The Raphael Hotel Kansas City
The Raphael was pioneering the whole boutique hotel thing long before small, upscale hotels with the American trend existed. Built in pre-Great Depression times as apartments for wealthy Kansas City residents, the building was purchased in the ‘70s and converted to a hotel, modeled after European style. While it’s changed hands over the years (it’s a Marriot now), it’s still ahead of the curve in its field of hotels and a destination on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza. Should you not plan to gorge yourself on ‘cue for your entire trip, the hotel’s Chaz resto is worth an exploration. Should you choose to gorge yourself, well, at least you’ll feel classy afterwards.
The Hotel Phillips bears an interesting presence, boasting our favorite traits from both the grand, historic boutiques and cool, modern brands. The lobby is dramatic and sweeping, clearly of the 1931 historic building with Art Deco style. But the rooms are a bit more funky, with a few pops of color and bold, patterned carpets. And in toeing the line between these two, the hotel manages to overcome its larger size (217 rooms), which we tend to see as a flaw elsewhere. Also, have you seen this ballroom?
(We accidentally put a Kansas City, MO spot in Kansas, so, as a bonus, we're including it here as an alternative option for Missouri, and updating the Kansas section with a new pick. Apologies!)
Triple Creek Ranch Darby
We were going to stay away from the ranch type of accommodations here in favor of something more modern, but then we realized that this is Montana, and that would be stupid. Triple Creek is two hours from Missoula, and features 23 private log cabins. Whatever you’re thinking you want to do in Montana, you can do from here. Fly-fishing, snowshoeing, skiing, etc. There are even cattle drives. Meals are included in the rate, and it's got a rooftop lounge on the top floor of the main lodge, if you feel like you need to unwind after a day of unwinding. And to answer the obvious question: they do bring you fresh-baked cookies everyday.