Top 3 Hotels in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis has its share of unique and historic hotels and motels. If you go down Chippewa street, for example, it turns into Watson Road, then Highway 367 which used to be Historic Route 66, and finally Interstate 44, which shoots all the way out to California. Somewhere along all of this you will find a decent smattering of old roadside motels, the most famous (or infamous) being the now defunct Coral Courts Motel. The Coral Courts was reduced to rubble a number of years ago, but in its heyday it was unique. It was a collection of pink brick buildings with glass block windows. The thing that made the motel special was the garage that was attached to each of the rooms. It developed a long standing reputation as the perfect no-tell motel. No suspicious wife or husband could drive by and notice your car parked outside when you should have been at the office. Add to that the fact that one of its owners had ties to organized crime and the rumor that some of his ill gotten gain was buried somewhere on the property, and you have all of the makings of a 1930’s movie starring Bogart and Becall. Alas, the Coral Courts location is a Walgreen’s now, but there is still a couple of the no-tells right across the street.

If you weren’t motoring west on the highway that’s the best, then downtown was the place to stay. Over the past few years there has been a revival of the downtown area. The domed stadium that the St. Louis football Rams play in, the new convention center, and the brand new Cardinals stadium slated to open in 2006, have sparked a sort of building boom for new hotels downtown. By 2001 there were 1600 new rooms added for a total of 7,140.

One of the most luxurious and certainly the largest is the new Renaissance Grand Hotel. It consists of a new 23 story tower and the 21 story refurbished Statler Hotel, which was built in 1917. Right up the street from the Renaissance Grand is the Renaissance Suites, which is a restoration of the Statler’s old rival, the Lennox Hotel. The Renaissance Grand features a three story atrium in the lobby and all of the amenities that a first class luxury hotel has to offer. Each room has 2 phone lines and high speed Internet access. The complex is located in the 800 block of Washington Avenue, downtown.

The Chase Park Plaza’s motto is “The Only Thing We Overlook Is Forest Park.” The hotel has a long and varied history. It was the city’s most luxurious and renowned hotel from the time it was built early in the century right on up into the 1950’s. It was the hangout for local celebrities as well as those internationally famous who were traveling through St. Louis. There were even a couple of rooms that were purported to have ghosts-in-residence there. In the 60’s it was acquired by the Koplar family who owned one of the local television stations. It kind of became the center for hokey local television, becoming home to production studios and a popular wrestling program called “Wresting At The Chase.” In the mid 1990’s the hotel underwent a 70 million dollar restoration. It now has a five screen movie theatre, a large gym, and an outdoor pool.

The WS on Washington Avenue is a “boutique” hotel patterned after those in San Francisco. A boutique hotel has been referred to as “a restaurant with a few hotel rooms attached.” The Ws has a unique restaurant attached to it, The Mandarin Bay, which has a Caribbean theme. Each of the 60 suites has a full kitchen with a stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator. All of the pots and pans and cooking utensils are provided. Each suite has a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi, 2 phones, high speed Internet, and Satellite TV. They range in size from 750 to 1500 sq.ft.

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