Keep in mind that, like most Midwestern cities, the attractions and entertainment districts are more spread out, with plenty of lodging options depending on the reason for your visit. Most hotels can either be found in the downtown Power and Lights District or the shopping mecca of Country Club Plaza. There isn’t much in the way of public transportation, but most hotels will offer complimentary shuttles within a certain radius. Whether you’re looking to stay in a historic Art Deco-inspired boutique or just looking for the best place to stay for a Royals game, check through our pick of the city’s best hotels and you’re sure to find something you’ll like.
Best hotels in Kansas City
The Raphael may very well be the classiest hotel in Kansas City; the hotel was named one of Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best Hotels for a reason. Step inside and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to London, with pastoral colored rooms and brightly patterned upholstery. The hotel’s restaurant, Chaz on the Plaza, features live bands nightly, ranging from jazz to rock. Should you decide you need a new outfit for one of the gigs or a special dinner, you’re steps away from the iconic Country Club Plaza for copious amounts of retail therapy.
Country Club Plaza offers a variety of lodging options, but none as trendy and fun as The Fontaine. The boutique hotel feels more Manhattan than Kansas City, with modern art, contemporary furniture, and an upscale bar and restaurant. Amenities include a complimentary breakfast, Egyptian cotton linens, a fitness center, and in warmer months, a chic hotel pool. The Fontaine also offers free shuttles within a five-mile radius of the hotel, which means free rides to downtown and the Power and Lights District.
Hotel Phillips has been stunning guests since its debut in 1931; step foot inside its Art Deco-filled grand lobby and you’ll understand why as you approach the 11ft-high gilded statue of the goddess Dawn. The 216-room hotel has undergone extensive renovations over the decades, but they’ve skilfully managed to retain its historic charm and period details (think gleaming bronze and nickel metalwork, polished walnut paneling and elegant light fixtures), while also delivering all the modern amenities you’d expect. Grab coffee at Kilo Charlie, a fresh Italian dinner at Tavernonna, then wind down at PS Speakeasy, one of the best bars in town.
The Ambassador Hotel is yet another example of a historical building weaving together 1920s neoclassical architecture with the modern amenities one expects from a 21st-century hotel. Rooms are large and modern but echo much of the original building’s decor with touches like walk-in marble shower rooms (and Gilchrist & Soames Hair toiletries). The restaurant, Reserve, is a solid dining choice, but you’re right on the line between the Power and Light District and the Financial District, meaning lots of other great options at your fingertips. A free shuttle to destinations within a five-mile radius means you can skip the Ubers.
This Westin is your typical large chain hotel, with all the amenities you’d expect – plus great customer service. Crown Center is a shopping and entertainment district dominated by a three-level mall bearing its name. Within it, the Westin is a sure bet for families, with amenities including a large pool, free breakfast, and lots of nearby activities and attractions. Enjoy traveling with Fido? The Westin Crown Center doesn’t charge extra for small pets, and even offers free dog beds and treats. It’s also a popular spot for conferences, so look out for khaki-pant-clad men with lanyards.
We get it – not everyone wants to stay in a big hotel in the middle of the city. If that sounds like you, Southmoreland, one of the city’s top bed and breakfasts, may be the answer, being close but not too close to the action – it’s a seven-minute walk to Country Club Plaza, two blocks from the Donald J Hall Sculpture Park, and is close to Kauffman Legacy Park. Rooms range from themed to a luxury suite in the carriage house, and amenities include nightly wine and cookies, free wi-fi, and either a whirlpool tub, a fireplace or a private deck.
Spacious hotel rooms seem to be a thing of the past, but that’s not the case at the Intercontinental. Steps away from Country Club Plaza, this hotel has an air of sophistication with its rich mahogany lobby and ultra-modern rooms. The lobby is always a happening place with live music, and the on-site restaurant Modern Slang is a great place for cocktails and French-inspired fare. The hotel underwent a total renovation in 2017, so you know you’re getting what you pay for.
Stepping into the lobby of this Hilton feels like stepping back in time to the 1920s. The bold chandeliers, gold banisters, and ornate ceilings conjure up pre-war glamour and set the tone for a memorable stay. The rooms are upscale with the same Art Deco theme as the lobby, and location is spot on too; downtown in the Power and Light District, within walking distance of the Sprint Center. With two on-site restaurants and live music at the weekends, it’s a great choice for a romantic stay, or just your inner history buff.
If you’re thinking budget hotel with a Disney’s Aladdin theme, you couldn’t be more wrong. This boutique hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been a fixture of downtown KC since 1926. It had some hard years before making its comeback in 2007 as part of downtown’s revitalization, but today it has all the amenities you’d want, combined with enough historic flair to ensure a memorable stay. The lobby has an updated Art Deco vibe, while the rooms are decked in bold color patterns. And the downtown location makes it a great jumping off place for all your KC adventures.
For art and design lovers, it’s hard to top a 21c property – and this one, Kansas’s historic Hotel Savoy, is particularly special, having had a $50m renovation to transform it into a contemporary marvel. With its summer 2018 opening, the hotel will feature a contemporary art museum, a stunning rooftop terrace, and a full renovation of the hotel’s famous restaurant, The Savoy. It’s located just north of the Power and Light District, so you won’t be far from the city’s action.