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Escaping to a nearby retreat

The Elms Hotel & Spa provides a reprieve not far from home

There are places you might go for a girlfriends’ weekend, destinations for a romantic getaway with your spouse, wedding venues, and locations for corporate retreats, but there are few destinations that cater to all these occasions. The Elms Hotel & Spa is one of them.

Located on 16 acres in Excelsior Springs, The Elms Hotel & Spa is a historic hotel that was first established in 1888. At the time, people came to Excelsior Springs for the mineral springs that were said to have a healing effect. 

The hotel is now on the register of historic hotels, and the current building was constructed in 1912 after fires destroyed the first couple of buildings. The building has many different styles of rooms, allowing guests to have a slightly different experience every time they visit.

“People come for that charm, that character, that uniqueness,” says Kara Harrington, director of sales and marketing.

One of the most popular features of the hotel is its 25,000 square-foot expansive spa, which includes a steam room, sauna, hot tubs, indoor lap pool, fitness room and The Grotto. The Grotto is a modern twist on a Roman bathhouse and includes a dry sauna, steam sauna, hot tub, cold plunge shower, steam shower and exfoliation bar.

Along with the unique history of the hotel, it is considered haunted and has been featured on Ghost Hunters. It is believed the activity could be coming from the people who came to the hotel sick in hopes of finding healing in the spring waters, or it could be from spirits involved with one of the fires that destroyed the previous buildings. Given such reports of unusual activity, nightly paranormal tours are offered.

If you are coming for a romantic couple’s getaway, Harrington suggests enjoying time at the outdoor pool and hot tub as well as taking a complimentary class like yoga. In addition, couples enjoy live music in the tavern, walking the grounds and having dinner.

There are several options for dining on-site as the hotel features a primary restaurant that offers in-room dining. There is also a café and the tavern.

Harrington says women coming for a girlfriends’ weekend often like to check out the spa and go on the paranormal tour as well as take the shuttle to a local winery and shop in town.

Weddings are another specialty for The Elms Hotel & Spa as the facility includes two indoor ballrooms and an outdoor gazebo, which allows for several different styles of weddings to take place on the premises.

“We are looking to capture those couples searching for a slightly different venue,” Harrington says.

During the pandemic, many couples have come to The Elms Hotel & Spa for micro weddings that included just a few guests.

“We really created an intimate space for those couples,” Harrington says.

Overall, the hotel is always looking to expand its services and is introducing new offerings this spring including a new detox suite and HaloCave, which focuses on halotherapy and infrared treatment.

At The Elms Hotel & Spa, one can find everything from an ideal wedding venue to a romantic getaway or a paranormal tour, making it possible for there to be a little something for everyone.

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