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Where to Stay in Kansas City
Missouri's largest city, Kansas City is a sprawling metropolitan area that spills over into four counties. The core of the city is its downtown district. Here, business travelers can search for luxury hotel accommodations in the Central Business District. Those wanting a view of the Missouri River can find rooms in River Market, a bustling neighborhood that hosts one of the largest weekly farmers' markets in the Midwest. The revitalized Crossroads Arts District is a great choice for fans of the visual arts. This posh warehouse district features a number of storefront art galleries and boutique apparel shops. There's also a decent selection of upscale restaurants, lounges and clubs as well. Shoppers should book reservations at one of the large hotels in the Crown Center area. Located just south of downtown, this thriving neighborhood boasts a number of shopping centers, including a large department store owned by Hallmark Cards. Crown Center is also home to cultural and culinary attractions. In fact, some of the city's most acclaimed restaurants are located here. It's also the site of the country's National World War I Museum, an expansive memorial that features wartime artifacts and interactive exhibits. Or book a room in the hip Westport neighborhood. The eclectic neighborhood is home to many brewpubs, taverns and gay-friendly bars. Visitors can tour the nearby Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kansas City Sculpture Park.
Kansas City Hotel Tips
Because of its many boulevards, fountains and public parks, Kansas City sees a jump in tourism during period of pleasant weather. From the late spring through summer to the early fall, temperatures fluctuate from the 60s to the low 80s. This is also the best time to catch a Royals baseball game or to hit the links at one of the city's dozens of golf courses. Make sure to book your hotel reservations a couple months in advance if you are planning on visiting during this time.
Kansas City's winters are less harsh than those of other Midwest cities. Temperatures typically don't fall much lower than the 20s at night, while daytime temperatures are often considerably higher. Because of the cold weather, tourism tends to dwindle during this off-season. This means it's one of the best times for budget travelers to search for discount flights to Kansas City and hotel deals.
Kansas City Hotel Recommendations
Centrally located in downtown Kansas City, the Phillips Hotel offers business travelers and pleasure seekers an luxurious stay in a historical setting. The Art Deco landmark originally opened its doors in 1931. Its interior has been renovated throughout the years, but it still retains its classic charm and a European-influenced interior. Amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a beautiful Art Deco ballroom and a business center. The contemporary guestrooms are clean and comfortable. Two luxury suites are also available. For a bite to eat, stop at the 12 Baltimore Cafe, an upscale dining room that features live music on Saturdays.
Located just south of downtown in the posh Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City, the Raphael Hotel is one of the most critically praised hotels in the city. This exclusive boutique, built in 1927, features a beautiful Italian Renaissance Revival-style exterior. Inside, the hotel has undergone extensive updates, yet the original vintage style remains. The luxury hotel boasts 35 spacious suites and guestrooms. Each incorporates elements of early 20th-century decor and modern amenities. The hotel is also home to the elegant Chaz on the Plaza, a warm and sophisticated new American restaurant. In addition to serving gourmet cuisine, the restaurant hosts live music five nights a week.
Or stay at Kansas City's premier environmentally friendly hotel, the Q Hotel. Located a few miles south of downtown in the trendy Westport neighborhood, the Q Hotel prides itself on its green efforts, which include an extensive recycling program, a water conservation program and the use of environmentally friendly cleaners. In fact, the hotel even collects all leftover food from the complimentary breakfast and gives it to local farmers for composting. Pamper yourself at the hotel's Q Spa with a Swedish massage or hot-stone treatment. The hotel also features a lobby bar and cafe and a business center. As for fitness, guests receive access to a nearby gym, and the hotel holds at least four yoga sessions a week.
Kansas City Transportation
Unlike many cities of its size, Kansas City does not currently have any rail transportation. However, the city does operate a robust bus system. In particular, the Metro Area Express route, or MAX, is especially tourist friendly. This rapid transit line carries passengers through River Market, the Central Business District, Union Station, Crown Plaza and Country Club Plaza. Other bus lines travel throughout the Kansas City region. Because the city is so spread out, many tourists find it easiest to travel by car. All major car rental agencies have outlets within the city, which boasts an extensive network of highways.