A Room with a View

Inspirational Chihuly Exhibit at the Clinton Presidential Library

August 24th, 2014 by Kristie Rosset

Chihuly at Clinton Presidential LibraryOne of the nice things about living in Hot Springs is the close proximity to Little Rock and all the cultural arts available in the city. Currently, one of the astonishing art displays in Little Rock is the Chihuly Exhibit at the Clinton Presidential Library.

Dale Chihuly is a renowned American artist, who is well known internationally, and helped to elevate the perception of the glass medium from craft to fine art. His presentation of color, shape and form are exquisite. His talent is amazing and such a gift for anyone who visits his exhibits. We’re lucky to have such amazing art to experience in Little Rock through January 5, 2015.

Four specific installations are featured at the Clinton Library including Red Reeds which is visible outdoors at the entrance and has dramatic lighting at night; Sea Blue and Green Tower which is situated in the Sky Lobby and includes about 700 hand-blown glass elements; the Mille Fiori installation that features an incredible Dale Chihuly garden of glass; and Seaforms and Drawings which reflects inspiration from the sea and is on view in a temporary exhibition space. The Chihuly glass is just amazing. His art is an inspiration to be more creative and think outside the box. His advice for young aspiring artists is: “Surround yourself with artists and see as much art as possible. Go with your gut and create something that nobody has ever seen before.” For more information on the Chihuly exhibit go online to www.clintonfoundation.org/Chihuly.

If you’re planning a trip to the Chihuly Exhibit at the Clinton Library, we’d love to have you come to Hot Springs to spend some time with us and stay at Lookout Point Inn. We have artists’ work on display in our common areas and support all the cultural arts. Our Inn is situated on Lake Hamilton with all rooms having a view of the lake, most with patios or balconies. It is a beautiful place to unwind and enjoy the peaceful gardens and labyrinth and the serenity and beauty of the lake. Make reservations online or give us a call and we’ll help you plan a trip to Hot Springs with a special excursion to Little Rock to the Chihuly Exhibit.

Hot Springs AR Jazz Fest 2014

August 21st, 2014 by Kristie Rosset

Each year the Hot Springs Jazz Society presents a festival promoting jazz music in Spa City.

For the 23rd year in a row, the JazzFest will feature Arkansas’ Jazz Artists. The first day of the festival begins onHot Springs Jazz Festival Sept. 16 with Guitar-rama, an event featuring six different guitar players from all genres of music. On Wednesday, Sept. 17, you can learn about the history of the musical movement at Jazz 101.

The festival continues until Sept. 21, with a free event on Saturday called Jazz in the Streets. That event will happen under the Broadway Street Bridge, from 11am to 5pm. For the first time, the free event will also include Dancing in the Streets, featuring TwiceSax. The genres will range from Dixieland to Latin Jazz and everywhere in between.

The Hot Springs Jazz Society prides itself on not just promoting jazz, but also perpetuating and preserving it as an original American art form. Each of the events during the festival go toward this purpose—not just providing entertainment, but providing a sense of history for jazz music as a whole. To find out more information about JazzFest or buy tickets, visit the website at hsjazzsociety.org or call 501.627.2425.

While you are enjoying the music from the festival, consider adding a stay at Lookout Point. There are comfortable beds with luxurious linens, gorgeous views of Lake Hamilton, and scrumptious breakfast awaiting you! Reserve your room online or call 501.525.6155 for more information.

Barhopping on Lake Hamilton

August 12th, 2014 by Kristie Rosset

Recently one of our young friends passed her CPA exam and Ray and I decided as a treat for her that we’d take her and her family out on Lake Hamilton to the bars that have lake accessibility. We weren’t able to go to all of them in one evening, but we were able to make two stops for cold drinks and appetizers and the last stop for dinner.

Drinks in Hot Springs ARThe evening was a little warm but once we got out on the water with Capt. Ray at the helm the breezes quickly cooled us off. The night was exceptionally beautiful and we had a wonderful time on our lake adventure.

We all met at the Inn to board the boat and cruised around to our first stop of the evening, Fisherman’s Wharf. This is always a popular restaurant in Hot Springs because it has a large outdoor patio with lots of fans and a great view of the water. We sat outside, of course, and ordered cocktails including a margarita, strawberry margarita, Tom Collins, and a couple of fruity drinks. We also added spinach artichoke dip and fried dill pickles. The drinks and appetizers were quite enjoyable and the outdoor patio was a perfect place to kick off our fun evening. After visiting for a while, we decided to move on to our next destination. It was such fun to travel by boat and enjoy the lake in the afternoon. The water was calm and the lake wasn’t busy. It was the perfect setting for a festive evening.

Drinks in Hot Springs AROur second stop was Barefoots Lakeside Grill, situated on Central Ave. but accessible by boat. We ordered similar drinks, calamari and onion and jalapeno strips. At this stop we decided to eat indoors and cool off a bit. The food was good and we were beginning to get into the barhopping mentality. We stayed quite a while and enjoyed the food and company. When we decided to move toward our dinner spot, it was near sunset.

So, we cruised the lake for a while enjoying the cool breezes and beautiful sunset before embarking on our last stop for dinner at Back Porch Grill. None of us had dined at Back Porch for a while, so we were pleased to be able to drive to the dock and enter the restaurant from the water. By this time, it had cooled off enough that we all agreed eating outdoors would be fun. We ordered another round of drinks including beer and mojitos. We had an assortment of entrees including sea bass with vegetables and the mac and cheese casserole (a hit with everyone at the table), scallops with twice baked potatoes, red snapper with baked potato and two Caesar salads – one with shrimp and one with chicken. Everyone agreed the food and atmosphere were quite enjoyable.

This was an exceptional evening with friends and family, the ambience of Lake Hamilton, and good food and drinks. The evening could be replicated by visitors to Hot Springs. When you come to Hot Springs for vacation or a weekend getaway, we’d love to have you stay with us at Lookout Point Inn. We have a beautiful Inn on Lake Hamilton with lake views in all the rooms. Each room is individually decorated and named after a town in Arkansas. Our breakfasts are the best in town and we’d be happy to share more of our barhopping evening. Make reservations online or give us a call at 501.525.6155 for more information.

Where to Find Ice Cream in Hot Springs AR

August 7th, 2014 by Ray Rosset

Nom Bars Hot Springs AROne of my favorite ways to cool off in the summer is eating ice cream—whether in milk shakes or banana splits or generous scoops or root beer floats. When the air is humid and hot outside, frozen treats hit the spot! Here’s a list of the Top 4 Places for Frozen Treats in the area:

4. Superior Bathhouse Brewery & Distillery – Superior does a very good job with everything they try, from brewing their own root beer to their lunch menu and some particularly tasty gelato. The flavor of the gelato is dense, and the texture of the gelato is smooth. The staff is friendly, the atmosphere lovely, and the location is tough to beat! It is a definite must-see when in Hot Springs National Park.

3. Scoops—A great stop for handmade ice cream. The flavors are classic and always taste wonderful. The creamy texture of the ice cream is perfect. The atmosphere itself is very casual, with picnic tables and walls painted with cartoon cows. It’s a great stop for families in particular. (Kids really love the cotton candy flavor!) As the name suggests, ice cream is their specialty, and they love to keep dreaming up new flavors.

Dolce Gelato Hot Springs AR2. Dolce Gelato—Nestled in Cornerstone shopping center, Dolce Gelato takes the atmosphere all the way to Italy, with Italian pop music playing on the radio and décor that reminds you of a coffee shop. The owners do most of the making of the gelato, and the serving. They are very knowledgeable about their product, and they have a variety of flavors for you to try. Bonus: they let you mix the flavors within your cup, so if you are eyeing the lemon and the amaretto, you can have the best of both worlds!

1. Nom Noms Mexican Grill & Chill—This is a local favorite, and not just because they have the largest variety of flavors in town (about 44). Nom Noms covers all the bases with the “chill” portion of their restaurant—including sorbets, sherbets, and Nom Bars, all homemade. They use the freshest ingredients in their products, making them fresh daily, and it really shows in the end result. You definitely need to enjoy this hidden gem when you are in Spa City.

When you travel to Hot Springs to take your ice cream tasting tour, consider staying at Lookout Point. You can have a gourmet breakfast in the morning, ice cream for lunch, and a night relaxing in a luxurious bed afterwards! Reserve your room online or call 501.525.6155 for more information.

18th Annual Hot Springs, AR Blues Festival

July 29th, 2014 by Ray Rosset

Hot Springs Blues FestivalLabor Day weekend in Hot Springs, AR is getting some swagger this year with the Hot Springs Blues Festival. The Spa City Blues Society has hosted the festival for the past 18 years, and they are excited to present the 2014 festival at Hill Wheatley Plaza from Aug. 29-31.

The festival has been extended to Friday night this year, giving blues music lovers even more to enjoy! The lineup includes headliners Larry Garner, JP Soars & the Red Hots, Ghost Town Blues Band, and Barbara Blue, as well as several more.

Along with great music, the festival will also feature an Artist’s Alley where local artisans can display and sell their wares. The Spa City Blues Society will host music-related workshops and after parties in local venues with regional acts.

You can read more about the festival, including up to date start times and more about the guests performing, on their website.

While you are in town enjoying the 18th Annual Blues Festival, consider adding a stay at Lookout Point. There are great views of Lake Hamilton, tasty gourmet breakfast, and a gorgeous garden waiting for you to enjoy. You can reserve your stay online or call 501.525.6155 for more information. We’d love to help you plan your Labor Day getaway!

How to Create a Welcoming Guest Room: Part I

July 27th, 2014 by Kristie Rosset

guest bedroom decoratingDo you have a room that needs an update focused on creating a restful and welcoming space for your company? If you enjoy receiving company that stays overnight, you might want to implement a few of these guest room ideas. Of course, if you are in the “company is like fish” camp, and don’t want guests to stay any length of time—you might want to make sure your extra bedroom resembles a storage shed.

I love welcoming guests—both at our Hot Springs, Arkansas bed and breakfast and at my home! Creating a comfortable space adds to a happy experience, so here are my tips for a guest room of any size.

1) guest room ideasDe-clutter. This may be the most important step for creating a comfortable space. Remove almost all of your stuff from the dresser top and bedside tables, allowing easy space for your guests to place their stuff without feeling they are invading your space. What should remain on a dresser top? Besides lamps, a cute little bowl for holding your guest’s jewelry and small odds & ends. Perhaps a small clock, although this is far less important with the ubiquitous presence of smartphones. If the dresser top is large, add an artifact such as a piece of pottery, a jar candle, or for a real welcome, a framed photo of your guests.

2) The bed. Comfort is key here! Unless your bed will collide your guests into the center from sagging, there’s probably no need to buy a new mattress/box springs. Just upgrade the comfort level of your current bed with a really fluffy, high quality mattress pad. Add to the bed a fine set of sheets (400+ thread count cotton sheets or microfiber). It goes without saying that the bed should be already made prior to arrival of guests, and looking pretty!

Next, you’ll need a good quality blanket and bedspread. If your blanket resembles the quality of a cheap hotel from decades past, get rid of it. Heavy comforter sets may look pretty, but be careful of the weight for sleeping. On the other hand, if it’s an old cotton blanket in good condition, use it! In the south, we definitely prefer cotton blankets and bedspreads, and in summertime the blankets may even be forfeited. Chenille or matelesse cotton bedspreads are available at inexpensive prices, if you need to purchase a bedspread.

3. guest bedroom ideasPillows. Old, hard or flat foam pillows have got to go. I recommend four pillows on the bed, with two soft pillows and two firm. Many people sleep with two pillows, and offering a variety of pillow choices is a nice touch. Are you a synthetic or a feather pillow lover? The quality of synthetic pillows has dramatically improved, and the issues of feather allergies has mostly disappeared with the new feather pillow techniques. So use what makes you happy!

What about those small decorative pillows on the bed? While a pretty touch, don’t go overboard with throw pillows on the bed unless you have a large room with an extra chair that can be dedicated to tossing all of the pillows. You don’t want guests tripping over these pillows in the middle of the night, and most of us prefer to not throw pillows on the floor. I prefer to keep it simple, with no more than 3 accent pillows. One round bolster works perfect!

4. The bed frame. Test it! That’s sleep on your guest bed. We tell new innkeepers to sleep in each of their guest rooms at least once a year. Not only sleep in the guest room, but pack a suitcase to get a better feel for how the space works. If your bed frame is creaky and squeaky, can you resolve the problem areas? If not, your guests will be awakened every time they turn over. We once had a guest bed with a painful footboard; guests were always banging their shins on the footboard. What a bad design!

There are many inexpensive alternatives to purchasing a new bed frame, including DIY projects. A headboard may be attached to the wall, not the bed, and creates a sense of space. Large pieces of art, a ladder painted and turned on its side, or even a piece of fabric covered plywood provide beauty in your guest room. An inexpensive metal bed frame completes the bed.

If you are investing in a new or different bed, what size should you consider? If you have the space, I recommend a queen bed. Most couples will be comfortable in a queen bed, and it takes up little additional room. A standard/full size bed tends to feel too small for most couples today.

Stay tuned for Part II of “How to Create a Welcoming Guest Room” for more guest room ideas for your home!

Summerfest on Park Avenue in Hot Springs, AR

July 25th, 2014 by Ray Rosset

Historic Hot Springs National ParkWith the 25th Anniversary of Gallery Walk coming up on Aug. 1-3, it’s time to highlight another festival that happens in Hot Springs, AR on a regular basis: Summerfest on Park Avenue.

Like Gallery Walk, the festival is designed to showcase the beauty of Spa City and the eclectic talent of its residents. Every 2nd Saturday (from May to October) this 7 block event presents Historic Park Avenue as an extension of the downtown area.

Merchants and residents of Park Avenue team up to offer sidewalk sales and entertainment, as well as sidewalk cafes. Vendors sell everything from metal and wood crafts to jewelry, to organic fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers. The food can hit whatever spot you are craving—tacos, pizza, smoked ribs, ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, and more. The entertainment includes music (for June it was X Factor’s J Ryan), live pottery demonstrations, and a painting party.

Come enjoy the beautiful tree-lined street and festive atmosphere on Aug. 9, Sept. 13, and Oct. 11. You can eat a gourmet breakfast at Lookout Point before the festival, and relax in a luxurious bed after! Reserve your stay online or call 501.525.6155 for more information.

25 Years of Incredible Art in Hot Springs AR

July 22nd, 2014 by Kristie Rosset

Hot Springs AR Gallery WalkOne of the many cherished events that I love in Hot Springs the first Friday evening of each month is Gallery Walk. The Walk is an informal invitation from the art galleries in Historic Downtown Hot Springs to come and browse the new art; enjoy a glass of wine with appetizers; and visit with friends, artists and gallery owners. Every time I go I come away amazed at the wide range of artists who live in Hot Springs. My creative juices always begin to flow after visiting with local artists and gallery owners. It’s such an enjoyable evening.

The 25th Anniversary of Gallery Walk will be celebrated the weekend of August 1-3. The kickoff Friday, Aug. 1, focuses on opening receptions at all downtown Hot Springs galleries from 5-9 p.m. with some special exhibits, wine and hors d’oeuvres. Then on Saturday, special events are scheduled throughout the day from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Some of the titles for the creative exhibits and workshops are:

“Women’s Paint Out” at Gallery Central
“Rock Music” at Blue Rock Studio
“Travel and Painting: Two Passions Combined” at Justus Fine Art Gallery
“The Creative Power of Depth of Field, Aperture, and Shutter Speed in Photography” at Taylor Bellott Nature Gallery
“How to Start Collecting Art,” “Inspiration and Process,” and “Essential Elements” at Justus Fine Art Gallery

Much more is planned in the galleries during the day Saturday and on Sunday afternoon. For more information and a schedule contact Dolores Justus at 501.321.2335 or go online to hotsprings.org.

If you’ve been thinking about a trip to Hot Springs this summer, this would be a great weekend to come and visit. A perfect pairing for the 25th Anniversary of Gallery Walk would be to stay with us at Lookout Point Inn. After three days of enjoying all the arts have to offer at Gallery Walk, returning to a calm, peaceful Inn on Lake Hamilton would make an incredible weekend. We have quiet places to sit and visit, gorgeous scenery of the lake and our gardens, and a gourmet breakfast that is always an artistic endeavor. Make reservations online or give us a call at 501.525.6155 and we’ll help you plan a fabulous weekend with the anniversary of Gallery Walk.

On the Lookout: Labor Day in Hot Springs AR

July 17th, 2014 by Kristie Rosset

Hot Springs Bed & BreakfastSummer is in full swing in Spa City, with concerts, water sports, and afternoons spent enjoying the beautiful outdoors. While you are soaking in the summer sun, you might also be planning your next big getaway—Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day Weekend in Hot Springs AR is filled with all your favorite holiday activities—great food, shopping, and perfect weather for enjoying the outdoors. You can have a picnic lunch (packed by Lookout Point) while you enjoy Garvan Woodland Gardens or the hiking trails at Lake Catherine. Follow up a day outside by enjoying gelato or cold beer at Superior Bathhouse Brewery downtown.

The next day, you can shop in the boutiques downtown or browse through antique shops and flea markets. And for dinner you need to enjoy a Labor Day favorite: barbeque! McClards and Smokin’ In Style are local favorites that pack Southern flavor into their dishes.

If you are planning your trip, consider reserving your room at Lookout Point this weekend. Until July 20, you can receive 5% off your 3 night stay. (Make sure that your dates include at least 1 night between the dates of Aug. 29, 30, or 31.) The canoe is waiting for you to enjoy, so reserve your stay online or call 501.525.6155 for more information.

Three Lakes in Hot Springs, AR Offer Abundance of Water Sports

July 7th, 2014 by Ray Rosset

Lake HamiltonOne of the most enchanting reasons to choose to come to Hot Springs for a vacation is the beauty and availability of water sports on any of the three picturesque lakes in the area – Lake Hamilton, Lake Ouachita and Lake Catherine.

For our guests at Lookout Point Inn who want to bring a boat with them, we offer a slip rental during their stay at the Inn. For our guests who want a leisurely boat ride on Lake Hamilton, Capt. Ray offers a boat trip from Lookout Point Inn. We even have weddings from time-to-time on the boat. We also have a canoe at our boat dock for guests to use on the water, as well as two kayaks guests can rent. Our Two Lakes, Three Nights Package offers kayaking with a professional guide on Lake Ouachita and canoeing on Lake Hamilton with a special picnic lunch for two including a souvenir backpack and water bottles, giving guests the opportunity to fully enjoy the water.

Guests who want to rent a boat, houseboat, kayak, canoe, jet skis, wave runners, kneeboards, tubes, or any water toys have a wide assortment of places to rent on each of the area lakes. On Lake Hamilton we recommend Salty Dog, Kahuna Bay Boat Rentals, Lake Hamilton Watersports, Inc., or Marineland. Lake Ouachita offers Tiny’s Water Toys, Lake Ouachita State Park Marina, or Echo Canyon Marina. The smaller of the three lakes, Lake Catherine, offers boat and kayak rentals at Lake Catherine State Park Marina at affordable rates.

Hot Springs is situated in such a beautiful area with three gorgeous lakes. We’d love to have you plan a vacation to Lookout Point Inn and include one of the many choices for water recreations. Make reservations online or give us a call at 501.525.6155 and we’ll help you plan your stay and schedule the right water sport for you and your family.

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