(This post originally appeared on my old blog, Straight On Till Morning, on Wednesday, March 11, 2015)
Huge thanks to the hotel at River City Casino for the complimentary nights in exchange for this post! No other compensation was received, and as always you’ll be getting my honest opinions!
image via River City’s Facebook page
Although there are a lot of fantastic things to see and do in St. Louis, I don’t generally think of it as a big tourist destination like my home cities of Branson and Orlando. It is, however, a city that a lot of people end up in on their way to somewhere else. If you’re on a major road trip to almost anywhere in the US, there’s a pretty solid chance you’ll be passing through St. Louis. Flying across the country? Good chance of a layover here! And of course, everyone needs to make the stop to see the Gateway Arch at least once, right?
The thing about cities like this is that a lot of travelers don’t take the time to look for an interesting place to stay, especially if they’re just passing through. They stop at the first chain hotel they spot that they know they like and end up with a predictable yet generic experience. But seriously, y’all, it’s time to start expecting a little more fun and variety from the place that you stay.
Cutest room key ever? Quite possibly.
I contacted the River City Casino about staying in their hotel during my St. Louis trip because “something a little more fun” was exactly what I was looking for. Whether you’re a big fan of gambling or not, casino hotels are actually pretty awesome when you’re traveling because you’re almost always going to have plenty of on-site dining options, reasonable rates, some form of entertainment on property, and more often than not you’ll be in a location that’s convenient to nearby attractions. Plus, if you’ve had a long travel day it can be really fun to just head down and spend a couple of hours in the casino as your evening’s entertainment rather than heading out into an unfamiliar city in search of a way to decompress from a long day behind the wheel! River City is just a mile and a half off of I-55, so you don’t even have to worry about navigating very far from your travel route!
Of course, if you read the 10 Things On Tuesday post from the week after my STL trip, you already know that my plan to just head up to St. Louis, have drinks with a friend at the hotel’s bar, play some games in the casino and then just kick back and relax at the hotel did not quite go according to plan! I don’t want to go off on a huge tangent here when I’ve already told the whole crazy story in that post, but I do want to at least mention again how incredibly thankful I am that the woman I was in contact with regarding blogging about the hotel not only sent transportation to get me there safely after I totaled my car on the way up, but made arrangements for me to stay over a night longer than I planned when my body freaked out from the car accident stress the next day and I was too sick to even make it out of bed, let alone go anywhere.
It wasn’t just her, though. Every single employee that I came into contact with throughout the entire property, from hotel front desk to the gift shop to casino security and on and on, was super nice and helpful, and that extra kindness meant a LOT when I was having such a rough day. The bellman was even awesome enough to take me around for a peek at some of the amenities that I might have missed seeing otherwise!
But you guys know that I’m a huge hotel nerd, so let’s check out where I stayed!
I spent a ton of time in this magnificent shower. I’d probably still be hanging out in there if I hadn’t needed to check out and go home eventually. But trust me, between accident soreness and being sick the day after, there was nothing better than a fifty billion hour long shower on Friday morning to make me feel human again!
I also have to give the room points for being super quiet! Since I was sick my 2nd day there, I slept literally alllll day up until almost 9 pm. I’m a light sleeper, and I don’t recall any noise at all waking me up. It probably helps that I was on an upper floor, so there wasn’t much chance of noise from below, but my room also overlooked the river and valet parking lot, so there wasn’t much to cause noise, anyway.
The property also has multiple meeting and event facilities that are great for conventions or weddings! How great are the big clock shaped light fixtures in this meeting room??
Totally doubled my money plus some! It’s ok to be jealous of my big win.
The casino here is pretty huge – 90,000 square feet! That is approximately 120 times the size of my last apartment. It was nice to see that they had a few areas designated as non-smoking, since smoke smell is probably the one thing that bugs me at casinos. Plus, they clearly had slot machines aimed at my demographic.
Who knew they made slot machines just for cat ladies?
One especially nice thing at River City is that you need a room key to operate the elevator up to the hotel, and in the evening hours there was even someone outside the elevators checking keys. It was a nice little extra bit of security, to be able to know that you wouldn’t have random casino guests able to just wander around the hotel hallways.