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“Many stays and now a wedding” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Capital Hotel

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The Capital Hotel
111 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72201   |  
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Ranked #1 of 57 hotels in Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Many stays and now a wedding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

My wife and I have spent many a weekend night at the Capital, we often go for the night and then have brunch on Sunday. If you're in Little Rock it's a great treat and the Capital Great Room King is perfect for a weekend away from the house. We recently got married and ended up choosing the Capital for our reception, we have attended events there in the past. If you're considering an event in downtown LR, don't assume that they are too expensive, they were right in line with all of the other venues.

For our reception, I cannot say enough how wonderful the staff at the Capital was in both planning and execution. Everything was absolutely flawless and they ensured that the entire evening went off without a hitch. The food was fantastic; service great, many of our guests commented at the sheer number of hotel staff that was working the event. It was fantastic, many thanks to Gigi the banquet sales manager who was like our own wedding planner. No request was too great or unreasonable.

We also stayed in one of the larger suites, 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, living, dining; it was larger than most of the apartments I've ever lived in. Very nice

If you're coming to Little Rock or planning an event here, I don't think you can go wrong with the Capital.

Room Tip: We prefer the Capital Great King when going for a weekend night; the standard room are also very nic...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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385 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Little Rock, Arkansas
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012 via mobile

The Capital Hotel is an Historic property located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is located in the heart of downtown, between the River Market entertainment district and the Buisness district.

The building itself is beautiful and the staff keeps it gleaming.

It is one of, if not the finest low key properties I have ever stayed at.

From the moment we arrived and encountered the Valet to the time I crossed paths with one of the maids, everyone was friendly and made us feel special.

Ashley's resturant and the Capital Bar were Very Good. The Food was remarkable! They cure their own bacon and make their own sausage if that tells you anything.

Our rooms were Huge, well appointed and comfortable. A good nights sleep was had by all. From bathrobes and slippers to the southern pecan toffee, no detail was skipped.

Stay Here!
We will again!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

frette sheets-and the best cuisine ever-what a gracious place; deserves in the top tier-all is first rate- a great experience-the breakfasts are the very best of southern cuisine-the chef won a james beard award--this is just a fabulous place-it may be pricey but worth every penny--waling distance to everything

Room Tip: some are larger than others ask to look but all are elegant but some are huge!Ask for a large room
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Key West
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

When my husband and I were invited to a family wedding in Little Rock, I must admit I was a bit daunted that there might be only garden-variety accommodations available, resulting in a ho-hum visit ... until I did some reseach and discovered the Capital Hotel.

As owners of an upscale B&B, the opportunity to experience a stay at a world-class hotel simply can't be resisted -- call it "research and development", in our own never-ending quest for excellence for our own business. When we turned up the Capital Hotel, we began to see the opportunity to make our stay a busman's holiday by booking a room there.

From the first moment of contacting the hotel until the day our visit regretfully came to an end, there was absolutely nothing I could imagine might be improved upon. Here, Southern Hospitality has been refined to an art form. The staff -- right down to the housekeepers you pass in the hallway -- speak to you with a heartfelt smile, welcoming and professional without being overly solicitious.

The rooms are immaculately maintained, professionally decorated, and appointed with only the highest quality components, right down to the door hinges (really -- I notice these things). The overall ambience is hushed and refined -- but relaxed and unpretentious. We came and went as if we were residents. (Ok, so we had a doorman, which we don't have at home ... but isn't it a nice, welcoming touch, just for the moment?)

Attention to detail is evident everywhere. Nothing has been overlooked.

The two restaurants -- the Capital Bar and Grill and Ashley's -- are both attended by easy-going but incredibly well-trained and attentive staff of the utmost professional caliber. The menus are imaginatively conceived, if not exceptionally executed -- the basis of the offerings are excellent, but some creative experimentation with seasonings would go a long way in both kitchens. I understand they are soon to be bringing in a high-calibre chef who will, no doubt, address that shortcoming. That said, the prices -- especially at the CB&G -- are quite reasonable.

And then there's the location ... location ... location! Centrally situated amongst a developing multi-use neighborhood, the energy of the area is palpable. Unique retail shops topped by offices, topped by loft residential spaces create an excitingly sophisticated urban atmosphere. Contemporaneous re-imagining of spaces in the shadow of such historic landmarks as the original Arkansas State House a half-block away and the Clinton Library a few blocks in the other direction create an undeniable dynamism.

All that said ... our stay at the Capital Hotel came too quickly, but we hope for our travels to bring us many happy opportunities to return.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

First the good news — and there’s plenty of very good news about the Capital Hotel: It’s a stylish and classy hotel; it’s a friendly and hospitable hotel (it has free Wi-Fi throughout, complementary bottles of spring water always available and excellent free coffee on offer in the main lobby during the day and - depending upon availability - a free shuttle service to and from the airport); it’s a phenomenally comfortable hotel; it’s a phenomenally clean hotel and; it has the best bar in the city. The Capital is in fact more than just a hotel; it’s a Little Rock institution on a par with the Old State House and the State Capitol building as a place worth visiting within the city.

Moreover, with its period charm, grand and elegant public spaces and superbly appointed rooms it rivals similar ‘hotel institutions’ such as Claridges in London for sheer understated class, if not for outright splendour. In all my years of travelling, all over the world, staying in all forms of smart hotels, I can honestly say I have never experienced more physical comfort. From the plentiful supply of large, soft towels in the pristine bathroom to the crisp, smooth cotton bed linen on top quality mattresses the Capital has got it just right.

But…

…because the Capital is in almost all respects a perfect hotel, the one or two problems we did experience seemed all the more puzzling and incongruous.

Our one and only gripe so far as the accommodation was concerned was one I least expected from my previous experience of travelling in North America (and ironically a moan normally directed in the opposite direction across the pond, from disgruntled North Americans about British hotels) and that was our shower. Our shower was frankly, pathetic. The pressure was miserable and the lever gizmo thingummy at the side of the showerhead for adjusting the “jet” was clumsy and stiff. It was also a fixed shower head, that would have been acceptable if the pressure had been good, but given the near-dribble that we were lumbered with it was very difficult to thoroughly rinse off, especially those hard to get at places! In other words, showering was a very unsatisfying experience.

My other issues are with regards to aspects of the eating experience in the hotel.

Breakfast is served in the hotel’s restaurant, Ashley’s, widely perceived amongst the Little Rock cognoscenti as the best and swankiest eatery in town. The first thing to say is that in common with the rest of the hotel, Ashley’s sits within a very handsome period room with immaculate, understated attention to detail from a design point of view and has a very pleasing and serene atmosphere. Furthermore, most of the dishes on offer for breakfast were perfectly fine (without being exceptional) and nicely presented. However, there were several oddities.

During our first breakfast the service was so uncoordinated that within five minutes of sitting down three or perhaps four different (overwhelmingly friendly and intensely enthusiastic) waitresses, in quick succession, launched into the same introductory spiel (which comprised a smiling “and how are you today” followed by a description of some “on-the-house” sickly sweet molasses flavoured butter spread) before we could stop them. It was like being assailed by a train of smiling, affable robots and by the time of the third “and how are you today” we were becoming irked. This well-meaning unintended battery of service continued throughout the meal with at least three consecutive attempts to take our order and incessant attempts to keep refilling our coffee cups … (fortunately, on our second breakfast, we had only the one waitress and everything went swimmingly)

Another thing which struck us as odd was the composition of a so-called “Irish Breakfast” as one of the menu options. Having visited Ireland many times we are something of experts on the Irish breakfast, which fundamentally is the same as the Full English breakfast, except for the strictly non-negotiable addition of soda-bread in place of regular bread, and the nearly always inclusion of black pudding (blood sausage) and often white pudding too (plus heaps of bacon and pork sausage etc etc). Ashley’s version of the famous Hibernian breakfast feast had none of these constituent parts however but did include cheese grits amongst several other distinctly non-Irish items.

The final worry was, on the face of it, the most trivial but actually suggested something not particularly encouraging about Ashley’s the restaurant. I asked for mustard with my breakfast and was stunned when one of our aforementioned phalanx of waitresses returned with a pot of Heinz “Dijon” saying that this was all they had in the way of mustard. It was better than nothing so far as my breakfast was concerned – just – but the thought that the kitchen of the acclaimed Ashley’s, with its reputation for haute cuisine, could not produce a pot of quality mustard – French or American or anything – was worrying (the first thing that occurred to me was how could they even make something as simple as a French vinaigrette salad dressing without a decent Dijon mustard?).

The following evening we had supper in the hotel’s bar. The first thing to say about the bar itself is that the room is a fabulous example of an American bar and ticks all the boxes so far as style, comfort, atmosphere (there was a really good Jazz trio playing there two of the nights we were there, led by an accomplished guitarist) and drinks - the bar being copiously stocked with tipples to satisfy even the most demanding and discerning drinker, all served by highly professional bar staff. The bar also offers a good selection of tasty food, from bar snacks to full-blown entrees at reasonable prices.

But...

... on this occasion something went wrong. I ordered the rib-eye steak (which was excellent except for the fact that it turned up medium when I'd asked for it medium rare - no big deal) which was accompanied by a neat rectangular stack of vegetables including slices of “roast eggplant”. Unfortunately though, the eggplant was raw with the texture of shoe leather. Now, to be fair to the chef at the bar, undercooked eggplant is a common error amongst chefs west of France who rarely seem to understand the material they are dealing with, believing that it can be treated in a similar way to things like courgettes and capsicum. Well, as any good Arab, Israeli, Turkish, Indian or Persian cook can tell you, it can’t. Anything other than fully cooked aubergine - however its cooked - is unpleasant at best and inedible at worst. Anyhow, our excellent waiter went and got me a new batch of vegetables, and as I expected, the aubergine was still raw and inedible. I even offered to go into the kitchen and demonstrate to the chef how to cook aubergine but the waiter diplomatically pretended not to hear me, although he did assure me – totally unprompted – that the chef acknowledged that there was a problem with the dish and that “it would be removed from the menu”… All very well, but assuming the chef had tasted the dish before passing it fit for diners, why was it on the menu in the first place?

As it happened, the following evening we bumped into the head chef of Ashley’s at the reception desk of the hotel and he explained to us that he was only responsible for lunch and dinner in the restaurant, and that the bar and the breakfast were cooked by other people. I thought of mentioning my issues regarding breakfast and the bar meal directly to him, but he was a genuinely charming man and somehow it didn't seem apposite at that moment to keep him further from his duties. However, the thing is, we had planned to finish our visit to Little Rock in grand style by eating dinner at Ashley’s but, before I spend 3 Michelin Star money on a meal – which Ashley’s prices represent – I need to be damn sure that I'm going to get 3 Michelin star food. Sadly, the little niggles described above planted enough doubt in my mind to make me decide against. Going out for posh expensive dinners should never feel like a gamble.

In summation though, I would highly recommend the Capital Hotel as a wonderful place to stay and will definitely look forward to future visits.

Room Tip: Ask to check out the shower before accepting your room...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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St Petersburg,Florida
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

The Capital Hotel is a jewel. It has been completely remodeled (we heard 35 million) and is gorgeous. Great compliments to the staff for excellent service and friendliness. The Bar had a great lunch and the main dining room was excellent. Free 24 hour Limousine service around town and to airport.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I had a two-night stay at the Capital Hotel on a business trip last month and absolutely loved it. The customer service is top-notch, some of the best I've experienced in the US. You feel welcome and well cared for, from the time you're picked up at the airport to the turn-down service with the most delectable pecan toffees left on your pillow, not to mention plenty of complimentary bottled water. Southern hospitality at its finest!

The sleeping rooms are large; the bed is comfortable; and you don't hear sound from the neighboring rooms. Huge, clean bathroom with Molton Brown toiletries and the best hotel slippers ever! I prefer modern decor, so the room furnishings aren't to my taste, but I have to say the lobby and other public spaces are beautiful.

Definitely eat at Ashley's -- the food is outstanding and can more than hold its own against NYC and SF.

I haven't posted a review on TripAdvisor for a while but felt compelled to do so because the Capital Hotel is such a gem! There is no better place to stay in Little Rock!!

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the parking lot are quiet as they are well away from the street.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Capital Hotel

Address: 111 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arkansas > Little Rock
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 57 hotels in Little Rock
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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