This was the path from our casita to the main buildings of Hacienda del Sol.
We passed this beautiful doorway and wall,
and entered the main courtyard through the mission-style gate.
The resort is situated on 34 acres of Arizona-Sonora Desert. It was built in 1929. The architecture is Spanish Colonial in style, inspired by the Moorish architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. The original owners were Helen & John Murphey. Helen did much of the handwork, including helping carve intricate patterns into beam ceilings. Hand-crafted fixtures and tile work can still be found throughout the property.
From 1930 to 1941, the facility was a college prep. school, Hacienda del Sol School, usually housing 25 girls (including children from the Pillsbury, Kellogg, Vanderbilt, Maxwell, Westinghouse, Spalding and Campbell families). In the late 1930’s, the famed Swiss architect, Josias Joesler, was commissioned to rebuild areas damaged by fire.
In 1948, the facility reopened as a guest ranch. A favourite of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Heburn, other guests included Clark Gable, Howard Hughes, Joseph Cotton, and John Wayne.
The property changed hands a few more times and since 1995 has been run by Tucson investors who had a vision of returning the ranch to its former glory. Restoration was completed in 1999 and included thick adobe walls, original fireplaces, hand-painted tiles, and remodeled historic rooms, some of which were the dorm rooms of the original school. The Grill, constructed in 1997, was built around the original dining room and kitchen area. It is recognized as one of the finest restaurants in Arizona. Its menu includes fresh items from the Hacienda’s own gardens.