The basic rooms, those with a king-size bed or two beds, have flat-screen TVs, clock-radios with docking stations for iPods and iPhones, an armoire, robes, soaking tubs and walk-in showers.
Each room has a unique touch. Nick Starns, the Artesian Area general manager, said a guest would have to stay there 22 times to see every type of room. Each floor has a large lobby area of its own, perfect for holding a party or to use as a hospitality area for meetings. The Artesian has meeting rooms on each floor and a large banquet room on the main floor.
The hotel's restaurant, Springs at the Artesian, features an Oklahoma-based cuisine combined with other delicious selections. In a tip-of-the-hat to the original Artesian, there's a coffee bar against one wall.
In addition to the expected steaks and fish, try the fried green tomatoes, stuffed jalapenos, the wilted spinach harvest salad, or the 50/50 meatloaf — a combination of ground smoked bacon and ground chuck with green bell peppers, onions, celery, roasted garlic and brown sugar. Add to those a steak potpie, a selection of sandwiches and desserts and it's a solid menu. The restaurant also offers a poolside menu and room service.
On the hotel's second floor is the Sole'renity Spa, which offers manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials, massages, body wraps and a variety of treatments, including couples' massages. There are separate sauna and steam rooms for men and women and the spa has its own whirlpools.
The Little Soles Kids Spa is on the hotel's lower level and provides mother-daughter manicures and pedicures, children's spa parties and treatments designed for them. It's close to both the public bathhouse and the swimming pools, making it a wonderful place to plan children's activities.
Attached to the Artesian are several retail shops. Pinkitzel provides cupcakes, candy and all kinds of interesting treats that make good souvenirs. Other stores include a high-end boutique, a nature store and a smoke shop.
Directly west across the street from the hotel is an art gallery featuring Chickasaw artists and final touches are being made to the new welcome center for the Chickasaw Nation Recreation Area, just south of the hotel. The area itself is across from the welcome center.
“This new hotel is designed to pay tribute to the past while celebrating the future,” Anoatubby said. “More than one hundred years ago, the Artesian served as a destination for thousands of tourists who flocked to this area for the natural beauty and refreshing waters of the springs and streams.
“Looking at the elegant exterior takes you back to the days when the governor of Oklahoma would spend his summers here and actors such as Dale Evans, Roy Rogers and John Wayne came to the Artesian to enjoy the unique combination of luxury and small-town charm.”
Gov. Anoatubby is exactly right. It's time for anyone — who wants to take a trip back to gentler, more refined time — to come visit The Artesian.