When you visit the Hilton President hotel in Kansas City, MO, that is exactly what will happen. You will be transported back in time while enjoying the luxury of a newly refurbished hotel.
Originally opened back in February of 1926 with 400 rooms, it was the only hotel in the city to make its own ice on premises. In 1929, Herbert Hoover gave his presidential acceptance speech from the mezzanine. In the 1940’s, the Drum Room lounge became a quintessential stop on the music circuit, hosting names like Patsy Cline (who played her last concert there), Jack Benny and many Rat Pack members.
In the mid-80’s, the hotel closed and it would be over 20 years later before it would open its doors again. With the building of the Sprint Center and the revitalization of the Power & Light District (12 city blocks of restaurants, clubs and cultural attractions), Hilton took over the property. 3 million dollars and a year later, the Hilton President hotel was reopened in January of 2006 with 216 guest rooms and 80-90% of the original architectural features still intact.
Being a boutique hotel, you won’t find some of the modern amenities that you would expect, such as a pool or a fitness room, but you will find a piece of history and a sense of hospitality that’s unparalleled.
My niece’s wedding brought us to the Hilton President, and it’s not a surprise why she chose the venue. The stunning Congress Ballroom situated on the 12th floor offers sweeping views of the city as well as an elegant charm that’s lacking in so many hotel ballrooms these days. If you’re looking for a less formal meeting space, visit the Aztec Ballroom on the 2nd floor that was actually featured in the film “Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” starring Paul Newman.
The Drum Room Lounge, which still offers live jazz music on Friday & Saturday nights for free to the public, now boasts one of the best steaks in Kansas City thanks to the expert hand of Executive Chef, Eric Carter.
But what truly stands out in my mind most from our visit is the people. From the moment we pulled up outside the hotel to find Kevin welcoming us and helping us with our bags, we felt like a VIP, even though no-one knew who we were! The hospitality continued as we arrived at check-in and never wavered during our visit. It was evident that everyone who worked at the Hilton President appreciated what they were a part of and strived to make sure every guest also takes a piece of that history home with them.
The Hilton President is so much more than a hotel…it’s truly an experience. If you have the opportunity to visit Kansas City, and I hope you do, know that your stay at the Hilton President Hotel will be more than just a place where you rest your head at the end of the night; it will become one of your favorite destinations while you’re there!
To see some amazing pictures of the Congress Ballroom (& some beautiful pictures of my niece, Rachel!) visit Sarah Dickerson Photography