Carmina Zamorano conceptualized the idea for her business, Haras Hacienda, while she was pregnant with her third child and bored from sitting around all day.
She had moved from Mexico to her summer home in The Woodlands at the request of her husband for some rest and relaxation while pregnant. Zamorano would spend the majority of her time in Magnolia on property she and her husband had purchased years before to breed and train horses, and it was during this time she envisioned something greater for the property.
"I came here and built up Haras, because I was sitting around all day and had nothing to do," Zamorano said. "I just started dreaming of having a nice place to bring friends and family to enjoy, but once we had that, we figured why not share it."
The property in Magnolia started as a place to board and train their Portuguese Lusitano horses, which they relocated from their home in Mexico. Her husband, Rafael Chavez, has been a horse breeder for 19 years and horses are his passion. This, she said, is why the business began as a facility to breed and train horses.
It began with 11 horses, but they soon added 18 more and decided at that point to turn it into a breeding farm and training facility. Zamorano cleaned and built up the Magnolia property to accommodate the new business of horse breeding and training, and when her third child was born, she held a baptism party on the property.
"We never expected to have it be open to the public," Zamorano said. "But after the baptism party, we had a bunch of people suggesting that we should start using the property as a venue for weddings and other parties."
Zamorano did just that. She opened up her property as a venue to host special events and continues in that venture to this day. What followed was a domino effect that created the multi-faceted enterprise that Haras is today.
After hosting a few events, Zamorano realized she needed the ability to feed large groups and wanted to provide them with good food, which she said there was a lack of in the area. She started her own catering service on the property and it not only caters parties at Haras, but it will cater other events at other locations as well. Soon after launching the catering service, Zamorano opened a Mexican restaurant on the property that is open to the public.
"We went from horses to parties to catering to a restaurant," she said.
Haras Hacienda is now comprised of five different entities: horse breeding, boarding and training; a venue for parties; a boutique hotel; a catering service; and a restaurant, all housed on a piece of property in Magnolia.
"It's a small piece of Europe or Spain, but is in Magnolia," Zamorano said. "I think this could be a great weekend destination and a place to have a lot of parties."
Haras is not done growing either, as there are plans to build a convention center/ballroom, open a spa and add 24 more rooms to the hotel, said Ariadna Soler, executive director of Haras and lifelong friend of Zamorano. The convention center is slated for completion in fall 2014 and the spa in spring 2014, Soler said.
"We are very close to accomplishing our goal of making Haras a resort destination for people to come and enjoy," Soler said.
Haras Hacienda Complex
Haras Hacienda is made up of five entities, all of which provide different services.
Haras Mexican Restaurant
- The eatery Is open to the public and serves Mexican cuisine. There is indoor seating, an outdoor patio, as well as a Sunday brunch.
Haras Boutique Hotel
- The small hotel has four rooms that can be rented out. Plans to add 24 more rooms are in the works.
Haras Dos Cavaleiros
- The facility trains, breeds and boards horses. Horse lessons, clinics and seminars are also offered.
- The catering service caters all events at Haras, and can be hired for other parties.
- The property has an outdoor chapel, main plaza and observation room to host events.
Haras Mexican Restaurant
26427 Peden Rd., Magnolia 281-259-4861, Hours: Mon.–Thu., Sun. 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m.; Fri.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., www.harashacienda.com