Although all we had was a quick glimpse of the lovely Capital Hotel my mom and I could tell on our early morning venture in September in Little Rock that the hotel was superb. With lovely cast iron façade the outside of the hotel is quite striking.
The hotel is aptly named since it sits just down the street from both the new and old state Capital Building. The Capital Hotel was first called the Denckla Block and housed offices, shops, and gentlemen’s apartments for businessmen. Built in 1872 by William P. Denckla, a wealthy New York railroad tycoon in 1877 the building became an upscale hotel. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture states, “The new hotel got its name from a Little Rock matron, Mrs. Morehead Wright…Wright noted that it was a “capital enterprise located in a capital building” in the “capital of the state,” which she hoped would be a “capital success.”
One legend of the hotel states that one of the visitors was President Ulysses S. Grant and that the Capital’s unusually large elevator was built to allow Grant to take his horse to his hotel room. Over time the hotel changed hands and was the site of many political activites. After falling into decline, the hotel was restored to its original beauty and in 2013, Forbes Travel Guide awarded the Capital Hotel a four-star rating. We wandered into the lobby of the lovely hotel oohed and ahhed and headed down the road.
While we were quite comfortable in the Double Tree down the street, I will admit to a bit of hotel envy when we strode though the lobby of his historic building before we moved on.