Where Presidents & Gangsters Stayed

On election night, Nov. 2, 1948, President Harry S. Truman paid a surprise visit to The Elms resort in Excelsior Springs to escape the mounting tension surrounding his close race with Thomas Dewey. But today, you don’t have to be in a presidential race to enjoy the seclusion and charm of The Elms. Recently expanded and refurbished, the resort offers a haven of serenity just 30 minutes north of Kansas City.

On election night, Nov. 2, 1948, President Harry S. Truman paid a surprise visit to The Elms resort in Excelsior Springs to escape the mounting tension surrounding his close race with Thomas Dewey. But today, you don’t have to be in a presidential race to enjoy the seclusion and charm of The Elms. Recently expanded and refurbished, the resort offers a haven of serenity just 30 minutes north of Kansas City.

After its renovation last year, the three-story resort resembles the same sprawling stone-and-timber resort that Franklin Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller and Al Capone once sought out as a retreat from the public eye. With that era in mind, the 152 guest rooms and suites were appointed to evoke the elegance of bygone days.

The Elms is rooted in a history of alternative healing because of the area’s mineral springs. Once believed to have healing powers, the waters are still used by the redesigned spa, which helps rejuvenate guests. The Spa offers Swiss and Vichy showers; mud, seaweed and aloe wraps; massages; whirlpools; and mineral baths.

The resort also features casual and fine dining options, two lounges, a fitness center, salon services, jogging track, sauna, steam rooms, pool, whirlpool, hiking/biking trails and a challenge course, with a climbing wall and rope course.