Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Wonders at The Capital Hotel.

One of the most dazzling Christmas trees in the country, according to Forbes Travel Guide, stands in the lobby of the Capital Hotel in downtown Little Rock.  But it's not all you need to check out when you
head to the corner of Markham and Louisiana in downtown Little Rock.  There are lots of fantastic delights to be found within.

Even from outside, the Capital Hotel looks jolly, with evergreen boughs and gigantic pine cones in wreaths on just about any window.  More branches form a swag arbor over the entrance, where snappy young men are ready to steer away your car via valet (and if you go there to eat, it is free, just be sweet and tip, please).

Those white and brass doors open into a lobby full of holiday cheer, celebrating the season with extraordinary measures.

Those extraordinary measures include performances, such as this one Grav Weldon captured of the Fort Smith High School Choir performing on the stairs at the back of the lobby.

Musical groups perform throughout each December in the lobby here. The acoustics in this atrium are powerful and you can hear music clearly through every section of the two-story hall.

The decorations don't end with the lobby.  Boughs adorn hallways, smaller Christmas trees can be seen in corners in guest halls and every meeting room is adorned.  Small details are noted, such as the flight of nutcrackers on the first flight of stairs.

These nutcrackers stand at attention on the landing between the first and
second floors of the grand staircase.
Upstairs on the second floor, visitors can lounge and converse surrounded by
holiday trim and evergreen branches.
The second story balcony overlooking Markham is festooned with lighted trees.
Great glass globes in silver and gold are hung with care there at the lobby
bar just inside One Eleven.
Inside the entrance to the hotel, you'll find a gingerbread house large enough for the kids to enjoy.  Under the direction of Pastry Chef Matthew Dunn, elves crafted spun sugar into windows, structure out of Rice Krispy Treats and flour and sugar into gingerbread walls.  Piped icing details and handcrafted decorations complete the little house, surrounded by the largest lollipops you'll find anywhere.  There are even candy treats to try -- but don't eat the gingerbread house, please.

A fine chocolate-tiled roof complete with a chimney.
Amazing sugar-glass windows.

And of course, there's the tree... marvelous in its splendor, a 27' monarch that took six men to bring into the atrium and lift into position.  Click here to see what that looked like.

Grav Weldon used his special skills to capture the entire tree, no easy feat as photographers will tell you.

That should be on a Christmas card.

The tree is generously decorated with white lights, gold and gilded ribbon and hundreds of glass ornaments, from top to bottom.  It's impressive in not only its height but in its lushness.  This is indeed a regal Christmas tree.

But look closely.  In addition to the baubles and balls and fancy glass shapes that cover the tree from its base to its zenith, you'll notice some special ornaments.

Yes, that's a glass ornament of the Capital Hotel.
You may also notice a book in front of that tree.  It's a wish book, and if you have a Christmas wish, you can place yours there.  But you'd better hurry, since Santa will be picking it up right before Christmas Eve to take with him.

So while you have free time over the holidays, or if you're visiting Little Rock this Yuletide season, consider a drop-in at the Capital Hotel.  Oh, and grab a bite to eat, too.

You'll find the Capital Hotel at 111 Markham in downtown Little Rock.  Call (501) 374-7474 or visit for more information.

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