View Travel Guide Request Info

Have a "Historic" Stay in The Natural State

Article follows the photos. Click on a thumbnail to view and download a high-resolution version of the image. Due to the large file size of the high-res images, they may take a few minutes to appear. You must be logged in to view the high-res images.

Capital Hotel, Little Rock
Capital Hotel, Little Rock
    Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs
Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs
The Capital Hotel, Little Rock.
The Capital Hotel, Little Rock.
    1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, Eureka Springs
1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, Eureka Springs
June 20, 2000

Have a "Historic" Stay in The Natural State
By Kerry Kraus, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

There's just something about where you stay that makes your vacation or weekend getaway special.

If "lodging with character" is your style, then you need to check out one of Arkansas's historic lodging properties.

Possibly the most legendary properties are the Arlington Hotel and Spa in Hot Springs and the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. Both have storied histories and have been welcoming guests for over a century.

The imposing Arlington is located on Central Avenue in the Hot Springs downtown historic district. The 484-room structure's twin towers dominate the Spa City's downtown skyline and the welcoming veranda is a popular place to relax and enjoy the view of Arlington Park.

At the Arlington, you can partake of the city's famous thermal waters in 50 of the guestrooms, the mountainside hot tub and the on-site bathhouse. In the bathhouse, you can get massages, thermal whirlpool baths and hot packs.

Other facilities at the hotel include three restaurants, a shopping mall, twin cascading pools, and the flamboyant lobby bar. When selecting a room, visitors can choose from a maximum room, a mini suite or a parlor suite. For more information, check out the Arlington web site at

About a block away at the end of Central Avenue is the Arlington's sister historic hotel -- The Majestic Resort-Spa. The Majestic has a relaxing atmosphere which makes it especially popular with both families and travelers. The facility has 248 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a thermal bathhouse, and old-fashioned soda fountain. Also on site are a gift shop, sundry store, a ladies boutique, beauty salon and a large heated pool. Take a look at the Majestic web site at for more information.

A new kid on the block when it comes to the Spa City's historic lodgings is The Park Hotel, which has been around since 1930. The striking Art Deco designed-hotel occupies one of the prettiest locations in town since it is situated directly across from the Grand Promenade. The property has 50 units that range from single rooms to two-room suites. Also on the premises are a restaurant, a lounge, and two verandas. If you just can't bear to leave your pet at home, they are welcome here. The hotel's web site has more information:

Located in the Arkansas Ozarks is Eureka Springs, America's Victorian Village. Historic buildings comprise the entire downtown shopping district, and interspersed among the shops are four distinctive hostelries. Grande dame of them all is the storied Crescent Hotel, which overlooks downtown.

Over 60 rooms are available, with over 30 of them newly renovated and the remaining 33 scheduled for completion during the winter of 2000. You can choose from two- and three-room suites with parlors, Jacuzzi spas, king size or multiple beds, and period furnishings. Also on site are an elegant dining room, recently-refurbished lounge, pool, and the New Moon Spa. The spa features aerobics, aroma therapy massages, salon services and a float tank. The Crescent Hotel's web site is

Located in the heart of the downtown historic district is the 1904 Basin Park Hotel, long famous for its place in "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." Each of the structure's seven floors open onto street level.

The 60-plus guestrooms have been recently renovated and include Jacuzzi and superior suites, plus standard and family-oriented rooms. A continental breakfast, shuttle service and free overnight parking are some of the amenities offered. Also newly refurbished are the elegant lobby and a billiards room. The Basin Balcony restaurant offers diners a place to embrace the Victorian ambiance of the town while enjoying their meal. Go to the hotel's web site at for more details.

Three other historic properties in Eureka Springs, all located downtown, are the New Orleans Hotel, the Palace Hotel and Bathhouse and the Grand Central Hotel. The New Orleans has been a landmark on Spring Street since 1892 offers Victorian elegance to its visitors. Guestrooms have king or queen size beds, luxury baths with water jets, in-room refrigerators, coffee service and spring water.

The Palace has been around since 1901 and is an all-suite property. All guestrooms have king size beds, a double-size jet spa tub, wet bar, in-room refrigerator, turn down service and continental breakfast. And in the bathhouse, visitors will find licensed therapists on hand year-round.

The Grand Central Hotel is Eureka's oldest all-suite luxury hotel. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Central was built in 1883. Each of the 14 suites offer king or queen beds, double spa tub, complete coffee and tea service, full-size refrigerator and luxury linens. Located in the lobby is Chez Charles, the hotel's award-winning restaurant.

In downtown Little Rock, the crown jewel of historic hostelries is The Capital Hotel. Built in 1872, the hotel is revered by historians for its impressive cast iron front fa├žade. Fully restored down to its striking stained glass skylight in the lobby, The Capital has played host to many a dignitary in its time, ranging from Ulysses S. Grant to Bob Hope. Over 100 guestrooms feature period furnishings and all the amenities. Among the many honors received by the hotel are the Triple A Four Diamond award and being named to the Conde' Nast Traveler "Gold List." Ashley's, a romantic, upscale restaurant, and the popular Capital Bar are also on-site. Web site address for The Capital Hotel is

An authentic Spanish castle is what awaits you in Harrison at the Hotel Seville. The Seville was built in 1929 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in Spanish Revival style with Moorish influences, it gives visitors the feeling of entering 15th century Spain.

Amenities found at the hotel include the European bed and breakfast plan, one and two bedroom suites, single rooms, and an on-site restaurant. The impressive lobby is popular for weddings, parties and receptions. For more details, take a look at their web site at

If you're still looking for historic accommodations but prefer something a little more intimate, then try one of the many bed and breakfast inns in the state. You'll find everything from glamorous Victorians to rustic country farmhouses. And in between, you'll find some that had somewhat unusual origins, such as the Old Washington Jail in Washington, which was once the Hempstead County Jail, and The Brownstone Inn in Eureka Springs, which, in its other life, was the original home of the Ozarka Water Bottling Company.

If new and modern is more to your liking, you'll find it in The Natural State as well. Lakeside resorts, riverfront cabins, and new high-rise hotels are found throughout the state, as is nearly every major hotel chain. For more lodging information, visit the Arkansas web site at


Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 682-7606

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"

1 Capitol Mall, 4A-900 - Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 | 1-800-872-1259 or (501) 682-7777 (V/TT)
Copyright © 2018 Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. - Web Services by Aristotle Web Design
The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is in compliance with the Freedom of Information, Ar. Code Ann., 25-19-101 et seq.