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The Hotel Hale is a restored bathhouse on bathhouse row in Hot Springs National Park. The hotel is in the downtown area of Hot Springs, Arkansas. There are nine rooms available for reservation at the hotel; each room is decorated differently. All of the rooms have large tubs with the hot springs mineral water pumped into them for guests to soak. Eden Restaurant is located in the hotel, and guests are welcome to have breakfast or brunch every morning in the restaurant. Nearby there are many biking paths, a horse race track, and local shops. The hotel has been owned by Ellen and the city's mayor Pat McCabe since 2019.
The Hotel Hale is the oldest building on the bathhouse row, built in 1892. The home resides in the corner of the Hot Springs National Park in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas. The revival-style hotel is located on a tree-lined street just a few minutes from the Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center, the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, and the Memorial Field Airport. A forested area lines the backyard of the hotel. This area has many biking and hiking trails along with a small creek. The exterior of the home has not been altered since it was built. Inside the hotel, however, has had some modifications over the years. The stucco roof of the bathhouse and white exterior gives the hotel a Spanish-inspired look. When the weather is mild during the fall, patio dining is available outside in the hotel's backyard.
The national park government services own the entire grounds and facility of the Hotel Hale and Eden Restaurant. Inside of the hotel, there are is a grand entry with original marble flooring, and the entire upstairs has the same restored pine wood flooring as when it was first built. Exposed brick adds to the rustic feel of each of the nine rooms in the hotel. The Eden Restaurant is located in what used to be the main room in the bathhouse. A steam cave was the first thing added to the bathhouse when it was first built and remains in the hotel's restaurant today. The dining area ceiling is a skylight opened up for the live atrium on the far wall of the room. A bar and kitchen were added during the hotel's renovation when purchased by Ellen and Pat McCabe in 2018.
In the front lobby, bath products are sold along with any essentials guests may need. A small bakery and coffee area are also on the main level of the hotel. The mineral water from the hot springs is pumped through the home into each of the private soaking tubs in the nine bedrooms. This allows guests to take baths in the famous Hot Spring water without having to leave the hotel. Each of the suites at Hotel Hale is individual in style and size. All of the rooms are named after the eight original bathhouses. The Fordyce Room is a two-room suite with modern furnishings and a sleeper sofa. The Superior Suite is mid-century inspired with three walls of original exposed brick. The Lamar Room has French doors opening to the outside and simple white linens. Filled with natural light from eight windows and French doors, the Ozark Room has a queen-sized bed.
For guests with larger visiting groups, the Quapaw Room has two queen-sized beds. The Buckstaff is a staff favorite with a scenic view of Central Avenue. Finally, the Hale Suite is the most reserved room as it is 636 square feet with modern and rustic décor with a panoramic view of Central Avenue and a free-standing tub. Every room is equipped with a large bathtub for mineral water soaks, extra linens, morning coffee services, and a wireless television. Complimentary internet access is available throughout the entire hotel.
Every guest who stays in the rooms at the Hotel Hale has access to breakfast at the Eden Restaurant every morning and, on the weekends, a brunch. Breakfast is served eight to nine every morning, Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, brunch is reserved for guests at the hotel from ten to eleven. Guests can select from a menu with both vegetarian and regular meal items such as quiche, French toast, yogurt and granola, hard-boiled eggs, orange juice, and breakfast sandwiches.
Many journalists and press staff have stayed at the Hotel Hale. They have written articles about the property's historical value and how Ellen and Pat McCabe, the owners, have preserved its authentic feel. Open year-round, the hotel and restaurant's busiest time of year is from the middle of spring to early winter. During these times, there are many horse races, bike courses, and festivals. In addition to attending these activities, guests can spend time at local museums, exploring the Hot Springs National Park, and swimming or fishing in the nearby lakes and creeks.
With the Hotel Hale being the oldest of the preserved bathhouses on bathhouse row, Ellen and Pat McCabe are dedicated to giving a historical experience to all of their guests while still providing modern amenities. When they first purchased the hotel, it was almost completely gutted with only the original bones of the bathhouse to work with; the couple has worked to create a comfortable, updated space for guests to stay. Personal relationships with the guests and being close by to address concerns and questions is essential to the couple in their business. The couple enjoys interacting with their guests getting to know their stories, and sharing their own. The Hotel Hale is just a large home, and guests are treated like family.
The McCabe's main goal with their property is to keep their guests comfortable and to give them an authentic experience. Pat is the mayor of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is well versed in the history of the town and the Hot Springs National Park. The couple does not live on the property, but Ellen is there every day, and there is always a staff member available for guest's needs. "We will never turn anyone away or say no; our staff will always find a way to figure out what is needed in order to keep our customers satisfied," says Ellen. The hospitality of the staff at the Hotel Hale is one of the most commented-on things in reviews from guests at the hotel. "Attention to detail is not missed here. Pat and his team were non-stop, hands-on, serving us during our quick stay. They provide a unique experience combining a bed and breakfast feel with an upscale hotel room that impresses," said a guest.
There is no specific demographic of guests who visit the Hotel Hale. Families will rent multiple rooms at a time, couples will come for an anniversary weekend, or single travelers will rent a room for a night enjoying the mineral-infused water of the hot springs in their private soaking tubs. The dining space at the Eden Restaurant in the hotel can seat 100 people and is often used for rehearsal dinners and corporate retreats. Some small weddings have been held in the hotel as well as receptions. The large skylight and live green wall in the restaurant, as well as the catered food and drinks by the Eden Restaurant, create a unique ambiance for parties and gatherings.
Some specific policies have been implemented at the hotel Hale in order to preserve the historical value of the bathhouse. No smoking or flames are allowed in the home. This is an essential policy as the original pine-oak floors are preserved throughout the hotel and are easily flammable. Only service animals are allowed in the Hotel Hale and at the Eden Restaurant. Many repeat guests return to the Hotel Hale, bringing their friends and family so they can experience the luxury linens, mineral water soaking baths, and restaurant food.
The original Hotel Hale was built in 1892 as the first bathhouse on the bathhouse row. It functioned as a bathhouse for decades before it was shut down in 1970 by the government for renovations. Inside, lead paint and other things needed to be removed, so the home was stripped of everything besides the original flooring and marble entryway. The original bathing hall was where the restaurant's dining area is now underneath the large skylight near the steam cave. When Ellen and Pat purchased the property in 2018, they spent a few months completely renovating the hotel. They repainted everything, refinished the flooring, added new trim, updated the windows, and exposed the hotel's original brick.
Ellen McCabe has been in the restaurant and hospitality industry for years. Pat was the President and CEO of the Levi Hospital in 1987 and was elected as the Mayor of Hot Springs in 2017. The couple wanted to run a business downtown and decided they liked the idea of starting a boutique hotel and bathhouse. Ellen is from a large family, and with her background in the restaurant business, she was familiar with what would be necessary to start the hotel and run it properly. The couple loves to interact with their guests on a personal level and share their love for Hot Springs, Arkansas.