An Echo From the Past

The Majestic Hotel

The Majestic Hotel

Feb 2, 2013

Crews battle fire at historic Hot Springs Majestic Hotel

HOT SPRINGS (KATV) - By Erin Hawley, Anchor/Reporter

Multiple fire crews worked into the night to contain a large fire at the historic Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs. 

The fire started at the vacant hotel just before 6:00 p.m. Thursday. 

At least three fire departments were on the scene. 

Flames engulfed the top floor of the hotel and spread quickly.


The fire was contained to the fifth floor of the hotel at one point, according to Fire Chief Ed Davis, but then spread to other floors.

Police confirmed no one was in the building. 

A fire department dispatcher said the cause of the fire was not known.Firefighters had orders to not enter the building due to its condition. 


When the yellow brick building opened in 1893, it was a modern, 20th-century hotel that quickly became a popular spot for tourists and athletes. According to “Majestic Hotel: The History of a Grande Dame,” an article by Garland County Historical Society secretary Isabel B. Anthony, Babe Ruth frequented the Majestic. The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox also stayed at the hotel for their spring training and fitness programs. As tourists continued to pour into Hot Springs, the hotel expanded, with an eight-story, red-brick addition to the west of the yellow-brick building in 1926. Also in the ‘20s, another well-known visitor began showing up in town. In the mid-’30s, new spa facilities were added to the Majestic.

While tourists visiting the city’s bathhouses had to leave their hotels and walk down the street for their spa therapy, guests at the Majestic simply walked down the hall.The 1963 addition of the Lanai Tower brought the Majestic’s guest room total to 400. But the hotel’s heyday couldn’t last forever. Despite more updates and additions to the Majestic over the years, the shutdown of illegal gambling in 1964 took a toll on the popularity of the Majestic and other Hot Springs hotels.

The Majestic underwent further renovations through the ‘80s and ‘90s, but nothing seemed to attract the crowds that had flocked to the hotel during its glory days. As the Majestic entered the 21st century, its days were numbered. The downtown hotel was closed in 2006 after 124 years of operation and the nonprofit group Arc Arkansas has been working to convert it into a combination residential apartment complex with retail businesses. Read more at




A few update pictures in early 2013 since December 2012. So much has changed in the this amount of time.


The pictures below were taken in December 2012.

Lobby and Dining

Rooms and Hallways

Exterior and Pool

Clubs and Spa

Staff and Maintenance 

The King’s take on this historic location

I lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas from 2002-2011. While I resided there, The Majestic Hotel was open to the public and was a beautiful place to stay. In 2006, it suddenly closed down without warning. It was quite a shock to many of the people in Hot Springs, and saddened most due to the memories of the place. Today it is in absolute decay and the amount of money needed to restore it fully would be astronomical.


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