Best known outside the USA for its starring role in a 1940s Judy Garland movie, this riverside Missouri city is known more locally as a foodie heartland with blues-music roots. A natural stop on a Route 66 road trip, St. Louis is an all-American city break with stately museums, leafy historic squares and music bars serving Southern comfort food – all presided over by the gleaming halo of the Gateway Arch. See the city in style with a stay at one of the best luxury hotels in St. Louis. Meet you there – and book your place to stay on Culture Trip.
This lovely half-timbered guesthouse channels a Tudor vibe, with its diamond-paned windows and ornate, curtained headboards. Mod cons such as flatscreen TVs, Keurig coffee makers, and whizzy wifi are seamlessly blended in, as is a refreshing courtyard pool and a fitness studio for the daily workout crowd. The wicker chairs and striped parasols of its patio look out towards the leafy suburb of Clayton, home to upmarket fashion boutiques and ladies-who-lunch restaurants, as well as towering office buildings and the sprawling Shaw Park.
A serene rooftop pool terrace is the USP of the spendiest five-star hotel in St. Louis, with curtained cabanas, panoramic views of the Mississippi and St. Louis’ distinctive bridges, as well as a knockout cocktail bar. Coincide with the 4pm happy hour for bargain bites and beers in a high-glam setting, or wallow in all the little luxuries elsewhere: huge, glassy suites, a sky-level spa with couple’s treatments, aroma steam rooms and whirlpools, and James Beard Award-winning feasts at Cinder House restaurant.
The city’s Central West End district is characterized by leafy squares, historic mansions and grand university grounds, as well as upmarket jewelers and pavement cafes. The Chase Park Plaza is set in a distinctive 1920s tower with a glam, holiday-vibes pool terrace, complete with urban palm trees and ornate columns. The lobby is a jewelry-box wonder with chandeliers, objets d’art and vintage map murals of the area; check in for Tiffany-blue rooms with polished dark-wood furniture and elegant city views.
In Downtown, close to the St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium and the City Museum, this boutique Marriott has a beautiful take on affordable luxury, with lavishly decorated navy and white rooms full of texture. A slick urban spa and beauty salon are on hand for a mid-road-trip freshen up; take that blow dry to the sheltered rooftop bar for some ace skyline views. Try the Smoked Manhattan cocktail for an extra measure of timeless glamor.
This vivid design hotel in the city’s arts and entertainment district is all color-blocked rooms in splashy paintbox shades: a cerulean double here, a butter-yellow suite there, with Impressionist-style flecked murals and eye-motif cushions that strike a balance between edgy and chic. Most popular with the youthful, creative crowd who crash here is the indoor-outdoor rooftop Art Bar, where you can also fuel up on brunch-y egg dishes before heading out to the sights.
Dining in a vast, private wine cellar is just one of the high-end delights available at the RC; it’s also the kind of place with a mahogany-hued cigar lounge, valet parking and service in every language. Big, richly upholstered suites in monochrome shades feel more like penthouse apartments, and a moneyed, international pack swans in and out to hop into private town cars — no city trolley for this lot.
Built into the former shell of one of the first luxury hotels in St. Louis, the 1917-built Statler, the Marriott Grand is in one of the handiest locations for sightseeing. Strolling distance from Union Station and Ballpark Village, its rooms are tasteful, contemporary little numbers with crisp white bedding and smart desks. A cheery little diner serves a buffet breakfast for an extra fee but, with plenty of options in the neighborhood, there’s no pressure to book it.
In a 1913 heritage building a couple of blocks from foodie-centric Washington Avenue, this bright and modern four-star hotel in St. Louis attracts a convention-center crowd but still has eye-grabbing wall murals and velveteen chaises longues in rooms. A smart little urban gym has chilled water and freshly laundered towels to ease you through your workout, while the included continental breakfast gets you out on the town refreshed and refueled. Book a high-floor room for dazzling city views.
There’s a sense of glamour from a bygone era at this centrally located crash pad, where movie star Cary Grant once hung his hat. Art deco mirrors and white-and-gold furniture have a boudoir feel, while lobby chandeliers drip with crystals and stained-glass windows dapple the light in the bar-lounge. Couples and old romantics will love the vintage touches and the proximity to the city’s brilliant Blues Museum.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.