Lunar-Themed Boutique Hotel in St. Louis's Vibrant Delmar Loop
Eight stories above the thrum of Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis's Loop neighborhood, there's a 10-foot-wide, 3,000-pound model of the moon--the largest model of its kind in the world. It rotates slowly, and as it does, the eggshell color of its light half slowly gives way to the sooty hue of its dark side, just like the real moon. You can get a close-up view of this sequence at the Moonrise Hotel's Rooftop Terrace Bar. Down in the hotel lobby, you'll find sleek, sometimes Jetsons-esque furniture sitting side by side with the towering fronds of a strelitzia nicolai plant; a fire-toned glass chandelier hangs overhead.
Walk toward the elevators and you can marvel at the Space Race-era curios, which showcase signed memorabilia and a certified moon rock from the personal collection of Moonrise Hotel owner Joe Edwards. Furnishings and decor in the superior room feature lunar a motif too, including the artwork on the walls and polka-dot drapery that evokes images of the lunar cycles. At night, you can liftoff into sleepytime on a plush Serta Enrapture double pillow-top bed.
Eclipse Restaurant--one of St. Louis Magazine's Best New Restaurants of 2009--specializes in American fare served in a retro-chic dining room. The breakfast menu features a series of creative benedicts, as well as french toast tweaked with a spiced eggnog-batter infusion.
St. Louis: Eclectic Delmar Loop Neighborhood and Green Gateway City
The six-block Delmar Loop district maintains a Main Street feel; it's a highly walkable, funky neighborhood with more than 140 shops, eateries, and entertainment forums. These run the gamut from the casual espresso bars and hookah bars to venues such as The Pageant, a concert venue with a capacity of more than 1,000 a few doors east of Moonrise Hotel. As you walk through the neighborhood, you're simultaneously visiting the St. Louis Walk of Fame--the sidewalks on Delmar are embedded with brass stars and bronze plaques etched with the biographies of famous St. Louisans such as T. S. Eliot, John Goodman, and Chuck Berry.
Just across the street from the hotel, the Little Shark Athletic Company rents mountain, road, and tandem bicycles by the hour and day with a 10% discount for hotel guests. Cycle sage Natalie Carroll can dispense bike maps, route recommendations, and suggestions on city highlights.
About 8 miles east of the hotel is the iconic Gateway Arch, which is the tallest national monument in the National Parks system at 630 feet and more than twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. You can take rides to its peak to get a bird's-eye view of Mississippi riverboats and Busch Stadium. Doors at the visitors' center and the Museum of Westward Expansion at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial open at 8 a.m., lines get long around 10 a.m., and the day's tickets for tram rides to the top of the arch sometimes sell out in the afternoon.
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