Okay fellas, I have the perfect Valentine getaway for the love of your life. Take her to the 1884 Wildwood Bed & Breakfast Inn at 808 Park Ave. in Hot Springs, Ark. This place is incredible.It's a fully restored 1884 Victorian Queen Anne mansion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it's nestled between tall trees at the side of a mountain that serves as a backdrop. I'm telling you, it doesn't get much better than this! The inn is located just minutes away from historic downtown Hot Springs where there are plenty of shops, restaurants and entertainment for your enjoyment.

The history of this house is pretty amazing. Built back in the late 1800s, this home was specifically made for entertaining guests, then and now. The entryway to the open ballroom showcases a beautiful cherrywood staircase, an exquisite fireplace mantel and a couple of magnificent stained glass windows. All the rooms feature huge doors and 15 foot ceilings. Be prepared to be spoiled the minute you step foot inside this house.

The Ladies Parlor features Minton fireplace tiles that display scenes from some of Shakespeare's plays. The original owners of this home used this room as a music and game room and today, guests can sit and watch movies on a large flat panel TV screen or choose a movie from their large selection and take back to their room for watching later.

When visiting their several years ago, I found that the Rudyard Kipling Room was one of my favorites. It's one of the most requested rooms, especially for honeymoon couples, because it is separated from all the other rooms and has its own private entrance with a sitting area.

Surrounded and decorated by lush animal prints, the room boasts a king-sized bed with satin sheets that can be pulled around the entire bed. One of the features from this room is a rainforest water fountain and a faux electric fireplace. I remember the innkeepers tastefully decorated the bed with rose petals for that added touch. And candlelight adorned the room for that special ambiance feel. Oh, did I mention the chocolate mints on the pillows and the soft music playing?

Getty Images
Getty Images

All rooms have access to the Butler's Pantry, which years ago used to be the quarters for the butler of the house. It is now the snack room where guests can help themselves to homemade snacks and drinks. Gourmet coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate and cider are also available at their coffee bar. But the best part of the stay at Wildwood Inn was the scrumptious breakfast carefully prepared by the hosts and served in the round dining room.

Make sure you go on a free tour of the house to learn more about its history. You will not be disappointed. The 1884 Wildwood Bed & Breakfast Inn has won many prestigious bed & breakfast inn awards through the years, making it one of the most romantic places to stay when visiting Hot Springs. I know I can't wait to go back! It was probably one of the favorite memories of my lifetime.


Wildwood was born when Sarah Elizabeth Van Patten of Washington D.C. became the bride of Prosper Harvey Ellsworth, a physician, in 1873. Sarah led the fight to preserve Arkansas' beautiful Old State Capital in Little Rock and was instrumental in the movement for the selection of the Arkansas state flag. Prosper moved to Hot Springs in 1866 and as one of the Spa City's earliest physicians, Dr. Ellsworth was one of the founders of the Hot Springs Medical Society.

Before their marriage, they were active in the Civil War. Dr. Ellsworth was a surgeon in the Union Army. His cousin, Elmer Ellsworth, was the first person killed in the war. Sarah sang in the chorus on the day President Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.

For more information visit WildWood1884 or call 501-624-4267 or 888-763-3707.

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