The Best $100 I’ve Ever Spent on Travel

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
Get wowed by Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
What a deal in Missouri!

By Hope S. Philbrick

On a multi-day road trip between Minnesota and Georgia, I recently chose to drive a route passing through St. Louis, Missouri.

On the way North, I drove through St. Louis but didn’t stop. The iconic Gateway Arch is easy to spot from the highway, but I pressed on towards my destination and didn’t stop for photos. On the return trip South, however, I decided to spend the night in St. Louis.

I made this decision rather spontaneously, about two hours north of the city. I didn’t book a hotel room days ahead of time, because I hadn’t been certain how far I’d feel like driving in one day. I’d left flexibility to stop along the way to explore whatever piqued my interest. Once I knew that I would make it to St. Louis in time for dinner, I pulled off the highway and started researching hotel options on my smartphone.

I Googled “hotels St. Louis MO” and several options popped up. One with a four-star ranking, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch, was showing a price tag of $99.

That can’t possibly be right, I figured. A four-star hotel for $99? But that same $99 price popped up for that hotel on every hotel-related app I could find. The hotel must be in desperate need of a renovation, I figured. Every online review I found seemed to rave about the place. I decided to go for it.

To book a reservation, I called the hotel’s listed number directly—yes, I’m old fashioned that way. The helpful gal who answered my call and questions quoted me the same $99 price for a King room for one night. Valet parking would be an extra $39, she explained, while self-parking would be $29.

I made my reservation and resumed my drive.

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The ArchThe hotel was easy to find (using GPS), and it was easy to pull into the valet parking area to unload baggage. As it turned out, by the time I arrived all the self-parking spots were full, but the valet explained that I could park at a garage next door for $14.

The hotel was gorgeous, clean and spacious. Check-in was a breeze. After my credit card processing was complete, the gal behind the front desk offered me a list of restaurant suggestions within walking distance of the hotel.

I rode the elevator up, opened the door to my guestroom and rushed over to the window hoping for the best possible view. Alas, my room didn’t look out at The Arch, but that’s possible here—it’s located a short stroll from the front door.

I compared the list of restaurant suggestions to the listings in the Where St. Louis magazine in the room—I’ve written for many editions of Where magazine, so trust the reviews—and discovered that one of the restaurants inside the hotel, Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar, is highly-rated: “Beer-lover’s spot serves up eclectic local brews and a chef-driven, scratch-made menu of upscale bar food,” were the magazine’s exact persuasive words.

Knowing I’d eat right inside the hotel gave me time to stroll outside to appreciate the Gateway Arch. I rode in it with my family when I was in elementary school and plan to do it again someday, but it wasn’t open that evening. (Searching online in my hotel room later that night, I discovered that I could have bought tickets for the 10 a.m. ride, but since I wanted to depart earlier than that I decided that will have to wait for another visit. But adult tickets to ride the tram to the top are only $13, which seems like a great deal. For just $30/adult you can ride to the top of The Arch, tour the facility, watch a documentary, and cruise the St. Louis Riverfront.) A new museum is under construction; The Museum at the Gateway Arch will open in July 2018.

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The ArchHyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch

Back inside the hotel, I bought a few postcards at the gift shop, ate a casual yet impressive dinner at Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar, then retreated to my guestroom for the evening. Hyatt is known for its mattresses for good reason!

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The ArchIn the morning I grabbed breakfast at Starbucks, strolled around The Arch again—a huge group of people were doing yoga on the sprawling lawn underneath it—then checked out and hit the road to continue my drive home.

My overnight in St. Louis felt like a genuine vacation, not merely a rest stop during a long drive.

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch is a destination hotel with upscale service and amenities that just so happens to be located near a National Park.

I’ll definitely stay at the hotel again, even if I don’t stumble upon quite the same deal.

Note: At the time of this writing, the night rate pops up as $118 on all the hotel apps; obviously, the rate varies based on a wide variety of factors, including (I assume) when the Cardinals are playing at home. Still totally worth it! Of course, if you don’t book ahead you run the risk of the hotel not having any rooms available, so make a reservation or weigh the risk of trying for a deal and going with a Plan B if necessary. And, yes, you math perfectionists, in the final tally my night in St. Louis cost more than $100, but the total was well under $200. And if that $99 deal hadn’t popped up, I don’t know where I would have ended up staying or what I’d paid, so I feel like that $100 for the room (plus tax) was the best money I’ve ever spent on travel (so far).

  • Located near St. Louis’s most popular attractions, including the Gateway Arch, Forest Park and America’s Center
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Guestrooms feature 50” flat screen TVs,
  • Upgrade to the Regency Club rooms for exclusive access to our private lounge with complimentary daily snacks and cocktails
  • On-site gift shop
  • On-site dining options include Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, RED bar, RED Kitchen, Starbucks
  • Valet ($39/night) and self-parking ($29/night) available
More Information…

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The ArchHyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
315 Chestnut Street
St. Louis, Missouri, 63102

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch (U.S. National Park Service)

Explore St. Louis

Visit Missouri

– Photos © HSP Media LLC

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. This overnight in St. Louis was arranged for and funded by Getaways for Grownups.

Hope S. PhilbrickHope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. She became a freelance writer and editor because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.

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