The Hacienda de San Jose Vista Hermosa was founded in 1528 by Hernan Cortes, Spanish conqueror, lord and captain general of the New Spain and of the South Sea. Rewarding his conquers, Charles V, King of Spain and Emperor of Germany, honored Hernan Cortés with the title of Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, granting him control and rights over 23,000 vassals, towns and a vast extension of land. The Hacienda de San Jose de Vista Hermosa was the center of the region’s life, culture and activity.
Lacking iron and wood, it was made of stone with the proportions of a fortress, surrounded by colossal walls, including within its domains a manor house, stables and the magnificent stone facilities used in the sugar refinery. The 6 feet thick walls, with their classic vice-regal style arches let us know that the builders were very aware of the dangers they were exposed to.
Don Martin establishes its residence in the Palace that Moctezuma inhabited (now Monte de Piedad) in Mexico City. A plot against the Viceroy was formed and, according to several historians, the meetings take place in the properties of Don Martin. The favorite place was the Hacienda Vista Hermosa. Don Fernando Cortés Ramírez, grandson of the Spanish conqueror, dies before his father and his brother, Don Pedro, makes himself with the place after a tough legal battle against his brother’s wife over the inheritance. In order to get the court ruling, he brought a copy of the Cortés’ testament from Spain and as a result of this, Mexico now holds this valuable document.
In 1621, Don Pedro Cortés Ramírez de Arellano sells the Hacienda Vista Hermosa to Fray de Dios Guerrero, a knight of the order of Calatrava, for which the Hacienda belonged to the Conqueror and his descendants from 1521 to 1621. In the beginning of the XVIII century, the Hacienda is sold to Don Gabriel Yermo, who sold it to Don Manuel Vicente Vidal in 1820, owning it until 1910 when the revolution started. In this year, Emiliano Zapata kicked the widow and children out, burned the alcohol and distributed the sugar among the farmers.
In the end, after several revolutionary battles, the ruins that stand were the only remains of the Hacienda’s glory days. In 1945, the nearly destroyed Hacienda was purchased by Fernando Martínez and Fernando Gonzalez, who were willing to rebuild it with another purpose: making it a tourist destination. The owner company respected the original architectural style and used as solid grounds its foundations, arches and ancient columns, building rooms, ballrooms and functional facilities that harmonized with the previous decoration. In 1947 opens to public to become the now prestigious Hotel Hacienda Vista Hermosa.