The Raphael is many things, and that’s why it’s an exceptional hotel. It occupies a privileged location on the Country Club Plaza. It exudes charm, as evidenced by the brick exterior and circular driveway. It’s classy without a hint of pretension. The rooms are elegant and modern. I’ve stayed at the Raphael dozens of times through the years. Like a fine wine, it seems to get better with every passing year.
This occasion was a quick weekend escape. I arrived just after 2pm. It was an unseasonably warm day, and the crowd was bustling in the lobby. The front desk associate was pleased to inform me that we had been upgraded, but the room was not ready. While I’m typically reticent to wait, I’m glad I did. The 7th floor room was larger than my first apartment. The door opened to a spacious living area and conference table. A handy coffee bar and refrigerator were also in place. The room could easily accommodate a small family.
What immediately struck me about the bedroom was the impeccably folded bed. The white sheets were set against a checkered yellow backdrop and beige headboard. Pillows were plentiful, and the bed was comfortable. The bed was perfectly positioned - one could watch a favorite program and revel in a plaza view. The setting was reminiscent of an urban, European hotel. If I had to find fault, my only qualms would be that there was only one bedside table, and there were not reading lamps.
Much like the rest of the room, the bathroom impressed. The tiles were sparkling white, and the fixtures were not your dime-a-dozen hotel variety. The monogramed towels were sizeable and soft. I’m not one for a soaking tub, but there was something about the shower/bathtub combination which just seemed right. Perhaps it’s the uniqueness which fit the hotel. Perhaps it’s the pristine condition. Either way, the space was warm and inviting. Yes, I’m still taking about the bathroom. My only qualm was the low shower pressure, although I have to mince my words a bit for an older property.
As a Marriott Platinum member, I received a breakfast coupon. Unlike so many other Marriott properties, there was not a litany of restrictions. Most notably, room service was an option. I took full advantage and even ordered an extra entrée. Much to my surprise, the hotel did not charge me for the second item. And there was no charge for the room delivery. In an age where nickel-and-dime charges are more ubiquitous than Starbucks, this was a truly a welcome site.
Outside the room, I briefly visited the exercise facility. The equipment was standard, and an appropriate assortment for the hotel’s size. The hotel restaurant is one of the better options in Kansas City. Finally, self-parking is behind the hotel. Valet parking is also available.
In summary, the Raphael remains ensconced as one of my favorite hotels. The hotel has charm and character. It’s truly the grand dame of Kansas City hotels.
Pros: Plaza views, warm and inviting bathroom, no nickel-and-diming here
Cons: Low water pressure in shower
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Raphael Hotel is an elegant, charming boutique accommodation modeled on the finest small European hotels. Readers of Travel+Leisure voted The Raphael Hotel one of the 2015 T+L 500 World's Best Hotels. With a combination of a significant historic landmark, vintage hospitality, and individualized service, this Kansas City luxury hotel delivers a unique destination experience in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri's famed Country Club Plaza.The hotel's signature restaurant, Chaz on the Plaza, is noted for its intimate, romantic atmosphere and its distinct brand of modern, regional American cuisine. Menus offer a concise, yet diverse variety of appetizers, salads, soups, entrees and desserts. Signature items include fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and a hand-cut, wet-aged prime beef Kansas City strip steak that advances Kansas City's beef reputation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Raphael Hotel, Autograph Collection Hotel Kansas City
- Raphael Hotel Kansas City
- Raphael Kansas City