When you need lodging in a place you’ve not spent much, if any, time thinking about, can expectations be high for a stunning boutique hotel experience? Cultural Heritage TravelingMom discovered a resounding “yes” in Springfield, Missouri.
Vandivort – A Springfield Missouri Hotel
Inconvenient flight schedules gave me the gift of discovering a glorious hotel in Springfield, Missouri, a city of 165,000 people. With 50 guest rooms and alluring design, the Hotel Vandivort raises the bar for travel expectations.
Masons built themselves a temple in 1906 where they followed their rites and rituals for 75 years.
Performers turned it into a contemporary theater in the 1980s, naming it the Vandivort. Two local brothers and the wife of one of them restored every inch to become a hotel in 2015.
Your turn now to experience the Hotel Vandivort. Engage. Don’t just sleep. Because the details are energizing for all ages. This hotel invites experiencing.
What Works For Families
Three nights in the Hotel Vandivort showed me cozy couples and getting-away girlfriends as much as families with kids and small dogs.
Lots of features attracted every age group. Here’s a start from the kids’ outlook:
- Open spaces and plenty of light. Kids will feel welcomed from the glass front doors to the living wall of greenery softening the reception area.
- Five connecting rooms so parents can claim some privacy with reassurances of easy-access to the kids.
- Pet-friendly, including open areas for dining in the massive entry-level lobby that Vandivort restaurant manager Dylan Rauhoff calls the living room.
- Sleek, shiny elevators with glass backs showing the old brick masonic walls as you go up and down.
- Location in the midst of downtown Springfield—walking distance to restaurants, history museum, shops, community theater with live performances plus a plaza with a fountain and wild west stories.
What Doesn’t Work For Families
Might be hard to book connecting rooms with only five out of 50, plus the two suites.
Light switches that are so much fun you’ll be nagging the kids to leave them alone.
Don’t Overlook the Art
Hotel Vandivort displays the classic Masonic symbol of a plumb the way Disney hides Mickeys. Wrap a little architectural learning into seeking this shape throughout the property.
Wrap morality too if you like because the Masons considered the ancient plumb and its bobs and lines a symbol of rectitude, of upright and true behavior.
I suppose you could look past the plumbs and copious kinds of art and not really notice paintings, sculpture, photographs and furniture pieces. Don’t.
The abundance of art forms in the living room lobby, and throughout the hotel, adds to the Vandivort experience if you take some time.
TravelingMom Tip: Ask the front desk for photos with artist descriptions to engage more fully.
On your own, keep an eye out for geometrical shapes too in floors, walls, stairways and railings.
Peer Into The Ingredients
While downtown Springfield offers interesting eateries, The Order is the Vandivort restaurant where Executive Chef Zach White takes fresh and local ingredients seriously. Transparently too.
His menu spells out more than the farms and their locations. Count on non-GMO info and what’s hormone or antibiotic free. Learn your mushrooms were grown in plant-based compost. Ever wondered?
If you’re ordering chocolate, discover it’s 100 percent traceable to single-origin cacao beans.
Want fish as fresh as possible in the midwest? This chef likes to show the Sea2Table maps including who’s the sea captain catching your dinner no more than 24 hours earlier.
TravelingMom Tip: Ask about foodie finer points. I did, to the extreme I confess. Neither servers nor chefs blew me off as tedious. Inquisitive diners seemed to please them as much as their food details.
Play With The Lights
Maybe you shouldn’t let the kids notice the buttons operating lights and window shades. They’re too much fun.
Ceilings are 14-feet and taller, so some windows are way out of reach. Buttons control pretty shades and practical black-out curtains.
Lights are works of art throughout the Hotel Vandivort. More fun wall buttons operate hand-crafted glass or paper globes along with floor lamps and table designs.
Do look up often for lighting design high in the tallest ceilings, especially glass orbs in Masonic plumb bob shapes in the restaurant.
TravelingMom Tip: Connect those lights to local artisans with a stroll a few blocks around the corner to Springfield Hot Glass Studio where Nick Willett and Gabe Bloodworth created them.
Choose between Humble Queens and Modest Kings as rooms are dubbed according to bed size: 25 of each.
Prices start at $149 week days and $209 for weekends. One handicap accessible room is on each floor.
Splurge with $599 for the master suite on the top floor and enjoy two bedrooms, expansive living/dining room and full kitchen plus a patio overlooking the city.
The fireplace heats inside and out, with a flat screen TV above it and abundant lounging furniture.
Think Missouri might be chilly to enjoy the patio space, especially if choosing that television for game day? Not to worry: fireplace heat is channeled out the ceiling, heating you overhead.
Several rooms sport interior walls more than windows so lighted scenes create brightness and a sense of the outdoors.
Go see the permanent exhibit about the Frisco Railroad in the downtown history museum and better enjoy the lighted scene in your room featuring the trains.
You’d be right to expect the latest tile showers and bathroom amenities in a hotel created in 2015. All good.
Make sure you check the public-space facilities too because one floor down from the living room lobby are powder rooms with selfie mirrors. Soft lighting frames each mirror and you’ll love the way you look in your social media image.
Share your look via the hotel’s hashtag #hotelvandivortbathroomselfie
Then branch out in Springfield with these tips from Encouraging TravelingMom Audra Rogers. She’s taken the kids to see the largest fork in the world and the remarkable Bass Pro Shop headquarters store.