A Room with a View

A Day at the Races :: Arkansas Derby 2016

March 15th, 2016 by Kristie Rosset

Could another Arkansas Derby winner pull off a Triple Crown victory this year?  Last year’s spectacular American Pharoah captured the Arkansas Derby, and stole our hearts as he went on to win the prestigious Triple Crown. Watching him race was nothing short of breath taking!

This year’s Racing Festival of the South begins April 13, and you’ll see great horses all week.  The Apple Blossom Race is on Friday, and the Arkansas Derby on Saturday April 16 completes the local racing season.  You’ll see some of the finest jockeys, trainers and horses compete.

Don’t forget your beautiful hats, women! Come to watch the people, the horses, and experience the best of springtime in Hot Springs.  We’d love to welcome you to our cozy Hot Springs inn, and currently there is limited availability.  We encourage dinner reservations to be made early, since our city is brimming with visitors for the Derby.

Valley of the Vapors 2016 Hot Springs AR

March 10th, 2016 by Jenna Tackett

Valley of Vapors Hot Springs AR 2016The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival is around the corner, from March 18-22, and we can’t wait to see all the musicians in the lineup.

Each year, this festival showcases some of the best independent acts from around the country, as well as hosting workshops, and VIP parties. The festival officially kicks off with the four bands pictured (to the right), beginning at 7pm at Low Key Arts on 118 Arbor Street.

The festival has a little something for everyone. There is karaoke, knitting and photography workshops, thrift store craft shows, album release parties, crawfish boils and brunch shows, and so much more. (You can find the entire schedule on their website.) A wide variety of musical genres are represented, and you have the option of buying festival passes, day passes, or even paying at the door if you want to see one specific event.

Since the events take place at different locations throughout the festival, you will get a chance to dive into the local flavor of Hot Springs National Park while listening to some amazing music. It’s a great way to get into the Spring season!

While you are enjoying the festival, stay at our Hot Springs bed & breakfast. Lookout Point is the perfect sanctuary during your Arkansas getaway, with gourmet breakfast each morning and gorgeous views of Lake Hamilton. You can reserve your stay online or call 501.525.6155 for more information.

31 Hot Springs Adventures in 31 Days

March 1st, 2016 by Kristie Rosset

In honor of the 31 days in March we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite things to do in Hot Springs, AR. Here are some highlights, in no particular order or ranking.Things to do in Hot Springs AR

  1. Gallery Walk – March 4th
  2. Oaklawn Live Thoroughbred Racing
  3. Golf
  4. Alligator Farm
  5. Canoe/Kayak
  6. Superior Bathhouse
  7. Gangster Museum
  8. High School Basketball State Tournament- March 10-12
  9. Mid-America 1st Anniversary Reopening – March 19th
  10. Garvan Woodland Gardens Tulips
  11. Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Concert @ Garvan Gardens – March 20th
  12. World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade w/ Bacon brothers – March 17th
  13. MassageCraft brews in Hot Springs
  14. Go-karts
  15. LaserTag
  16. Shopping
  17. Hiking Lake Catherine State Park
  18. Miniature Golf
  19. Motorcycle ToursHistoric Bathhouses Hot Springs AR
  20. Board Games
  21. Carriage Rides
  22. Fishing
  23. Crater of Diamonds State Park
  24. Mountain Biking at Cedar Glades Park
  25. Arlington Park – Hot Springs Fountains
  26. Climb Hot Springs Mountain
  27. Mountain Tower
  28. Arkansas Walk of Fame
  29. Bathhouses
  30. McClard’s Famous BBQ
  31. Eat 🙂

Let us assist in planning your perfect spring vacation with a stay at Lookout Point. After a day enjoying these exciting adventures, relax in one of our beautiful rooms and take in the gorgeous views.

Fresh Blooms at Garvan Woodland Gardens

February 25th, 2016 by Kristie Rosset

The daffodils have been blooming for a couple of weeks now, heralding the arrival of spring flowers and birds to our Hot Springs, Arkansas area.  This beautiful time of year is perfect for visiting the Garvan Woodland Gardens, with their currently blooming Daffodil Hill. In just a few weeks, the Tulip Extravaganza presents breathtaking colors of exuberant flowers.

In addition to these blooming bulbs, you’ll also find crocus, hyacinths, wildflowers, wisteria, and some azaleas plus dogwoods blooming from now until the end of March. Also, don’t miss the koi pond at the gardens with humongous fish happy to see you!

We invite you to celebrate springtime with a trip to Hot Springs, experience the gorgeous weather and the joy of getting away.  A stay at our Hot Springs boutique hotel de-stresses in the very best way possible.

Top 5 Restaurants for Casual Dining Hot Springs AR

February 23rd, 2016 by Jenna Tackett

In addition to the fine dining choices in Hot Springs National Park, there are great casual spots for you to enjoy while you visit. These restaurants are perfect for lunch or a casual dinner before enjoying the gorgeous views of Lake Hamilton from Lookout Point.

Tamales Rolandos Hot Springs AR

Josefina’s Tamales at Rolandos Nueve Restaurante

5. Rocky’s Corner – Conveniently located across from Oaklawn Park Race Track, Rocky’s Corner has the best pizza in town. The atmosphere is very casual, with different sports featured on the televisions. Of course, you can always have their delicious pizza delivered directly to our Hot Springs Bed & Breakfast, too!

4. Bleu Monkey Grill – This restaurant specializes in quirky pairings–like their delicious shrimp tacos with mango salsa–bringing together tastes from different cultures. It’s perfect for a casual Sunday or Monday dinner during your getaway!

3. Cafe 1217 – With a wide selection of salads, sandwiches, and gorgeous desserts, Cafe 1217 is the ideal place for lunch. Try their Warm Pecan Crusted Goats Cheese Salad or the Chipotle Turkey Burger before walking downtown!

2. Rolandos Nueve Restaurante – Located downtown, this restaurant is a wonderful mix of Cuban and Ecuadorian food. You’ll love their Queso Flamado and Josefina’s Tamales!

Risotto Back Porch Grill Hot Springs AR

Special Risotto at Back Porch Grill

1.Back Porch Grill – This restaurant is just minutes from the Inn, and it has some beautiful lake views for you to enjoy while you dine. We love the avocado fries to start and the Marsala topper on steak.

You can enjoy these restaurants and many more when you plan a getaway to Hot Springs AR. There is great food waiting for you, starting each day with a gourmet breakfast at Lookout Point. Reserve your stay at our Hot Springs luxury lodging online or call 501.525.6155 for more information.

St. Patty’s Day in Hot Springs Spells FUN!

February 16th, 2016 by Kristie Rosset

Hot Springs AR Events

St. Pat’s Parade, Hot Springs

It is so much fun to attend the 13th Annaul First Ever World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Hot Springs!  Truly, the actual parade is only 99 feet long, and a high school band cannot play all at the same time–only for 99 feet.  The entire experience is a hoot. The parade has garnered attention around the globe and increased in popularity among locals and tourists who come to town for the celebration.

This year, the official parade starter is actor Gary Busey, and the celebrity Grand Marshals are actor Kevin Bacon, along with his brother Michael Bacon.  After the parade, the Bacon Brothers Band provides a free street concert!

A word to parade newcomers: get a spot along the parade route early, dress in green and get ready to have a blast.  An assortment of entertainment during the parade includes:

  • Irish Elvis Impersonators
  • Green Irish Wolfhounds

    The Bacon Brothers

    The Bacon Brothers

  • Zany floats
  • Marching bands, playing for 99 feet
  • Candy and beads tossed to the crowd
  • New surprises every year

Make plans to visit for St. Pat’s festivities on March 17 and stay at our Hot Springs, Arkansas bed & breakfast/inn. Our luxurious rooms are incredibly comfortable and individually appointed.  Delicious breakfast are served each morning in our dining room (or on trays to your room), where our guests enjoying bird watching. The cardinals entertain every morning, plus lots of other varieties.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hot Springs, AR

Wacky Fun

Make reservations early online or give us a call at 501-525-6155.  We’ll assist in planning a great St. Patrick’s Day and Hot Springs getaway!

Our Top 5 Favorite Hot Springs Restaurants for Celebrations

February 2nd, 2016 by Kristie Rosset

 

Hot Springs attracts some mighty fine chef’s and restaurants!  We are fortunate to have great options to recommend to guests.  This Top 5 list includes our favorites for celebrating a special occasion, such as anniversary or birthdays, or even a win at the races! Reservations recommended for all of these places, and when you are our guest we will be delighted to take of this for you.

 

 

Top Restaurants in Hot Springs, AR

J&S Italian Villa

5: J & S Italian Villa. Located in Temperance Hill Shopping Center, with authentic and specialty Italian dishes.  Tip: Check out their lovely bar with live piano player.

 

4:  Central Park Fusion.  In the historic downtown. Beautiful presentation of delicious food, using much local and organic choices.  Tip:  Can get noisy so consider avoiding peak times.

 

 

Hot Springs, AR Restaurants

KJ’s Grill

3:  KJ’s Grill.

Known for great steaks cooked to perfection, plus

fabulous shrimp. Tip: Try the Bada Bing Shrimp appetizer.

Indescribably good!.

 

 

 

2: Park Avenue Bistro. You’ll probably meet the earnest and creative chef while dining here. Tip: great Sunday prix fixe dinners.  Plus lamb anytime.

 

Drum roll, please.  Now for our absolute favorite restaurant in Hot Springs coming in at Number One:

 

Best Hot Springs Restaurants

Luna Bella

 

1: Luna Bella.  Located only ½ mile from the inn, our guests rave about this restaurant. Extensive yet reasonable wine list, great service without stuffiness.Fresh, seasonal fish flown in. Tip: Try the crab cake appetizers, or the cabbage salad, or the splendid scallops or halibut, or pasta dishes.  Ok—I’ve never had a dish here that I did not love.

 

 

 

 

 

We invite you to experience comprehensive pampering at Lookout Point, and we promise to point you in great directions for your favorite dining experience.  Book online, or call 501-525-6155.

10 Differences Between AirBnB and Lookout Point Lakeside Inn

January 28th, 2016 by Kristie Rosset

AirBnB vs Bed and Breakfasts

Clearly I am biased towards bed & breakfast/inns, especially those (like Lookout Point) who have met the strict guidelines and inspection of Select Registry plus regional and local authorities. That’s definitely our preferred lodging when we travel. Yet in 2015 we had the opportunity to stay in two AirBnB apartments, one in the US and one overseas. As a hospitality expert (Innkeeper and Owner) here’s my observations of the major differences between our AirBnB experiences and Select Registry inns:

1. Pricing

AirBnB quotes a price per night, and then the guest pays an additional 10% directly to AirBnB.  Wide range of prices.

Lookout Point quotes a price per night, and there is no upcharge.  Just taxes additionally charged. Wide range of prices.

2. Hospitality

AirBnB: only after booking does guest discover exactly where the place is located. Communication occurs directly between owner and guest. Generally, guest is on their own to find the apartment and let themselves in.  We never met the owner. One provided a list of things to do in area, one did not.  One was not familiar with the interior of the apartment when asked a question—he owned multiple apartments and probably had never been in this one.  No signage, and challenging to find. Beds OK, with somewhat worn linens. Suggestion:  look for an AirBnB property whose owner has only one property, not an owner of multiple properties.  More bed & breakfast inns may also be found on AirBnB now.

Lookout Point: Warm welcome, full concierge service before and during stay, written suggestions for local attractions, and attention to the details that make a guest more comfortable.  If there is a problem, Innkeepers are present to solve any issue.  Lighted sign out front, and an Innkeeper present to answer phone if guests have any trouble finding the inn. Comfortable and luxurious beds, triple-sheeted with fine linens and 4 pillows.

3. Food

AirBnB:  none.  One provided a single-cup coffee maker, but no K-cups.  The other not even a coffee pot. No regulatory health department inspections.

Lookout Point:  Freshly prepared gourmet breakfast using only the best ingredients, and local whenever possible.  Accommodates most dietary restrictions. Custom blend coffee, free snack bar, plus afternoon Innkeepers Reception with refreshments, wine & tea included.  Refrigerator available for guest use. Plus we make suggestions/recommendations for great local dining. Inspected and meets all Health Department guidelines.

4. Space

AirBnB: Closets and drawers may be filled with clothes, shoes and personal items. Or there may not be closets/storage space available at all.  One place had lots of art and personal objects throughout, the other was stripped to have nothing at all.  Not one piece of art or item of interest.  No hangers. Bathrooms smaller than a cruise ship’s. No bedside reading lights. Traffic noise.

Lookout Point:  Each room is designed for the guest. Spacious closets with luxury robes and laundry bags provided.  Original art throughout the inn and each room.  Spacious bathrooms, most with whirlpool tubs. Clear surfaces on dressers/tables for guest belongings.  Reading lights on both sides of bed, plus alarm clocks and “sleep sound” machines. Quiet and peaceful.

5.  Cleanliness

AirBnB:  One was quite clean, except for the cloudy fish bowl with the fish dying. (I cleaned it after getting proper instructions from the owner). The 2nd was dirty, and the cleaning person had to come back the next day to properly clean the bathroom.  (hair, toothpaste splatters, dirty mirror, etc). No cleaning services during a 7 night stay.

Lookout Point: Supreme attention to details and cleanliness.  Each room thoroughly cleaned by a dedicated housekeeper, and then 30 points checked by an Innkeeper prior to every guest arrival. If there is a rare issue, we’ll fix it immediately!  Every day the room is freshened, including clean towels as needed, by a staff member.

6. Maintenance and Safety Issues can honestly turn up any place, it’s how the issue is handled that separates the properties.

AirBnB: One place we really didn’t have any problems except the dying fish, and owner walked me through the steps to properly tend to the fish. The second place there were multiple issues, including the lack of cleanliness mentioned above.  In addition, an improperly hung and weighted blackout curtain rod fell off the wall.  Three days later a person was sent to fix this—however the neon lights out the window lit up the space brightly at night.  When we told the owners there was no hot water for the shower on 2 days, we were charged $40 for a maintenance guy to come take a look! Probably does not have operating fire alarms or fire extinguishers—ours did not.

Lookout Point:  Rarely do problems occur, but the owners/Innkeepers will jump through hoops to resolve the problem immediately.  All safety issues addressed with proper, secure locks; hard-wired and monitored fire alarms; plus easily accessible fire extinguishers.  Innkeeper available 24 hours per day.

7. Liability

AirBnB:  probably does not have liability insurance to cover paying guests.  Check it out.

Lookout Point:  as a legitimate business, proper insurance is held.

8. Compliance with Local Regulations

AirBnB: Unless located in a few specific cities, most AirBnB owners operate “under the radar”, avoiding paying lodging taxes and other sales taxes, and not complying with other regulations such as fire code, health department, building codes, etc.  So while paying an upcharge to AirBnB, these properties skip the local regulations that assist in keeping streets paved, support local schools, tourism councils, police and fire departments, etc. that are a direct result of taxes paid.

Lookout Point: Complies with all regulatory agencies, and is inspected by Select Registry, the Arkansas Health Department, the Alcohol and Beverage Commission, and the county Fire Department.  Of course, all required taxes are paid to the proper places.

9. Reviews

AirBnB: Encourages reviews directly on their site.  Guests are encouraged to review the property, and owners are encouraged to review the guest.  This allows owners to reject potential guests that have received negative reviews in the past.

Lookout Point:  Reviews are posted by guests on various travel sites, but the property is not allowed to review a guest.  The result is that bed & breakfast/inns are held to a higher standard, since they are not able to filter guests nor review guests. Review standards on major sites allow only a generic response, if any response is allowed.

10. Professional Affiliations

AirBnB: most, none.

Lookout Point: with the desire to continue learning and be the best Innkeeper possible, affiliations include Select Registry, AIHP (Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals), Arkansas Hospitality Association, and the Arkansas Bed & Breakfast Association. Never stop learning!

In summary, I will continue to travel around the world and enjoy a variety of lodging experiences including amazing inns and interesting AirBnB properties.  Over time, as a hospitality expert, I will continue to record observations and comparisons.

Kristie Rosset, Co-Owner & Innkeeper of Lookout Point Lakeside Inn

 

Top 5 Romantic Spots in Hot Springs AR

January 21st, 2016 by Jenna Tackett

Lookout Point engagedWith Valentine’s Day around the corner, romance is on our mind more than ever. Hot Springs has great restaurants, gorgeous views, and a wide variety of activities, so we have narrowed down our Top 5 Favorite Romantic Spots in the area to help you plan a romantic getaway.

5. Grand Promenade – A brick walkway that runs parallel to downtown, the promenade offers gorgeous views of the historic district. Feel free to walk the length, linger on some benches for some conversation, or take the stairs down to the street. Keep the conversation going by enjoying a cup of coffee or tea at Kollective just down the street!

4. Luna Bella – This Italian restaurant has been a fan favorite of our guests for many years. It has incredible food, a great wine list, and a romantic atmosphere. You will love every moment, from the service to the tiramisu.

Valentine's Day Hot Springs AR3. Garvan Woodland Gardens – There is nothing more romantic than flowers, and this botanical garden has acres of them! Take a walk through the blooms, perhaps with a picnic packed, and take a few hours to enjoy each other.

2. Couples Massage at Quapaw Baths – This historic bathhouse is so luxurious you will feel your troubles melt away. We particularly recommend the couple’s private bath and massage.

1. Lookout Point Inn – Gorgeous views of Lake Hamilton await you at the Inn, as well as whirlpool tubs, gourmet breakfast, and luxurious linens. Let the Innkeepers pamper you during your tranquil, romantic getaway.

Are you ready to plan your romantic getaway to Hot Springs AR? You can reserve your stay at our Arkansas Bed & Breakfast online or call 501.525.6155 for more information (or help planning!).

Top 5 Winter Activities in Hot Springs, Arkansas

January 14th, 2016 by Kristie Rosset

We are so fortunate to live in an area that is brimming with activities during the winter months. We don’t have much time between the end of the holidays and the beginning of fun and diverse activities in January in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

 

 

Bald Eagle thrills guests

Bald Eagle thrills guests

One of the most exhilarating events that we look forward to in the winter months is watching for bald eagles at the Inn. In addition, several state parks in the area have eagle watching tours including Lake Catherine, Lake Ouachita, DeGray Lake Resort and Pinnacle Mountain near Little Rock. It never gets old to see a bald eagle in flight. Check the state park websites for information on the tours.

 

 

Top 5 Winter Activities in Hot Springs, Arkansas:

  1. winter in Hot Springs, ArkansasBird Watching at the Inn includes watching flocks of many different species of birds on our feeders during the winter.
  2. Hiking during the winter is a great time to bundle up and head to one of the trails at the state parks, pack a picnic lunch and spend time in nature.
  3. Horse racing at Oaklawn starts Jan. 15 and continues every weekend until the middle of April. We are members of the Jockey Club and offer the opportunity for our guests
    to experience the horse races indoors in the luxury and quiet of the Jockey Club. The photo to the right is of Abel Flores (recent guest) riding the beauty Tapiture at Churchill.  Last year’s Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah won the Arkansas Derby!
Oaklawn Racetrack Hot Springs, Arkansas

Award winning photo by Barbara Livingston

  • Mid-America Museum continues to receive accolades for the fabulous exhibits at the Museum. It is a great place to visit anytime but especially when it is cold during the winter months.
  • Garvan Woodlands Gardens is also a fun place to visit year round. In February there are special events planned. Feb. 20 Nolen Buffalo will conduct several workshops titled “Do It Yourself” including beer making. Both events sound like fun.

 

 

 

If you are looking for a weekend getaway during the winter, we encourage you to come to Hot Springs and enjoy one or several of the activities that take place in January and February. Of course, the perfect pairing with the winter events includes a stay at the Inn. We have the fireplaces going; hot chocolate, tea and coffee brewing; a beautiful room with exquisite linens and comfortable beds waiting and plenty of time to grab a pair of binoculars and sit for a spell watching birds. Make reservations online or give us a call at 501.525.6155 and we’ll help you plan a winter retreat to remember.

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