Capital Hotel

A pristine look at Little Rock's past
Capital Hotel is an iconic lodging in the city of Little Rock, Ark. Originally opened in 1877, Capital Hotel has played host to celebrities, politicians and distinguished clientele.

The 94-room property, which was closed for two years for renovations, reopened in 2007 with updated guest rooms and bathrooms, as well as several new dining venues and enhanced meeting spaces with contemporary technology.

The hotel is home to a world-class restaurant, Ashley’s, which serves seasonal menu filled with heritage and pasture-raised meats, poultry and a special selection of game. For more casual dining, head to The Capital Bar & Grill, which crafts comfort food for lunch and dinner as well as an extensive list of cocktails to a primarily professional crowd.
Our Inspector's Highlights
• Its location is unmatched. Just 15 minutes from the airport, Capital Hotel is centered in downtown Little Rock with views of the Arkansas River and mere steps from the city’s best attractions, including the Clinton Library and the Old State House museum.

• It’s not hyperbole to say that as soon as you check in to the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel everyone knows your name, from doormen to concierges. And you can expect to find a personalized welcome note from the hotel’s owner awaiting you in your room.

• Check-in at the Little Rock hotel doesn’t take place at the front desk. Rather the concierge will escort you to your room to take care of it there, in the comfort of your own space. This allows the staff to get to know you as a guest, and gives you plenty of time to learn all about what the hotel has to offer.

• This bar is beloved by the locals and the menu is packed with characteristic Southern treats like gumbo and chess pie, and their claim to serve “the best gin and tonic ever” seems pretty accurate based on our research.

• As soon as you spot the historical building that is Capital Hotel you will understand why a president or two has slept here (President Ulysses S. Grant was once a guest). The sense of history is palpable, from the décor to the stories the staff can tell about all they’ve seen and heard over the years – there’s even the hint of a ghost story.
Things to Know
• The Capital Bar and Grill has blue plate specials for lunch that offer an ideal introduction to Southern cuisine: Monday is red beans and rice; Wednesday has fried chicken; Thursday features a delightful pork barbecue sandwich.

• It offers complimentary transfers to and from the airport. Sure, it’s only a 15-minute ride away, but even that short jaunt is taken care of by the Little Rock hotel. You’ll be picked up by a driver and seamlessly escorted across the city in style.

• There’s a trolley out front. Yes, an actual trolley! As if the hotel itself wasn’t enough of a time capsule, visitors can hop on the Little Rock trolley and see plenty of the city’s sights from a comfortable seat inside.
The Rooms
• The style of the spacious Superior and Deluxe rooms features a shabby-chic theme with floral curtains matching floral accents like framed pictures and a comfy floral armchair. These rooms also include expansive armoires to hide the flat-screen TV and wooden desks for tackling business tasks.

• The larger Capital rooms at the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel have a more regal feel, with large four-poster beds and rich dark wood furnishings.

• For the turn down, the plush duvet is expertly folded down and guests will be delighted to see a small dream dictionary and reading light propped on one pillow. A tray at the end of the bed features a breakfast menu, shoeshine bag for optional shoe pick-up, an invitation to have coffee in the lobby and two large bags of swoon-worthy Southern pecan toffee.

• The bathrooms can be described as clean, classic and simply regal. Creams and whites are the colors of choice, from the fluffy Frette bath towels to the marble used on the sinks and tub surrounds.

• Britain’s Molton Brown supplies an array of bath products atop the vanity with dual sinks, and both the mirrors and the lighting are generous with a small, wall-mounted makeup mirror, proving to be an especially attentive touch.
The Look
• Once you’re inside whichever room you’ve selected for your stay, you’ll notice that the wider world doesn’t exist. We’re not sure if it’s the historic thick walls or the plush carpeting, but you’ll hear nary a peep from your neighbors or the trolley outside, creating a highly relaxing environment.

• The elevator at the Little Rock hotel is so enormous that there’s a rumor it once accommodated General Ulysses S. Grant’s horse Cincinnati. Add in the hotel’s sweeping 14-foot ceilings and you’ll understand that everything is bigger in Arkansas.

• Capital Hotel retains plenty of 19th-century charm with sweeping arches and flickering candlelight in the evening. Marble columns, stained glass windows,  soaring two-story lobby — it’s easy to see how the Recommended hotel became popular with the city’s glitterati from the very beginning.
Getting There
111 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
LIT (10 min)  
Check Availability