Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs Arkansas

Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs – History, Prominence and Ghosts

The Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa in Hot Springs sits like a crown jewel at the end of Bathhouse Row. It has a storied past and a bright future.

I frequently go to Hot Springs just to walk Bathhouse Row. I have no idea why. I’ve never taken the time to enjoy one of the thermal baths but there is something about that area on Central Avenue that often calls to me.

It just feels like the place to be. I enjoy the history of the area, the Fordyce Bathhouse tours and the trails.

My walk down Bathhouse Row always ends with a stop in the Arlington Hotel.

Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs was established in 1875.

To me, the Arlington is both beautiful and eerie because of it’s architecture and history.

Arlington Hotel – 3 Hotels in 150 Years

The Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs was originally built in 1875 across the street from the current location.

It was a beautiful three story, wooden hotel that was built on federal reservation property.

In 1880, a 100-room addition was built increasing the number of rooms to 220.

Building a New, Bigger Arlington

In 1892, after just 17 years of service, the decision was made to tear down the original wooden hotel and replace it with a brick structure.

This time, the Arlington could accomodate 500 guests.

Arlington Hotel replaced

Total cost to build: $550,000.

The Arlington Hotel Burns

Just 30 years after the second Arlington was built, it burned to the ground.

Arlington Hotel Burned

The brick hotel was considered fireproof but that proved to be false. On April 5, 1923, a fire began in the sub-flooring and completely destroyed the brick building.

Construction of the Current Arlington Hotel

Just 6 months after the second Arlington burned, construction began on the Arlington Hotel you can still see today near Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

This time, the hotel was built across the street from the original location and not on federal property.

Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs Arkansas was built in 1923.

Since it’s completion on November 28, 1924, a lot of guests have come and gone. Times have changed but the Arlington remains constant.

Famous Guests at the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa

The most notorious guest was Al Capone. Al was a frequent guest to the Arlington and would rent the entire 4th floor for his entourage. Some say that there is even a tunnel that leads from the Arlington to the location of the former Southern Club which is now the Wax Museum.

Al Capone at the Arlington Hotel

Al Capone seemed to enjoy Hot Springs as a vacation spot much like we do. However, I doubt we engage in the same activities as Mr. Capone.

Babe Ruth was also a frequent guest at the Arlington because Hot Springs was the site of spring training for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. During that time, Babe always stayed at the Arlington.

Besides Capone and the Great Bambino, presidents, politicians, and actors have visited the Arlington including Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, George H.W. Bush and Yoko Ono.

Haunted Hotel Rooms at the Arlington

As the story goes, it wasn’t until 2015 that Arlington Hotel employees were allowed to talk about strange encounters they witnessed at the hotel with possible ghosts It was thought that these stories would scare off guests.

However, the opposite happened. These possible “haunted” hotel rooms are requested often by guests.

What is the most haunted hotel room at the Arlington? That would probably be room 824.

There have been reports of items falling off bathroom shelves, lights turning on or flickering in the middle of the night or the bathroom sink turning on randomly.

Most haunted room at the Arlington Hotel

“This particular bathroom, the sink will turn on periodically and the bathroom will get all steamy while they’re asleep, and they wake up and they walk in there and their items fall off the shelves.” –source

There have also been strange happenings in Al Capone‘s favorite room number 443. Guests report that the door knob to the adjoining room will start turning even though no one can access the adjoining room. People have also said they can occasionally smell cigars even though it’s a non smoking hotel.

The strangest story I have ever heard occurred on the seventh floor. It has been reported several times of guests seeing the image of a woman in a white gown walking. Two different guests even took photos of the footprints on the carpet in front of room 723.

I could go on about the soldier seen taking a bath in the hotel’s bath house but this has gotten creepy enough.

Where is the Arlington Hotel?

You will find the Arlington Resort Hotel here:
239 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901

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