Little Rock rarely makes the top 10 of most folks’ travel list, but the Capital Hotel is a powerful reminder of why it should. More than just a luxurious overnight option, the hotel thoroughly encapsulates Little Rock’s history and hospitable sensibility.

The Capital Hotel2

Whether you find yourself in Little Rock for work, fun or just passing through, do not stay anywhere but the Capital Hotel. Known as the “front porch of Little Rock”, this hotel combines the luxury hotel experience with true southern hospitality. Drive up to an elegant cast-iron façade framed by a colonnade of faux-marble pillars and burgundy awnings, let the southern gentlemen open your door with a tip of their hat and a ‘kindly, ma’am’ and wander into a world of unexpected splendor. Don’t mind the ma’am either—it’s a sign of respect, not an indication of age here.

Marble columns, gilt details, stained glass windows (notably of the State Capitol on the ceiling) and plush sofas greet you immediately. Little Rock is Arkansas’s State Capital and hometown to President Bill Clinton, and that presidential stately vibe really emanates throughout the entire building.

The Capital Hotel3

The rooms and suites vary a little, but the general theme of the place is carried throughout—
claw-foot tables, carved wood, gilt mirrors, plush beige carpeting and partial views of the Arkansas River. Frette linens and Molton Brown accessories with a luxurious modern bathroom to rival even the St. Regis. Luxury can be easy to find—refined elegance and classic southern luxuries, that’s another story. You find that all in abundance here, from the personalized letter from the concierge to the impeccable guest service if you’re looking for a place to eat or gallivant Little Rock. You’ll also be encouraged to read from the stack of novels set in Arkansas left in every guestroom—what a novel concept!

The hotel is charming enough on it’s own, but there’s reason to venture downstairs as well. The Capital has two on-site restaurants: upscale Ashley’s and rustic/regional Capital Bar & Grill. At CBG cocktails dominate. Order the Rice Fried Catfish, US Farm Raised with Pickled Green Tomatoes, Jalapeno Cheddar Spoonbread and Malt Vinegar Remoulade or the Country Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and White Gravy to learn what southern elegance really means.

Rice fried catfish with pickled green tomatoes, jalapeño cheddar spoonbread, and malt vinegar remoulade at the Capital Bar & Grille

Rice fried catfish with pickled green tomatoes, jalapeño cheddar spoonbread, and malt vinegar remoulade at the Capital Bar & Grille

Everything here makes whatever you’ve tasted up North seem like a distant and unfortunate memory, and you immediately realize this is the real deal. We’re pretty sure you won’t be able to move after cocktails and southern fried cookin’ at CBG, but at a hotel this nice, you won’t want to. With 130 years of distinguished hospitality and character you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the state, the Capital really stands out in a world of cookie cutter modern ‘luxury’ hotels.

The Debutante Cocktail: Kai Lychee Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower, Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Grapefruit Bitters, Basil Leaf Corsage Garnish

The Debutante Cocktail: Kai Lychee Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower, Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Grapefruit Bitters, Basil Leaf Corsage Garnish