1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Eureka Springs Lodging

1886 Crescent Hotel Review

I love reading hotels on TripAdvisor. Heck, I’m even a TripAdvisor Official Reviewer. Having written that, I enjoyed the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa so much that I felt a longer, more detailed review was in order. So, from what’s free when you visit to photos and tours, here’s the full scoop on our visit. 

1886 Crescent Hotel Review
The fun, old sign at The Crescent. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the folks at Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce. All opinions are my own!

Last month, my family and I hit the road for a 14-hour road trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. While planning our trip, I asked if we could stay at the 1886 Crescent Hotel because of its cool, kooky history and beautiful architecture.

Happily, the folks at the hotel said yes – and I’m so happy they did. Here are the highlights from our stay including what we loved, dining, and freebies. 

Want the scoop on family-friendly activities when you’re in town? Here are 11 fun things to do in Eureka Springs with Kids

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Overview

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Staircase
Looking down from the second floor staircase. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

Looking up Eureka Springs hotels online, The 1886 Crescent Hotel is always at the top of the list. Not only is it in a cool location overlooking The Ozark Mountain region, it’s downright beautiful, architecturally- speaking. 

So why is it called the 1886 Crescent Hotel? That’s an easy question: it was built in 1886. The hotel was originally a place for the wealthy to visit (basically you had to know someone to get in) but went under several years later. Enter Norman G. Baker in 1937. He purchased the property with the intent to make it into a health resort and hospital. 

The madman and swindler told folks he had the cure for cancer and visiting The crescent would make them better. Not even close. He took their money, lied to their families, and once they passed, he put the diseased organs into jars and kept them as trophies. Yeah…

The swindling lasted for four years until he was convicted of mail fraud and sent to jail for four years. 

Between 1946 and 1997, the hotel was abandoned, purchased, nearly burned to the ground, and then repurchased. These days, it’s considered an upscale hotel that’s good for visitors of all styles and ages. 

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Accommodations

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Registration
Lobby Registration. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

For our visit, we stayed in a double room overlooking the front entrance (room 211, to be exact). Our room was decently sized with plenty of room to move around. Included was a mini fridge and coffee maker, large television, and updated bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower. 

We had a large window plus a set of double doors that opened onto the communal cement patio area. The patio is semi-private, and we used it both morning and night to drink coffee or relax. 

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Dining

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Dining at The Crystal Room
The Crystal Room. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

At the hotel itself, you’ve got two choices. For breakfast, The Crystal Room is a really good choice. It offers a breakfast buffet filled with homestyle options. When we visited, there were freshly made biscuits, sausage gravy, fresh fruit, waffles, pastries, and cereal. But the shining star is definitely the made-to-order omelette station. 

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Sky Bar Gourmet Pizza
Sky Bar Gourmet Pizza. We had the Margherita. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

For lunch and dinner, upstairs on the top floor is Sky Bar Gourmet Pizza. On our first night, we ordered a Margherita pizza. It was pretty good. I mean, I come from the Pittsburgh, PA, area so my taste in pizza is in between a thin and thick crust. It also offers several craft beers on tap, if that’s your bag. 

In between meals, in the lobby area there are a few vending machines offering everything from snacks to ice cream. We used them a couple of times and had no complaints. 

Free Things at The 1886 Crescent Hotel 

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Front entrance Exterior
The beautiful front entrance at The Crescent. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

When it comes to upscale lodging, I tend to notice there are far less freebies than budget-friendly options. Happily, The 1886 Crescent Hotel has plenty of them. Here’s a quick list:

  • Morning Coffee
  • Parking
  • Wifi
  • Shuttle to Downtown Eureka Springs

Hourly activities are also complimentary for onsite guests. When we visited, there were free property tours, Craft Beer Tasting Sessions, and even hatchet throwing. Yep, we tried it and loved it. 

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Staff

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Famous Fireplace
The super cool lobby fireplace. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

I have zero complaints with the hotel staff at The Crescent. From the moment we walked in the front doors, everyone was super helpful and very friendly. The front desk staff helped me book our VIP Ghost Tour (if you like them, definitely take it).

I do have to mention, however, that we did encounter a hit and run on our vehicle on our last night. Security did so much to help us narrow down the person, but no luck yet. I absolutely leave no responsibility to the hotel at all, but it is worthy of note. 

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Water Activities

There are two options for outdoor water activities: A pool and hot tub. 

The outdoor pool is very pretty and surrounded by fencing for protection. If you like the idea of hanging out in a cabana, there are a few to rent. As for the hot tub, it’s about the size of a large home unit. It was super clean and offered overhead sun protection, too. 

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Final Thoughts

1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Orchestrion
A tie to Walt Disney World: the orchestrion in the lobby. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

Would I recommend The 1886 Crescent Hotel for families? Absolutely. Would I visit again? In a hot minute. Honestly, even if there was nothing else around to do, the hotel is well worth a stay. But, happily there are plenty of activities in Downtown Eureka Springs and surrounding area. Here’s a list of top activities for families in Eureka Springs.


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3 Thoughts to “1886 Crescent Hotel Review: Eureka Springs Lodging”

  1. Jan Ross

    Love your article and this hotel is not far from Lexington. We will check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. […] During our stay, we stayed at the famous Crescent Hotel. It’s worthy of its own post, honestly, so here’s a full review of the 1886 Crescent Hotel.  […]

  3. bob

    I really love this eureka springs lodging. Thanks for sharing this.

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