. Just a short walk from the hotel you can enjoy the stunning Mantanzas Bay. Or you can take a short 10-minute drive to enjoy the picturesque white sands of St. Augustine Beach.
The area surrounding the hotel is dotted with cobblestone streets where you can enjoy the many charming cafes, bars, or shops. The famous and very haunted St. Augustine Lighthouse is just a short distance, as well as the Castillo de San Marcos fort, and many other must-see attractions.
If you ask at the hotel reception you can find more information on golfing, horse-riding, sailing, fishing, or renting bicycles.