This is the story of two places to rest your head in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. One, a peaceful, heavenly, magical place. The other, a terrifying, spooky, creepy place. The first, the original Treehouse Cottages; the second, the 1886 Crescent Hotel.
My husband and I recently enjoyed a nice long weekend getaway to the old timey charming little mountain town of Eureka Springs. Our first night there, we stayed at a Treehouse Cottage. Now, mind you, I grew up with treehouses in my backyard and I adore trees. I love the sounds of birds chirping and seeing squirrels scurry up trees. So staying at a treehouse cottage was actually on my bucket list! (One thing checked off; about 500 to go!)
Typically when you prepare to stay somewhere, you wonder if the pictures you see on their web site will live up to your expectations. Well, believe it or not, the Treehouse Cottages actually surpassed our expectations!
First, the owners are awesome. They started this business 35 years ago, and they have got it down pat. There are nine different cottages on their property, and each one is totally secluded from the other. Meaning, you can’t see anybody through the trees, so you can do the macarena on your balcony in your pajamas and no one will know! The cottages are equipped with so many wonderful amenities — a jacuzzi tub that faces the woods, a fireplace, pottery handmade by the owner!, a grill on the porch, a fridge, microwave, board games, and much more. I was especially impressed when I opened the fridge to find a loaf of fresh baked pumpkin nut bread and other goodies! Who does that?! It’s little touches like that that really make a place extraordinary.
Another fun amenity is the DVD rental system. When you check in, you can rent as many movies (including new releases!) from their collection. I forced Devon into watching “The Vow,” and then we were both a little weirded out watching “Super 8.” Good ol’ Spielberg.
Our stay at the Treehouse Cottages was absolutely peaceful, romantic, and relaxing. I kept asking Devon, “Can we live here?” The worst part was having to leave. We will DEFINITELY stay there again, and in the future, we’ll know to buy some burgers and fixin’s since you can grill out on your porch.
1886 Crescent Hotel
All right, unfortunately, I can’t give the Crescent as glowing of a review as the Treehouse Cottages. This was the craziest hotel stay I’ve ever stayed in. When you go to the Crescent, you need to know going into it that you will be stayed at an old, creepy hotel. Do not go there for luxury. Go there because you’re a ghost hunter. (This post was written in August 2012. I had a more positive stay there in May 2013).
During our 2-night stay there, my husband and I were placed in 4 different rooms. We actually requested to not stay in the original room they put us in because it was the highest trafficked area in the hotel and was very noisy. Unfortunately, the first room they moved us to, 426, was incredibly hot. Actually, anywhere on the 4th floor during the summer is crazy hot. Even if you have the A/C cranked full blast, the ceilings are so high in the rooms that it takes about 10 hours to cool down to a bearable level. So it seems that no one had stayed in 426 in quite some time, because there was a wasp nest in the ceiling. We saw 3 wasps, there was a spider on the bed, and the toilet didn’t work. So naturally, we asked to be moved.
The next room they moved us to was actually really great. It was in the Annex. If you’re going to stay at the Crescent and you’re looking for some comfort, this is the only way to go. The Annex was built in 2002ish, so it doesn’t feel creepy. The bed was Temperpedic and felt great.
However, we couldn’t stay in the Annex room our second night because it was already booked. So they moved us yet again, this time to Room 419, which is supposedly one of the most haunted rooms in the hotel. We actually had kids knocking on our door trying to see if the ghost would respond. (We of course scared them!) 419 was definitely creepy, with a picture of the supposed ghost, Theodora hanging on the wall. The room smelled awful because I’m pretty sure all of the furniture and carpet is from the turn of the 20th century. I’m not exaggerating.
Overall, people should understand that the Crescent is not a charming, renovated historic hotel. It’s JUST an old hotel. Yes, it has a ton of interesting history. Yes, the ghost stories are intriguing. But it smells bad, it’s creepy, and I’m not sure the management is too concerned about the hotel’s upkeep. Aside from the wasp and bat incidents, we also learned that the only elevator in the hotel has been out of service for seven months! What?!
However, there were a couple of good experiences we had at the hotel. I’m a cat person, so I loved that there are actually cats living in the hotel! (Notice my picture of the pretty grey kitty I discovered in the gardens). We got a couples’ massage at the New Moon Spa inside the hotel, and they were both superb. The restaurant inside the hotel, the Crystal Ballroom, was also nice. It’s pretty expensive, but it has a beautiful ambiance, the service was incredible, and the food was exquisite. Also, the coffee served at the Crystal Ballroom was outta this world good!
Well, those are my reviews of the places we stayed in Eureka! There are a ton of other places — mostly charming bed and breakfasts — to stay in Eureka, so if you’re planning a visit there, you will have a lot of choices to make!
I’ll have another post coming soon about places to eat and things to do on your weekend getaway to Eureka Springs!