Glamorous Life: Hotel nightclub blends art-deco style with lounge vibe

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May 2012

Kansas City’s newest nightclub, Hotel, recently opened its doors at the corner of 13th and Grand in the Power & Light District, and since then curious patrons have made their way past the velvet ropes and discovered that stepping onto Hotel’s black-and-gold lacquered floors is like stepping back to a more luxe and decadent period in KC’s not-so-distant past.
 
The design is art-deco, with eight cushy booths ringed around a central dance floor and a long, impressively stocked bar. Hotel transforms what was once P&L storage space into a Gotham City penthouse.
 
“It makes me think that, if I had grown up in Kansas City at a different time, this is how it would feel in the bar at one of the old hotels,” says Brian Collins, Hotel’s managing partner. 
 
Historically, Collins is spot on. Charles Ferruzza, food critic and resident historian at The Pitch, says there was a time when Kansas City’s hotels were glamorous nightlife destinations. “The big hotels — the Muehlebach, Hotel Baltimore, the President Hotel, the Phillips House — almost always had two restaurants, a fancy one and a coffee shop, and a snazzy lounge,” Ferruzza says. “The restaurants were usually the finest in town because the hotels could afford the best chefs. The top show rooms were the Drum Room and the Hotel President, which placed some big-name acts, and the Muehlebach’s Plantation Grill, where the legendary Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra had a regular gig.”  
 
At Hotel, the musical entertainment is less Glenn Miller, more Lady Gaga. Before Collins was poached by P&L to open Mosaic in 2008, Collins was the GM at Blonde on the Country Club Plaza (may it rest in peace). For Hotel, Collins tapped DJ Mike Scott, formerly Blonde’s resident DJ, to man the decks nightly. And while Hotel’s dark interior lends the space a sumptuously laid-back vibe, Scott’s dance-heavy playlist turns the dance floor into an elbow-to-elbow sea of party people. 
 
“To me, Mike is the best DJ in Kansas City,” says Collins, who adds that he plans to bring in national, touring DJs on occasion, “to make the night fresh.” His all-time favorite mixologists, DJ Stonerokk and DJ Graham Funke (aka The Captains of Industry), played Hotel’s opening night.
 
And don’t look for beds at Hotel. Collins purposely avoided a literal take on the club’s moniker, but he did throw in a few hotel-esque touches. In the restrooms, guests will find mints — the kind that a maid might leave on your pillow — and condoms with Hotel’s logo printed on the wrappers. There’s nothing taboo about encouraging safe sex. 
 
“I definitely didn’t want any beds,” Collins says. “People still think they can reserve beds in here.”
 
Bottle service dominates the VIP club landscape, and Hotel is no different, though they do offer a unique take: if the guests at a table can’t decide on just one breed of booze, Collins says, they may order a 20-piece mini-bar of “airplane-size” bottles (50ml, typically) with which to mix and match and play bartender. Bottle service is required to reserve one of Hotel’s eight tables. Guests find their place saved by a personalized “Do Not Disturb” door-hanger.
 
At just 5,500 square feet, for a capacity that tops out at 206 people, Hotel is an intimate space, to say the least. “It’s small, but quaint,” Collins acknowledges. The size prevents Hotel from being confused with a club by the same name in Kentucky, which also was developed by the Cordish Co. for Louisville’s 4th Street Live! entertainment district. Louisville’s Hotel was a massive club that could hold 900 people, a rare feat for any club outside of, say, Miami or Los Angeles. Hotel in Louisville was shuttered at the beginning of this year, nearly five years after its 2007 opening, and is undergoing re-branding. 
 
“I think if you get to the three- or four-year mark, you’re probably doing it right,” Collins says of the club business. “Mosaic is still going strong in its fourth year. So it is possible, it’s just hard.”
 
 
Hotel is open from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Sunday. For information, visit hotelnightclubkc.com

 
 
 
Did you know?
The margarita is the alcoholic drink ordered most and martinis come in second, according to the Cheers On-Premise BARometer Handbook, published by The Beverage Information Group. Rum and Coke is No. 3. And when it comes to beers, Corona is the best-selling imported beer, edging out Heineken.
 
Photo by Paper Crane Photography
 
 
 

Comments

denny's picture

Have you ever got the chance to actually have a drink in this restaurant? They seem to be unique and creative but in a business like this it not important how creative you are, what matters the most is who how to you anticipate and respond to your customer needs. Among the restaurants that impressed me was one I found through hawaii hotel deals, it was actually the factor that convinced me to make the booking.

crazysony's picture

Thank you for providing this great and interesting post!This nightclub looks great and I would like to go there.I've just made some reservations at the Gatwick hotel and parking in order to spend my vacation there together with my friends and after that we planned to spend some days in Kansas City and to go at this nightclub.

crazysony's picture

I enjoyed a lot reading this post and I consider it to be very useful.I've just decided to surprise my boyfriend with an enlightening trip and I want to choose Kansas as a destination.We both like nightclubs and I am sure that we will have a great time in this nightclub.

If a place could offer exciting nightlife activities then it would sure be able to draw huge crowd. As a tourist you have to be aware of the opportunities a particular destination offers you. If you love exploring the beauty of nature then you would love to make a visit to Tahiti for Les Trois Cascades.

its_me's picture

The ambiance is sure inviting and it is so luxurious. Be it lounge or restaurant or rooms, the décor of a hotel must be glamorous but cozy and convenient. Its environment must make the guests feel comfortable after all this is their home away from home, so they need arrangements that make them feel comfortable.

Now most hotels offer spectacular nightclubs for young people. The fact is every traveler has an unique set of expectations that he seeks to fulfill. While some look for adventure during vacation others look for an outdoor escape.

imwilliam's picture

Hotels need to come up with more innovative designs, they need to capture the attention of the guests. Being unique is the key to drawing attention that is why exotic locations are chosen for movies. For offering exotic views Vancouver filmaking spots are so popular.

its_me's picture

Such a chic nightclub would draw huge crowd to the dance floor. In the hospitality industry you must be able to meet the requirements of the guests and keep surprising them with innovative service, be it Turkey or London, tourists are always on the lookout for something unique.

This is an interesting concept but it is disappointing that they are not allowing accommodation. If you want to have such intriguing experience then you have to think out of the box and opt for something offbeat. If you are tired of the same old destinations for vacation then consider a vacation to south america.

imwilliam's picture

It would be worth spending a night with friends on this chic place, such hangout places are must in a city. However, check out the reviews online to find out the best hangout places, such online reviews could also come in handy while Choosing Your Car.

They have come up with an intoxicating combination for the people who look for brand new nightlife destinations. Me and my friends are about to prepare for london holiday, we are going to explore all hip nightclubs in the city.

In fact, this nightclub seems to be an extremely nice one and I have to admit that I would like to go there once. Actually, it has something in common with a nightclub I was at while visiting New York and that’ s why, I’ m quite sure I would totally enjoy spending my Saturday night there. So, I guess I’ m going to talk to my friends about that and I sincerely hope we will decide to go there.

This would be an interesting addition to the city's nightlife. I am planning to go to Canberra and I want to know about nightlife activities in canberra.

This is a happening place in the city and it would be worth spending a night with friends. I am planning a visit to Deauville city and I want some information on the nightlife activities there.

its_me's picture

They have created a special ambiance in the night club and you really feel drawn to the aura they have created. The hotels should try to upgrade their services and bring innovative elements in their decor, this would give a new boost to their business.

zahid12's picture

New Hotels need to come up with more beautiful and cute designs, they need to capture the attention of the guests.

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mohammadkaisar21's picture

I really appreciate an interesting addition to the city's nightlife, This nightclub looks great and I would like to go there.
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