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We’d like to thank the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce and the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa for our two-night complimentary stay and ghost tour.  As always, all opinions are honest and my own.

If you’re in the mood for history and ghost stories set in the beautiful scenery of the Ozarks, then Eureka Springs is the place for you.  And no other hotel in Eureka Springs fits the bill better than the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, more commonly known as The Crescent Hotel.  Even if you don’t believe in ghosts or hauntings, the Crescent Hotel is a gorgeous historic hotel that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you set foot in the lobby.

The History of the Crescent Hotel

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

I am not a scholar of the history of Eureka Springs, but I can give you a little bit of background.  The springs in the area first drew native people, primarily the Osage, because of the healing benefits of the springs.  Eventually, a doctor of European descent discovered that the water could help his son’s eye condition.  After this discovery, Dr. Alvah Jackson continued to use the water in the area for healing, even during and after the Civil War.  As more people heard about the healing effects of the springs, the area became popular.  In 1879, the town was named Eureka Springs.

To attract the wealthy, General Powell Clayton, together with city officials, built the Crescent Hotel.  The hotel was completed in 1886, and it did indeed become a resort for the upper class.  In 1934, Crescent College for Women opened during the slower winter months.

The Crescent Hotel College for Women

In 1937, Norman Baker bought the hotel and turned it into his Baker Cancer Clinic.  The problem was, he wasn’t a doctor and he didn’t have a legitimate treatment, let alone cure, for cancer.  Many of the ghost stories surrounding the hotel are from this period in the hotel’s history.  Eventually, Baker was arrested and convicted of fraud in 1940.

The hotel changed owners a few times over the years, and restorations were completed here and there, including restoration after a fire on the fourth floor.  In 1997, the current owner and her late husband, Elise and Marty Roenigk, purchased the hotel and another property downtown, The Basin Park Hotel.  They continued to make improvements to the properties to preserve their histories and provide amenities to their guests.

The sources for this section include a page on the Crescent Hotel’s website, the Crescent Hotel’s ghost tour, and the Eureka Springs Underground tour.

The Lobby of the Crescent Hotel

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

As soon as you walk in the front door, you feel like you’re in another time.  We were greeted by the front desk when we arrived on a summer morning in July.  We knew our room probably wouldn’t be ready so early, but we wanted to get our visit started.  Everything about the lobby reminds you of yesteryear.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

After we checked in, we explored the lobby.  Even if you aren’t staying here, you should come to the Crescent Hotel and look around.  The hotel is stunning.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

There’s even an ode to the hotel cat, Morris, who used to wander the lobby and grounds of the Crescent Hotel.  Morris is no longer with us, but you can visit his grave on the premisies.  Another cat now makes the Crescent his home–more on that later.

Morris The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The Grounds of the Crescent Hotel

The grounds surrounding the hotel are lovely and peaceful.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

If you visit the hotel, be sure you make time to explore the outside of the hotel, as well.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The current Crescent Hotel cat, Jasper, wanders the back porch and the lobby.  Isn’t this the perfect pose for a cat at a haunted hotel?

Jasper the cat The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Here is the back side of the hotel.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

There is a pool on property.  We enjoyed that during our July stay.

Pool The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Pool The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Pool The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The spa has a jacuzzi you can use after 5:00 p.m.  Until then, it’s for patrons of the spa.

Jacuzzi at The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The jacuzzi is next to the New Moon Spa entrance.  You can also access the spa from the lobby.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

On Friday nights, you can hear stories around the fire pit.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

When we were there, they also had a movie night in the Crystal Dining Room.  They continue to improve the grounds and add activities for guests!

In front of the building, you can take a trail into the woods.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

You can also enjoy the beautiful landscaping all around the hotel.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The grounds are lovely, and the Crescent Hotel often hosts weddings and other parties.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

It’s a fun place to explore.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Our Room at the Crescent Hotel

Later that afternoon, our room was ready.  We were on the third floor.  You can take this cool stairway, but with our luggage, we opted for the elevator.

Stairway The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Check out the keys to our room!

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Our room was at the end of the hall, right next to the elevator.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Here is a video of our room.  We had a standard double.

 

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

I loved the little closet.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

And the bathroom is adorable!

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

One thing you do need to keep in mind–this building is over a 100 years old.  There will be some wear and tear to the room and the hotel itself, but to me, that adds to the charm of the place. If you want to stay in brand new accomodations and everything that implies, this is not the place for you.  If you love historic buildings, you will be in heaven!

Dining at the Crescent Hotel

While we didn’t eat a lot in our hotel, we did have breakfast the first morning in the Crystal Dining Room.  You can find this room on the lobby level; this restaurant serves breakfast and dinner.

Crystal Room The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

They do offer a buffet for breakfast, and Jeff chose to do that.  They also had an omelet station with the breakfast buffet.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Kristin and I ordered off the menu.  She had some scrambled eggs and pancakes ala carte, and I ordered pancakes with white chocolate chips inside. Yum!

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

This is a beautiful room for breakfast, and I know it’d be beautiful for special occasions, too.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The second restaurant is on the fourth floor–Sky Bar Pizza.  The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

We didn’t eat here, but it looked yummy when we were checking out the observation area on the fourth floor.  The dining area is on a balcony with a great view of the Ozark hills.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Or great views of the grounds below.

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The fourth floor also houses a museum with displays of the women’s college years along with some items belonging to Norman Baker.  This is also where the ghost tour begins.  Click here to read more about the ghost tour!

Wrapping Up Our Stay

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas

We had a great time at the Crescent Hotel.  I loved staying in such a historic place, and the history of the area is so interesting.  Kristin loved the pool and the cat.  The hotel has a free shuttle downtown for guests, and we used that anytime we wanted to do things there.  It was so convenient, and everyone we encountered at the hotel was so kind.  Give this hotel a try when you’re in the Ozarks. Be sure to book early for Halloween time!

Click below to read about some of the ghost tours we’ve done:

The Whaley House–Ghosts and Gravestones San Diego

Andrew Low House–Ghosts and Gravestones Savannah

 

The Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs, Arkansas
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40 Comments

  1. I love the history behind this! It’s so interesting. The decor and look of the hotel really keeps the history of it alive!

    • Stacey Reply

      Okay, so there were a couple of times I was spooked, but I can’t say that it was indeed a ghost. We had a knock on the door when our “do not disturb” sign was out, and when I opened it, no one was there. No one was even around. But that could’ve easily been someone who knocked and ran. It was just weird. The second instance was while we were out and about, we came back to a cabinet door open. Our “do not disturb” sign was still out, but housekeeping could have come in and opened it. There was no other evidence of housekeeping having been in our room. So weird. We had no reason to have opened it. Overall, we had a calm stay.

  2. Lisa Manderino Reply

    This is a beautiful hotel. I love the history behind it too! What makes the springs have healing effects?

    • Stacey Reply

      I’m not entirely sure. Some people say that just being in area may have improved people’s health. The water was really pure in the past, too. It’s interesting that enough people saw some beneficial evidence that the area became a resort area famous for its baths and healing properties.

  3. This place looks beautiful! I love historic buildings and this one definitely looks like a gem! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ooh this looks so cool! We have a lot of historic hotels in the Pacific NW, but we never seem to visit them. This has inspired me to try some out.

  5. Historical hotels are the best! I love that it’s haunted too! We have the historical Stanley Hotel nearby in Estes Park that is also haunted and offers Ghost Tours. I can’t wait to read your post about the ghost tour where you stayed! I also love that they have a hotel kitty! Adorable capture of that pose!

    • Stacey Reply

      That’s so cool! We hope to go to the Stanley Hotel. We’ve actually been talking about next July maybe. I’d love to see it!

  6. Haunted or not, it is pretty charming and stunning. The Cat picture, OMG!!!

  7. beautiful – I want to stay but pretty certain I wouldn’t sleep!

  8. What an insanely cool place to visit! I love visiting places with history, and the fact that it is “haunted” too makes it that much better, Great pics and great description.

  9. The history alone makes me what to stay just for a long weekend. However, I can do without Halloween time – I wonder if they do any special decor for that holiday?

    • Stacey Reply

      I know the property is busy during Halloween, but I don’t know about additional decor. They have some decorations in the lobby year-round. I think the biggest draw are tours at that time.

  10. What an interesting story! I love visiting old properties like this that have such a rich history. I don’t believe in haunting, but people who do say that a hotel our family owned in the late 1800’s is haunted with the ghost of my great, great, great uncle who died nearby at the age of 12. I don’t think it is, but it has been on haunted television shows and such.

    • Stacey Reply

      How cool that your family’s hotel has been featured on TV shows! Haunted or not, I love the stories!

  11. There are some beautiful aspects of that old building, eh? I have to stay that the sign for the pizza place sticks out like a sore thumb. Otherwise, it seems like a charming, historical building.

  12. These are the kind of places I want to visit! I love feeling spooked out and learning about the history of places that may or may not be haunted. It’s such an experience. I’ll have to trick my boyfriend into visiting because he is anti anything that is thought to be ghost/spirit related.

    • Stacey Reply

      I don’t think they change it very much. The lobby already has a few plush ghosts, and there is a small gift shop with some fun items. I think the rest of the hotel stays as it is.

  13. Such a cool hotel, but I have to say I don’t think I’d have the nerve to stay there! I’m a chicken when it comes to ghosts.

  14. What a wonderful article and such a neat place to visit! Thank you for sharing!

  15. First of all ~ love the “almost” world famous crescent pizza sign. Hahahaha! So cute! The hotel looks beautiful, but I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea with the whole haunted thing. Love the history, love reading about it….

  16. Ohhhh!!! I love the pictures you took and love the mix of old and new at the hotel. Not sure if I could stay or not. Some things just weird me out lol.

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