Jewel of St. Louis – Union Station
You’ve heard of The Jewel of the Nile where Joan Wilder and the handsome Colton embark on another romantic adventure. Ahh. Be still my heart. Like Joan Wilder, I am a writer of action adventure and a few other genres. So when I wrote Dance of the Devil’s Trill I found my jewel too. This jewel isn’t a gemstone, divine leader nor does it take place along the longest river in the world. Instead you’ll find it on Market Street in St. Louis, Missouri near the mighty Mississippi River, just a stone’s throw from The Arch. (No pun intended.)
Although once the largest and busiest passenger rail terminal in the world, it fell in disrepair in 1978 after no longer able to be an active train hub. It was all but forgotten for many years when trains no longer set the standard for travel. In 1985 after an extensive renovation project Union Station reopened. It reopened a second time in 2012 when St. Louis-based Lodging Hospitality Management, Inc. purchased the property. The old girl has become one of America’s great historic destinations. With a $36 million renovation project which included a hotel, meeting rooms, exhibit, retail, outdoor spaces and the popular Polar Express at Christmas, the 120 year-old National Historic Landmark is now the most romantic and elegant destination for a St. Louis getaway you could possibility imagine.
I’ll admit that this 539-room St. Louis Union Station Hotel, remains my favorite in the world. And I’ve stayed in some pretty swanky places traveling the globe. And, of course, the stunning Grand Hall is a destination in its own rite with an awesome light show each evening at the top of the hour from 5 pm – 11 pm. There are 14 different shows, so be sure to go down and sit at the 65 ft. long bar created from glistening white marble. The bar is as long as the barrel ceiling is high. Breathtaking!
You’ll discover 12 acres of hotel luxury surrounding & supporting restaurants like The Hard Rock Cafe and Landry’s for the seafood lover. I love eating at The Station Grill inside the hotel because their award winning French toast is the downfall of any well intended diet. I’m pretty sure you need to go to confession after ordering this delight. Along with the obvious romantic ambience, you can stroll along a koi-filled pond beside a soon-to-be finished urban park designed for festivals, concerts and other special events. There are rumors circulating of a Ferris wheel in the future.
We all dream of winning the lottery and what kinds of things we’d do with the money. At the top of my list is to purchase a permanent room at Union Station. After all it has already become my home away from home when I travel and write. Like Joan Wilder, this is my Jewel of the Nile. It just happens to be in St. Louis, Missouri.