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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Elms Springs Hotel and Spa: The Grande Dame of Excelsior Springs

The story of the Elms Springs Hotel and Spa in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, begins with a simple drop of water. The year was 1880, and the region was just beginning to heal from the wounds of the Civil War. One resident, however, wasn’t so lucky, having come down with an incurable case of tuberculosis. Opal Mellion was only a child when she was diagnosed, and her father, a local farmer, looked to the land for a cure for his daughter. He bathed Opal in the spring waters of the area, and after a regimen of drinking and bathing in the waters, Opal began to improve and, eventually, was cured of her affliction.

Word of the waters trickled throughout the country, and soon the area was inundated with a wide range of visitors, from wounded Civil War veterans to weary travelers, looking to soak in the healing waters. In 1888, the first Elms Hotel was constructed on the site, and it quickly became the haute haunt for hosting grand balls and galas in the area. The wooden structure was devastated in a fire 10 years later, and the land sat unused until the second Elms Hotel opened July 31, 1909.

Sadly, the second edition of the hotel suffered the same fate and was burned in 1910. Not to be defeated, owners began planning for a third version of the hotel just three months after the fire. On September 7, 1912, the current Elms Springs Hotel and Spa opened. It was constructed of native limestone and materials that would stand the test of time, and over the years, played host to a number of celebrity clientele — including Harry Truman, Al Capone and Jack Dempsey. The historic hotel underwent a final $20 million renovation in 2011 to bring it into the 21st century.

The hotel remains the grande dame of hospitality it has always been, but now, under the leadership of Widewaters Hotel Management, it also offers guests the lavish amenities and impeccable service of a modern hotel. With 16 acres of pristine resort grounds and 11,000 square feet of event space, the 153-room hotel is primed for hosting events of all sizes.

Meeting Spaces

The Elms Hotel and Spa features more than 11,000 square feet of event space, with nine event rooms suitable for everything from grand balls to breakout sessions. The Elms Grand Ballroom is the largest of the ballrooms, accommodating up to 450 guests, and the Regent Ballroom is only slightly smaller, accommodating up to 300 guests. Other rooms include the Excelsior, the Empire and the Saratoga, each holding up to 50 guests, and the Restaurant, which holds up to 88 guests. Meeting planners can also reserve outdoor event spaces on the patio and the pool deck, and in the fire pit area and the gazebo.