Want to see Ernest Hemingway’s job offer letter from the Kansas City Star? Ever wondered what it might be like to be among the legends of Jazz? How about enjoying your own drink cart from TWA? If you stay at the 816 Hotel in Kansas City, you can do these things, and more.
The 816 Hotel is the newest hotel offering themed rooms in the Kansas City metro area. The only other one we know of is the Chateau Avalon in Kansas City, Kansas, near Legends mall. The 816 emphasizes Kansas City, Missouri, history in its rooms. The hotel has 20 themed rooms, but plans to add more.
Themed rooms include the Kansas Star Room, which features a display of Star front pages on the wall and Hemingway’s job offer (he accepted the job, by the way), the TWA room (TWA was based in KC); Negro Leagues Baseball (the NLB was founded here), as well as a room featuring the Kansas City Comets’ Major Indoor Soccer League team.
Some of the other themed rooms offer a glimpse into KC history – Boulevard brewing Company, The Roasterie (coffee), and the Kansas City Zoo.
The hallways have murals of historical events or locations. The 87 non-themed rooms have at least four historical photos.
We had an opportunity to check out the World War I room. The National WWI monument and museum is located in Kansas City. You can read about our visit to the museum here – http://thewalkingtourists.com/kansas-city-home-national-world-war-i-museum/. The room has a large mural celebrating the war’s end. Maps of battles are on the desk.
A room we must stay in on a return trip is the Mobster room. It has photos of old wanted criminals and a machine gun on the bed’s headboard. The kicker is a police tape outline of a body on the floor of the bed.
Our room highlighted the Mutual Musicians Foundation. The Foundation was started in 1917, and is located in the historical 18th and Vine District – home of Jazz and Blues in KC. The Foundation has been home to Friday and Saturday jam sessions since the 1930s. You can read about our visit to the Vine district here – http://thewalkingtourists.com/kansas-citys-18th-vine-district-look-african-american-history/.
A full-length mural welcomed us to the room.
The room featured a building marker for the Foundation.
Our bed had a piano key board on its headboard, with old photos and an electric guitar above it. The bed was quite comfortable. We slept well.
We had a working piano, with a clarinet and trumpet on top of the piano, as well as photos of musicians.
The rooms feature a small refrigerator and microwave. The sofa was a comfortable. If I can fall asleep sitting on a sofa, it’s good. LOL.
The 816 also offers a manager’s reception 5-7 p.m., with two free drinks per person. WiFi is free at the hotel, as well as parking.
The converted Holiday Inn opened as the 816 Hotel in May 2014. It’s located in the historic Westport area. In the early days, Westport marked the start of the frontier in Kansas City. Today, it combines a lot chic stores, restaurants and drinking establishments. We had dinner at the Westport Flea Market Bar and Grill next door. It’s known for its burgers and has been featured on Food Network shows.
We plan to return to the area. Lisa was salivating looking at everything Westport has to offer visitors. We may have to plan an entire weekend there. We’ll likely use the 816 Hotel as our base of operations during the next stay.
We recommend the 816 Hotel. Even if you don’t stay in a themed room, the hotel is worth the visit.
For more information on the 816 Hotel, please visit its site at www.816hotel.com.
For information on the Westport area, please visit www.westportkcmo.com.
Disclaimer: Thank you to the 816 Hotel for the complimentary stay. However, all opinions and views are ours.