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Where to Stay in St. Louis in 2024 | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in St. Louis in 2024 | Best Areas & Hotels

If you want to feel the charm and the rich historical heritage of one of the oldest and most beautiful Mid-South cities in America, St. Louis is definitely the best place to start.

This beautiful and compact city near the Missouri River offers one of the best cultural atmospheres in the whole of the USA, with numerous theaters, museums, and galleries, as well as the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

But where should you stay in St. Louis? If you read this article, you’ll find every answer you need to that question.

The 3 Best Places to Stay in St. Louis

Where to Stay in St. Louis map in vector format featuring the best areas of town

Most of the landmarks, tourist attractions, museums, theaters, restaurants, and hotels are located between Downtown and Forest Park in an almost perfect straight line.

That doesn’t mean that the rest of the city is not worth visiting (quite the contrary), but most of the fun happens here.

Our favorite areas include:

  1. Downtown: Located right next to the Missouri River and the Gateway Arch National Park and packed with museums and landmarks, it’s the best option for first-time visitors to St. Louis.
  2. Midtown and Grand Central: To the west of Downtown, these two small, charming, and beautiful centrally located areas are perfect for lovers of the arts and culture in general.
  3. Forest Park: The area around the oldest and largest park in St. Louis is best for families and the most suitable location for nature lovers.

Where to Stay in St. Louis: Best Areas & Hotels

St. Louis attracts a significantly larger number of tourists than you’d probably expect. The number of landmarks and cultural establishments from Downtown to Forest Park reminds us of a much larger metropolis.

The same holds for the accommodation options. If you’re looking for luxurious and very expensive five-star hotels, you’ve come to the right place.

Every area in St. Louis boasts at least a couple of the world’s famous hotel brands, like Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons. The central area is also packed with mid-range and budget options.

If you’re looking for something cheap and affordable, you had better stick either to the Downtown or to the neighboring Midtown and Grand Central.

Although Forest Park is the most family-friendly area in the city, it has practically no budget accommodations. Most of the hotels in this district are stubbornly mid-range or luxurious.

1. Downtown

Photo of the Keiner Plaza and the Gateway Arch in the Downtown area, one of the best areas to stay in St. Louis

July 7, 2017 – St. Louis, Missouri – Keiner Plaza and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri/STLJB/Shutterstock

Downtown St. Louis is your traditional city center of a major American city. It’s the place where most of the business is happening and where you’ll find some of the most important museums, the most visited landmarks, and plenty of cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Plainly speaking, it has all the qualities to make it the most suitable area for first-time visitors to the second-largest city in Missouri.

The mighty Missouri River runs next to the city center, and one of the first things you should do is take a long and slow stroll along the river. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

It’s also the most convenient thing to do first because you’ll come across Gateway Arch National Park, probably the most visited landmark in the city.

What makes the Gateway Arch so special is that it’s the tallest monument in the whole of the USA and the tallest building in Missouri. Built in the 1960s, it became the defensive trademark of the city.

Nearby, there’s also a museum, a visitors’ center, and the historically significant Old Courthouse. Whatever you do in the city, make sure to spend at least a day at the smallest National Park in the country.

Once you’ve seen all of this, you’re ready to “attack” all the other attractions in the area.

There are plenty of museums that are going to bring smiles to the faces of even the harshest critics. Then, it’s hard to miss the home stadium of the revered Saint Louis Cardinals and the many surrounding shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.

In terms of accommodation options, Downtown definitely has the largest offer in St. Louis. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it here.

Downtown Budget Hotels

  • If you’re used to bringing your pet on your trips and you prefer accommodations with city views, check out OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO, a charming, cheap, pet-friendly two-star hotel with a fitness center on the premises.
  • Americas Best Value Inn St. Louis Downtown is a great family-friendly two-star hotel that has free WI-Fi and free parking but also provides (on request) free baby cots. The hotel is located on Interstate 70, very close to Lumiere Place Casino.

Downtown Mid-Range Hotels

  • Missouri Athletic Club is a beautifully decorated three-star hotel located near Edward Jones Dome. It’s mostly suitable for business travelers and provides a working desk in every single room. There’s also a restaurant and a bar on the premises.
  • If staying in shape while traveling is very important to you, Pear Tree Inn St. Louis Near Union Station is a perfect choice since it boasts both a large swimming pool on the premises, as well as a fully equipped fitness center. The hotel is also close to many of St. Louis’s major landmarks.

Downtown Luxury Hotels

  • You don’t have to look very hard to find one of the best hotels in St. Louis — Four Seasons St. Louis is located right in the center of the city. It boasts everything that a super luxurious hotel is supposed to have, like an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant on the premises, as well as excellent room service.
  • The four-star Hyatt Regency Saint Louis at The Arch offers an excellent location within St. Louis’s Downtown, including a stunning view of the city and pet-friendly premises. RED Kitchen (the hotel’s restaurant) is a famous restaurant that works exclusively with fresh local ingredients.

See All Hotels in St. Louis

2. Midtown and Grand Central

Photo of Midtown St. Louis pictured for a guide titled Where to Stay in St. Louis, with its colorful neon signs and hip exteriors pictured in a long exposure image at night

Saint Louis, MO—Sept 8, 2019; Neon sign hanging from street polls night marks entrance to the Grove a midtown community known for nightlife/RozenskiP/Shutterstock

While the downtown area of any city of St. Louis’s stature may steal the limelight, Midtown and Grand Central are the city’s beating heart. Squeezed between Downtown and Forest Park, they’re probably the coolest and most artistic districts in St. Louis.

The Grand Central area is home to the best performance venues in the city, making it a true cultural hub. Expect highly professional, top-notch performances that can match even the establishment of considerably larger cities like New York or Chicago.

Whatever you do, don’t miss the aptly named Fabulous Fox Theater, located very close to the prestigious Saint Louis University. This 1920s venue hosts a variety of musical performances and Broadway shows.

These two charming neighborhoods are also fully covered in other domains of the arts. Powell Hall is another historical venue (built in 1925), famous for its vaudevilles and being the permanent residence of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation, on the other hand, is a post-modern museum of the visual arts, which creates a fantastic dialogue between its exhibits and the building that houses them.

On the other hand, if you’re completely in love with photography, don’t miss the fantastic International Photography Hall of Fame, with its subtly and historically important collection.  

In terms of accommodation, Midtown and Grand Central are a reasonable alternative to Downtown.

They’re practically in continuity with the fabulous hotels that are scattered on every block in the city center, but there are also quite a few budget and mid-range options.

Midtown Budget Hotels

  • If you prefer the privacy of your own apartment and your own space (instead of hotels), take a look at CozySuites CWE Modern Queen Suite. It has a living room with a TV and one bathroom. There’s also free Wi-Fi and parking.
  • White House at Grand Central is a family-friendly complex of apartments located in Midtown. It’s pet-friendly, has a nice garden, and even boasts barbeque facilities on the premises. A safe haven for you, your pet, and your family.  

Midtown Mid-Range Hotels

  • AC Hotel by Marriott St. Louis Central West End is an all-around great three-star hotel with rooms equipped with all the amenities, including TVs and sitting spaces in every single room. The hotel also has a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a bar on the premises.
  • Aloft St. Louis Cortex is a three-star pet-friendly hotel with a swimming pool. The hotel also has a fitness center, a bar, and even a pool table. In the morning, you’ll wake up to a scrumptious continental breakfast.

Midtown Luxury Hotels

  • Angad Arts Hotel is a very beautiful and artistically decorated luxurious five-star hotel that, surprisingly enough, doesn’t come at a very high price. There’s a restaurant and a bar on the premises, as well as a fitness center and breakfast in the morning.
  • If you can’t make your mind up between Midtown or Forest Park, choose The Cheshire and stay in between, equally close to both of the areas. This four-star hotel offers a relaxing and luxurious experience, an outdoor swimming pool, room service, and a restaurant and bar on the premises.

See All Hotels in St. Louis

3. Forest Park

Picture of the stone bandstand on the lake in Forest Park, a top pick when considering where to stay in St. Louis

RN Photo Midwest/Shutterstock

No more than three miles from Downtown St. Louis lies the largest and the most beautiful park in the city and the area named after it: Forest Park. With its 1300 acres of land, trees, and buildings, it has something to offer to everybody.

Because of that, it’s hard to pin this area into a single category: it offers plenty of landmarks, and it’s perfect for sight-seeing; it has plenty of museums and cultural establishments, especially for children; lastly, the park is the most convenient place for nature lovers in all of St. Louis.

The park itself is not only the most important place in the area but also one of the biggest and most attractive landmarks in the city.

Opened in 1876, it boasts plenty of walking areas, athletic fields, museums, and establishments. Simply put, it offers a genuine all-around experience, especially for families.

The things you simply can’t miss are:

  • The STL Zoo is the premier family-friendly location in an area of around 90 acres and with a variety of animals — from bears to penguins, elephants, and large cats, as well as a charming train.
  • The Saint Louis Art Museum offers a rich collection of more than 30,000 art objects and has free admission.
  • The Missouri History Museum mostly focuses on the history of the state of Missouri but also provides a panoramic picture of America and the West.
  • The Forest Park Golf Course boasts nine holes, beautiful natural surroundings, and plenty of restaurants and shops on the premises.

The area of Forest Park is more than tourist-friendly, and the numerous accommodations and restaurants confirm that in every way possible.

As a matter of fact, some of the best and most luxurious hotels in St. Louis are located precisely here, like the Ritz-Carlton. The only weakness of the area is the comparatively smaller number of cheaper hotels.

Forest Park Budget Hotels

  • Forest Park Hotel is a decent and not very expensive three-star hotel located just a couple of miles from the legendary Forest Park. It doesn’t offer much, aside from the great location, free Wi-Fi and parking, a practical business center on the premises, and a vending machine.
  • Home2 Suites St. Louis / Forest Park is a significantly better equipped and more expensive three-star accommodation that’s still in the budget category. It has a nice indoor swimming pool and a fitness center on the premises, and flat-screen TVs (with HBO channels) in every room.

Forest Park Mid-Range Hotels

  • If you want a decently-priced three-star hotel with a swimming pool and completely pet-friendly premises, look no further than Residence Inn St. Louis Galleria. The hotel is located around 9 miles from Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport., and serves a great breakfast in the morning.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton St. Louis Forest Park is a great three-star hotel leaning to the luxurious class of accommodations and part of the famous Hilton chain of hotels. Located merely five minutes from the most important attraction in the area, Forest Park, it also has a fitness center, a bar, and a restaurant on the premises.

Forest Park Luxury Hotels

  • Everybody knows what staying in The Ritz means (no matter the city), and spending your vacation in The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is no exception to that rule. It costs a lot of money, but it’s well worth it, since the spa and wellness center, the restaurant and the bar on the premises of the hotel, are simply one of a kind.
  • Located right next to Forest Park, Kasa Forest Park St. Louis is a fabulous five-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool and barbeque facilities. It provides an excellent view from the terraces in the rooms and has a barbeque and a fully equipped fitness center on the premises as well.

See All Hotels in St. Louis

Best Places to Stay in St. Louis: A Summary

Like Lewis and Clark, we must put a stop once we reach the Pacific Ocean — the end of this guide.

It was a fun and educational trip, full of class, and before we put the final dot, let’s do a quick recap of the best three areas in St. Louis:

🏆 Best for First-Time VisitorsDowntown
⛪ Best for Local CultureMidtown/Grand Central
👪 Most Family-Friendly AreaForest Park

So, with so much to see and do, and the ability to visit this lovely city on any budget, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that St. Louis has to offer. Happy travels!