The Arlington Hotel opened in 1875 and immediately became a favorite hangout for baseball players. That first edition of The Arlington was a wood framed building situated on the US Government-owned Hot Springs Reservation. In 1892 the Arlington was rebuilt at the same location as a red brick structure, but it was gutted by fire in 1923. The current Arlington, located across the street from the old one, celebrated its grand opening on New Year's Eve, 1924.
A few of the many baseball greats that enjoyed the Arlington Hotel’s fine hospitality include Babe Ruth, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, and Joe DiMaggio.
On May 31, 1896, The Sunday Herald, a Boston newspaper reported this funny story about the originator of the hit-and-run play, Hall of Famer Mike "King" Kelly told by fellow Hall of Famer Jake Beckley.
“I have seen Mike Kelly make many a funny break," said Beckley. "But the funniest thing he ever did came off at The Arlington Bar in Hot Springs. He and Ed Williamson were discussing a yarn about an actress that took a bath in a tub half filled with champagne that cost a wealthy friend $500." “ I guess I’ll pay $25 for washing my hand and face” said Kel, and he walked over to a large bowl of claret punch resting on the bar and floated his face and hands in it. The bartender charged him $30 for the wash and Kel paid it like the dead game sport he was."