Visiting a city of epic proportions, both culturally and historically, is a great way to introduce kids to travel. That is what you will get at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis. Learn the history of this city’s treasure where US Presidents and Hollywood icons stayed and played for nearly 100 years.
The writer of this review received complimentary lodgings for the purpose of this review. All opinions are her own.
Does the Chase Park Plaza St. Louis Work for Families?
The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel on Kingshighway in St. Louis, Missouri, holds an intriguing history that spans 90+ years. Known as the “Grand Dame” of Saint Louis, the luxury hotel hosted historical and entertainment legends throughout the years in the Central West End. Legends like Billie Holiday, Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, Nat King Cole, Hugh Hefner, and even Elvis Presley stayed at the Chase Park Plaza. The dazzling property has recently had a face-lift to keep it fresh and wow, is it incredible! Does a property like the Chase Park Plaza work for families?
Check-in at the Chase Park Plaza St. Louis
Check-in is a breeze at the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel St. Louis’ front desk. Guests can choose self-parking or valet parking. A beautiful lobby awaits guests with pristine marble floors, stunning fresh flower displays, and a host of friendly staff anxious to assist. A concierge and the bellhop are right inside the front door and available to make reservations, suggestions, or secure tickets for your St. Louis visit. I also used the concierge services and front desk staff to arrange transportation for me on the last night as I moved to a second Sonesta brand hotel closer to the airport. Special requests are not an issue with the Royal Sonesta hotel brand.
The hotel consists of two towers, which you can see across the whole city of Saint Louis. Choose between a traditional Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta guest room type (or one to two bedroom suites) in one of the towers, or a spacious apartment in the other. The towers are connected by a hallway, and both are convenient to the restaurants and lobby area.
I traveled to St. Louis to see the the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta’s latest renovations. My room was fantastic, with a huge living area as you walked in the door, a desk area with coffee maker, and private sitting area. The bedroom was separate, with a door offering privacy. There was one bathroom, but it was still large enough to bring the kids without being on top of each other. My room also had a mini-fridge in the living room, allowing me to keep drinks cool.
The pillow top beds at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel have premium linens with perfectly-sized firm pillows. There were two big TVs in the room, which would be great when traveling with family members. Being that I am now a grandparent, I did notice that the TV offers many children’s networks, so the kids can watch their favorite shows.
The Chase Park Plaza St. Louis has a superb green initiative, with recycling totes and premium shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner toiletries to reduce plastics use. They also offer dry cleaning and laundry services.
I also had free Wifi with quick internet access.
Royal Sonesta Amenities
On the first floor of the Chase Park Plaza St. Louis is one of the hotel’s star features, the incredible outdoor pool (open seasonally) with stone-carved porticoes. Right on the street level in downtown St. Louis, this cool Mediterranean-style swimming pool has seen the likes of Hollywood celebrities since its origin. In lieu of a formal coffee shop, there is a really nice gift shop that serves Starbucks coffee drinks in the lobby, as well as a flower shop.
My favorite hotel feature, and one that is so incredibly unique, is the Chase Park Plaza Cinemas, an art-deco five-movie theater. This is not just any movie theater, but an adorable small-scale venue with comfortable seats, plenty of legroom, and an organist. Yep, you heard that right. For 20 years, Gerry Marian has been entertaining movie-goers for 30 minutes before the film with show tunes and classics on his theatre organ. The only other one in the whole country is at the El Capitan in Los Angeles. Kids are going to go wild over this special feature, and the tasty selection of candies and treats at the theater concessions.
The lower level of the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel houses a fantastic 18,000 square foot fitness center, Santé Fitness, with specialized classes, massage services, free weights, and smoothie bar. An ATM is also in the lower level.
Chase Park Plaza Hotel offers event space, including the spectacular Starlight and Zodiac rooms on the top floor. There is a conference center and conference rooms for meeting space should you need them.
Food at the Chase Park Plaza
I sampled breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel and can vouch that each one was magnificent! At Prestons, I had the scrumptious breakfast weekend buffet, with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, yogurt and pastries, and oatmeal.
A wine dinner from The Preston (in the main lobby) was my most memorable meal. I had a five-course dinner with complimentary wines to enhance the food. The best parts of my meal were the mushroom puff pastry and the very light, but seriously pleasing lemon curd cake with honey ice cream.
For lunch, I visited the Chase Club, a gastropub where the short rib mac and cheese is the star of the menu. The restaurant has a sports bar feel with several TVs, two vintage pool tables, and features live music on weekends.
Chase Club and The Preston are both kid-friendly and have kid menus with favorites like grilled cheese, burgers, chicken fingers, and pizza, pancakes, PB&J, and chocolate milk.
The Tenderloin Room, a swanky steakhouse that has been a staple of the hotel for years, is reopening in December 2019 with new owners and a reconfigured concept.
If you don’t feel like leaving your room, order room-service. I chose that option for breakfast at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel St. Louis on two accounts. My food arrived promptly and piping hot. Both my eggs Benedict and omelet with potatoes and toast were cooked to perfection and incredibly tasty. Chase Park Plaza Hotel’s room service staff was prompt in picking up the used trays, too. I appreciated not seeing them littering up the hallways.
Several of St. Louis’s most beloved attractions are within walking distance of the Forest Park area. If not, a less than 10 minute Uber ride can get you to most any of them. The St. Louis Zoo, Science Center, Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, and the Gateway Arch (a National Park since 2018), are all wonderful things to see and do with the kids and get this…they are free of charge! Busch Stadium, home of the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, is also close-by.
Many local restaurants, an independent book store, clothing stores, and a stand-alone Starbucks are also in walking distance of the Chase Park Plaza St Louis.
TravelingMom Tip: My Uber and Lyft apps had some issues finding my locations during my St. Louis visit. They did fine at the hotel, but the Gateway Arch and that area were different stories.
A Commendable Luxury Stay
You are sure to love the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel, 212 N Kingshighway, a splendid example of old-world glamour meets modern functionality and luxury in a great location. There are oodles of things to see the whole family busy and satisfied within St. Louis, but if you are looking for more, consider Branson, a family-friendly playground, and Springfield, located on historic US Route 66, as well. The United States is full of great things to see and do!