I usually stay with another hotel chain when I travel in order to accumulate reward points so I was disappointed when I was given two days notice to attend a meeting at Fort Leonard Wood and all of the rooms of the hotel in that chain in St. Roberts, MO were already booked because of the Military Police Warfighter Competition being held the same week as my meetings. I ended up getting my business partner’s reservation at the Best Western Montis Inn after he had to suddenly cancel.
A large group of hotels and restaurants are clustered together off of Exit 161. The Best Western Montis Inn is two miles away from that group and sits sort of by itself right off of Exit 163 on Highway Z (aka Historic Route 66). You won’t find any chain restaurants next to the hotel. The Country Café sits on the bottom of the hill from the hotel and serves breakfast and lunch. The Sweetwater Café also sits at the bottom of the hill and serves great barbque and ribs. Between the two restaurants is a closed gas station that looks like its heyday was pre I-44 when it served the motorists traveling past it on Route 66. On the other side of I-44 is a truck stop and a Subway.
There is nothing trendy or frilly about the establishments off of exit 163, including the Best Western Montis Inn, but the hotel is clean and safe, and my room was comfortable. The staff is very pleasant and helpful. The price per night was good too, coming in just under the government per diem rate. The staff puts out a continental breakfast each morning of cereals, bagels, english muffins and fruits. Nothing fancy, but it comes with the room price. There are only two tables in the eating area, but the other guests were friendly about sharing. There is a pool, but it’s covered and doesn’t look like it has been used in a long time. I didn’t bring swimming trunks anyway. The area around the hotel shuts down for the night, but it’s also very quiet.
By the third day I realized the charm of the Best Western Montis Inn. The hotels up the road off of Exit 161 may be newer and nearer the chain restaurants, but there is a certain blandness about the whole group. The Best Western Montis Inn reminds me of the motels we stayed in when I was a kid traveling with my family on vacation – when Route 66 was still the Mother Road.
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