Travel

Luxury Escapes

From sophisticated stays in Kansas City and St. Louis to lake life punctuated by a little gourmet goodness, we found eight ways to get away in a way that feels extra-special.

by Katie Pollock Estes

Oct 2021

Top of the Rock sunset
Photo by Joshua BeecherExperience local luxury at Top of the Rock.

Sometimes you want to get away but you don’t want to plan an elaborate trip with a full day of travel—and that’s when you need to take advantage of the little hints of luxury located across the state and right in Springfield, Missouri’s backyard. From sophisticated stays in Kansas City and St. Louis to lake life punctuated by a little gourmet goodness, we found eight ways to get away in a way that feels extra-special. Be sure to check out the “Luxe It Up” options, where we tell you the best seriously splurge-worthy room to reserve or activity to plan to take your stay up a notch.

Explore Downtown Springfield, Missouri

Explore the city staycation-style in downtown Springfield.

Hotel V exterior photo
Photo courtesy Hotel VandivortGet a taste of luxury at Hotel Vandivort.

Where to Stay

Hotel Vandivort is the perfect boutique hotel experience in Springfield, with on-site fine dining from The Order and a prime location on Walnut Street.

How to Luxe It Up

Reserve the hotel’s Master Suite room. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, a spacious balcony with city views and an indoor-outdoor fireplace. But the best part: There’s plenty of space to spread out and a full kitchen with everything you need to prepare a gourmet meal for your crew. Take our advice and have a pro take care of that part. Hire a personal chef, like Chef Anna Davis, to make the night extra special.

PLAN AHEAD

Springfield Little Theatre/Landers Theatre in Springfield, MO
Photo by Brandon Alms

Catch a show from Springfield Little Theatre at the historic Landers Theatre.

Breakfast dishes at RISE
Photo by Brandon Alms

Indulge in a breakfast spread from RISE.


Take an Artsy Vacation to Bentonville, Arkansas

Arkansas’s sweetest town offers opportunities to take in fine dining and fine art.

21c Museum Hotel
Photo courtesy 21c Museum HotelTake an artsy vacation to Bentonville, Arkansas and stay at the 21c Museum Hotel.

Where to Stay

If art is your thing, stay at the 21c Museum Hotel, where every nook and cranny is filled with modern art (even the gym!), and there’s a gallery on-site. It’s a great jumping off point for a museum-exploring trip since it’s located just off the bustling town square with walkable access to shopping and dining.

How to Luxe It Up

Stay in the 21c Suite, a spacious room that feels extra-special thanks to the private outdoor terrace, lovely view and lots of original artwork on display.

PLAN AHEAD

Dish at Bar Cleeta in Bentonville, Arkansas
Photo by Philip Thomas at Novo Studio

Enjoy contemporary cuisine at Bar Cleeta in Bentonville.

Crystal Bridges Museum interior photo
Photo courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Stroll the galleries at Crystal Bridges.


Explore the Outdoors at Big Cedar Lodge

Take in the lake, a little golf and some truly luxe dining experiences.

Big Cedar Lodge
Photo courtesy Big Cedar LodgeGet a taste of the outdoors while you kick back at Payne’s Valley Cottage.

Where to Stay

With brand new luxe lodging and access to tons of activities and many dining options, Big Cedar Lodge is a self-contained spoil-yourself destination. Its on-site Cedar Creek Spa is a vacation in and of itself, and shuttles around the property and to nearby properties like Top of the Rock make it easy to hunker down and just enjoy.

How to Luxe It Up

Snag a spot at the new golf cabins and reserve the four-bedroom Payne’s Valley Cottage. Overlooking Payne’s Valley Golf Course are jaw-dropping views (how is this Missouri?), there’s both an indoor fireplace and an outdoor fire pit, and you get your own lap pool. It’s seriously dreamy.

PLAN AHEAD

Dish at the Worman House
Photo by Brandon Alms

Dine on gourmet cuisine at The Worman House

Lady Liberty yacht
Photo courtesy Big Cedar Lodge

Take in foliage from the lake on the Lady Liberty yacht.


Lakeside Luxury in Shell Knob, Missouri

This trip marries exploration and adrenaline-pumping activities with luxury experiences.

StoneWater Cove in Shell Knob, Missouri
Photo courtesy StoneWater CoveEnjoy luxury by the lake in Shell Knob, Missouri.

Where to Stay

StoneWater Cove in Shell Knob marries a seriously upscale all-inclusive lodging experience with opportunities to get a little wild in the Ozarks hills. And it’s all on the shores of Table Rock Lake.

How to Luxe It Up

Take advantage of the gourmet dining opportunities that are included in a stay at StoneWater Cove. Daily meals include breakfast at the lodge, lunch by the pool (or packed up as a picnic), hors’d’oeuvres and cocktails before dinner, and a four-or five-course supper with a new menu every single night. Oh, then there are the bonfire s’mores at night. You’ll be eating well.

PLAN AHEAD

Explore
Hop on an ATV for a guided tour of the wooded hills as you bump along the trails.

Relax
Drop a line during a professionally guided fishing trip on Table Rock Lake.

Pamper
Book a massage at The Treehouse Spa. The spa is made up of three treehouses: one for meditation and two for treatments.

Pack
Sunscreen because you’ll definitely be spending a lot of time outside.

Restaurant at StoneWater Cove
Photo courtesy StoneWater Cove

Dine-in at the StoneWater Cove with a four-or five-course supper.

Spa at StoneWater Cove
Photo courtesy StoneWater Cove

StoneWater Cove offers three treehouse spas for different relaxation options.


A Date Night Away in Kansas City, Missouri

Missouri’s second-biggest city, Kansas City, offers tons of options for travelers who want to take date night on the road.

The Fontaine Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri
Photo by David PhelpsTake your stay in Kansas City up a level at The Fontaine.

Where to Stay

With its lush décor, moody Renaissance artwork, custom tile mosaics and beautifully designed spaces, The Fontaine is seriously sophisticated. Plus, it’s located in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza, so you can shop, dine and explore without having to start up your car.

How to Luxe It Up

Stay in the Presidential Suite. The 1,500-square-foot space has a dining room and a giant soaking tub, but the best part is the private terrace with outdoor dining area and gorgeous city views.

PLAN AHEAD

Food from Novel in Kansas City
Photo by Jenny Wheat

Nationally acclaimed Novel offers up indulgent dishes.

Dim sum dishes from Bo Lings in Kansas City
Photo courtesy Bo Lings

Get your fill of carbs from Bo Lings.


Meet Me in St. Louis

A trip to St. Louis can take on just about any theme. For this upscale getaway, it’s all about fine food and performing arts.

Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri.
Photo courtesy the Fox TheatreSee a performance at Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri.

Where to Stay

One of downtown St. Louis’s most luxe hotels, Four Seasons offers some uncommon amenities, like a sprawling rooftop pool with private cabanas and a serene spa—both with Mississippi River and Gateway Arch views. Oh and for a little fun, there’s also a Topgolf Swing Suite with a private virtual driving range and food service.

How to Luxe It Up

Splurge on the top-floor Presidential Suite to enjoy a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows with a panoramic city view and a huge, comfy living and dining space where you can spread out.

PLAN AHEAD

Dine
The Lucky Accomplice opened in 2020 with dishes as Instagram-able as they are delish.

Sip
Planters House has a reputation for some of the most carefully crafted cocktails in St. Louis.

Experience
See a performance at Fox Theatre, where Broadway favorites pass through.

Pack
Your swimsuit, so you can take a dip with a view.

Four Seasons in St. Louis, Missouri
Photo courtesy Four Seasons Hotel

Take things up a step at the Four Seasons in St. Louis.

Food at The Lucky Accomplice
Photo courtesy Sarah Pernikoff

Make sure you have your camera app ready to snap some social media points at The Lucky Accomplice.


A Weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Get away to Tulsa for exclusive dining, speakeasy vibes and a posh boutique hotel experience.

Room at the Mayo Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Photo courtesy The Mayo HotelKick back in boutique style at the Mayo Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Where to Stay

With just the right mix of historical charm and posh decor, The Mayo Hotel makes for a stylish place to stay as you explore Tulsa. And you’ll be in good company. Over the years, Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth, Lucille Ball, John F. Kennedy and others have stayed there too.

How to Luxe It Up

The Celebrity Suite feels roomy thanks to 800 square feet of space where you can spread out, but its decor also oozes wild rockstar vibes. There are red leather dining chairs, a circular sofa and a zebra-print console. Oh and the necessities, like a full kitchen.

PLAN AHEAD

Eat
Mysterious and exclusive, Bull in the Alley offers upscale steakhouse fare.

Drink
Boston Title & Abstract gives off big speakeasy energy with a basement location and great cocktails (and food!).

Experience
Visit Greenwood Rising and learn the story of Black Wall Street and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Pack
Bluetooth speakers so you can rock out in your rockstar room.

Drink at Boston Tile & Abstract
Photo Andrew Saliga

Boston Tile & Abstract offers a modern spin on a vintage, speakeasy style.

Local Projects Studio
Photo courtesy Local Projects Studio

Learn more about Black Wall Street and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre at Greenwood Rising.


Visit Wine Country in Hermann, Missouri

A favorite for winery hopping, German heritage and beautiful rolling Missouri hills, Hermann is a great option for a weekend away.

Toasting marshmallows indoors at Hermann Hill, Hermann, Missouri
Photo courtesy Hermann HillGet the full fall experience inside and out at Hermann Hill.

Where to Stay

Hermann Hill is a boutique hotel experience located right on the banks of the Missouri River. There’s an on-site spa and freshly made breakfast included. If you go on a Saturday, you can even take an outdoor yoga class right on the river bluff. What a way to start the day!

How to Luxe It Up

Ask to stay in a Seyval Spa Suite, which has an infrared sauna inside for a little mini-spa experience right in your room. It also has a walkout patio with a wooded view, a fire pit and a fireplace.

PLAN AHEAD

Explore
There are wine walks throughout the year, and the next one is the Holiday Fare Wine Trail on November 20.

Taste
Visit Fernweh for bourbon and whiskey, and breweries like Tin Mill Brewing Co.

Dine
Dig into Hermann’s German roots at the Tin Mill Restaurant, for spaetzle, schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels and more.

Pack
An extra bag to haul all that extra wine home.

Tin Mill Brewing Co. in Hermann, MO
Photo courtesy Tin Mill Brewery

Get the full craft brewery experience at Tin Mill Brewing Co. in Hermann.

Vineyard walk stock photo
Photo courtesy Shutterstock

Stroll through the scenery on one of Hermann’s Wine Walks.