The Casablanca Inn is a unique two-story Mediterranean Revival style structure constructed in 1914 and located on St. Augustine’s alluring bayfront. Originally called the Matanzas Hotel and the Bayfront Boarding House, the Casablanca Inn is now proprietor to its own host of spirits. Perhaps you can sit on your own wicker bench on the balcony and ask St. Augustine what secrets she’s waiting to reveal to you about her dark and dastardly past?
Ms. Bradshaw was a quick-witted elderly woman of opportunity. As the proprietor of The Matanzas Hotel on the Matanzas Bay, she took advantage of her position at the inn, as well as the inn’s very position on the bay. Her “boarding house” was a well-known venue for treasury agents, government officials, and law enforcement officers to have a good night's rest when they were in St. Augustine on business. The prohibition era of the 1920s and 30s produced a great deal of crime and misfortune to innocent citizens,but Ms. Bradshaw wasn’t going to let a little smuggled alcohol stop her from the future she always dreamed of. She abetted bootleggers and their contraband by waving her trusty lantern from the widow’s walk of her establishment to let them know the area was free of those pesky officials. And she was handsomely compensated for her valiant efforts indeed.
Ms. Bradshaw may be buried in St. Augustine’s Huguenot Cemetery, but to this day her gleaming lantern can be seen swaying back and forth atop the widow’s walk of the Casablanca Inn by modern day shrimpers, boaters, and fishermen. Could she be signaling a ghost ship in from the bay to deliver their cargo of illegal imports from Jamaica, Cuba, and Puerto Rico? Rum for everyone! Or is she sending a beacon to a long lost lover on the sea? We may never know, but maybe you can ask her when you’re staying at the Casablanca?
With its 22 luxury accommodations and suites, central downtown location on the scenic waterfront, cool ocean breezes and swaying palms, in-house restaurant and martini bar, uniquely decorated rooms, antique-filled common areas, a main house, coach house, and secret garden, you are sure to find peace in this magical place. We definitely recommend a stay at te Casablanca!