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~ Kathy M.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A-Z Challenge Day #1 - The Letter "A" is for the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Welcome!  From February 28 - March 16, my best friend husband Cary and I went on a trip.  From Eugene, we traveled to parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.  I haven't blogged about it yet, and thought that highlighting our vacation would be the perfect way to participate in this year's Blogging from A-Z Challenge.  My blog isn't always about travel, but for the next month it will mainly feature travel photos and memories of our experience.

This is my fourth time participating in A-Z.  For those of you unfamiliar with the challenge, participants post daily during the month of April, except for on Sundays.  That gives us 26 posts for the month.  It is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. We visit the blogs of others who are taking the challenge, connecting with old friends and making new friends.   

So, here we go on Day #1 with the Letter "A".

Click here to go to the A-Z Blogging Challenge Website.

The Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas:

Cary and I left Siloam Springs, Arkansas, on Friday morning, March 6th.  We drove the easy four hours or so to Hot Springs.  

The first night, we stayed at the Best Western, which was right across from the horse races and a casino.  A handy spot if you are going across the street, but not a place to stay for "the experience".  Not inexpensive nor quiet either.

Why did we do that, you ask, when we could have stayed at the Arlington?  Umm, I'm not quite sure, but I didn't want to argue.  Cary was so sick, and so tired, and went to bed right away anyway.  I closed the curtains in the room, turned on the t.v. and worked on my pictures that night.

The next morning, after a great breakfast and super helpful waitresses, we checked out of the Best Western and headed to The Arlington. 

The Arlington is rich in history.  The blurb below is from the hotel website.  If you want to know more about this cool place, check out this link to Wikipedia:  "Arlington Hotel".

History of Arlington Resort 

Hotel & Spa 


About the Arlington

The colorful history of the three eras of Arlington hotels is not architectural beauty and uniqueness alone. Always the center of activities in Hot Springs, the Arlington has hosted hundreds of grand balls and social events since 1875. Politicians, dignitaries, actors, gangsters and entertainment and sports legends bathed in our bath house, danced to our music and enjoyed our splendor and charm. The Arlington has survived a devastating fire, economic downturns, changing social attitudes and much more. Steeped in history, The Arlington is truly a legend.


A Storied Past: The History of The Arlington

The present Arlington opened Dec. 31, 1924 with a gala New Year’s Eve dinner dance. Although the third Arlington architecturally differs from the first two, there is one holdover – the twin towers.
Originally opened in 1875, The Arlington Hotel is a Hot Springs treasure. Its original wooden structure was three stories high and boasted 120 guest rooms, making it the largest in the state in that era. Gas lights illuminated the spacious rooms and there was a grand court between the structures’ two wings. Colonial porches ran the full length of the building to Hot Springs Mountain. In the late 1880s, some 100 rooms, a new dining room with electric lights, and another parlor were added.

The original building was razed to make way for a new 300-room Spanish Renaissance structure in 1893. The new Arlington was referred to as “the most elegant and complete hotel in America” in Charles Cutter’s 1892 Guide Book. Designed in three sections, but with five levels, the “new” Arlington featured a spacious veranda with arcades running the full length of the hotel. Photographs and records in the 1894 and 1896 Cutter’s Guide show a rotunda, grand ornamental oak stairway circling a beautiful glass dome, the lobby, a pink parlor, and grand ballroom. The building was destroyed by fire April 5, 1923.

This Arlington, as its counterparts, was designed with bathers and vacationers in mind and had 560 rooms. The Crystal Ballroom, Venetian Room and lobby were part of the 1924 structure. Adjacent to the lobby are the Writing Room (now a Starbucks), Card Room (now called the Magnolia Room) and a Board Room for meetings. The Music Room for the Arlington Orchestra’s performances opened onto the Venetian Room and lobby. The Arlington included an in-house bath house with open, bright separate accommodations for men and women, and 50 rooms had thermal mineral waters piped in. All of these facilities, except the Music Room, are still in use.

For 30 years, windows and door louvers ventilated guest’s rooms until 1955 when air conditioning and a heating system were installed. The three guests elevators, in operation since 1969, replaced the original hand-operated elevators installed in 1924. Around from the main elevator is the original bath house elevator – lined with beveled glass and shining brass – still manually operated.

The Arlington’s luxurious accommodations and location in America’s Spa City have attracted many famous guests including U.S. presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, George H.W. Bush, and native son Bill Clinton. Many baseball greats such as Babe Ruth as well as championship boxers have relaxed and enjoyed the thermal baths at the Arlington. Stars such as Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand and Yoko Ono have all luxuriated at the hotel. Al Capone, whose favorite room was 442, had the whole floor for his staff and bodyguards. He could look across the street from his window and see the activities at the Southern Club, now the Wax Museum."

The Outside ...

This hotel is so old, and so pretty.  


The Lobby ...

This is Billy.  He got us a room, thank goodness. There was a convention going on, and tons of other people who had reservations, but Billy got us a handy room on the 3rd Floor.


The lobby was very nice.  There were plenty of places to sit, a bar, dancing at night, and the only place where I could get reception for Facebook on my phone.  (The hotel offers wi-fi, and we had our laptop but reception didn't work too well for me in our room.)

This is the little stage where the band plays 
in the evening, in the lobby.


The floral murals were very pretty.

I loved the windows and lighting n the lobby:


This hotel still has a lot of elegance.  It is older now, but very charming.  I have read some of the reviews and some were complaining that you could hear people cough through the walls.  With our colds, I hope that we didn't keep anybody awake! 



We ended up just ordering room service, and the food was great at a reasonable price.  The dining room was very pretty:


We were only at the Arlington for one night.  I didn't make it up to the tower for view shots, tour the National Park, or get a massage and a soak.  There is so much to do there!


There is a roof top pool on the 7th floor with a hot tub and a patio:

We were staying in one of these rooms, across from the pool:

Our room was super comfy and very nice:

The bathtub was huge and old, with hot spring water piped to it:

There was a cute little shopping mall in the basement of the hotel.  You can get a pedicure, your hair done, buy some new clothes or visit the gift shop there.

We really did enjoy our short stay there.  We will need to go back and spend at least four days to enjoy this little town again someday.

Thanks so much for your visit!  Please click here to check out others posting in A-Z  A-Z Blogging Challenge Participant List .  

I do have comment moderation on, so if your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry.  If a word verification shows up, just ignore it.  I didn't put it on, Google did, and your comment will still go through even if you don't fill it out.

Have a super day!

~ Kathy M.


At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Shelly Miller said...

Kathy I really like this post. you showed the history and elegance of the hotel nicely. I really like the photo's of the staircase going down and then the one from the lobby that has the staircase going up.

Wendy said...

Those grand old hotels are just so, so, well GRAND. Wouldn't you love to travel back to 1924 to see it when it all began?

Linda Reeder said...

How fun to stay in such a grand old hotel.

Sally said...

A lovely hotel full of charm.

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for this fascinating look at a beautiful old hotel, kathi. As a S.African I enjoyed taking a look around your blog. I'm also doing A-Z, posting on the theme: "Out of Africa."

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