No wonder AAA named Chateau Avalon the #2 Boutique Hotel in the Midwest for 2012. This hotel impresses from the moment its French chateau façade and huge fountain come into view. But it's the 61 individual suites that really blow visitors away. Guests can indulge their fantasies while staying here. Choose from rooms evocative of Camelot – with stone archways and suits of armor; a sleek and ultra-modern New York Penthouse, or a Tahitian Treehouse, with mosquito netting over the bed and Tiki head décor. Guests also enjoy spending time at d'Nile, an in-house bar (and patio) pouring many distinctive wines and signature cocktails accompanied by small plates and desserts. In-room breakfasts contribute another luxurious touch to this unusual lodging experience.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: With room choices that transport you to a Colorado cabin, a pirate's lair or a Venetian paradise, this is far from a typical hotel.
A massive spot-lit outdoor fountain and spectacular stained glass lobby dome greet guests at Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa. Combine award-winning accommodations with a bustling casino and there's already a good reason to consider staying here. Add a spa offering massages to nail services, plus five restaurants and bars, and you've got everything you need for great entertainment and relaxation. Whether you prefer cocktails and upscale bar food, wood-fired steaks, handmade sandwiches, or coffee and sweets, there's something for every appetite. Argosy also prides themselves on their luxurious guest rooms, set amid warm colors and dark woods. Each room has a 42-inch high definition TV, rain showerhead and granite countertops as well as luxurious linens. Beyond the slots and blackjack table Argosy offers plenty of relaxation and pampering.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Ranked eighth among the world's best hotels, by Expedia customers, the Argosy has also received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor in 2012 and 2013.
With an enormous waterfall and impressive fountain in front, and spectacular views of the Country Club Plaza neighborhood, this 11-story hotel offers 366 luxurious guestrooms and suites. Warm earth tones and dark wood create cozy accommodations. This is a particularly memorable destination as fireworks erupt around the hotel on Thanksgiving and there are terrific views of more than a million holiday lights turned on throughout the Plaza. Guests may enjoy exercise or relaxation in the rooftop swimming pool and a well-equipped fitness center. Cocktails are available in the wood-paneled Roof Top Bar or The Oak Bar, which also features a large fireplace, an upscale bar menu and live music on Thursday through Sunday nights. And for beautifully prepared breakfast, lunch or dinner selections amid elegant décor, The Oak Room delivers.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: A 24-hour business center, laundry and dry cleaning services, and even an ATM machine make staying here quite effortless.
A curved glass elevated walkway links this lovely hotel to the Crown Center office and shopping complex. Inside, a bright and spacious ultra-modern lobby greets guests who stay in one of 730 equally spacious guest rooms and suites. Upper level accommodations offer gorgeous skyline views – particularly at night – as does the tranquil rooftop pool. Each room or suite comes equipped with wireless high-speed internet (daily fee), a flat screen TV and a comfortable work area as well as a small refrigerator and soothing color palette. The hotel also offers complementary shuttle service to the Power and Light Entertainment District and the historical Freight House District, known for its terrific restaurants and numerous galleries. Business travelers will also like on-site meeting and exhibit space and in-house business services.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Panoramic skyline views become increasingly spectacular with each additional floor of the hotel, and especially breathtaking by the 40th floor.
The 43 rooms in this boutique hotel are all about relaxation and comfort, with skyline views through tall windows draped in sheer floor-to-ceiling curtains. A soothing palette of deep purple, gray and white decorates guest accommodations and premium linens enhance the luxury. Personal attention is the key here, from valet and on-premise parking ($20 and $18) to complimentary transportation within a 5-mile radius and assistance with travel arrangements. Guests may choose gourmet room service or enjoy dinner in Reserve Restaurant, where entrees include pan seared salmon or Prince Edward Island Mussels and dessert requires its own menu. Whether staying for business or pleasure The Ambassador Hotel covers all the bases for a convenient and comfortable stay.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Reserve's six luscious desserts – from apple crumble to amaretto créme brulee – and nine ports or dessert wines, provide sweet endings for a busy day.
The only AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel inside the Power & Light district combines 1920s style in the lobby with modern yet cozy rooms where Kansas City history appears in framed black-and-white photographs. Guests will appreciate complimentary WiFi access and shuttle service within three miles of the hotel, as well as a fully equipped fitness center and a Starbucks coffee shop. The recently remodeled Providence New American Kitchen features locally source ingredients, and breakfast in the 1940s-inspired Walnut Room includes a healthy choice menu. There's even a lounge/nightclub with 1940s flare, a daily happy hour and weekend entertainment. You'll get the best room rate by booking online.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Specials include Bed & Breakfast, Family Fun, Leisure Escapes and other options.
An $8 million renovation will transform the ballroom, meeting rooms and lobby in this iconic Kansas City hotel, recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award. Built into a limestone hill, the lobby houses a spectacular and much photographed 60-foot waterfall and garden. Inside each room large windows, soothing colors, rich upholstery and sumptuous linens create a welcome sanctuary. For business or entertainment, there's high speed internet access (typically with a daily fee) as well as in-room video games and a large screen high definition TV. When you're ready for some heart-pounding exercise, reserve a private Westin WORKOUT® ROOM. With dozens of restaurants inside Crown Center the Westin puts its culinary focus on The Brasserie, serving American cuisine from breakfast to late at night.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: A 60-foot waterfall, rentable workout-wear and indoor access to dozens of shops and restaurants are good reasons to choose this hotel.
Opened in November 2013, this is one of the Country Club Plaza's newer hotels. Touches of Mediterranean style complement sleek modern surroundings, with a cobalt crystal chandelier, wrought iron, and marble floors inside the spacious lobby. Deep grays and browns and tall padded headboards add an air of elegance to rooms inside this seven-story hotel. There's an upscale menu and a roaring fire on the rooftop, at Bar Rosso, while Francesca's provides a complimentary European breakfast for guests. Guest also have access to a fitness center and an 1800-square-foot heated pool terrace with treetop views. This is an urban getaway with classy style.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Hotel Sorella has the modern yet elegant vibe of accommodations in a larger city.
This grand hotel with equally grand twin staircases was created inside a 1931 building whose lobby is full of Art Deco details. The property has hosted countless celebrities including actors from old Hollywood and contemporary musical performers. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, The Hotel Phillips received a 2001 AAA Four Diamond Award following a $28 million renovation, and is currently undergoing another renovation designed to evoke Gatsby glamour. Décor inside the exceptionally spacious rooms and suites takes design cues from the past combined with sleek contemporary furnishings. Scratch-made breakfast, lunch, dinner or happy hour fare is a hallmark of the hotel's full-service 12 Baltimore Bar and Café. Hotel Phillips offers guests a seamless blend of antique craftsmanship and modern comfort.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Phido package includes a special dog bed, food and water bowls and treats from Kansas City's Three Dog Bakery (deposit required).
Patterned after a boutique European hotel and operating in a classic 1927 building, The Raphael has delighted guests with its quiet elegance since 1975. The hotel has also garnered a Four Diamond Award from AAA. A complete 2009 renovation couples Old World flare with modern amenities inside the 126 suites and hotel rooms, including granite sinks and vanities, small refrigerators and in-room coffee brewers. The Raphael also pampers guests with an onsite spa, a fitness center and Chaz Lounge, where live music plays nightly. The highly regarded Chaz on the Plaza features upscale regional cuisine and an award-winning wine list.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Luxury accommodations, fabulous food and a location amid Kansas City's mos gorgeous neighborhood add up to the perfect romantic getaway.