The Gumbel Building from 1904
Okay, we stayed at a Hampton Inn, in Kansas City.
I barely want to admit that. But I'm a lot more okay with staying at a chain hotel, when I know that a building was saved from demolition.
The Fancy Stuff
At first glance the 6-story, corner building did not really impress me. But apparently, The Gumbel Building was Kansas City's first large commercial office building, of reinforced concrete.
The concrete building didn't thrill me, until I paused to look high up. There were some mighty fancy eagles, near the top of that old Gumbel building.
Entrance on Walnut Street
Our valet guy patiently waited for us to gather our things.
Then I paused to look up at the old light fixtures before we headed inside. That would be the last reminder, that we were staying in a 114 year old building.
The lobby felt bright and modern.
The stairs led down to a very nice fitness room, that I had all to myself the next morning.
Sitting Area and Bar
The bar area was actually very pleasant.
However, Don and I ordered a drink little later and the young guy tending bar, had the TV turned to an obnoxious reality show. The blasting sounds of a drunken beach festival, filled the lovely lounge area.
Our check-in seemed to take forever, so I had lots of time for eye wandering. Even though I love authentic-old, I did think the renovations were pleasing.
I'm guessing the pillars may have been a part of the original office space, but I'll bet they never reflected light as they do today.
6th Floor Room
I asked nicely, for a room with a view. We were sent to a 4th floor room that had a view of a roof parking lot. It also had a mysterious stinky odor.
When I tried to brighten the room, I discovered 3 lamps had no bulbs. I suddenly had 3 excuses for a room change. Our room on the 6th floor was better. The rolling bathroom door was a little wonky, but everything else was good.
Out the Window
It wasn't the world's best view, but I could see the eagle, when I looked to the side! That kind of delighted me.
And we had a comfy chaise lounge with a mini-desk. The bed was luxurious and the bedside tables had pull-out extensions, for those who have lots of travel clutter, like me.
Our weather was lousy, but we were still able to travel on foot, to many places from our hotel.
The valet guy was good about letting us know which areas were safe for walking. And I loved coming back after dark and seeing the building lit up.
There was a complimentary breakfast spread, that was decent enough. There were newspapers available and good seating options and I loved the large windows.
I was a little surprised when one of the staff members broke into song. Is this a Hampton Inn thing? She sang us a welcome song, which must have taken a lot of guts, since the "audience" seemed kind of sleepy and cranky. Her voice was good and I wonder if we were supposed to tip for that?
We stayed in a modern hotel, housed in an historic building. It was clean and fresh, but there was little character to the place.
I tried to appreciate the old details, like the century-old eagles. I attempted to relax in the modern decor. But there wasn't much that stood out, to help me remember my stay.
Maybe I'll try to remember the American eagles, perched outside our room. I love a hotel with an animal memory!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!