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Kansas City Shuffle

Posted on January 3, 2010 by under Travel.    

Brian and I initially planned our NYE trip to Kansas City in late September. We knew from the get go that we wanted to do something different this year. Instead of staying in town, like we normally do, we wanted to spend NYE somewhere different.

Brian and I had already made our hotel reservations. I think we did it as soon as we arrived back from the Philippines. We would have stayed at the same place we stayed at on our last trip to Kansas City — the Downtown Marriott, which is within walking distance of Power & Light, but their rates were higher, there is no free breakfast and you had to pay for internet and parking. However, I had enough points for a stay at Fairfield Inn (another Marriott property) and their rates are cheaper so we could stay for two nights without breaking the bank. Plus, you got free parking, breakfast and internet. This particular Fairfield Inn was located in Union Hill which is about five minutes from the Power & Light district so that was a nice bonus.

When we mentioned our plans to the Dills, we found out that they would be in Kansas City that same weekend also. I told them about the ball drop and cash cannon at KC Live! (because I’m good at finding free things to do) and that sounded interesting to them. I don’t think either of them had been to the Power & Light district before, so that was something new for them to check out.

Becca and Jay were initially going to stay at the Fairfield Inn by Worlds of Fun. They wanted to stay where we were staying, but Becca said she couldn’t get her travel agent rate there. The one by Worlds of Fun gave them a discounted rate, though. Although, they actually ended up staying at neither. Jay is really partial to the Hyatt Place in Overland Park because of the nice rooms. The $40 nightly rate doesn’t hurt either. It’s only about 15-20 minutes from downtown Kansas City so it’s not too far away.

Becca made dinner reservations for us at Raglan Road, which is right next to the KC Live! stage. We decided to meet up there. At dinner we ended up talking about our accommodations. Our room at the Fairfield Inn at Union Hill was comfortable enough.

We are here!

It was spacious, with a pullout couch and comfortable bed. The building itself is old and the parking lot cramped. Specially since the guests from the hotel next door also try to park in the already small parking lot.

So much for a clean room.

The cleanliness of our room at Fairfield Inn was a little questionable, though. Brian found what he thought was a “love stain” on the arm of our pullout couch. He wiped it off with a wet face towel, which I didn’t know until I picked up the wet washcloth off the floor and asked “Why is this face towel wet? Did you do this?” Brian was like, “I used that wipe the love stain off the couch.” Eww! I wished he would have told me before I picked it up. =P

Anyway, Jay was telling us about their room with a flat screen TV and nice sectional that pulls out to a queen sized bed. Jay said the hotel is really nice and he’d be able to get us a room at the discounted rate. I was worried they didn’t have any more room but Jay said that, since Becca’s parents couldn’t make it, we could just take the room that the hotel had originally reserved for them. The hotel sounded fantastic (specially since our current room still had an old tube TV) but it was the discounted rate that really sold us, though. We figured we’d save $80 by switching hotels (because we can get 2 nights for the price of one at our existing hotel) and that savings by itself is worth the 15-20 minute drive. We figured that the five of us would end up going to the same casinos anyway so we might as well stay at the same hotel.

Brian and I spent the night at Fairfield Inn on Thursday night as planned, which worked out perfectly because we were really tired from the NYE festivities. It was nice to be back at the hotel in five minutes time. We canceled our reservations for Friday and Saturday night as soon as we walked in the door. The next morning, we checked out.

We met up with the Dills at Ameristar Casino (Harrah’s usually cancels their regular poker tournaments on holidays, which is what they did on New Year’s Day) that morning. We got there early hoping to play in the 10 AM poker tournament, but we were too late. The tournament was already sold out. We did get to register for the 2 PM poker tournament, though. We hung out at the casino for a while, playing some slots, blackjack and Texas shootout, before leaving to have lunch. Becca was craving some Chick-Fil-A and there’s one conveniently located in the proximity of their hotel. We needed to check in and drop off our luggage anyway so that’s where we went. Becca shoots and scores once again. Lunch was yummy. I love Chick-Fil-A!

Jay scored a home run in his choice of hotel, though. Hyatt Place is so much nicer than our previous hotel. Check out this lobby.

the lobby

modern lobby at Hyatt Place

The lobby is open, spacious and nicely decorated. It is very modern compared to the cramped, ancient-looking lobby at the Fairfield Inn that we stayed at originally.

Speaking of modern, check out these express self check-in kiosks.

check-in kiosk

It looks simple enough to use, and the best part? No waiting in line!

check-in kiosk

If the self-service thing isn’t for you, there’s always the front desk. All of the Hyatt staff we talked to were friendly and accommodating. Hyatt Place just seemed like a fun place to stay and work.

concierge desk

front desk

This is the kitchen where the free breakfast is served in the morning.

this is where they serve breakfast

There’s no room service, but there’s a 24-hour kitchen. You can order food at the front desk..

front desk

Or use the self-service kiosk (see below).

at the food kiosk

Of course that’s what we used because we are nerds. It was very Star Trek.

kitchen/dining area

food kiosk

About the only thing missing was for the food to materialize before your eyes once you push the button for your selection. LOL. I loved how hi-tech and modern the whole place was. I’m sure you are curious about how the actual rooms look, though.

Here is the hallway..

the hallway

We were in room 418 and the Dills were in room 422. We were relieved that there was a buffer room (420) between us. The funny thing is that our room at Fairfield Inn was also 422. We were in the exact same room numbers, just in two different hotels.

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This is the bar area with the mini-fridge and single-cup coffee machine. No microwave, though.

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This is Brian standing next to the nice, big flat screen TV. It swivels so you can watch TV from the bed or the sectional sofa.

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There’s a computer desk across from the bar area and next to the TV.

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The desk is actually the perfect spot for your laptop if you want to connect your computer to the TV via HDMI. You can connect pretty much any kind of AV equipment and watch your video on your large flat screen TV.

coolest feature of our room

Besides that, the alarm clock in the room has input for an MP3 player so you can connect your iPod or other MP3/audio device and listen to it from the alarm clock. Like I said, very modern.

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A half-wall separates the sleeping area from the living area so you can have some semblance of privacy.

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This is the sectional that also serves as a pullout bed. That ottoman is perfect. It works as a table or hassock to rest your weary feet.

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Overall, the room just has a really good layout. The decor is both functional and nice to look at. The shower room is smallish, but the space they sacrificed in the shower area is well-utilized in the rest of the room and makes the rest of the room feel that much more spacious.

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In fact, we dragged our ottoman to the Dills’ hotel room (422) and the five of us watched Zombieland together. We had to finish The Biggest Loser finale first, though. =P

Anyway, Brian and I liked the hotel so much that we decided that is where we will stay next time we decide to go to Kansas City. It’s a little ways away, being in Overland Park, but it is totally worth it. It’s a great hotel at an unbelievable rate (a rate we couldn’t have had without Jay and Becca).

P.S. I asked how long the hotel has been around when we checked out this morning. The front desk rep told me that the building itself has been around for about 15 years, but it’s only been a Hyatt Place for the last three. Apparently, the place was originally an AmeriSuites property. Then, several years ago Hyatt bought all the AmeriSuites locations including this one that we stayed at. It was totally gutted and redecorated. They really did an amazing job on the renovation because it looks completely new inside. Everything is so new and modern. You just have to check this place out for yourselves.

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