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Hotel Check: Hotel Kansas City, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

WHERE IS IT? Near the convention center and downtown’s Power and Light District, this historic building was once the Kansas City Club, a private social club whose members joined for dining, social functions and recreation including bowling and squash courts. Now a hotel, the property’s location is convenient to downtown offices and shopping.

​Photo Credit: Michael Robinson

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Guests enter a striking lobby with high ceilings and dramatic architectural details. The artsy statues that line the lobby represent many of the club’s most well-known former members. COVID-19 precautions were in place with impressive sanitation efforts including electrostatic sprayers, masks required indoors and a bottle of hand sanitizer at check-in. I liked how the staff offers guests bottled water when they arrive, a nice touch for a luxury hotel. The property is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, which includes boutique hotels with regional character and upscale service.

ROOM FACILITIES Hallway carpeting, inspired by handle bar mustaches common a century ago, lead to Victorian-inspired guest rooms. Hardwood floors, gold-framed paintings, and wall sconces inspired by old-fashioned hoop skirts are a few of the clever design touches. I especially liked the vintage-style alarm clocks and built-in power and USB ports on the nightstand by the bed; there were also old-fashioned postcards with drawings of the hotel. High-quality linens cover the bed with four oversized pillows and a soft duvet. The fragrant, black pepper-scented toiletries from C.O. Bigelow were especially nice – with a few traveling back home with me. On the top floors are ten loft suites designed as duplex units with upstairs bedrooms and downstairs living areas with wet bar and half bath. They are ideal for entertaining and feature enormous windows overlooking the downtown skyline.

​Photo Credit: ​Bonjwing Lee

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Drawing a heavy local crowd, The Town Company restaurant serves a nostalgic comfort food menu under the guidance of James Beard Foundation semi-finalist chef Patrick Ryan and Executive Chef Johnny Leach of well-known restaurants like Momofuku and Town. Leach, a Kansas City native, oversees a talented staff working from an exhibition kitchen (arrive early to secure one of the prime spots at the bar overlooking the action). Especially notable is the stone hearth on which the majority of the menu’s ingredients get roasted or smoked. The menu is approachable, varied and creative. The sweet potato dumplings and apple and kohlrabi salad with pecan and blue cheese were my favorites. The hotel’s partnership with local J. Rieger & Co distillery means that guests and visitors of Hotel Kansas City can sample its bespoke whiskey. The hotel even designed a room package around it for those who want to enjoy in their rooms or take it home after a stay. Don’t miss the flaky pastries prepared by Leach’s wife Helen Jo Leach (the hotel’s talented pastry chef whose background includes hot spots like Milk Bar and Eleven Madison Park), which are available from the lobby’s coffee shop. A local roastery has created a special coffee blend for the hotel, too. ​

LEISURE FACILITIES A 24-hour fitness center features modern equipment and is regularly cleaned by staff.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES With 20,000 square feet of unique meeting space, it’s no surprise that this new hotel is already booked solid for social functions and small meetings. The top floor features a window-lined ballroom with outdoor patio space and firepits overlooking the city. Other meeting room features include wood-paneled walls, stained glass windows, domed ceilings and colorful murals. These meeting rooms are unique in the downtown area and are sure to continue drawing group and wedding business.

VERDICT Not to miss for the public areas alone, this beautiful restoration offers comfortable guest rooms, friendly Midwestern hospitality, and the best dining in the neighborhood.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 144 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Victorian-inspired design with a contemporary twist in a historic building that was once a 1920s era social club.

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $159

CONTACT 1228 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, MO 64105, Phone 816-685-1228.