Our annual long vacations are to Walt Disney World but my family loves getting away for the weekend as well. Our most recent road trip was a drive up to Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. We’ve been going to Hot Springs since I was a young child and, during those trips, we’ve camped at the State Parks and also stayed in some of the locally owned hotels. However, over time, those mom and pop style hotels have either gone out of business or haven’t been kept up as well as some of the others. During the past few years, we’ve seen several chain hotels spring up and they have given travelers more places to stay while visiting the park. One of the newer hotels is Country Inn & Suites by Carlson®.
Location of Country Inn & Suites
The main highway through Hot Springs and Hot Springs National Park is Central Avenue. It starts at one end of the town and goes all the way through to the other side. Hot Springs offers entertainment for all age groups and the Country Inn & Suites is close to it all. Country Inn & Suites is located at 4307 Central Avenue which is just a little over 4 miles from the center of downtown. Oaklawn Race Track, the popular horse racing track, is mere minutes away. Magic Springs & Crystal Falls, a family theme park, is only about a 15 minute drive from the hotel.
I will be covering some of the entertainment and historical sites that Hot Springs National Park has to offer in other articles. For now, I’m going to focus on my review of this great hotel.
Country Inn & Suites Hotel Amenities
In addition to offering guests a great place to rest their weary heads, Country Inn & Suites also offers many amenities.
- Free High-Speed Internet Access
- Fitness Center
- Heated Indoor Pool and Whirlpool Tub
- Read It & Return Lending LibrarySM
- Free Parking
- Weekday Newspaper-free of charge
- Complimentary Be Our Guest breakfast
I saw several guests utilizing the Read It & Return Lending Library which was located in the hotel lobby. Our stay was only for a weekend and we didn’t spend much time at the hotel itself; however, I can definitely see myself taking advantage of the lending library had the trip been a more leisurely one.
We used the free high-speed internet many times during our stay. We were given the internet password when we checked in and had no problems, whatsoever, connecting or staying connected. Before we set out on our trip, I had researched a few restaurants and, having the free internet, allowed me to pull up directions, peruse the menus again, etc.
The name of the complimentary breakfast made me smile…Be Our Guest breakfast. While we weren’t at Walt Disney World, I still felt a little connection. Saturday morning, there were biscuits and gravy, make-your-own waffles and hot oatmeal with toppings. On our second morning, the hot items were sausages, scrambled eggs and, breakfast potatoes. In addition to the hot items, there was yogurt that could be topped with fresh fruit and granola. Other offerings included a variety of cold cereals, muffins, bagels and bread for toasting. Cold whole milk and 2% milk were available and, for those wanting juices, they could choose from cranberry, apple and orange. In a separate area, guests could help themselves to hot coffee with all sorts of creamers and sweeteners.
There are several room categories at this Country Inn & Suites location. They range from two queen bed rooms to spacious suites! The hotel is a 100% non-smoking facility. The Country Inn & Suites site lists the following room amenities:
- Complimentary, Hot Be Our Guest Breakfast
- Free High-Speed Internet Access
- Cable TV with Premium Channels
- In-Room Movies
- Refrigerators and Microwaves Available in all Suites
- Work Desk/Table in all Rooms
- Coffeemaker with Complimentary Coffee
- Hair Dryer
- Iron/Ironing Board
- Children 18 and under Stay Free in the Same Room as an Adult
- Complimentary Local Telephone Calls and Long-Distance Access
- Radio/Alarm Clock
- Handicap/Wheelchair-Accessible Rooms
- Suites Available
- Rollaway Beds Available
Check-in and Staff
Our travel party consisted of four people with three of us in one room and my mother in another. For those of you who have read my articles before, you may recall that I shared some travel tips when traveling with a senior. When I booked our reservations, I booked a two queen standard room for my husband, teenage son and I. For my mother, I booked the only room that was still available, a one king bed studio suite. The staff at check-in were very friendly and accommodating when I asked that our rooms be located near one another. We were only four rooms down the hallway which was a relief for my mother who didn’t want to be too far away from us.
I checked in first and handed off the room keys to my husband and son so they could start taking our luggage up while I stayed with my mother. Once check-in was done, we took the nearby elevator to the second floor where our rooms were located. My husband met me at the door to our room and said that it had a strong smoke smell. Immediately upon stepping into the room, I could tell that the former guest(s) had smoked in the room despite it being a non-smoking facility. I went back to the front desk to let them know about the smoke odor and they were quick to reassign us a room despite being almost fully booked. We were upgraded, free of charge, to a one king one bedroom suite. And, our room was even closer to my mother’s.
My mother had more than enough room in her one king bed studio suite. As you can see, the room had, of course, one king bed, as well as a desk, chair and a pull-out sofa bed.
In the bedside table, there was a hardbound guest guide book that provided so much information about the Hot Springs area. The guide listed restaurants, things to do, outdoor activities and lots more. Given that we had been to Hot Springs many times, we knew most of the information but this would be so helpful to other travelers.
DIStracted Tip: Don’t feel like driving to a restaurant for dinner? Bleu Monkey Grill is right next door to Country Inn & Suites.
Would I Stay at Country Inn & Suites by Carlson again? Would I recommend it to friends, family and clients?
Absolutely! Central Avenue/Hwy 7 is the scenic route through the State of Arkansas and it can get busy. While the hotel is located on Central Avenue, the location was an easy one to pull into and out of. The drive to any of the tourist destinations, including Bathhouse Row for which Hot Springs is famous for, was a straight shot and short too!
Every member of the staff, from the front desk employees to housekeeping were very friendly and accommodating. And speaking of housekeeping, the rooms were cleaned meticulously when we came back from our day of wandering around town. And, the king bed suites provided more than enough room for us to stretch our legs and relax from a full day of walking and sightseeing.
If you are traveling to Arkansas, The Natural State, and spend time in Hot Springs, I’d highly recommend booking a stay at Country Inn & Suites by Carlson.
Stay Tuned for More!
Stay tuned to Magical DIStractions for more articles about our travels to Hot Springs! We might have only been there for a weekend but we sure packed a lot in during those two and a half days. I’ll tell you all about the famous healing hot springs for which the town was named, take you on a tour of one of the bathhouses on Bathhouse Row, give you a review of The Purple Cow Restaurant and show you Lake Ouachita State Park. Hot Springs National Park is a great place to visit!