By Julia M. Johnson
If your expectations for hotel and meeting room space tend to be high, consider downtown St. Louis’ historic Magnolia Hotel a natural choice for your next gathering. The facility received Cary Grant’s repeated seal of approval when he stayed here during the property’s former life as the Mayfair Hotel. So it’s easy to see why its lovingly refurbished spaces continue to attract attention in the modern sphere.
Owned by Stout Street Hospitality, the Magnolia is a seamless choice for meetings and events that demand an elegant touch.
Historic Touches for Today
Many hotels in downtown areas have known former lives as office buildings or other commercial spaces, but the Magnolia has had hospitality at heart since the day it was born as the Mayfair. The 18-story, 182-guest-room facility was designed in 1925 by Preston Bradshaw, who also was responsible for St. Louis’ luxurious Chase Park Plaza and Coronado properties. The Magnolia has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, and with good reason.
Recent facility upgrades have resulted in a variety of luxurious guest rooms and suites that are soothing and comfortable; foyers that are embellished with stunning chandeliers; and meeting areas that anticipate guests’ every need. There’s also Robie’s Bar, elegantly appointed and named for Grant’s character in “To Catch a Thief.”
Chelsea Clark, sales manager, says the property offers a variety of meeting spaces:
- A second-floor mezzanine, ideal for standup receptions and prefunction gatherings.
- The Magnolia Ballroom, which is uniquely shaped and divisible with airwalls into four spaces, and features large picture windows and dance floor space. Receptions for up to 300 can be held here, and seated meals of up to 200.
- The Truman Room, which features a buffet area and cabinet space, and fits 30 guests at rounds.
- The Julia King Room, which accommodates up to 20 guests.
- The Heiss Boardroom, which features buffet counters and seats 16 guests among comfortable “library” décor.
It’s easy to combine multiple spaces at the hotel to accommodate differing group sizes, Clark adds. Total meeting space at the hotel adds up to about 8,000 square feet. The main level also features comfortable lounge space with tables, comfortable seating and original stained glass windows.
There are even a Tesla courtesy vehicle and charging station for guests who need transportation around downtown. The hotel also features audio-visual and Internet services to accommodate any group’s technology needs, and a full range of food and beverage options for any meal.
Your attendees will be delighted that the Magnolia is just one block from the America’s Center convention complex, and a short distance from the Gateway Arch, Busch Stadium, and other downtown landmarks.
Julie Hawkins, meeting planner with the Creve Coeur-based American Soybean Association, says her organization recently held a 50-guest staff meeting at the Magnolia in a “two half-day” format. “We had buffet lunches each day, which were delicious and plentiful,” she says. “The hotel also offered a continental breakfast in the restaurant for participants staying at the property. This was a nice perk, as well as a cost savings for us, being a nonprofit.”
Hawkins says she was impressed with the fact that the hotel’s renovations have managed to maintain its historic character. “The staff and service were fantastic,” she adds, “and all requests were handled quickly. Our meeting ended sooner than anticipated, and the staff miraculously managed to get lunch out an hour earlier. We love this property.”
Other organizations recently using the Magnolia for their events have included Alton, Ill.-based Cope Plastics, and Sauget, Ill.-based Universal Air Filter Co.
See the Past for Yourself
Clark says one of the most intriguing aspects of this hotel is its careful preservation of historic detail. “The property’s original 1925 elevators are still here, and have been refurbished,” she says. “We have beautiful Tiffany chandeliers. And I love the fact that the the Julia King Room still features old window etchings announcing the beauty salon and barber shop that used to be there.”
When the character of yesteryear and the technology of the present are important factors in your St. Louis meeting venue choices, the Magnolia Hotel stands ready to accommodate.
The Magnolia Hotel
Chelsea Clark, sales manager
421 N. 8th Street
St. Louis MO 63101