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Downtown Hotels - Crowne Plaza?

Atlanta, Georgia
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Downtown Hotels - Crowne Plaza?

I am looking at hotels in the downtown area for a trip to St Louis in March 2014. It is our wedding anniversary, and my wife and I will be attending a performance at the Fox Theater - details can be found on a previous thread that I started a couple of months ago:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g44881-i234-k64923…

We are planning to rely on public transportation or walking as much as we can, but will probably need to rent a car for the day on Saturday. Hertz has an office at the Renaissance Grand that is open on Sat/Sun (and it's also a 24/7 location) so that's my current plan for the car rental.

We would like to be as close to the Arch as possible, so I have been looking primarily at hotels along the N/S 4th St corridor. However many of those properties (Hyatt, Hilton @ Ball Park, Four Seasons, Drury Plaza, etc) are out of the budget range for that weekend. Hilton @ the Arch (which probably would have been my first choice since I am HHonors member) shows as sold out for the dates in question - I am guessing for a convention of some kind, since no other hotels seem to be affected.

At any rate, I have been looking seriously at the Crowne Plaza. I don't normally go for IHG properties if there are other options, but this one is well located and within the budget (even for a suite). However, most of the reviews are average to "meh", so I am wondering if it is a good choice. We are not real picky when it comes to hotels, but do expect something clean and well maintained. I understand the hotel is a converted apartment building with spacious rooms and even some with kitchens (which we won't really need).

If we do go with the Crowne Plaza, then I will probably spring for an upgraded room. I see there are "Corner Suites" for about $170 a night plus tax, and then "King Suites" for about $10 more. The descriptions sound almost identical except for the "Corner" part - anybody know the exact difference between the two? I guess I can always call the hotel and ask, but since I am posting here anyway ...

I have not booked the flights yet, but looking at arriving around 8:00 or 9:00 PM on Friday evening, leaving around 6:00 or 7:00 on Sunday.

If it makes any difference in the responses, we are planning to visit Cahokia Mounds and Chain of Rocks Bridge on our "car" day (which will probably be Saturday since the show at the Fox is on Saturday night), and will also be visiting the Arch, City Museum, and just generally wandering around the downtown area (mostly on Sunday). I doubt we will get to any place further away from downtown (such as Forest Park, etc), but we'll see.

We are in our mid 50s and very active, so lots of walking around is not a problem for us. Also very comfortable with taking public transit.

Any thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

-JimG

Edited: 23 October 2013, 19:40
St. Louis
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1. Re: Downtown Hotels - Crowne Plaza?

I'm afraid the visit you're outlining will give you a pretty poor look at our city. The route between downtown and the bridge or the Mounds is pretty awful. In general, t think it would be sad to come to St. Louis and only see the downtown area, as there are much nicer neighborhoods for dining and entertainment, such as the Central West End and the Delmar Loop. If you do follow through with your "limited exposure" visit, pleast be sure at least to get over to Washington Avenue, the best part of downtown IMO. We will help with restaurant suggestions as your visit gets closer.

I've never been in the Crowne Plaza or know someone who has stayed there. I've seen reviews and like you said, they are so-so. I expect you will probably have an okay stay there. Have you thought about getting a room through Priceline or Hotwire? For under $100, I'm pretty sure you will be able to get a 4-star hotel room downtown.

St. Louis MO
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2. Re: Downtown Hotels - Crowne Plaza?

The Crowne Plaza is a fine enough hotel. Is it as nice as some of the other ones around it? No. But I'd have no problems staying there if price and availability is limited. We used it as a "lower priced" option for out-of-town wedding guests. Plus we've organized a few bachelor/bachelorette/30th birthday parties and used it as a base and a place for people to crash after partying.

Other hotels are probably sold out for weekends in March as the 1st weekend is the Missouri Valley Men's Basketball tourney and the 3rd weekend is the Men's NCAA "Sweet 16" regional. So don't wait on booking.

Saint Louis...
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3. Re: Downtown Hotels - Crowne Plaza?

I would suggest a hotel near transit but not necessarily downtown. Take a look at the Homewood Suites on Brentwood Blvd. or the SpringHill in Richmond Heights (I think that's where that is). Close to mass transit (train). Or try Moonrise in the Loop, or the Residence Inn at Jefferson and I-64. The latter is near downtown but not walking distance, the area is safe and they have a shuttle. I would encourage you to poke around downtown (could be cold or snowy then), but also to explore some nearby neighborhoods-Midtown (where the Fox is), Lafayette Square, Soulard, Delmar Loop, Central West End, all of which have many dining choices and many with shops as well.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Downtown Hotels - Crowne Plaza?

It's the Sweet 16 tourney that we're up against - funny that I never saw that listed in any of the St. Louis "events" calendars that I checked on-line. Guess I will need to reserve a hotel and a car ASAP.

I don't really like to use Hotwire or Priceline, since I always book fully cancelable rates, and like to know where I am staying before I commit. I usually choose hotels based more on location than on price anyway, so it's important to me to know where the hotel is and what's around it.

With the exception of the two "out of town" sites that we want to see, most of the stuff that we're interested in is downtown, so that seemed the logical place to base ourselves from. We'll probably do a walkabout in Midtown right before the show at the Fox. Washington Ave is also on our list. And of course we will need a backup plan in case the weather does not cooperate and it's rainy or snowy out.

I have plenty of time to think about specific activities before the dates arrive, but I did want to get this hotel thing sorted out as quickly as possible. Feel free to continue posting suggestions if you all think of them.

-JimG

5. Re: Downtown Hotels - Crowne Plaza?

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