I visited Kansas City for a quick trip with friends this weekend. We usually stay at the Marriott downtown, but needed to add a room at the last minute and couldn't, so I rebooked us at the Courtyard Briarcliff.
The hotel is very new and well-kept. The location is a quiet area just north of downtown and the hotel is situated on a hill that provides great views of the city. It's only about a 10 minute drive straight down Highway 169 into downtown, so it is very convenient if that's your destination.
We enjoyed relaxing on the large patio behind the lobby, which also has a firepit (although it wasn't turned on while we were there). It was a nice place to gather in the evening and watch fireworks over the city. The lobby itself also has several spaces to hang out/relax. Guests can purchase breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, and drinks in the evening from the bar.
The rooms were very nice. We had the larger king rooms with a sofa sleeper. (The sofa sleeper wasn't very comfortable, but I wasn't expecting much from it anyway.) The rooms were very spacious, with a large work desk, 2 TVs (one for the bed, one for the couch), 2 small refrigerators, small coffee maker, a large wardrobe & chest of drawers, and a good size bathroom. There was no bathtub, but the shower was a good size, and being over 6' tall, I appreciated that the shower head was well above my head. My only complaint about the room layout is that the controls for the shower were on the side wall (not below the shower head), so I kept knocking my arm on it.
I didn't get a chance to use the fitness center, but I did walk by and take a look. It seemed to be what I would expect for a mid-range business-class hotel: variety of cardio equipment, free weights, some strength equipment; not a full-blown gym, but more than just a treadmill stuck in the corner. The pool and hot tub area looked well-kept too.
I would highly recommend this location for anyone looking to stay close to downtown without actually being in downtown, or in the north KC area. Be aware there is really nothing within walking distance (no restaurants, stores, etc.), but is a nice quiet area. The free parking and free wireless networking throughout provide a good value.
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