Hot Springs National Park is known as the American Spa. The natural hot springs have become the center of the town that was built around it, namely Hot Springs, Arkansas. The site is preserved as a National Park, which consists of historic buildings, cultural landscapes and natural areas. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Overview

Overview
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The park’s visitor center is located in the historic Fordyce Bathhouse. Used as a bathhouse from 1915 until 1962, the Edwardian Era building has a marble floored lobby, stained glass transoms over the windows and doors, and is adorned by a fountain of a boy on a seashell, that originally spouted water directly from the springs. Exhibits on the history of the bathhouse occupy what used to be the upstairs men’s dressing rooms and massage rooms. Exhibits include an electrotherapy table, demonstrating one of the early 20th century spa offerings. The bathhouse’s third floor offers a look at an opulent music room with stained glass ceiling and elaborately tiled flooring, a gymnasium, and staterooms. The basement once offered a bowling alley, and a viewing room that allowed guests to see the spring which fed the treatment rooms.

The Fordyce Bathhouse is one of eight bathhouses lining Bathhouse Row, a National Historic Landmark. Each of the bathhouses were built between 1892 and 1923. Guests may take a traditional bath in a claw foot bathtub, the same way visitors have been doing for over 50 years, at the Buckstaff Bathhouse, a park concessioner since 1912. The Quapaw Baths and Spa offers larger spring-fed thermal pools. A park store, named the Bathhouse Row Emporium is located in the historic Lamar Bathhouse.

26 miles of hiking trails surround Bathhouse Row and the Grand Promenade. These short walks through the forest have been part of the area’s health regimen since the establishment of the area as a National Reservation in the 1800’s.

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2.History

History
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The area has long been known by indigenous peoples, and by the 1500’s, was referred to by Spanish Conquistadors as “Valley of the Vapors.” Around the 18th century, tribes settled in the area had a peace agreement that they would share the healing waters of the hot springs, and put down their weapons to equally enjoy the area. By 1818, European settlers had begun building in the area, to take advantage of the spring’s healing waters, and the Native Americans were relocated to a reservation south of the site. By 1820 Arkansas was a territory of the United States, and the hot springs were deemed a “National Reservation,” granting the area federal protection, making Hot Springs National Park the oldest in the National Parks system. The name was changed from “Hot Springs Reservation” to Hot Springs National Park in 1921.

Originally the bathhouses were simple wooden and canvas structures designed to merely provide a bit of shelter or privacy around the natural pools, or small reservoirs that had been made by carving into the rocky landscape. As an industry grew up around the hot springs in the early 20th century, the crude structures burned, collapsed, or failed due to damage from the humidity. After the Hot Springs Creek, which once ran through the center of town, was roofed over, and enclosed under a sidewalk, flooding was mitigated and it became feasible to build increasingly fancy and elaborate bathhouse structures. Many of these are still standing along Bathhouse Row today.

When the Fordyce bathhouse closed in 1962 due to a decline in attendance, the building remained vacant until 1989 when it reopened as a visitor center for the National Park. The Bathhouse Row National Historic Landmark was designated two years prior, in 1987.

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3.Ongoing Programs and Education

Ongoing Programs and Education
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Tours of the Fordyce Bathhouse are available, and may begin with an orientation movie, which offers an overview of the National Park offerings. The full bath experience at Buckstaff Bathhouse has been the same since the 1800’s, and consists of soaking in a private tub of 98-100 degree water for 20 minutes, steaming for two or five minutes in a head in, or head out steam cabinet, the application of hot packs for specific aches and pains, or a soak in a 108 degree sits bath, and finally, a two minute ice cold shower. Guests may follow the protocol with a relaxing Swedish massage.

Outdoor activities include strolling the Bathhouse Row and the Grand Promenade. The area is also surrounded by 26 miles of hiking trails. Camping is available at the park’s Gulpha Gorge Campground, located adjacent to the Gulpha Creek.

369 Central Avenue Hot Springs, AR 71901, Phone: 501-620-6715

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Hot Springs National Park



More Ideas: Wildwood 1884 Bed and Breakfast Inn

Wildwood 1884 Bed and Breakfast Inn is an elegant retreat in the heart of Hot Springs, AR, that offers a quintessential Arkansas getaway. Located on a short way from Bathhouse Row in the historic downtown district of Hot Springs, the bed and breakfast is set in a beautifully preserved Victorian mansion that is steeped in history. Seamlessly blending rich antique furnishings with modern conveniences, the Wildwood 1884 Bed and Breakfast Inn exudes a casual and comfortable ambiance with deluxe guest lodgings, delicious homemade cuisine, and gracious hospitality.

Guest Accommodations

Wildwood 1884 Bed and Breakfast Inn features five well-appointed guest rooms in the main house and two luxury Cottage Suites. All accommodations have king or queen-size pillow-beds dressed in high-quality designer linens, down comforters, and hypoallergenic pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with shower/bath combinations, cotton towels, and designer bath products. Modern in-room conveniences include individual climate control, high definition LCD TVs with cable channels and DVD players, Keurig coffee makers, alarm clock/radios, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards, and complimentary wireless Internet. Exclusive extras include rose and chocolate mints on the pillows, rose petals on the bed, and guests have access to a fully stocked snack room with homemade treats and beverages, and a guest fridge and microwave.

The Rose Room features a three-piece antique French Bombay bedroom set, queen-sized bed dressed in high-quality designer linens, down comforters, and hypoallergenic pillows, and an en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower, cotton towels, and designer bath products. This spacious room also features an electric fireplace, a twin bed for additional guests, and a high definition LCD TV with cable channels and DVD player.

Located in the round tower at the back of the mansion and once the master bedroom of the house, the Barrett Browning Room features a white wrought iron king-sized bed dressed in high-quality designer linens, down comforters, and hypoallergenic pillows. An en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower and soaking tub, cotton towels, and designer bath products and a cozy sitting area has an electric fireplace, and modern in-room conveniences such as individual climate control, high definition LCD TV with cable channels and DVD player, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Hailed as the honeymoon suite, the Kipling Room is tastefully decorated in wild animal prints and features a king-sized bed dressed in high-quality designer linens, down comforters, and hypoallergenic pillows, and an en-suite bathroom with a corner whirlpool tub with shower, cotton towels, and designer bath products. The romantic suite has a private entrance and sitting area, and modern in-room conveniences.

The King David Room exudes a regal ambiance with a high-backed, half-canopy queen-sized bed dressed in high-quality designer linens, down comforters, and hypoallergenic pillows, and an en-suite bathroom with an antique clawfoot bathtub, cotton towels, and designer bath products.

Formerly an upstairs parlor, the Blue Parlor Room features a hand-carved three-piece antique French bedroom set with a queen-sized bed dressed in high-quality designer linens, down comforters and hypoallergenic pillows. An en-suite bathroom has a walk-in shower, cotton towels, and designer bath products, and a private porch with a porch swing boasts beautiful views.

The Wildwood Cottage Suites are designed for privacy and romance and feature master bedrooms with king-size pillow-beds dressed in high-quality designer linens, down comforters, and hypoallergenic pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with two person whirlpool tubs with separate showers, cotton towels, and designer bath products. Suites also have spacious living areas, fully equipped kitchenettes, and secluded porches and patios with lovely garden views.

Dining

A complimentary gourmet three-course breakfast is served every morning in the dining room, which includes freshly baked bread and pastries, seasonal fruit, cereals and homemade granola, yogurt, egg and other signature dishes, fruit juices, freshly brewed coffee, and tea.

Amenities and Recreation

Deluxe amenities at the Wildwood 1884 Bed and Breakfast Inn include a complimentary gourmet three-course breakfast served every morning in the dining room, exclusive extras like rose petals and chocolate mints on the pillow at the evening turndown service, and a 24-hour Butler’s Pantry (snack room) with a fridge and microwave and complimentary beverages and snacks throughout the day. The Victorian mansion features an elegant Ladies Parlor with a Minton fireplace and plush sofas and armchairs, along with a flat-screen television, DVD library, and collection of games and puzzles for guests to enjoy. A Gentleman's Parlor is a comfortable place for relaxing with a book and enjoying music.

808 Park Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901, Phone: 501-624-4267

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More Ideas: The Arlington Resort, Hotel, and Spa

As the biggest hotel in Arkansas, the Arlington Resort, Hotel, & Spa is known for its historic features, its two outdoor pools, and hot springs spa. The Arlington Hotel is ideal for family vacations, getaways with friends, or romantic trips.

With closed to 500 guest rooms and suites, the Arlington Hotel boasts homey décor with a historic flair. For standard guestrooms, visitors can choose from the Historic, Standard, or Mineral Water Room. Each can accommodate 2 guests.

Guestrooms can include a king-sized bed, a queen-sized bed, or two double beds. Historic Rooms offer antique furniture, while the Standard Room includes more updated décor. The Mineral Water Room features water services from the famous hot springs.

For more space, guests can also book the Junior Suite or Parlor Suite. The Junior Suite includes a king-sized bed or two double beds; it can accommodate up to 2 guests. This suite also includes amenities like a tub and refrigerator, as well as a sitting area. The Parlor Suite includes a living room, a refrigerator, and either one or two separate bedrooms. It can accommodate up to 4 guests.

Guests can also enjoy one of the hotel’s historic suites, where they can sleep in rooms visited by figures like Al Capone, Ronald Reagan, or Bill Clinton.

Dining

The Arlington Hotel features a slew of dining options for guests to enjoy during their stay.

The Venetian Dining Room offers fresh seafood and southern cuisine in this historic dining room. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Venetian Dining Room features live music, a wide selection of dishes, and a buffet service.

The Lobby Café is a great place to stop for a light lunch, while the Lobby Bar features a wide selection of drinks and live music. Guests can also visit the in-house Starbucks, which is located conveniently off the lobby.

The Arlington Hotel also offers in-room dining.

For a day of rest and relaxation, guests can head to the Arlington Beauty & Facial Salon. Visitors can order a variety of signature massages, body treatments, and facials. Nail, makeup, and hair services are also available at the hotel’s salon. Guests can relax in water from the nearby hot springs at the Thermal Water Spa.

Additional spa services include:

- Hydrotherapy

- Whirlpool tub

- Dry sauna

- Body scrubs

- Body wraps

- Reflexology massage

Golf

While visiting the Arlington Hotel, guests can experience complimentary access to the nearby Hot Springs Country Club. The club offers scenic views of the Ouachita foothills, challenging terrain, and a golf pro shop.

Visitors will have full access to the Clubhouse, as well as both championship golf courses.

Weddings, Reunions & Conference Facilities

The Arlington Hotel’s proximity to the Hot Springs National Park and its historic facilities make it ideal for gatherings of any size.

Guests looking to book an event at the hotel will have a variety of available spaces from which to choose. Whether looking for a meeting space, classroom, or banquet hall, the hotel offers close to 45,000 square feet of indoor space for visitors to rent for corporate retreats and weddings alike.

Each facility is outfitted with a variety of technological and audio-visual equipment, and catering from the chefs at the Arlington Hotel is available upon request.

Available facilities include a multi-use conference center, the Crystal Ballroom, and the 11,520 square foot Exhibit Center, as well as a boardroom and banquet hall.

Couples can also make their wedding-day dreams come true at the Arlington Hotel. The hotel offers a range of indoor and outdoor venues that are perfect for weddings of any size and aesthetic. The hotel supplies culinary services and ceremony coordination by an on-site wedding planner.

Available wedding venues include the Crystal Ballroom for large receptions and the Magnolia Room, which offers an outdoor terrace.

Additional wedding services include:

- Salon services for the wedding party

- Coordination with local wedding venues

- Historic suites for married couple

Things to Do Nearby

Guests of the Arlington Hotel can find much to do in the surrounding area; Hot Springs features a variety of recreation, dining, and shopping opportunities. For natural sights, guests can head to the Garvan Woodland Gardens or check out the Hot Springs National Park Visitors Center. The Hot Springs area also includes several museums, like the Mid America Science Museum or the Gangster Museum of America. Visitors can spend a day watching the horse races at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming, or they can visit the Magic Springs & Crystal Falls Water and Theme Park for a day in the water.

239 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71901, Phone: 800-643-1502

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