Historic Avon Park hotel decked out for the holidays

By Scott Fais , Features Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, December 16, 2016, 6:57 AM EST

In downtown Avon Park awaits the tree in the "grand hotel."

Known as "The Gracious Lady," the Hotel Jacaranda dates back to the 1922.  And each holiday season, the decor falls under the direction of a family full of three gracious ladies.

"I call it a little piece of heaven," said designer Shelly Parton.

The women of the Hartt family are a legend in this lobby.

"I could imagine it being just full of music playing, hustle and bustle, a lot of chatter and people just enjoying it," Parton said.

Parton, along with her mother Joan Hartt and sister-in-law Shelia Hartt take decorating The Hotel Jacaranda to heart.

"It's just grown from year to year," Sheila Hartt said.

Each fall they decorate. And decorate. And decorate.  From the lobby to the dining room to the arcade.

"Every time we have lunch, we're looking around," Sheila Hartt said. "We added an antique Christmas sleigh."

The display keeps growing at this boutique hotel where upstairs you'll find high ceilings and well-appointed rooms.

Rooms here, also decorated by the Hartts, have provided rest to several of Hollywood's elite.

"Babe Ruth, Clark Gable, Al Capone... They've walked the halls," Hartt said.

It's a small town treasure from an era gone by still shining today.

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