The Hornibrook Mansion, now The Empress of
Little Rock, was completed in 1888 from materials exclusively
Arkansas. Today, The Empress of Little Rock is a
Three Diamond AAA-rated Bed and
Breakfast Inn and provides a charming hotel
Designed by Max Orlopp and Casper Kusener,
it has been described in the National Register of Historic
Places as the best example of ornate Victorian architecture in
Arkansas and as the most important existing example of Gothic
Queen Anne style in the region.
The mansion's significance lies in the
unique architectural features such as divided stairway, 3-1/2
story corner tower, stained glass skylight, six original
Eastlake fireplaces, and octagonal-shaped rooms which create a
massive structure representing late nineteenth-century
architecture in its most flamboyant style. The authentic
period restoration of the home makes this one of the most
elegant and romantic accommodations west of the Mississippi.
Imagine an evening in the family parlor,
the warmth of the fire draining away the tension of a busy
corporate day: surrounded by luxurious antiques, stretched out
in your smoking jacket or Victorian dressing gown, and reading
that special book you've been postponing for the "right
time". Each room at The Empress of Little Rock conveys
just such a feeling in your own private sitting area. Or
imagine luxuriating in the "bath of the century"
(nineteenth century, that is) provided by a clawfoot tub and
the soft glow of long-ago lighting. Such are the lodging
accommodations offered to you at the Empress.
Breakfast aromas beckon you to leisurely
dining served on the verandah or the formal dining room,
resplendent with silver service and unrushed conversation,
where true Southern hospitality is served. A full two-course
gourmet feast awaits you. Queen Victoria would have nodded her
head in approval.
Visit The Empress of Little Rock, rated
Three Diamonds by AAA, and discover "the
Guests of The Empress become engrossed in
the drawing room with its patterned carpet and rich wood
wainscotting, serving as a backdrop for a game table with a
partially put-together puzzle that draws you to pull up a cozy
chair and add the next piece. Perhaps the lure of the "secret"
card room intrigues you. Or imagine yourself as Scarlett,
descending the magnificent double staircase made of walnut and
cypress, lighted by the rainbow hues of the stained glass
Activities that abound near the Empress
include fishing, tennis, golf, and shopping. Little Rock also
offers theatres and State Fair grounds, with a market and
Riverfront park within walking distance. If you are planning a
wedding, your hosts have just prepared a Secret Wedding Garden
with moonlight garden and Gothic Gazebo that will accommodate
up to 100 guests for garden weddings and includes a restored
original quartz cove fountain.