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Best Hotels in the South

From atop the West Mountain range, the Crescent has watched over the Ozarks for over 130 years. The nature of the occupants’ stays has varied throughout history. What started as a posh summer getaway for the elite turned into a women’s college and eventually into a cancer treatment facility. Most recently, the Crescent has served as a historic retreat for travelers far and wide. May 5th will mark 20 years of preservative ownership under the Roenigks.

In 1997, current owners Marty and Elise Roenigk purchased the Crescent. Announcing the dawn of its Second Golden Era in 2000 the Roenigks said, “In five years, we will return the Crescent to where it was 100 years ago.”1 With then Governor Mike Huckabee and his band Capital Offense headlining the celebration, renovations ensued.2 They renovated the hotel in phases in order to share the past with visitors and guests throughout the process.

 

Renovations Timeline:

  • 1997 – 35 guest rooms and New Moon Spa opened
  • 1999 – Penthouses properly restored and opened to the public
    • Restoration of original roof-line and gardens
    • Refurbished and renovated the remaining rooms, so all 68 were complete
  • 2002 – Annex becomes 4 Jacuzzi suites
  • 2004 – Conservatory rebuilt with boardwalk and gazebo
  • 2007 – Crescent Cottages designed by architect David McKee are constructed
  • 2011 – Room additions 202/212/222
  • 2013 / 2014 – elevator
  • 2014 – Additional Rooms  319
  • 2014/2015 – Hallway renovation
  • 2014 – Spa chill room
  • 2015 — Kitchen remodel
  • 2015 — Lookout Cottages
  • 2016 — History Hallway
  • 2016 — Renovation of SkyBar Gourmet Pizza

 

The Crescent, built in 1886, is a five-story modern classic design fashioned by architect Isaac S. Taylor that blends French Renaissance and Richardsonian Romanesque styles. Corbeled chimneys decorate the mansard roof and inviting nine-foot-tall French doors that welcome guests on the east and west sides of the hotel. Three acres of formal gardens, a pool, and two cottages surround the hotel. The Crescent’s sister property, the Basin Park hotel, is located downtown and has also been preserved and maintained under the Roenigks careful ownership.

The Eureka Springs would not be the same without the Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks watching from above. The establishment of the Crescent brought development to Northwest Arkansas. A refuge to the sick and weary, a vacation for the wealthy, a place of learning for the privileged. The symbol that was the Castle in the Air is the predecessor to a region which is now one of the most successful in the country.

Due to their dedicated ownership of the Roenigks and the innovative leadership of General Manager, Jack Moyer, Southern Living magazine recognized the Crescent hotel as the “Best Hotel in Arkansas” for 2017. Putting the Crescent in the class of other fine hotels such as The Peabody in Memphis, Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, and The Inn on Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.

 

1 Woolery, Dr. D.R. The Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks. Oklahoma: Eagles’ Nest Press, 1990’s, p. 116

2 Walking Tour Book: The 1886 Crescent Hotel, 2001.

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