By Kevin Collison
The new Hotel Kansas City opened Thursday, and the beautifully restored building retains the signature features of the historic Kansas City Club accented with a sophisticated blend of modern flourishes.
“We are the most luxurious hotel in the market, there’s no other comparisons,” said Sarah Beck, director of sales and marketing. “Our lobby is like something you’d see in Chicago and New York.”
The 144-room hotel at 1228 Baltimore is the 22nd in the country to be opened under the Hyatt Unbound Collection and is the first full-service Hyatt in the metro since the Crown Center Hyatt changed flags to Sheraton in 2011.
The hotel preserved the luxurious event spaces of the original Kansas City Club including the Tudor Ballroom and its stained glass windows; the Grill Room with its murals of Medieval scenes and the President’s Room with its rich woodwork and fireplace.
The spacious, two-level lobby provides a grand entry with its historic chandeliers accented by a contemporary ceiling sculpture, a sophisticated bar straight out of Manhattan and a coffee shop in an ornate wooden alcove where cigars were once sold.
Adding to the Kansas City Club heritage are a row of creatively-interpreted busts of famous members including Boss Tom Pendergast and former President Harry Truman.
“Our hotel was also built for locals,” Beck said. “We want the Hotel Kansas City to be Kansas City’s living room with the best service, food, coffee shop and bar.
“The atmosphere is professional and sophisticated, but casual enough to encourage you to stop by and sit for coffee.”
The interior designer was Simeone Deary Design Group of Chicago. The building itself, which was completed in 1922, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The hotel project was five years in the making and is part of a larger redevelopment plan for the block being pursued by Platform Ventures.
Appropriately, the first guest checking into the hotel was staying for a wedding being held on the 15th floor. The Starlight Ballroom space includes a bar, a large indoor ballroom and spacious outdoor terrace with great downtown views.
Beck said with the downturn in the hospitality and travel industry caused by the Covid pandemic, weddings and other events are an important financial lifeline for the hotel as it awaits a return to normal.
The hotel has a combined 20,000 square-feet of historic spaces available for events.
“We are so thankful for people who want to book weddings,” she said, “and we are seeing regional travelers.”
The new restaurant, The Town Company, is scheduled to open Oct. 15. Patrick Ryan, owner of Port Fonda, is the chef partner in the venture. It features an open-hearth, wood-fired oven and its own art deco-style bar.
The basement of the old club building, which once was a bowling alley, will feature an approximately 100-seat saloon called “El Gold” that will feature a pool table, shuffleboard and live music.
Beck said El Gold is expected to open early next spring, hopefully in time for the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship.
Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.