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A stylish new Category 4 Property in the Unbound Collection
On a recent swing through the midwest, we checked out (or rather checked in to) Hyatt’s new Hotel Kansas City (Unbound Collection), which opened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic (oh the power of tax incentives to make that happen!). It occupies a beautiful, historic building that housed the former Kansas City Club (an exclusive venue where politicians like Truman, Eisenhower, Pendergast and others would rub elbows in the city’s heyday).
[Nerd aside: If you haven’t read David McCullough’s outstanding biography of Truman,I highly recommend it. Now that I am more familiar with Kansas City, I want to re-read it, since so much of his life unfolded there.]
Hotel Kansas City straddles the buttoned down Downtown Financial District and the dynamic Power and Light District. Thanks to its central location, the busy Convention Center is a mere two blocks away. And it’s just one block to Main St. where you can hop on the free Street Car to travel around the city and dine, shop, or play, for example, in River Market.
Parking and check-in
Clearly marked valet parking is available on the Baltimore St. side of the building with in-and-out privileges (at the time of our stay, this was $30/night for paid stays; as always, parking is free for World of Hyatt Globalists on free night awards). You can also try your luck at the half dozen nearby public parking garages, if you prefer.
The check-in desk—staffed by friendly, knowledgeable personnel (friends, “Midwest nice” is real!)—offers the first nod to the building’s history. Behind the desk you will see what look like keyholes for each room. However, the numbers in fact correspond not to the current hotel rooms but rather to spaces in the former Kansas City Club. Tucked in the cubbies, you will see miniature fountain figurines—a nod to KC’s moniker as the “City of Fountains” (with 48, it is said to have more fountains than even Rome).
Food and Drink
On the ground floor, you will find a stylish lobby bar, the Town Co. restaurant, and a grab-and-go coffee stand. In COVID times, this stand was the only available breakfast option.
As Hyatt Globalists (Hyatt’s top-tier award status), we were given a $30/day breakfast credit, which we used for the tasty breakfast burritos and speciality donuts. If you aren’t already a member of the Hyatt loyalty program, you can join here [not a referral link; just trying to make life easy for you. Do sign up though!].
On the basement level, the expansive cellar bar is slated to open soon. At the time of our visit, they were calling it El Gold Saloon, but it looks like they are rebranding it as the Nighthawk.
Hidden gem: Tucked away behind the coffee stand and out of general view is the elevator for the 15th floor event space (formerly the Starlight Ballroom restaurant). If there isn’t an event happening, you can explore the space and check out the views; just ask a staff member, and they are generally happy to unlock the elevator for you (#MidwestNice).
Given the former use of this building as a prestigious social club, it is not surprising that there are a number of beautiful ballrooms and event spaces. Not to be missed (particularly if you are in search of Instagram-worthy shots) is the the century-old building’s wall of medieval-themed stained glass in the Tudor Ballroom.
Our upper-floor (higher floors are not really an upgrade, but rather a supposed “benefit” of being a Globalist) room was quiet, well appointed, and had a clean, modern feel. The bathroom layout is fine for a couple but not ideal for a family stay (a closet, glass shower, doorless commode cubby and sink were all in one open area, affording little in the way of privacy).
For Hyatt Loyalists and Chase cardholders
This hotel is part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection and is a category 4 property. World of Hyatt credit card holders get a free one-night certificate for a category 1-4 hotel each year, which you can redeem for a free night at this property.
The credit card annual fee is $95, but the annual free one-night certificate more than covers that cost (plus you’ll get a generous sign-up bonus). As always, check cash prices first to see if this will be a good use of your certificate (if cash prices are low, you may want to hold on to the certificate to use at a more expensive property).
Hyatt is a transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards, so if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, for example, it is easy to transfer Ultimate Rewards to the World of Hyatt program to book reward stays (who doesn’t love free hotel stays?). As a category 4 property, a standard room goes for 15,000 points.
Bottom line on Hyatt’s Hotel Kansas City
For points nerds: We World of Hyatt credit card holders are always looking to maximize the value of our annual category 1-4 free night certificates. If you are drawn to historic properties and enjoy urban stays, this hotel is a nice choice.
For everyone: Hyatt’s Hotel Kansas City is a reasonably priced property in a beautiful, historic building oozing with charm. A great choice for a stay in Kansas City.
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