On this spring's road trip south, I decided to revisit a few of my favorites from last year, including this modest gem which was like time traveling back to when my parents discovered such places that had clean sheets and even ice machines (if you're not old enough to remember 25-cent mattress massagers, ask the oldest person around you). I have no idea how I first found myself here or, this year, got here after an 80-mile trip across the winding mountain top state roads 43/21 of the Ozark Trail, beautiful, mysterious and remote, recommended for anyone who has the time, a tank full of gas and their hands on the wheel. But all roads in Arkansas somehow lead to little Clarksville and, in an age of somewhat sterile over-branding, they are as down home personal and welcoming as ever. The Sherwood Inn is still as plain-looking as they come, but someone really loves this place: where else would you find a grand piano in the lobby and a little tickling cornball humor: the dog run has a Welcome Bench with a carved stump that reads "Country Dogs" and in the morning breakfast room (more about that later) is a little paper cup with its hand-written memo: "Tips are like hugs." Who wouldn't drop in a buck?
I arrived when they are already fixing up the place with make-overs of every room, but mine was still comfortable enough, spacious living-room size space with everything you really need (including the now common fridge; I also remember when you had to book ahead and pay a surcharge if one was available). Everything is just so clean and well-looked after, it is almost like being in a bed and breakfast (but without the hovering hosts and the tea cozies). I will tell you, as a recreational road warrior, there is still nothing better than a smile and a feeling that you will sleep well-- and safe. I know the bigger brands are still scratching their heads about how to fill beds and units, but this simple brand of hospitality still works for me. I know that sounds a bit corny, too.
An extra here is that local favorite of a wonderful Italian restaurant next door (don't let the name Pasta Grill put you off; they obviously don't have corporate naming groups in these parts). How such a superb kitchen found itself planted in little old Clarksville is a mystery similar to mine, maybe a bit of Finian's Rainbow (ask the same older person about that reference), but if possible make your plans accordingly: it's closed on Mondays (I also didn't get the memo this year). There is an alternate down the road called South Park (no irony), but among the folks in denim overalls dining on fried catfish, this will remind you of what a Yankee still looks like in these parts.
Now the breakfast: It's a real kitchen, the coffee and waffles, scrambled eggs and pork sausages are all like waking up to country cooking. And here's the real test: when did you leave a motel with a big grin on your face and feel good about sharing the road with the Big Rigs all day? If you can play the piano too, this is your place. less
Kimberly T, Manager at BEST WESTERN Sherwood Inn, responded to this review
I thoroughly enjoyed your stay here as well as you enjoyed being here. Talking to you at check in and at breakfast the next day was a joy. Thank you for your excellent review. I so enjoyed reading it as I believe everyone else will as well. Thank you again. I look forward to your stay next year ( on a Tuesday of course) :)