The 816 Hotel at 801 Westport Road is far from the city’s most plush, but it’s probably the only one where you can book the TWA room.
Or check into the mob room, the Mutual Musicians Foundation Room, the Irish Heritage Room, the Boulevard Brewery Room, the American Royal Room, the KC BBQ Society room and many others that mark aspects of city history.
A half-million dollar renovation in part turned the former Holiday Inn property into a testament to local history.
“Every room (there are 108) has a Kansas City décor and the corner rooms celebrate some our city’s most colorful people,” said Doug Gamble, a hotelier who introduced the local 816 brand along with hotelier Larry Gates.
There are floor-to-ceiling murals of historic scenes, photos and memorabilia and even some furniture and accessories provided by staffs and volunteers from a dozen local organizations.
The mob room has enough historic mug shots and true stories to pull attention away from any television crime show.
Book the Mutual Musicians Foundation room, and you get a free bottle of Kansas City wine and two free tickets to a late night jam session (one to five a.m.)
The lobby has also been redone, a bar added and guests get free passes to a Gold’s Gym, free breakfast and free shuttle service to within four blocks of the hotel.
“The idea behind 816 Hotel is to showcase Kansas City’s rich history and the many great attractions that bring people to our city from all over the Midwest, and to keep it fun, hip and affordable,” Gamble said.
It’s working, he added. “We’re booking rooms left and right.”